Where to go in 2019

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By Alice Oliver Fourth year, French and Portuguese

From a bustling metropolis to idyllic peninsulas, Alice Oliver rounds up her top three destinations to visit in 2019.

As the new year gets underway, its days filled with grey skies and deadlines, many of us can only dream about being somewhere warm and sunny. Summer might seem a long way away, but it’s never too early to start planning a good getaway. Here are some top destinations to be dreaming of in 2019.

Medellín

The City of Eternal Spring, Columbia’s second biggest city Medellín boasts not only pleasant climate but also beautiful mountains and a vibrant culture. Once among the most dangerous cities in the world due to ongoing drug-wars, over the past two decades Medellín has experienced a colossal transformation, and is now packed with museums, bars and restaurants. The Medellín Metrocable was built in 2004 to connect poorer communities in the mountains with the rest of the city. Carrying over 30,000 passengers daily, offering panoramic views of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, from rich to poor. Head to Plaza Botero to see 23 giant sculptures by Medellín born artist Fernando Botero in his unique style known as boterismo. The neighbouring Museo de Antioquia features pre-Columbian, colonial and modern art works. There are also a variety of tours on offer. Take a graffiti tour to see some of the city’s diverse street art, or alternatively Pablo Escobar tours offer a sight into the city’s crime-ridden past.

Tokyo

Tokyo’s sprawling metropolis offers the best of Japanese cuisine, futuristic architecture and world-class museums. The city promises a jam-packed itinerary; there’s just too much to do and see in one visit. For an insight into Japanese history and culture, visit the Sensoji Temple. Completed in 645AD, this Buddhist temple is the oldest in the capital, hosting a grand hall, a colourful five-story pagoda and extensive surrounding gardens. Shibuya Scramble Crossing on the other hand offers an iconic image of Tokyo, with up to 1,000 people at a time rushing across the intersection. For shopping, Harukuju, famed for its neon, eclectic fashions, is home to both high end boutiques and smaller, backstreet clothes shops. The outside market at Tsukiji, on the other hand, sells fresh fish, seafood and produce alongside crowded restaurants. Even in the world’s most populous metropolis, it is still possible to find nature. The city hosts a number of parks including the Imperial Palace East Garden, the grounds of the former Edo Castle. In spring, the arrival of the cherry blossoms is celebrated across the city with events such as the Sakara Festival.

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dronepicr / Flickr

Yucután Peninsula

Comprising of three Mexican states as well as parts of Belize and Guatemala, the Yucután peninsula has a lot to offer. Combining Caribbean beaches, Mayan ruins and colonial heritage, the peninsula is a truly diverse and unique destination. The east coast hosts resorts well known for their stunning beaches and great climate, such as those at Cancun and Playa del Carmen. These spots offer a perfect beach getaway, but the peninsula has so much more to offer. A two-hour journey from Cancun, Mayan ruins at Tulum offer a doorway to another time. An ancient port trading mainly in jade and turquoise overlooking the ocean atop jagged cliffs, Tulum’s ruins are unusually well preserved. The site also hosts a secluded beach complete with white sand and turquoise waters. To the west, Mérida combines Mayan ruins, colonial architecture and a unique gastronomic heritage. Mérida offers a lively music and drinking scene, with events almost every night, as well as the best museums in the peninsula. Nearby cenotes offer a magical break from the city. These natural water-filled sink holes appear both uncovered and in caves. The Mayan people believe the cenotes were a gateway to the underworld, and today they hold a mystical charm, as well as offering visitors a place to cool off with a refreshing swim.

Featured Image: Andre Benz / Unsplash


What are your 2019 travel plans?

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