Top 10 Backpacking Destinations in the World

Traveling on a shoestring budget—doesn’t mean having to go without exploring the world. In fact, much of the world isn’t best discovered in a luxury hotel suite, but with a few belongings tucked into a knapsack.

Sure, backpacking trips may mean sacrificing some creature comforts, but the connection with the nature around you and the camaraderie with fellow backpackers from all over the world can’t be undervalued.  Here are the world’s top 10 backpacking destinations…

1. Porto to Algarve, Portugal

Portugal is a stunning coastal haven for backpackers. Most fly down and begin your trek at Porto, making your way leisurely to the Algarve, at the southern-most tip of Portugal on the border of Spain. The walk is not difficult; in fact, you can take advantage of the stellar public transport system and stop along the coast for wine tours, gorgeous scenery, lively festivals, delicious seafood, and friendly locals.


2. Bali, Indonesia

If you’re traveling on a backpacker’s budget, but want to sunbathe, dine, drink, and explore like royalty, then a trip to Bali, Indonesia is within reach.  Not only are the golden beaches stunning, the accommodations and food are super cheap. However, the laid back surfers, backpackers, and jubilant monkeys you’ll have for company during your journey will be priceless.


3. Cappadocia, Turkey

Live like a sultan in Cappadocia, Turkey’s uniquely gorgeous landscape of windblown rocks and hidden crevices. In this city the locals carve out their little homesteads in the side of cliffs and gutted boulders. This land of colorful painted churches is filled with people that are just as colorful and ready to offer a cozy place for tea and a pit stop along your journey.

Cappadocia, Turkey

4. Inca Trail, Peru

The Inca Trail has long been coveted as a prime destination for adventurous backpackers seeking the mysteries of Machu Picchu. However, this South American destination offers more for the explorer than simply the forgotten city. If you trek along the Peruvian coastline, you’ll find secluded beaches, lively little towns with festivals, spicy food and friendly locals.


5. Taman Negara, Malaysia

Taman Negara is Malaysia’s most-visited national park, strung with Amazonian rope bridges over the untamed wilderness. Your hiking journey starts by boat aboard the Kuala Tembling Jetty and leads you through hidden caves, elephant trails, fields of giant mushrooms, and lush jungle.

rope bridge, Malaysia

6. Bay Islands, Honduras

Bay Islands in Honduras is not only cheap to explore and lay down your weary head after a long day of trekking; it’s also home to stellar scuba diving in the  island’s crystal clear waters that are filled to the brim with a colorful collection of marine life—such as vibrant schools of fish, stingray, and whale shark.


7. Halong Bay, Vietnam

Backpacking amidst the beauty of Halong Bay is like stepping into a fairytale. You will be awestruck by the islands and islets that make up the landscape (over 1,600 in all) to form an extravagant seascape of limestone pillars, hidden caves, crevices, and blue lagoons.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

8. Tasmania, Australia

Australia’s Tasmania was once a jail for British outlaws, which earned this island its unbridled reputation.  You’ll believe it to be true when you witness the untouched beauty, preserved forests, sprawling vineyards, and wide open spaces that lead directly into the Southern Pacific Ocean. Stop along the way for a dip in the ocean, discovery of the unique rock formations, and perhaps a rare glimpse of one of the world’s rarest species, the Tasmanian devil, himself.


9. Patagonia, Chile and Argentina

Panoramic views are what Patagonia (from the Chilean and Argentinean side) is all about. However, only serious trekkers need apply to traverse this obstacle-strewn landscape made up of frozen cliffs, glaciers, and azure lakes. You have to be in pretty good shape, but the vivid, marvelously uncultivated landscape is worth the sore muscles.

glacier, Patagonia

10. Santa Elena – Costa Rica

Howler monkeys will announce your arrival along the Central America backpacking trek of Santa Elena.  Here, the small and rustic Costa Rican town is made up of an environment that is almost as charming as its gracious locals who will take you for a salsa twirl, show you where to get the best seafood, find the most comfortable accommodations are cheap, or walk among the trees vi a canopy tour.