Now heading almost 3-months into the new year, have you started planning for your 2023 travel plans yet?
If you haven't started, we don't blame you! There are just so many incredible destinations to consider traveling to for this year. It can be challenging to decide where to go. But while there will always be a lot of popular tourist-y places to visit - think New York or Paris, if you're anything like me, you're probably on the look-out for the next hidden gem to travel to!
We, at MiTravel, have gathered our favorite off-beaten and hidden gems from all over the world that you should totally consider visiting this 2023!
1. A World Away (Andaman and Nicobar Islands | India)
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, located to the east of India and west of Thailand. They are known for their white, palm-fringed beaches, spectacular coral reefs, and evergreen mangrove forests. The views look absolutely amazing!
Being in this remote tropical paradise almost feels like you're a world away from the usual, bustling lifestyle we lead.
It comes as no surprise that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands also boasts a wide array of mostly endemic wildlife, from birds, reptiles, mammals, rich fauna and marine bio-diversity. There are plenty of nationals parks and wildlife sanctuaries that one can visit to bird-watch and to appreciate nature and wildlife! Check out this brochure for more information!
For bird-watchers, check out this brochure on endemic birds found in these islands.
For scuba divers, check out this brochure on the best dive sites found in these islands.
If you're not fully convinced, here's one more reason to visit- magical bioluminescence while night kayaking at Havelock Island! (Hope you can visit on a moon-less night!)
2. Trees As Old As Time (Yakushima | Japan)
Of all the countries I've heard people wanting to visit over the pandemic, the most popular one would probably be Japan. And it's no surprise, with Japan having one of the world's most strictest pandemic health restrictions and only having reopened its borders slowly from June to October 2022.
So it is an acknowledgement of that demand that I decided to include a hidden gem from Japan: Yakushima!
Yakushima is a remote island off the southern coast of Kyushu and is home to some of Japan’s oldest living trees. Within this massive cedar forest, trees which are over 1000 years old are fondly called Yakusugi, while the oldest of which (as old as 7000 years) is called Jomonsugi.
There's just something so magical to traverse a forest this old and unspoiled; and maybe due to Japan's shinto roots, you come to appreciate more and respect these ancient trees around you more. This unique forest is perfect for hikers, trekkers, nature photographers and macro-fauna enthusiasts! You might even see some monkeys!
Make sure to visit the Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine, which was the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli anime film, Princess Mononoke!
3. Feels Like A Dream To Me (Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia)
In itself, Bolivia truly is a hidden gem! Though not as popular as its South-American counterparts like Peru, Chile, Argentina or Brazil, Bolivia is home to absolutely beautiful, geographically diverse landscape, a country filled with amazing culture, history and biodiversity!
Let me give one more big reason (one hidden gem!) to visit Bolivia: Salar de Uyuni. One of the dreamiest landscapes you ever will see.
One of the flattest places in the world, Salar De Uyuni is also the world's largest salt flat. The salt flats look the best after it rains, acting like the world's largest natural mirror, perfectly reflecting the sky above. The horizon seems to disappear into the distance; its hard not to feel like you're walking in the clouds!
In addition, the area is home to many interesting animals, including llamas, alpacas, and flamingos!
4. Frozen In Time (Civita di Bagnoregio | Italy)
From the cultural cities of Rome & Florence, the romantic canals of Venice or the picturesque seaside town of Cinque Terre, there's also a lot that comes to mind when thinking of 'traveling to Italy'. But in 2023, it is time to recognize and uncover another hidden Italian gem!
Civita di Bagnoregio is a charming Italian hill town, located between Rome and Florence. Traveling here almost instantly transports you back in time to the medieval ages! Even getting to the town, you can only access via pedestrian footbridge.
Entering this rustic town, you are greeted by smooth cobblestones, potted geraniums and old Italian buildings. There is history in every step and behind every corner of this beautifully-preserved Italian village, especially in the main piazza where most celebrations are held! Definitely a very, picturesque, IG-worthy visit - a great addition to your dream Italian trip!
This small hill town is attracting more and more tourists every year, so don't miss out!
Another reason to visit: A majority of the town's population are cats!
5. Home of The Winds (Batanes | Philippines)
Another escape from the hustle and bustle of city living is this slice of paradise, this time from the Philippines! Batanes, also known as Home of the Winds, is the smallest province of the country, located in the most northernmost region of the Philippines. Because of its location, it's definitely one of the most remote and crowd-less islands one may ever visit!
But, if you're expecting the white, sandy tropical beaches that the Philippines is known for, think again! Batanes is mostly characterized by its rolling, evergreen hills, steep, rocky cliffs, and quaint stone towns! Perfect for unwinding and enjoying the scenic landscapes!
Visit Batanes' best attractions like its 3 main lighthouses, Valugan Boulder Beach, Vayang Rolling Hills, Tukon Chapel, and Homoron Blue Lagoon! Definitely one of the most unique island experiences out there!
Nothing compares to the unique travel experiences you get when traveling to hidden gems! Each of these destinations we listed offer something unique and special that you won't find anywhere else. So be sure to add them to your travel bucket-list for 2023!
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