Beautiful Destinations: Jeremy Jauncey's Top 5 Travel Picks For 2019
1/5 Montego Bay, Jamaica
Arguably the coolest place in the world, it has a vibe so unique it transcends sport, music, culture and food—some of this nation’s most famous exports. Long famed for its all-inclusive resorts, the island has seen an exciting revival among luxury travellers in the know. It is home to three stunning properties: Round Hill, Golden Eye, and Half Moon—icons with decades of history that have been rediscovered by jet-setters.
The real Jamaica, however, is to be found outside the hotels, sipping a Red Stripe at Dougies Bar, enjoying Caribbean gastropub food at the Summerhouse in the Liguanea Club, or floating down the Martha Brae on a river raft with Captain Murphy. For those looking for a beach destination rich in culture and people as warm as the climate itself, Jamaica is the place to be this year.
2/5 San Miguel De Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende has got to be one of the most beautiful little towns I’ve ever visited, packed full of art, cultural sites, live music on the streets and some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. My girlfriend, Natalia, and I have just spent a very special weekend enjoying all it has to offer.
If you go, check out Dôce 18 Concept House, Mercado de Artesanías, Moxi restaurant, Juan’s Cafe and Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. Moustaches optional. The streets are just like the ones in this photo—vibrantly colourful and cobblestoned with beautiful buildings, hidden courtyards and open air terraces. The nearest airports are León and Querétaro, both about an hour and 15 minutes’ drive away.
3/5 Sumba Island, Indonesia
Sumba Island, a one-hour flight from Bali, boasts a surprising surf scene that many people don’t know exists. There’s lots to see for the nature lover too: pretty hillsides, limpid lakes and some impressive waterfalls, like Air Terjun Lapopu (known locally as the Niagara of Indonesia), which gushes into the river from a height of 90 metres. One of the more popular resorts on the island is Nihi Sumba.
With a unique surf break, swimming horses, and completely unspoilt marine life just a stone’s throw from a huge expanse of private beach, active travellers are spoilt for choice. For those looking to relax, the Spa Safari is the only one of its kind in the world and, when coupled with sunrise walks on the beach or yoga in clifftop pavilions, creates a wellness experience second to none. Nihi Sumba is couple and family-friendly—there’s even a chocolate factory for the kids.
See also: 10 Global Exhibitions Worth Travelling For This Summer
4/5 Cairo, Egypt
The Great Sphinx of Giza has fired the imaginations of travellers for centuries. With the head of an Egyptian king and the body of a lion, this amazing sculpture is one of the most recognisable statues anywhere in the world.
Seeing it up close, a childhood dream of mine, you can feel the energy that has made this part of the world so special. In 2020, with the launch of the Grand Egyptian Museum—the largest archaeological museum in the world—you will be able to travel the short distance from the Sphinx to see the full Tutankhamun collection, the 3,000-year-old statue of Ramses II and so much more, making the Giza area even more special for visitors to Cairo.
5/5 South Dakota, US
Are you looking for a wide array of geographic diversity? The horizontal length of the United States is composed of 4,310 sprawling kilometres of multidimensional geography, including mountains, plains, grasslands, cities, lakes, beaches and so much more.
Here in South Dakota, sepia-toned spires and buttes pierce the sky above Badlands National Park, located just 90 minutes from Mount Rushmore, one of the country’s most iconic attractions. Both sights are easy stops on the great American road trip—a journey you should definitely take if you have the chance, as it’s one of the best ways to really experience all the country has to offer.
See also: Airbnb Launches Luxury Rental Tier With More Than 2,000 Properties Priced At US$1,000+ Per Night