If you’ve already seen the pyramids of Egypt, the architecture of Europe, and the ruins in Mexico, you may consider some of these lesser-known hotspots when planning your next vacation destination.
Quito, Ecuador’s Capital, has seen a recent increase of tourists. That may be because Ecuador is home to one of the most historically rich cultures in the entire world. A UNESCO world heritage site, the city of Quito has recently undergone extensive restoration, fixing up its spectacular churches and architecture, and its narrow cobble-stone streets, which are now safe for tourists to explore.
The Quito Teleferico, one of the largest aerial lifts in the world, carries visitors high up to the Pichincha volcano. For about $10 and 10 minutes you can quickly climb 1200 meters to experience the real affects of high altitude at 4100 meters above sea level. Be sure to drink plenty of water to ward off headaches.
In the evening, wander down to the Gringolandia, the nucleus of Quito’s nightlife. AKA Plaza Quinde, you’ll find plenty of cafes and bistros, international restaurants and pubs, many of which feature live shows and musical performances.
Naha, considered the “Hawaii of Japan,” is on Okinawa Island—and it’s quickly becoming a traveller’s hotspot! Japan’s tropical climate lends itself beautifully to Naha’s white sand beaches, where beach-goers enjoy the hot sun and warm breezes gently blowing in off the shores. Adventurers enjoy diving, snorkeling, kite boarding and other water sports in Naha.
History buffs tend to enjoy a visit to Naha’s museums and peace parks, where they can observe the Battle of Okinawa. If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo, but want to detour off the beaten path, you can get to Naha by taking a relaxing two-day ferry ride. You can also take a 2.5 hour flight.
You’ve probably heard of Marrakesh, Morocco, but perhaps not its less famous sibling, Meknès, a smaller ancient imperial city. Also a UNESCO World Heritage site, Meknès dates back to the 11th century when it was founded by the Almoravids as a military settlement. Travellers enjoy the relaxed, laid-back vibe of the city, coupled with the rich architectural and cultural nuances, including palaces, defense walls and mosques.
The city boasts an urban design, culminating both Islamic and European architecture and city planning. Behind the tall defensive walls are key monuments and stunning private houses, historical tributes to the Almoravid, Merinid and Alaouite Periods not to be missed.
Do you have a favourite “less-travelled” destination? We’d love to hear all about it, so please share your thoughts below.