In 2016, a lot of people are making New Year’s resolutions to get out more. How about getting way out? Like, out of the country! Here are The Root’s top five international spots you should hit up this year.
Cuba: Unspoiled and Easier to Visit
Danielle Horry, a travel consultant based in New York, visited Cuba in 2013 for her 40th birthday. On that trip, she wandered through the decaying streets of Old Havana expecting to meet people who despised Americans. But she encountered the exact opposite.
“I have visited 33 countries. I have never been to a country like this one,” Horry said. “The people are its greatest commodity. There are no warmer, more generous, more open people anywhere.”
When she returned in 2014, she visited Santiago, Cuba, the Afro-Cuban stronghold, and saw more of the countryside—a plush, green terrain with mountains, beaches and waterfalls. She plans to return in July, but this time, her visit will likely much easier to obtain, just as your visit could be, too.
It’s all thanks to President Barack Obama, who announced in December 2014 that the United States would restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Since then, the U.S. has eased restrictions on traveling to the island nation. Travelers in 12 authorized categories—including business, cultural exchange, journalism, professional research, athletic contests, and academic, humanitarian or religious work—may travel there, and there will soon be commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.
Brazil: Cheap, and It Has the Olympic Games
Brazil’s link to the African Diaspora has always attracted travelers looking to connect with Afro-Brazilian people, culture and history. Beyond culture, the country has something for every type of traveler—urban beaches, undeveloped beaches, the Amazon forest, hiking, waterfalls and Carnival.