Their Instagram profiles inspire wanderlust, now they’ve picked some of their favourite destinations around the world and share their insider tips with you.
1/ THE TRAVELLER
I fell in love with Cartagena 5 years ago, when I visited it for the first time working as a musician on a cruise ship. Since then I’ve visited many places around the world, but this beautiful port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast remains one of my favourites. The Old Town, with its 16th century stone walls, is full of romance, amazing architecture and cobblestone streets. Every corner you turn is another legend, spectacular colourful colonial buildings and latticework balconies.
WHERE TO STAY La Passion Hotel (Calle Estanco del Tabaco No.35-81) is one of Cartagena’s finest boutique gems. Located in the historical centre it has an inner garden, rooftop pool and the most beautiful arch you’ve ever seen.
WHERE TO EAT Columbia’s coffee is known as the best in the world. Third wave coffee shop San Alberto offers coffee from their own plantation, coffee tours and of course, classic and alternative methods of making your hot or cold cup of coffee. Must try: coconut water and fresh fruits sold by locals on the street.
WHAT TO DO Visit the rehabilitation centre located in the Port of Cartagena to see parrots, albino peacocks and flamingos. Add a touch of Cartagena style and pick up accessories sold directly on the streets: handmade colourful pompoms, straw bags or a straw hat.
MOST INSTAGRAM WORTHY SPOT Each building on Calle De Los Puntales and Calle Del Santisimo – two main streets in Cartagena – is coloured in its own way. Look out for the famous pink and blue combinations.
2/ THE TRAVELLER
Trinidad and Tobago
I have a Caribbean Travel Blog known as Trini Traveller, “Trini” being the nickname of a person from Trinidad and Tobago. I am based in Trinidad but decided to make a quick trip to our country’s sister isle of Tobago for my birthday weekend.
WHERE TO STAY During my trip, we stayed at The Marion Villa in Bacolet, an exquisite modern villa located on the eastern side of the island. We lounged all day by the pool admiring the fabulous view of the beach below.
WHERE TO EAT My favourite spot in Tobago for dinner is The Fish Pot located at Grafton House in Black Rock near Mt. Irvine. This charming restaurant serves delicious local dishes showing off Tobago’s culinary flavours and fresh seafood options! The rum liver pâté and lobster are my top choices.
WHAT TO DO Horseback riding along the Buccoo Bay beach and mangroves with the Being-with-Horses organization is one of the most unique ways to explore Tobago. You can ride with a qualified instructor who will show you the local wildlife and ensure you make it through your journey safely. It is an amazing experience and fabulous way to support a local NGO.
MOST INSTAGRAM WORTHY SPOT Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
3/ THE TRAVELLER
I’ve now visited Bali 3 years in a row. I think it’s safe to say it’s my favourite place to travel to. There is something to be said about the people, Balinese culture and the food! The Balinese culture focuses a lot on gratitude which is so refreshing to see – everyone is happy.
WHERE TO STAY Some of my favourite areas include Canggu which offers great surf vibes with amazing cafés. You won’t find many taxis –that’s because everyone gets around by motorbike with surfboard in tow.
If you expect Bali to be everything from lush greenery to endless yoga and cooking classes (think: Eat, Pray, Love), then head to Ubud.
The Gili islands are made up of 3 islands (Trawangan, Meno and Air) each more secluded and relaxing than the next. No cars are allowed on the islands – only horse and buggy and bicycles. And Uluwatu has that magical cliffside, I love to sit and watch the surfers ride the waves!
WHERE TO EAT There are so many amazing places to eat in Bali, but Canggu is the mecca of great food spots you need to hit up! Places not to miss would be Nalu Bowls, Crate Cafe, Potato Head, Bossman, Bikini, Cafe Organic and Sea Circus!
WHAT TO DO I constantly get asked for advice on going to Bali and my first question is always “What do you hope to get out of your vacation?” Everyone wants different things and Bali can deliver on all levels: adventure, relaxation, culture, spiritual, you name it. Hiking Mount Batur has to be one of the coolest things I’ve done in Bali. Mount Batur is an active volcano, you start hiking at about 3 a.m. and you arrive at the summit just in time to watch the sunrise. It’s epic! Then your guide makes you breakfast – steamed bananas and hardboiled eggs which he cooks from the steam of the volcano! It’s incredible to witness.
MOST INSTAGRAM WORTHY SPOT The Uluwatu cliffside view is still something that takes my breath away. And the best spot to take it all in is from the pools of La Joya Biu Biu. Another magical spot (best seen in the early morning) are the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in Ubud.
4/ THE TRAVELLER
After seeing beautiful photos online of the rock formations in El Nido, I put Palawan at the top of my travel bucket list. When I was living in China last summer, a crazy flight deal popped up from Beijing to the Philippines, and I knew this was my chance to finally see El Nido in person. It took two flights and a six hour van ride to get there, but it was completely worth it!
WHERE TO STAY If you’re on a budget like I was, I would highly recommend Spin Hostel in El Nido. It describes itself as a “designer hostel” and it didn’t disappoint– Spin was definitely the nicest hostel I have ever stayed at. Extremely clean, stylish interiors, made-to-order omelettes at breakfast, and a great spot to meet fellow travelers!
WHERE TO EAT Definitely check out The Beach Shack for incredible views of the ocean, a laid-back vibe, and delicious drinks. It is further out of town, so you’ll really feel like you’re living the secluded island life here.
WHAT TO DO You can’t leave Palawan without taking at least one boat tour in El Nido, and ideally more than one! The tours are lettered A, B, C, and so on to identify the routes they take. I took A and C and would absolutely recommend both.
MOST INSTAGRAM WORTHY SPOT Definitely the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon in El Nido. The karst rock formations around these lagoons are some of the most stunning natural scenery I have ever witnessed – it’s impossible not to take a jaw-dropping photo here!
5/ THE TRAVELLER
I’ve covered a large majority of Western Europe so I really wanted to go more off-the-beaten path this time around. Flights to Bulgaria were cheap, so I figured: why not? I went not knowing what to expect, but it has completely blown me away. In 2 weeks, I explored stunning churches, swam in waterfalls, explored abandoned buildings, and hiked mountains that I never even knew existed. There’s a certain excitement to travelling where most people don’t, and Bulgaria really exceeded my expectations.
WHERE TO STAY & WHAT TO DO Bulgaria is a pretty big country with loads to offer, but in terms of places you must stay and visit, I recommend the capital of Sofia (where there are tons of amazing free tours, including a food one that is really good), Plovdiv, the second largest city (where there are loads of cool Roman ruins alongside pretty Baroque architecture), Veliko Tarnovo (my personal favourite – a quiet, but gorgeous city built into the hills with an epic fortress and awesome bars) and of course, Varna by the Black Sea (where there are tons of beach clubs and a beautiful Sea Garden).
WHERE TO EAT Good food is plentiful and affordable all over the country. You can dine like a queen (drinks included) for the equivalent of $5. Try some local cuisine for sure – tarator is a cold cucumber/yogurt soup that is incredible. Rahat Tepe in Plovdiv definitely wins in terms of value and views (it’s on top of a big hill) but I suggest simply getting a locals’ recommendation wherever you go. My favourite meal was in a tiny little Bulgarian restaurant that a local brought me to in Veliko Tarnovo. It was so hidden, I can’t even find it on Google Maps now! When in doubt, ask the locals.
MOST INSTAGRAM WORTHY SPOT There are far too many! The most iconic would be the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, but if you want something ridiculously cool, you have to visit Buzludzha, where you’ll find an abandoned UFO-shaped monument left behind from the Communist Era. It’s not easy to get into (you have to climb through some holes and passages) but the inside is filled with eerie-looking mosaics, graffiti and more. By far one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited.
This original article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.