World’s Top 15 Best Destinations for Backpackers (2018 Edition)

Beach in Sri Lanka
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15 Beautiful Countries Every Backpacker Should Visit

It’s easy to list down a number of must-visit destinations for backpackers but when it comes down to it, it should be a place/s where there are plenty of affordable accommodations to choose from. It should also come to mind that the place is beautiful yet safe, countless spots to discover, foods to try, culture to welcome and much more.

Cambodia - Best Destinations for Backpackers
Cambodia – Best Destinations for Backpackers

Cambodia

The Angkor Wat is a temple flocked by many and if you plan to make this a center of your travel, you can find shared lodging and hotels in Siem Reap which will cost about $3. Private stay can cost around $10. You can go to the Aeon Mall if you’re more into retail therapy. You only need to spend a few bucks for good meals and you can also enjoy this exotic location through its beaches, greeneries and other bodies of water.

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Also Read: Siem Reap Budget Travel Guide / Must See Places You Can’t Leave Cambodia Without Seeing!

Costa Rica

Beach in Costa Rica
Beach in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country that you can travel it in a short time. This Central American country boasts pristine beaches, cloud forests and adventure spots for thrill seeker. The country is well-known for its incredible appeal and its various plants and animals species. Travelers from all over the world flock in Costa Rica to search ‘Pura Vida or Pure Life’. It’s also considered as the rite of passage for backpacking enthusiasts who wish to wander South and Central America. The country has a National Museum which is home to geological, colonial, archaeological, religious and modern history finds.

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Also Read: 5 Best National Parks in Costa Rica / Living the Pura Vida Lifestyle in Costa Rica

Croatia

Backpacking in Croatia
Backpacking in Croatia

This European country became more popular when Game of Thrones used the city walls, gates and towers of one of its city, Dubrovnik. The country experiences all-year-round sunshine which makes it ideal for backpacking adventures. Aside from Dubrovnik, you must visit Rovinj, Zagreb, Split and Plitvice Lakes National Park. These places offer either shopping adventures (think galleries, handmade souvenirs, and artworks by local artisans, museum adventures, open-air market, historic buildings and of course, a massive body of water.

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Also Read: 7 Things Not To Miss in Croatia

Ecuador

Backpacking in Ecuador
Backpacking in Ecuador

Quito is their capital and a heritage city. It’s surrounded by mountains and volcanoes and was a major Inca City. Like any old Spanish town, Quito is proud of their culture which includes preserved houses, Spanish language programs, traditional dress and arts and more.

One of the colorful places you can be in Ecuador is in Guayaquil which is the nation’s largest city. The houses and establishments are beautifully painted. You can learn a few things about the city in Guayaquil Historical Park which has three parts; Wildlife Zone, Urban Architectural Zone and Traditions Zone.

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India

Taj Mahal in India
Taj Mahal in India

India may be infamous for its citizens who don’t favor baths but look past that and you’ll see that this place is a cultural heaven. You can book a night or two at really cheap hostels although if you’re being a little vain then there are accommodations for such mood. When in India, you must try their authentic dishes which are full of spices and robust flavors. Their cuisine may be one of the most important things you shouldn’t miss if you want to learn about their culture. So far, our favorite spot in India is Kerala.

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Also Read: Top 16 Places to visit in India / 10 Colourful Festivals in India

Indonesia

Gunung Rinjani Crater Lake
Gunung Rinjani Crater Lake

Bali, Indonesia may be a place for Spring Breakers and Aussie surfers that it has become a bit expensive but worry not because you could go to Lombok instead and do your backpacking adventures there. You can head to East Java where you can, amongst other tourists see this pretty yet dangerous volcano lake in Ijen Volcano Complex. It fumes sulfur which miners get and make ornaments from. If that’s not adventure enough, visit Trekking Gunung Rinjani which is challenging enough for even the most experienced trekkers. It’s located in Lombok and lava glows out of the cone in the crater lake.

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Also Read: Padar Island, Komodo National Park / Things to do and See in Ubud, Bali Indonesia

Nicaragua

Beach in Nicaragua
Beach in Nicaragua

Nicaragua may be a relatively new travel destination but this place doesn’t fall short when it comes to the sights you can see. Granada, which is a colonial city have a vibrant nightlife. There’s also San Juan del Sur which is a surfers’ paradise, Caribbean village Bluefields. Too many biological creatures can be seen in Nicaragua like armadillos, jaguars and three-toed sloths. You can also try snorkeling and scuba diving sessions. The dry season is between December and April and July and August is when the country experiences hard rains.

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Morocco

Morocco Souvenir Shopping
Morocco Souvenir Shopping

Traveling is always a learning experience. When you travel to Morocco you’ll learn a couple of things like the Tanneries in Fez have been producing leathers since Medieval times. The town of Chefchaouen was founded in 15th century and became a safe haven for Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Reconquista then again for Jews escaping from the Nazis during WWII. The old town including the guest houses and street-side cafes is poetic in appearance. You don’t have to spend much when in Morocco as $13 is enough to cover food expense for a day.

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Also Read: The Flavors Of Morocco: Discover Moroccan Cuisine

Peru

Oasis Of Huacachina in Ica Peru
Oasis Of Huacachina in Ica Peru

Peru is included in the top 10 “Megadiverse” countries in the world and for good reasons. The famous Inca Trail Machu Picchu isn’t the only natural wonder you can see in Peru. The 2nd highest mountain range in the world, Cordillera Blanca in Ancash is also in Peru. You can also experience canopy gliding in Mancora and Cuzco. Huacachina is a desert oasis taking the world by storm. It’s also located in Peru. It’s a place where tourists can go sand boarding and go on dune buggy rides.

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Philippines

Amazing Islands and Beaches in El Nido Palawan
Amazing Islands and Beaches in El Nido Palawan

Don’t mind the traffic at the Metro. Proceed to the Cordillera Mountain Ranges up north where you’ll take pleasure in the cold environment or surf through Cloud 9 waves in Siargao, southeast of Manila. The best thing about the Philippines is that you’ll always be greeted with a smile. If you’re not bothered with the traffic, reserve a day or two to wander the city where you can see huge malls and a plethora of cuisines from the Philippines and around the world. Mindanao province like Zamboanga, Ilocos Region, Baguio and other parts of Benguet produces ethnic fabrics which are made into bags, purses and other merchandise which you can purchase as souvenirs.

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Thailand

Koh Phi Phi Thailand
Koh Phi Phi Thailand

Food, shopping, parties, festivals, history, nature and culture! Everything is in Thailand from famous Pad Thai to Full Moon Parties, beaches and amazing cities. The people in Thailand are also friendly. There are affordable food that can be had; fried chicken, curry and noodles to name a few. Traveling to Thailand is pretty cheap as well as traveling around Thailand. The Buddhist religion is a significant part of their culture. It’s evident in their temples, architectures and other souvenir items.

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Also Read: 8 Travel Tips for the First Time Thailand Traveller / Top 10 Best Things To Do in Thailand

Turkey

Hot-Air Ballooning in Turkey
Hot-Air Ballooning in Turkey

Southeast Asia may be one of the most popular choices for backpacking adventures but don’t dismiss Turkey just yet. For under $40 a day, you get to experience this Eurasian country. Go to Topkaki for a lively Turkish ambiance and Aya Sofya which was built as a church by Byzantine emperor Justinian in 537 then became a mosque through Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and declared a museum by Atatürkin 1935. You can also check out Caves of Heaven and Hell near Narlikuyu where there are sinkholes, subterranean river, and other mythological places.

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Also Read: Hot-Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey

South Africa

Beach in South Africa
Beach in South Africa

Today, plenty of backpackers are choosing to go to South Africa for various reasons. One and may be the most notable reason is to experience Safari wildlife where you can see giraffes, lions, elephants and so much more in person. Another reason is that South Africa offers the most stunning golf courses with mountains for a backdrop. Since you’re already in a mysterious place, why not try out interacting with great white sharks in? It’s a rather nerve-wracking experience so it’s not for the faint-hearted. And for a romantic setup, go to Cape Floral Region and stop your eye from popping out when you see around 9,500 plant species in bloom. 70% of these plants can only be found there.

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Also Read: Unusual Things To Do In South Africa / Redefining Vacations: South Africa

Sri Lanka

Beach in Sri Lanka
Beach in Sri Lanka

This not so big island nation makes up for its rich culture, beautiful weather all year round, traditions and long stretches of beach. Located in Sri Lanka are 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Nothing beats chilling at the beach, experience Sri Lankan Wildlife Safari, enjoying the great outdoors and visiting Buddhist statues. You could also visit tea plantations where you’ll learn how it’s produced.

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Also Read: 6 Fun Things to Do in Sri Lanka

Vietnam

Ha Long Bay Vietnam
Ha Long Bay Vietnam

Vietnam is a backpacking-friendly nation. There are plenty of street vendors and cheap eateries where you can sample ethnic dishes for $2 or less. Shared hostel rooms can go for $3/N and oftentimes it includes breakfast. Add War Remnants Museum, Son My Memorial and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park to your must-see list for authentic Vietnamese culture learning. Do check out Cu Chi Tunnels outside Saigon. This is where you’ll discover about the life of the Viet Cong as they fight in the tunnels throughout the Western Colonialism.

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Also Read: Things to Do and See in Ho Chi Minh City / 5 Breathtaking Natural Wonders to See in Vietnam

Each country has something truly unique to their nation that you won’t find elsewhere. As a backpacker, it’s amazing that the sky is the limit on where you can go. You can choose one or you can choose all and each time you’ll learn something meaningful as you embark on your journey.

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