“Top places” lists are usually a standard mix of common tourist hot spots. That’s why, when we read Brad Brasseur’s favourites, we knew they were worth a share.
Filled with adventure, and ideal locations for independent travel, Brad’s list is one we admire!
Take it over from here Brad:
I have been very fortunate to travel to over 80 countries and experience firsthand so many amazing places on the planet. I am constantly making lists comparing every place that I visit.
Here is my attempt to put together a list of my seven favourite places (in no particular order) that I have visited around the world. (This list excludes the obvious places that everyone knows are amazing, such as Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Vancouver etc.)
Here is the list:
1) Iguazu Falls, Brazil- Argentina Border
When I visited the amazing Iguazu falls it was a perfect summer day, which helped me enjoy the experience even more as I was able to swim below some of the falls. The site ranks as my favourite natural site in the world, as there are around 300 waterfalls depending on the level of the water. You can spend all day simply walking on the Argentinian side alone being mesmerized by water falling and taking amazing pictures and videos.
2) Arequipa, Peru
I may be bias as I lived in Arequipa for almost a year but I never experienced anything but blue skies and sunshine almost every day of the year.
Peru’s second largest city is not as well known as Machu Picchu, Lima or the Nazca Lines but it should be as it is the most underrated city in Latin America.
Arequipa is located high up in the Andes Mountains surrounded by volcanoes, including Misti (seen in the photo below). The city center is built of mostly beautiful white buildings composed of volcanic ash. The city also has a real low cost of living and the food is incredible.
3) Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan.
Of course, the ancient city of Petra is the main draw in Jordan and it deserves all the praise it receives but the Wadi Rum desert was equally if not more impressive to me. The red rose colours of the desert and surrounding mountains are simply stunning.
Plus, the amazing Bedouin people are welcoming hosts that are happy to show you their desert life and give you a safe and unique experience.
4) Sitges, Spain
I was lucky to be invited to Sitges, a small beach town 40 min by train from Barcelona, by a close Catalonian friend that I worked and lived with in New Zealand named Alberto.
I have since been back to Sitges three more times as the town left such an impression on me because it has beautiful beaches, friendly people, great restaurants, amazing energy and nightlife.
5) Medellin, Colombia. This Colombian city use to be the center of the world’s cocaine trade led by the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and at one point had the highest murder rate in the world.
So why is it one of my favorite places in the world? Because today it has done a complete turn around and is one of the world´s most innovative cities. The city is now brimming with life with huge projects that have helped the mobility of the poor, such as giant escalators, gondolas and a modern metro system. The city, which is surrounded by lush green hills, has many art galleries, libraries, public spaces and the locals are very friendly.
6) Crimea – I have spent a lot of time traveling through Ukraine and it would be easy to mention Lviv or Odessa as one of my favorite places but there is something very special about the region of Crimea.
I hesitated to include it here because of the current conflict and political problems with Russia taking over the territory. The truth is this strategic territory has been widely contested for hundreds of years for very good reason. The fresh Crimean air and mountains combined with the beautiful blue water of the Black Sea and the history make it a real special place to visit.
7) Boracay, Philippines- The Philippines in general is my favorite country that I have visited due to the warmth of the people and beautiful scenery, so I had to include one of the places I visited.
Beautiful Boracay is one of the most visited islands in the country as it has many hotels that can entertain guests of all walks of life. The good thing about Boracay is that it is very affordable and the main beaches are open to anyone, so a backpacker can enjoy it (unlike other resort places like Cancun, Sharm El Sheikh and Punta Canta).
Brad L. Brasseur is a humanitarian, traveler and writer from Kamloops, Canada, who has been to over 80 countries and currently lives in Lima, Peru. You can follow him on Twitter at: @brbrasseur.