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Best Countries to Solo Travel

Maybe all your friends are strapped for cash and unable to join you on vacation; maybe you prefer planning a trip without having to accommodate anyone else’s input; maybe you want your own Eat, Pray, Love experience and hope to take a journey where you’ll discover just as much about yourself as you will about the world.


Whatever your reasons, traveling solo can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. The benefits of traveling solo range from the freedom to fully indulge your every whim to a sense of empowerment to opportunities for reflection, self-discovery, and new friendships.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica has long had a reputation as the happiest country in the world, and it’s easy to see why: from whitewater rafting down the Reventazón River to ziplining through gorgeous rainforests, rappelling down waterfalls, and hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park, in Costa Rica you’ll find plenty of outdoor activities to please your adventurous spirit.

If you need a bit of respite amidst all the activity, Arenal has hot springs perfect for relaxing, or you can enjoy the white sands and wildlife at Playa Manuel Antonio, a tropical beach in Manuel Antonio National Park.



New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular destination for backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers striking out on their own — maybe because it’s the second most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index.

The country is a haven for the outdoorsy and one of the best places to meet fellow travelers. You can take a cruise through the fjords, rainforests, and waterfalls of Milford Sound; heli-hike your way through Franz Josef Glacier; trek part (or all) of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves; or go whale-watching in the Bay of Plenty.


Mexico

When it comes to choosing a country for a solo travel adventure, there’s no better endorsement than recommendations from seasoned solo travelers who have been around the world. Ciara Johnson, blogger at Hey Ciara and solo-female-traveler extraordinaire, has visited 60 countries on her own. Her top pick for solo trips? Mexico.

“People might be surprised to discover that my favorite country for solo travel is Mexico,” Johnson reveals. “I’ve spent months backpacking the region and there is so much to discover. From swimming with whale sharks to swimming in cenotes to exploring ancient Mayan ruins, there is no shortage of things to do and see.”



Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its stunning beauty, and there may be no better way to see Switzerland than by train. Purchase a Swiss Travel Pass, which gives you unlimited travel by train, bus, and boat, and journey past stunning waterfalls, forests, and lakes, then hop off the train to hike the Alps, visit medieval castles, and drink Swiss wine.


Vietnam

Endless adventure awaits in Vietnam. Hop on a boat that departs from Hạ Long and cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay, home to some of the world’s most striking blue water and natural landscapes; take a guided tour of Hang Sơn Đoòng, the largest natural cave in the world; visit Hội An during the full moon and you’ll be welcomed by the awe-inspiring sight of hundreds of lanterns floating down the Thu Bồn River during the city’s monthly full moon festival.


Spain

Spain has a little bit of everything to please everyone: art museums, gorgeous architecture, delicious food, stunning beaches, an exciting nightlife scene, and jaw-dropping hikes.


Japan

First stop: Tokyo. Whether you shop in the luxurious Ginza neighborhood, ride to the top of one of the world’s tallest towers, tour the Sensō-ji Temple, dine on ramen at Ichiran Shibuya (the famous chain serves steaming bowls of ramen at solo booths), or take a leisurely stroll through a traditional Japanese garden, you’ll never run out of things to do in the glitzy city.


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