Although there may be several books in the world, we find the best stories are those found between the pages of a passport. This spring break, let the sunshine in as you jet set across the globe to some of the world’s sunniest destinations. Whether you choose to celebrate in the islands of the Caribbean or the wild plains of Africa, break free from the norm over these next few weeks as you sit poolside and sip away your troubles among family and friends.
Catch a flight to the birthplace of reggae music, where Bob Marley once famously sang, “Let’s get together and feel alright.” As one of the larger Caribbean islands, Jamaica has something for everyone from lush mountains to golden sandy beaches. In Montego Bay, you’ll find a stretch of resorts along the coastline, but for private access to the city’s best beach, Doctor’s Cave, you’ll have to book a room at the island’s newest “south beach style hotel,” the S Hotel. After you’ve had your fair share of sand and sun, head on over to the Chukka Adventure park where thrill seekers can spend the day zip lining, river tubing, and ATV riding through miles of acreage on Jamaica’s most well-preserved great house, the Good Hope Estate.
Arguably one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations, Thailand is a favorite amomg western tourists for a multitude of reasons. With plenty of cities to choose from, this country is home to overgrown jungles, lively cities, and pristine white sand beaches. While Bangkok draws in first-time tourists, we suggest making your way to the southern coasts for some island time. As one of the most famous islands, Ko Phi Phi definitely draws in the crowds and is a great choice if you want to stay on the west coast, however, for spring break, try going to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, or Koh Tao. Koh Tao, the smallest island, draws fewer crowds, boasts beautiful white sand beaches, and has the best diving in the country while the two larger islands, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, boast luxury accommodations and the infamous full moon beach parties.
Located on the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is an expansive country with a vast topography featuring various ecosystems all working together in exquisite harmony. Inland, wildlife enthusiasts should come camera ready as they embark on a safari ride through the grass plains of Kruger National Park. In the lower region of the park, first-time visitors have the opportunity to see “The Big 5” and can choose to camp within the park or find luxury lodging in/or around this area. After you’ve seen the big five, hop on a flight over to Cape Town where you’ll be greeted by penguin-filled beaches, lush wineries in the Stellenbosch region, stunning mountainscapes, and a city that’s every bit as diverse as it’s geography.
Pura Vida, or the “simple life,” is not only a commonly expressed phrase in Costa Rica but rather a lifestyle centered around wellness, nature, and relaxation. In the jungles of Costa Rica, you’ll be able to reconnect with your wild side in some of South America’s most breathtaking biospheres, hot spring, volcanoes, waterfalls, beaches, and colorful sunsets. After arriving in San Juan, rent a car and trek up north to chase waterfalls in Arenal National Park. From there, you can hike up the volcano and finish the day with a dip in the hot springs at Tabacon Thermal Spa, which are every bit as beautiful as they are relaxing. Sit back and take in the sun set on the most picturesque, unspoiled beauty South America has to offer.
Featuring one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” Peru is a country that is not only rich in culture but also in history. On the Pacific Coast, you will find the capital city of Lima, who’s well preserved colonial center, rich food culture, and pre-Colombian art are well worth the long layover. After a day or two of exploring the big city, board a flight to the charming cobblestone city of Cusco. From there, amongst the Andes Mountains, you can hike the Inca Trail through the sacred valley where the continent’s biggest draw hosts the pride of Incan architecture, Machu Picchu. An ancient city whose proximity to the sky and dramatic landscape make this spiritual mecca well worth the trek.
When you think of spring break, Mexico certainly comes to mind as it’s been a long time favorite of U.S. visitors for generations. With destinations such as Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, and Mexico City, you really can’t go wrong. Cancun is most certainly a favorite amongst the spring break crowd, however, if an all-inclusive resort isn’t your style, we suggest investigating a little further down the Yucatan peninsula to the sunny oasis of Tulum. With a much more intimate setting, you’ll find smaller boutique hotels and a bicycle-friendly beach town filled with local artisans, restaurants, ancient ruins, and powdery white sand beaches. An ideal itinerary includes a visit to the infamous Chichen Itza, an afternoon swim in the crystal clear waters at the Gran Cenote and a day of lounging on daybeds at the beaches of the Nomade hotel.
Merissa Principe is a teacher and a freelance travel blogger from NYC. Teaching early childhood education has provided Merissa an opportunity to travel all over the world and live in new places. Be sure to follow her at Citygirlriss.wordpress.com for all things travel, beauty, fashion and New York City.