Since returning home, everyone has asked “What was your favourite pla… oh you probably don’t have one!”. Incorrect. Obviously we had many wonderful experiences but I have absolutely no problem ranking them! I prepped my answer long before we returned. I generally say Mexico, Belize and the Greek Islands as my favourite places, but here I’ve broken them down into a few categories.
If you’re new, here’s a quick rundown: we spent 6 months road tripping across the US and Canada (47,000km!), 6 months in South and Central America, and then 4 months in Europe.
Sigh. Mexico was just the perfect balance of amazing food, stunning landscapes, lovely people, fascinating history, lots to see and do as well as being an easy country to navigate (the buses system is amazing, the Spanish is easy to understand). I was so beyond excited to get there and I often had to justify this to Americans, for whom going to Mexico is like going to Bali or Thailand to us Aussies. We rushed a bit through our last part of Central America to spend 4 weeks in Mexico, but for me it was totally worth it (I’ll go back and see Guatemala another time). Highlights were Tulum and Oaxaca.
Read more: 10 foods to try in Oaxaca, Mexico, In love with Oaxaca, 4 incredible cenotes around Tulum, Swimming with sea turtles at Akumal Bay, Laguna Bacalar, When you order nachos in Mexico.
Place: Caye Caulker
It’s a tropical island paradise off the coast of Belize. People speak Caribbean English with beautiful rasta accents, the food is great, all the buildings are pastel colours, the snorkelling next level. What more could you possibly want?
Read more: Caye Caulker, The Bluest Water: Kayaking in Caye Caulker, Swimming with sharks, stingrays and eels.
Big call. We went to lots of amazing islands. But Crete had it all; mountains, gorges, jaw dropping beaches and a satisfying abundance of blue water. Oh and the food! Cheap car hire, easy roads, friendly people. A+
Read more: A sistery reunion on Crete part 1, A sisterly reunion on Crete part 2, 12 things you should know before travelling to the Greek Islands.
City: New Orleans
Finally something without a beach! New Orleans absolutely lived up to the hype AND my sky high expectations. My advice is to stay far away from Bourbon Street. The best music and nightlife is on Frenchman Street. NOLA is unlike any other place I’ve ever been. The incredible mix of cultures has resulted in one delicious gumbo pot of fun. Amazing food, music, architecture, history and people. I pretty much grilled all our Uber drivers because I was desperate to know what it was really like to live there.
Read more: New Orleans – the music, New Orleans – the food, New Orleans: the French Quarter and beyond.
Beach: Playa Cristal, Colombia
This was a difficult category. Playa Cristal wins because it had sand, shade, perfect blue water and amazing snorkelling meters from the shoreline. You risk death on the boat ride there, but that’s part of the fun!
Read more: Colombia catch up: Taganga, Minca & Palomino.
US National Park: Crater Lake, Oregon
This is kind of an obscure category but the bulk of our US trip involved jaw-dropping national parks. It was hard to pick a favourite but Crater Lake in Oregon was pretty spectacular. The mixture of sunshine, snow and bright blue water reflecting the crater’s edge was unforgettable.
Read more: Crater Lake, Oregon
Mountain: Santa Ana Volcano
Mountain/volcano… Santa Ana in El Salvador takes the cake.
Read more: 6 things that surprised about El Salvador
Vista: Moraine Lake, Canada
Vista? Now I’m really getting out of hand. Moraine Lake was absurd. I don’t know what it is about glaciers that make water such a spectacular colour, but I like it.
Read more: Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Hostel: Case en al Agua, Colombia
A tree house on water. Nuts! Sleep in a hammock, jump straight into the water as a shower, snorkel, paddle, swim and sip piña coladas allllll day long. This place also takes a death defying boat ride to reach though.
Read more: The best located hostel in the world: Casa en al Agua
A truly incredible place. However it deserves it’s own trip. I don’t recommend doing it as part of a long period of travelling as it deserves fresh, energised and positive travellers. We were pretty burnt out by this point and I don’t think I got the most out of it. Still loved it though.
Read more: 10 things that surprised me about Cuba, Havana to Vinales and back again.
An inexpensive paradise. Get there before everyone else does.
Read more: The cheap European beach paradise you’ve never heard of, Travel tips for Albania: Europe’s hidden gem.
Next on the list? Africa! Where are you headed?
Great post! Albania is a good tip for us as Europeans, so we can go there, once we are back in Europe 😀
You are absolutely right about Cuba, great place!
And now I really want to go to this hostel in Colombia!
You should definitely go to Africa at one point. South Africa is a great Backpacker Country and Malawi is just so real, best and cheapest Safaris are in Etosha NP in Namibia and the Namibian Desert is great, although much like Australian Outback, exept of the Animals of course 😀
Thanks for the Africa tips! My sister lives in Rwanda so we will be going there to visit her, I definitely want to see other spots too though 🙂
Loved this post! You seriously had a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so jealous of all the places you went. That hostel looks amazing.
Thanks Courtney 🙂 I’m still kind of in denial that it’s all over!
Cuba looks so absolutely incredible!!!!! Was that where you had your drama with the purse though? Regardless it looks gorgeous. I know what you mean about long trisp though, some stops you just don’t have it in you to give it your best!! You did so much 🙂
Denton & Lou
No, the mugging was in Colombia! Cuba was incredible 🙂
Shit the front door – a treehouse on the water?! That’s a dream come true. I must go there! Great blog. I’m off to NYC & Hawaii again next week – can’t wait! 🙌🏽
I need to catch up on your blogs!
‘Shit the front door’ is probably the best expression I’ve ever heard! Have an awesome time, I’m very envious 🙂
Totally agree with your Mexico faves!! I’m sitting in a cafe in Berlin at the moment so seeing your photos of sunny beaches and warm water is killing me! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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