Top 18 Backpacking Destinations for the Ultimate Adventure

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Are you thinking about going backpacking? There are many exciting places to explore, whether you want to go entirely off the beaten track or see some capital cities in a new way. While countries like Thailand and Cambodia have long attracted tourists from all over the world, there are also a few promising destinations that are worth visiting to plunge yourself into different cultures and perhaps find something new along the way.

Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

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Nowadays, Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s lesser frequented tourist destinations. Still, one day it will gain its deserved popularity due to the pristine beaches, diverse traditions, and exciting experiences on offer. Unawatuna is a favorite spot with many backpackers, thanks to the laid-back atmosphere and plenty of comfortable beachside hotels and resorts.

Queenstown, New Zealand 

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Queenstown is a pure adventurer’s dream, offering everything from affordable accommodation to bright nightlife and water leisures on Lake Wakatipu. All visitors will love skiing at Double Cone, catching a cable car to the mountain peak and admiring the views of the city, or trying the Nevis Bungy jump at 134m – the tallest in New Zealand. If you’re planning to explore more on the south island, it’s a great idea to take a trip to Milford Sound, where you can sail along the fiord and have a look at fur seal colonies and dolphins. 

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Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

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With the Himalayas providing stunning scenery, Nepal is an incredible venue for backpackers. The heart of the country, colorful Kathmandu, is a diverse mix of the past and the present. The Kathmandu Valley has always been a salad bowl of various religions, traditions, arts, and crafts. 

Don’t miss the chance to discover magnificent temples and ancient monuments in the place where Hinduism and Buddhism rub shoulders in ideal harmony. Learn about the legends and myths that have influenced the lifestyle of Nepalis since ancient times. 

Bogotá, Colombia

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Colombia is regarded as one of the world’s best tourist destinations, and there’s no better place to explore all that the country can boast than its capital city, Bogota. 

Bogotá is gradually becoming one of Latin America’s most busy and lively cities. Full of culture, art, fashion, traditions, opportunities, and unique experiences, Bogotá is a must-visit destination. With a large number of visitors from all over the world, Bogotá is a place that must be included in every backpacker’s itinerary. 

Much of the backpacker leisures are centered on the La Candelaria district, where you’ll find cozy bars and cafes, all within easy access of the city’s prominent landmarks.

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Iceland

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Iceland has some of the most incredible natural landmarks you have ever seen anywhere in the world. It’s an excellent destination for those seeking peace from the hustle and bustle of city life, as you’ll be spending much of your time wandering from sight to sight. Then, you’ll want to explore lots of outdoor wonders: spectacular glaciers, ice caves, geysers, hot springs, magnificent waterfalls, dramatic black sand beaches, and spine-chilling volcanos.

Exploring the fantastic beauty of this Scandinavian country will take your breath away and leave an unforgettable impression. If you happen to visit Iceland between October and April, you may be lucky enough to behold the Northern Lights, an experience that strikes the heart.

Copenhagen, Denmark

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Copenhagen is a stunning city that many backpackers are in love with! It’s one of those cities that feels like a small town somewhere in Europe, but with the hustle and bustle that matches any major capital city. There’s honestly a number of the best attractions to see in Copenhagen, and you may get lost once you see all that diversity.

It’s also a place where you can visit one of the oldest Luna parks in the world, ride the waves of its incredible waterways and enjoy delicious street food.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that Scandinavian countries are too expensive for backpackers. Copenhagen offers multiple activities that won’t cost you a pretty penny.

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Koh Lanta, Thailand

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Thailand has always been a go-to for travelers, and for a good reason. Not only is there fantastic weather, unique culture, and incredible nightlife on offer, but it’s also an affordable place to visit for backpackers on a tight budget. Don’t waste your time on the overcrowded beaches of Koh Phi and Maya Bay, and you’d better opt for quieter islands of Koh Lanta or Railay Bay, where you can immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the Thai lifestyle and enjoy the captivating scenery.

Palawan, the Philippines

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Palawan is constantly ranked as one of the best places in the Philippines and one of the best islands in the world.

It boasts white sand beaches, transparent blue water, a spectacular variety of marine species and shipwreck sites, and incredible towering limestone cliffs. If you love swimming, island-hopping, or diving, this biggest island province should be a must in your itinerary. 

You will never be disappointed with a trip to Palawan in the Philippines, which has everything to satisfy thrill-seeking travelers, from diving to zip-lining. You’ll easily make a list of dynamic activities to experience here.

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Ometepe, Nicaragua

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If it’s an adventure you’re seeking, head to the volcanic island of Ometepe, where you can climb a volcano or swim under waterfalls alternating with lying on the beach. Towering over the blue waters of Lake Nicaragua, Ometepe Island consists of two magnificent volcanic cones and is a more than spectacular sight as you look at its shores. And while it is home to a variety of luxury eco-friendly resorts, you won’t feel a lack of accommodation either.

Cambodia

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Find numerous attractions varying from pristine beaches and colonial town sceneries to lush jungles and majestic rivers and lakes. The legendary temples of Angkor attract millions of travelers each year. Away from the temples, Cambodia is surprisingly untouristy. Cambodia remains largely unexplored in many ways. However, new roads now bring once remote country within easy reach. By the way, you’ll find accommodation, food, and traveling budget-friendly too.

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Bolivia, South America

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Although Bolivia is regarded as a country of climatic extremes, it can be visited all year round. You will indeed have a memorable stay here, one of the most favorite backpacking spots in South America due to its inexpensive accommodation, remarkable architecture, and undeniably the famous salt flats, where you and your fellows can get amazing photos to capture the moment.

Tallinn, Estonia

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Estonia’s capital city is a perfect destination for backpacking within Europe. With wonders around every corner, Tallinn bursts with elegance like no other European city. The central city of Estonia is steeped in history yet has all the modern activities backpackers expect from the city in the 21st century. 

Tallinn is exceptionally stunning, especially during the colorful sunsets in summer. And if you want to see this fantastic city at its very best, plan your visit during the Estonian Song Festival to enjoy the music that vibrates throughout the city.

Talking about accommodation, you may find good-value options to explore many of the remarkable sights on foot. Don’t miss the chance to climb the top of Linnahall, where you can find impressive views across Tallinn and the Baltic Sea.

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Arizona, USA

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Arizona is home to outstanding landscapes, busy cities, top-class spas, and hot weather year-round, making the state perfect for visiting throughout the year. Arizona is full of unique attractions to admire, and perhaps the Grand Canyon is on top of the list. Apart from it, you may want to discover Native American cliff dwellings and remains of ancient civilizations, along with historic ghost towns from the gold fever days.

Arizona also has a landscape suitable for outdoor leisure. The state abounds in deserts, lakes, mountains, canyons, waterfalls, and even a volcano with downhill skiing, all of which offer a world of activities to try.

Budapest, Hungary

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For a European backpacking destination, you won’t be disappointed with a tour to Budapest. Not only does it offer affordable vacation, but there is a significant number of things to visit and do, such as going to several UNESCO World Heritage spots and seeing the Széchenyi Medicinal Baths, the largest spa center in Europe where you can enjoy some well-deserved relaxation after exploring the city.

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London, UK

2015 Rob Ball

You don’t have to leave the UK for a fantastic trip. London is a bucket list trip for travelers, with a heap of exciting things to see and lots of free attractions to try. From walking around such landmarks as the London Eye, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace to exploring diverse sights, including Camden, Chelsea, and Shoreditch, you’ll have numerous things to keep you entertained.

Laos, South East Asia

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Laos is a hidden treasure among its more popular companions of Thailand, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The country is a melting pot of the 49 ethnic groups that have determined the diversity of the country’s food, arts, culture, and festivals.

Laos is divided into north, central, and southern districts, each with green landscapes and a friendly atmosphere. You’ll have an incredible experience everywhere you go, including one of the most exciting backpacking activities – tubing in Vang Vieng.

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East Coast, Australia

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If you intend to have an adventure of a lifetime, then travel along Australia’s East Coast. Venture from cosmopolitan Melbourne to the sunny city of Brisbane. Swim with the seals on Montague Island or enjoy the views from the Blue Mountains in Sydney. There are many things to see and try on an East Coast Australia tour.

Inca Trail, Peru

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Peru is a pure gem and an exceptional place to visit for a backpacking trip. While its capital, Lima, and the beach resort of Máncora each have their unique features, we suggest hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world.

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