Under the Radar Places to Visit in 2019

FOR THE LOVE OF

Under the Radar Places to Visit in 2019


Traveling anywhere out of your comfort zone is always an exciting adventure. With 195 countries just waiting to be explored, there’s a place out there for everyone. We’ve selected 8 under the radar destinations that are packed with adventure, fun, culture, and awesome experiences for all types of travelers.

Without further ado, here are the best under the radar places to visit in 2019.

Tromsø, Norway

For the love of...

Northern lights

Dog sledding

Midnight sun excursions

What you'll do...

  • Visit the world's northernmost botanical garden

  • Kick-start your adventure with reindeer sledding

  • Rock out at the northern lights music festival

  • Wander the city or vast wilderness

  • Enjoy fresh ingredients of the arctic, locally sourced and produced

  • Immerse yourself into a diverse culture with over 100 nationalities

  • Take pride in knowing you're visiting a Sustainable Destination

  • Do some pub hopping (more pubs per capita than any other Norwegian town)

What you're looking for...

  • Culture, cold temperature, and nature

Best time to go...

  • Winter

  • Summer

If you like crisp cold and wild nature, where culture is diverse and the food is the freshest, Tromsø is for you.

The perfect city to wilderness ratio, Tromsø is a winter wonderland ready to be discovered. It’s known as the gateway to the Arctic, where expeditions in the early 1900s began their treks into the unknown. This Norwegian gem is said to be ideal for viewing the Northern Lights, so keep your eyes towards the sky to catch a glimpse of one of the world’s most colorful and fascinating environmental phenomena. With more pubs per capita than any other Norwegian town and some of the freshest local ingredients straight from the source, the dining options alone are what make Tromsø worth it. Still not convinced? Have we mentioned dog and reindeer sledding? How about midnight sun excursions during the summer months when the sun makes its own getaway? Pack your coats and snow gear and make Tromsø your next destination in 2019.

Curious about traveling to Norway and other regions of Scandinavia? See our upcoming 2019 Scandinavia Trip dates and join us to explore this amazing part of the world.

Marrakech, Morocco

For the love of...

Traditional Hammam

Moroccan cuisine

Markets and trinkets

What you'll do...

  • Explore densely packed, maze-like alleys with wall designs that dates back centuries

  • Wander souks, markets and bazaars

  • Encounter enthusiastic vendors (and buy some souvenirs from them)

  • Indulge the nightlife - Djemaa el Fna, dancers, fortune tellers, snake charmers

  • Enjoy unique Moroccan dishes

  • Explore Medina of Marrakech (monuments, architecture)

  • Stroll the gardens and villa oasis

  • Watch flamenco dancing or go clubbing (Comptoir Darna Marrakech)

  • Encounter palaces everywhere

What you're looking for...

  • Bustling markets and foodie scene

Best time to go...

  • Spring

  • Autumn

For city seekers and food lovers alike, the hustle and bustle of Marrakech is as mesmerizing as a mirage – except it’s real!

Markets and bazaars, maze-like alleyways and antiques from all over the world...Marrakech is a historical center that will transport you to another era. Within the walled city lie densely-packed vendors and local food markets that anyone is sure to get lost in. At night, the Djemaa el Fna transforms from a city square space, to dancers, fortune tellers and snake charmers, ready to amaze the crowds. Enjoy traditional Moroccan fare, with options sprinkled all over the city. Palaces, gardens and villas are sights to see along with architecture dating back to the 11th century. Dance or eat your way through, or get lost in this city of intrigue and rich history.

Curious about traveling to Morocco? See our upcoming 2019 Morocco Trip dates and join us to explore this amazing part of the world.

HA Long, Vietnam

For the love of...

Emerald waters

Vietnamese coffee

Fresh seafood + barbecues

What you'll do...

  • Ride a traditional junk boat through the islands of Ha Long Bay

  • Explore beautiful geography, surrounded by mountains

  • Check off another UNESCO world heritage site from your bucket-list

  • Take advantage of outdoor activities, like swimming, hiking, or kayaking

  • Savor a tranquil atmosphere

  • Indulge in fresh, local seafood

  • Explore the caves and waterfalls

  • Hop on a bicycle and ride to the beaches

  • Tap into the region's beer culture

What you're looking for...

  • Adventure, spiritual connection and a "sea-foodie" experience

Best time to go...

  • Spring

  • Autumn

You’re in for some breathtaking sunsets and mesmerizing sunrises at Hạ Long in Vietnam’s northern coast.

The city connects to Ha Long Bay, which consists of a series of more than 2,000 floating limestone islands, lush with miles of untouched forests and greenery. Hop on a junk boat tour through the islands and drop off for a kayaking expedition or snorkeling experience through the bay’s emerald jade waters. A truly relaxing escape, this remote region of the world is one of the most rejuvenating destinations for those looking to get away and find themselves surrounded by pure and natural geographic beauty. Spend the day exploring the outdoors and catching some rays. In the evening, set up a beach barbecue of your own or enjoy the freshest catch of the day at one of the many seafood restaurants along the beach. End the night with a breathtaking sunset and local beer in hand. You’re set for an awesome getaway.

Curious about traveling to Vietnam? See our upcoming trip dates for Vietnam 2019 and join us to travel the world.

Cartagena, Colombia

For the love of...

Colorful buildings

Romance, heat and sensuality

Tropical vibes

What you'll do...

  • Wander through the port city with tropical vibes

  • Visit 16th century architecture - cobblestones, city squares, colorful buildings

  • Embrace the city of romance, heat and sensuality

  • Visit the Old Town – a UNESCO world heritage site

  • Admire the beautiful churches

  • Try all the seafood

  • Marvel the colorful Colombian classic art and street art

  • Explore the markets with local food and vendors

  • Take advantage of photo ops everywhere - from floral balconies to walls of art

  • Travel to nearby islands for picturesque beaches

  • Learn about the region's rich and diverse history

What you're looking for...

  • Photo ops and eclectic dishes that bring the heat

Best time to go...

  • Spring

Cartagena is the perfect port city. With a tropical climate and exotic beaches on nearby islands, it’s a city of heat, romance and beauty. 16th century architecture and design can be seen through the cobblestone streets, colorful buildings and city squares. Experience the old with the new, where street art adorns old walls and balconies with cascading flora line the streets. You’ll always have a beautiful piece of the past to experience or to photograph. Peruse the markets for fresh local seafood and enjoy Caribbean caught dishes like paella and ceviche to pair with a Limonada de coco – a Cartagena must. The rich and diverse cultural background blends art, design and food to make Cartagena an under the radar destination that will satisfy your tropical dreams.

Curious about traveling to Colombia? See our upcoming 2019 Colombia Wellness Trip dates and join us to explore this amazing part of the world. (Hurry – Almost sold out!)

Queenstown, New Zealand

For the love of...

Extreme sports

Breathtaking views

Craft beers + friendly people

What you'll do...

  • Take advantage of the adventure capital of the world

  • Admire lake views and the Alps

  • Take on new walking and hiking ("tramping") trails

  • Try all the craft beer and mingle with the locals

  • Explore an island

  • Embark on an adventure at Daintree Rainforest

  • Live it up with the live music scene

  • Dive into the region's bustling nightlife

  • Experience an adrenaline rush like no other: go bungee jumping

  • Take a day trip to Milford Sound (dubbed the 8th Wonder of the World)

What you're looking for...

  • Extreme sports, adrenaline rushes, and all around good vibes

Best time to go...

  • December to February

If embarking on adrenaline pumping, heart racing adventure is what makes you tick, Queenstown will make you run, jump and fly with any of its adventure-packed experiences.

Known as "the adventure capital of the world", Queenstown could make any adrenaline-loving traveler grab their gear and hit the road. Jet boat on the lake during the Summer or snowboard down the Alps in the Winter – this ultimate adventure spot offers excitement all year round. The locals are known for being super friendly and craft beer spots are always lively. Hit Daintree Rainforest for a jungle adventure by day and a live music show at night. The nightlife is bustling, small mining towns make great historical points of interest, and it’s the original home of bungee jumping. Embark on a day excursion to Milford Sound to experience the remote fjord's breathtaking views of mountains and waterfalls and head back for a night out on the town. Queenstown is a high-energy city waiting to test your limits.

Matera, Italy

For the love of...

Cave dwelling

Italian cuisine

Museums, art + history

What you'll do...

  • Wanter stone churches, museums and 13th century art

  • Feel special knowing you're in a relatively remote location

  • Devour unique Italian dishes

  • Learn about the region's fascinating history

  • Connect with local residents

  • Explore museums with byzantine era art and history

  • Climb lots of stairs - get your "daily workout" in

What you're looking for...

  • History, foodie experience, remote destination

Best time to go...

  • April to June

Italy is full of small, underrated towns rich with history and fascinating pasts (and the best food). Matera is unlike any other, where cave dwellings have been carved into the mountain sides and cliffs. These unique carved homes have been inhabited for centuries and human settling in Matera dates back to 15,000 B.C. Wander through the old stone churches, check out the Byzantine era art and even stay in the caves that have been updated to truly feel like a Matera inhabitant. Chat with local residents to learn more about the previous families who lived in the caves through the 1950s and how it has shaped this small town. Get your steps in on the many stairs throughout the city and enjoy the local Italian fare in this hidden gem waiting to be rediscovered.

Curious about traveling to Italy? See our upcoming 2019 Tuscany + Rome or 2019 Southern Italy Trip dates and join us to explore this amazing part of the world. (Hurry – space is limited!)

Dakar, Senegal

For the love of...

Art + exhibitions

Exotic beaches and tranquility

West African markets

What you'll do...

  • Learn the rich culture and history of the region

  • Try all the street food (especially the seafood!)

  • Visit the Le Renaissance Africaine controversial statue

  • Listen to music everywhere - from radios to clubs

  • Wander the West African markets

  • Immerse yourself into the football culture

  • Bask in the beautiful weather (ideal in the winter)

  • Explore a collection of little luxuries and local spots

  • Visit art spaces and exhibitions

  • Visit the Pink Lake (a lake that changes color according to the sun and salt content)

What you're looking for...

  • New diverse culture and delicious food

Best time to go...

  • November to May

The best of both worlds, Dakar is the perfect blend of little luxuries and local finds. Steeped in rich culture, the city is a unified representation of freedom and renaissance with its Le Renaissance Africaine statue and city wide art. This city is vibrant with color, entertainment, music and football all coming together to create their dynamic culture. Visit the Pink Lake when the sun is high and watch as it changes color to a bright pink due to the high salt content. Take the vibrant colors home with you in a unique way by picking out fabrics for custom-made clothes, or picking up souvenirs from one of the many West African markets. Street food is the name of the game and seafood is the MVP. Dakar’s unique shape points directly into the Atlantic, making fresh fish available all the time. Dakar brings art and culture to life and flies just under the radar, perfect for your next 2019 travel goal.

Sun Valley, Idaho

For the love of...

Hiking trails and the outdoors

Beautiful scenery

Hot springs

What you'll do...

  • Step outside and find all kinds of outdoor activities

  • Enjoy the year-round resort destination (perfect for skiing, snowboarding, golf, dining, shopping)

  • Stroll wildflower meadows

  • Play hard, adrenaline junkies and solitude-seekers!

  • Go mountain biking in the summer

  • Appreciate the nature and outdoors

  • Hike to old cabins

  • Go for the trailing of the Sheep Festival

  • Visit local art galleries and small exhibits

What you're looking for...

  • Outdoor activities and nature

Best time to go...

  • All year-round

​For the resort town aficionados, Sun Valley, Idaho should be your next go-to. Take a dip in the hot springs during the winter season, wander through wildflower meadows in the spring, mountain bike, hike, go horseback riding or spend the day on the golf course during the summer. Take a short day trip to visit one (or several) of the hundreds of alpine springs, or, if you're up for a wild adventure, go white-water rafting along the river. There’s always an activity no matter the time of year or the level of adrenaline you seek. Here's to taking the road less traveled!

Discover amazing destinations this year with FTLO's curated 2019 International Trips to Morocco, South Africa, Greece, Italy, Mexico and more. Here's your chance to explore the world with a new group of friends!

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