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With every passing year, the world gets a little smaller and you have to go a bit further to find those truly special places. We’ve uncovered many during our recent travels and promise you that underrated gems still abound. Don’t wait another minute to visit these 15 incredible places:

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An eerie church in the middle of Lake Bled, Slovenia – Photo by

15. Lake Bled, Slovenia

Tucked away in the Julian Alps, Lake Bled is a rustic resort town with a one-of-a-kind landmark. The icon of this tiny town is the small church set on top of an island in the middle of the still waters of Lake Bled. As stunning as the church is, there is more to the town to explore than just the church. During all seasons there are plenty of outdoor activities including hiking, skiing and a lot more.

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Helicopter over Cape Town – Photo by

14. Cape Town, South Africa

Surrounded by natural beauty in all directions, Cape Town truly is one of the jewels of Africa. With a climate akin to the Mediterranean, this is a year round destination with hot and lively summers (Nov-Feb) and comfortable and relaxed winters (June-August). In addition to Table Mountain and the beautiful waterfront, Cape Town has interesting history, some pretty good wine and a falling rand against the U.S. dollar!

RELATED: Three Perfect Days in Cape Town

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They just don’t make cities like Antigua, Guatemala anymore – Photo by

13. Antigua, Guatemala

This charming Spanish colonial town is already firmly established on the backpacker route through Central America. However, Antigua is emerging as a destination for all travelers seeking something new and exotic. Boutique hotels are springing up in old casas offering unique stays in a beautiful setting. Now is the time to wander the cobblestone streets and marvel at the towering volcanos in the background.

RELATED: 9 reasons Guatemala should be on your bucket list

<imgclass=”size-full wp-image-47629″ src=”” alt=”Orbitz-Places to visit 2017- GettingStamped-2″ width=”800″ height=”450″ /> The laidback shore of Morocco – Photo by:

12. Essaouira, Morocco

This small peaceful town on the Atlantic Ocean has everything you love about Marrakech without the craziness. Referred to by many as ‘Marrakech Lite’, Essaouira is a great place to start or finish a trip to Morocco. However, there’s enough to see and do around the city that it could be your entire vacation.

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A helicopter flight over Victoria Falls in Livingstone, Zambia is pretty much life changing – Photo by:

11. Livingstone, Zambia

Having a wonder of the world at its doorstep, Livingstone, Zambia has the makings of an amazing 2017 vacation. Victoria Falls and its ‘Smoke that Thunders’ is the main draw for the region, but there are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife and get a glimpse into local  Zambian life.

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A bird’s eye view of the Galle Fort – Photo by

10. Galle, Sri Lanka

This southern Sri Lankan town has history, waves, tasty food and a laid-back beach vibe to make it a strong contender for your 2017 travel plans. Buildings inside of the historic Galle fort are slowly being converted into boutique hotels and make a great place to explore this great part of the country. For a more relaxed and secluded stay, try Levels by Cantaloupe located up in the hills and with amazing ocean views.

RELATED: 20 Photos of Sri Lanka that will make you pack your bags

9. Hvar, Croatia

Venture further into 2017 with a visit to Hvar Island located in the aqua colored waters of the Adriatic Sea. In addition to its beautiful waters, Hvar as a long history with picturesque white limestone buildings. Be sure to include a day trip to nearby Zlatni Rat beach.


The vibrant center of Buenos Aires – Photo by: Alex Proimos Flickr CC

8. Buenos Aires, Argentina

2016 was the year for Rio, but now is the time to rediscover beautiful Buenos Aires. A trip to the Argentine capital will be sure to dazzle your senses. Sip great wine, enjoy exotic cuisine, and dance the night away in Buenos Aires.

ALSO: Don’t cry for high prices in Argentina. Sign up for Orbitz Rewards today.

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Paradise found – Photo by:

7. The Maldives

With more than 1,110 little sandy islands clustered together in the Indian ocean, you really can’t go wrong here. The Maldives is home to out-of-this-world diving, calm turquoise waters and bungalows over the water. Over the past few years, cheaper flight prices have made the Maldives an attractive, ultra-exotic alternative to your annual Caribbean escape. Get there in 2017 and blow your friends away with your photos. Settle into the Ellaidhoo by Cinnamon (pictured), with an amazing house reef and over-the-water bungalows.

RELATED: 20 photos that will make you pack your bags for the Maldives.


The view from the Matinloc Shrine in the El Nido archipelago

6. El Nido, Philippines

The inspiration for the 1999 movie The Beach, El Nido is heaven for sun worshippers. The archipelago holds some of the most dramatic beach scenes on the planet and practically beg you to put the Philippines on your travel calendar for 2017.

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Bring your beach blanket and have this nice piece of sand nearly to yourself – Photo by:

5. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

There’s something abuzz on the chilled out Caribbean shores of Costa Rica in the little beach townof Puerto Viejo. Wellness and yoga focused resorts and retreats are starting to fill the long bumpy road south of Puerto Viejo. The town’s bohemian chic vibe is beginning to steal visitors from the country’s well-established Pacific coast. Whether it’s your first or tenth trip to Costa Rica, consider putting Puerto Viejo on your 2017 map.

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Salient, Columbia has become a mecca for coffee lovers – Photo by

4. Salento, Colombia

There is something magical in the misty, coffee-filled hills in the rustic Colombian town of Salento. Enjoy a taste of rural life high in the coffee growing region of the country. Salento has been a long time favorite for Columbian tourists, but in recent years has started to make the radar of visitors from abroad. Our favorite hotel in town is the Hotel Salento Real .

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Boats parked at a small island off the coast of Placencia, Belize – Photo by: GettingStamped

3. Placencia, Belize

Check out the pristine shores of Belize for an alternative to your Mexican winter getaway. Placencia is a hit among visitors with long stretches of sandy beaches, easy access to great diving, and stunning offshore islands.

The water surrounding Koh Lipe is out of this world, and the curry isn’t bad either! – Photo by:

2. Koh Lipe, Thailand

A visit to this little gem in the far south of Thailand is sure to brighten up your 2017 winter plans. Koh Lipe is the most southern island in the country and has a less discovered feel than the tourist meccas like Phuket and Koh Phi Phi islands. On your next trip to Thailand, make sure Koh Lipe makes the list. The island is small and easy to get around but stay at the perfectly located Salisa Resort on the best beach on Koh Lipe, Sunrise Beach.

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The view of Peyto Lake, worth every step of the hike! – Photo by GettingStamped

1. Banff, Alberta, Canada

Situated along Canada’s main road running through the Rockies, Banff is an excellent place from which to explore the region. Marvel at the jaw-dropping landscapes full of massive snow-capped mountains and turquoise glacier feed lakes. Banff is one of those special places on earth the deserves to be included in your upcoming travels.

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Tagged: Caribbean

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Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog

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