Best solo travel destinations 2024

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Updated by David Mason | @masononsocial | 9th May 2024

TLDR: In this guide we take a look at this year’s hottest solo travel destinations, picked by you for you.

Highlights:

  • The Americas – North, Central and South represent a vast well of solo travel destinations.
  • This list of destinations includes a number you’d call ‘off the beaten path’.

If you’re like us, then travel is a personal constant, like a heartbeat, bubbling away encouraging you to drop what you’re doing and explore more. Whether it’s full-time travellers taking sabbaticals (or flat out quitting the rat race), or digital nomads enjoying a new kind of work-life balance, solo travel

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is the only way to go. These are the best solo travel destinations that you NEED to get on your bucket list.

What makes a great solo travel destination?

What defines the best solo travel destinations? For some it’s the sun, for others it is the ability to make friends and imprint memories that last a lifetime. Much of it is subjective from whether you like parties or peace, but there are some things we know solo travellers truly value. These are safety, affordability, unique charm and a setting for incredible profile shots, on Instagram or the next big dating app. Each of the locations below encompasses something about that to our travellers.

Best destinations for solo travellers- South America

Capurgana, Colombia

@martailovi

What used to be seen as little more than a stopover to Panama, Capurgana on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is becoming a solo travel gem in its own right. Think sneakily stunning beaches dotted around crystal coves, some real foodie gems, and hikes galore. You might be heading over to Panama, but Capurgana is worth lingering for.

  • Where is it: A secluded coastal town in Chocó Department, bordering Panama.
  • Who would love it: Adventurers and eco-tourists seeking a remote tropical escape.
  • What will you find when you get there: Pristine jungles, untouched beaches, and vibrant local culture.
  • When to go: The best weather is from December to April, avoiding the rainy seasons.
  • How to get there: Fly to Medellín, then take a small plane to the nearby town of Acandí, followed by a boat ride to Capurganá.
  • Budget Range: Low. Accommodation and living costs are very affordable.

Safety Status: Colombia Travel Advice

Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

El Lobo Hostel, Rurrenabaque

Thought you had to go to Brazil to find the Amazon? Think again! Rurrenabaque is Bolivia’s Amazonian gateway and, as Brazil’s budget-friendly cousin, is a real draw for solo adventurers on a shoestring. More and more hostels are popping up in the town, and whether you hit the Pampas Wetlands or Amazon Basin, you’ll be guaranteed to meet other solo wildlife enthusiasts to share a beer with after a long day’s exploring.

  • Where is it: A small town in the Bolivian Amazon Basin.
  • Who would love it: Wildlife enthusiasts and those interested in Amazonian tours.
  • What will you find when you get there: Gateway to pampas and rainforest eco-tours where you can spot abundant wildlife.
  • When to go: Best during the dry season, May to October, when wildlife viewing is optimal.
  • How to get there: Fly to La Paz, then take a connecting flight to Rurrenabaque.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. Tours can vary in price, but overall costs are reasonable.

Safety Status: Bolivia Travel Advice

Mexico City, Mexico

Photo by Andrea Leopardi on Unsplash

Okay, so this one’s not really a hidden gem, but you’d be surprised how many times the Mexican capital is overlooked for the beachside backpacker hubs of Tulum and Cancun. Full of art, authentic architecture, and unbelievable food, you really do not want to miss Mexico City. What’s even better is that the city is PACKED full of hostels, so whether you’re after mezcal & mambo or a chilled out cultural city break, it’s the perfect place to meet other travellers on your vibe.

  • Where is it: The bustling capital city of Mexico.
  • Who would love it: Culture vultures and history buffs, foodies.
  • What will you find when you get there: Rich history, vibrant street art, and one of the world’s most exciting culinary scenes.
  • When to go: The spring months of March and April are pleasant; avoid the rainy season from May to October.
  • How to get there: Mexico City has its own major international airport.
  • Budget Range: Low to high. Offers a wide range of accommodation and dining options.

Safety Status: Mexico Travel Advice

Best destinations for solo travellers- Central America

David, Panama

Bambu Hostel, David, Panama

David has grown in popularity over recent years as more and more intrepid explorers discover the jewel in the Panama crown- the Gulf of Chiriqui. David is the perfect jumping off spot from which to explore this unexplored paradise and all it has to offer. Surfing, whale watching, turtle spotting, scuba diving, cliff jumping, and some jaw-dropping hikes are all yours for the taking. Just round up your hostel buddies and get adventuring!

  • Where is it: A city in western Panama, near the Costa Rican border.
  • Who would love it: Travellers looking to explore the less touristy part of Panama.
  • What will you find when you get there: A bustling market town with access to Panama’s highlands and the Pacific beaches.
  • When to go: The dry season from December to April is best for visiting.
  • How to get there: Fly to Panama City and then take a domestic flight or bus to David.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. Accommodation and dining are reasonably priced.

Safety Status: Panama Travel Advice

La Ceiba, Honduras

Jungle River Lodge, La Ceiba, Honduras

Known as Honduras’ “good-time town”, it’s no wonder that La Ceiba is gaining a reputation on the Central American solo travel circuit. Despite its party hotspot status, La Ceiba is also considered the ecotourism capital of Honduras. It’s home to 4 different national parks and is perfectly situated along the rapids of the Cangrejal River. A city where you can go white water rafting in the morning and then stay out ‘til sunrise? Sign us up.

  • Where is it: On the northern Caribbean coast of Honduras.
  • Who would love it: Adventure seekers and nature lovers.
  • What will you find when you get there: Lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and vibrant nightlife.
  • When to go: The drier months between February and May are best.
  • How to get there: Fly to San Pedro Sula, then take a bus or another short flight to La Ceiba.
  • Budget Range: Low. It’s a budget-friendly destination with many affordable options.

Safety Status: Honduras Travel Advice

Popoyo, Nicaragua

If you’re looking to brush up on your wave-riding skills in 2023, then Popoyo should be top of your list. This laid-back beachside paradise is a peaceful stop, where surfers come from all over the world to meet other salt water enthusiasts and ride the epic a-framers. If surfing isn’t your bag, you can still enjoy some R&R here, with plenty of yoga, hot springs and even turtle watching on offer.

  • Where is it: A remote beach along Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.
  • Who would love it: Surfers and those looking for a laid-back beach lifestyle.
  • What will you find when you get there: Excellent surf breaks, relaxed beach bars, and sunsets.
  • When to go: The dry season from November to April is ideal for surfing and beach activities.
  • How to get there: Fly to Managua, then a scenic drive to Popoyo.
  • Budget Range: Low. Primarily budget accommodations and local dining make it very affordable.

Safety Status: Nicaragua Travel Advice

Best destinations for solo travellers- USA

Truro, Massachusetts

 

2022 has been a bit hectic, right? If you’re craving some space- both headspace and literal space- a trip to Truro may be just what the doctor ordered. This small town up in Cape Cod has long been a mecca for artists and writers, and for good reason. Its dramatic sandy cliffs and wild natural beauty are enough to blow the cobwebs out of any chronically online brain, and its and relatively low prices mean it’s becoming increasingly popular with budget backpackers.

  • Where is it: A quaint town on the outer portion of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
  • Who would love it: Beach lovers and history enthusiasts.
  • What will you find when you get there: Quiet beaches, classic lighthouses, and picturesque landscapes.
  • When to go: Summer, from June to August, is the best and busiest season.
  • How to get there: Fly to Boston, then a drive or bus to Truro.
  • Budget Range: Mid to high. Seasonal demand can drive up prices, especially in summer.

Safety Status: USA Travel Advice

Silverthorne, Colorado

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

If you’re tired of city life and want to explore the USA’s wilder side, head up to Silverthorne, where the wilderness awaits. Perfect for skiing in the winter or lakeside wandering in the summer, Silverthorne is surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and is a hub of outdoor adventure. There are plenty of hostels dotted around, and the opportunities to meet other solo explorers are endless.

  • Where is it: In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, known for its ski resorts.
  • Who would love it: Outdoor enthusiasts and ski/snowboard fans.
  • What will you find when you get there: Year-round outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and fishing.
  • When to go: Winter for skiing (December to February) and summer for hiking (June to September).
  • How to get there: Fly to Denver, then a scenic drive to Silverthorne.
  • Budget Range: Mid to high, especially during the ski season.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Photo by Maddy Baker on Unsplash

To get a true taste of Native American history, it’s time to hit up Santa Fe. The oldest capital city in America, Santa Fe is a vibrant melting pot of art, culture, and unbelievable natural beauty in the New Mexican desert. In 2005, Santa Fe made history as the first designated UNESCO Creative City in the USA, which is reflected in the many galleries and museums dotted around town. Nature-lovers can head through the desert to the rapids of the Rio Grande, and for the partiers amongst you, there’s the city’s infamous margarita trail. Someone pass us the tequila!

  • Where is it: The historic capital of New Mexico, set in the Sangre de Cristo foothills.
  • Who would love it: Art lovers and cultural tourists.
  • What will you find when you get there: A vibrant arts scene, Native American crafts, and adobe landmarks.
  • When to go: Spring and fall offer pleasant weather and numerous cultural events.
  • How to get there: Fly to Albuquerque, then drive or take a shuttle to Santa Fe.
  • Budget Range: Mid to high. The unique offerings in art and culture make it a premium destination.

Best destinations for solo travellers- Europe

Kilkenny, Ireland

Often overshadowed by larger backpacker hotspots Dublin and Cork, Kilkenny is a gem on Ireland’s south-eastern side. Alongside its many medieval haunts to explore year-round, Kilkenny comes alive at its annual arts festival in the summer. Why not take your new hostel buddies to get a bit boozy on the famous Smithwicks brewery tour? You can recover with a spot of kayaking the day after in the glorious Irish countryside.

  • Where is it: A medieval town in southeast Ireland, known for its castle and historic sites.
  • Who would love it: History enthusiasts and beer lovers (thanks to its brewing heritage).
  • What will you find when you get there: Ancient streets lined with shops, pubs, and art galleries.
  • When to go: Summer, from June to August, for the best weather and festivals.
  • How to get there: Fly to Dublin and then a short train ride or drive to Kilkenny.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. Plenty of budget-friendly hostels and pubs.

Safety Status: Ireland Travel Advice

Arnhem, The Netherlands

Photo by Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

If you’re tiring of Amsterdam’s party scene and want a bit of a reset, head to Arnhem for a breather. Once famed for its ties to WW2, Arnhem now draws backpackers looking to chill, refresh their wardrobes and be at one with nature. The city’s shopping district is packed with boutiques, but if shopping isn’t for you, head over into the Hoge Veluwe National Park where you can pick up a free bike and take a whizz around.

  • Where is it: In eastern Netherlands, known for its World War II history and fashion scene.
  • Who would love it: History buffs and shoppers.
  • What will you find when you get there: Historical sites, modern boutiques, and vibrant nightlife.
  • When to go: Spring and summer are great for exploring the outdoors and enjoying the local markets.
  • How to get there: Fly to Amsterdam, then a train ride to Arnhem.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. The Netherlands offers efficient and affordable public transport and dining options.

Safety Status: Netherlands Travel Advice

Ehrwald, Austria

Photo by Santosh Ghimire on Unsplash

For solo travellers craving some outdoor winter adventure, Ehrwald has not one, not two, but THREE ski resorts. If snow isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to do in the summer, too, with the mountains offering a challenge to even the most experienced crag-climber. If you want to take it slower, the epic hiking trails will help you get your steps up, and whether you’re at the top of the mountains or down in the valley, the sunsets must be seen to be believed.

  • Where is it: A small village in the Tyrolean Alps, close to the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak.
  • Who would love it: Mountain enthusiasts and winter sports aficionados.
  • What will you find when you get there: Stunning alpine views, ski slopes, and hiking trails.
  • When to go: Winter for skiing (December to April) and summer for hiking (June to September).
  • How to get there: Fly to Innsbruck, then a scenic drive to Ehrwald.
  • Budget Range: Mid. While ski resorts can be pricey, there are budget accommodations available.

Safety Status: Austria Travel Advice

Best destinations for solo travellers- Southeast Asia

Nusa Penida, Indonesia

@writehostel

Once you make it past Kuta’s bucket cocktails and the hipster crowds of Canggu, you’ll find Nusa Penida- a welcome oasis off Bali’s southeastern coast. Its location makes it slightly trickier to get to, but that means it’s lesser-explored and reminiscent of the Bali of backpacking trips past. There are plenty of hostels dotted around, with more popping up as the island draws travellers once again, and with Nusa Lembongan just next door, the two together make the perfect island escape.

  • Where is it: An island southeast of Bali, known for its dramatic cliffs and clear waters.
  • Who would love it: Divers, snorkellers, and adventure travellers.
  • What will you find when you get there: Breathtaking landscapes, underwater biodiversity, and iconic photo spots like Kelingking Beach.
  • When to go: The dry season from April to October offers the best weather and sea conditions.
  • How to get there: Fly to Bali, then a boat ride from Sanur to Nusa Penida.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. The island’s growing tourism offers both budget and a few upscale options.

Safety Status: Indonesia Travel Advice

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

@3_on_the_road

No visit to Ha Long Bay is complete without a trip to Cat Ba. This rocky and jungle-covered island is a great base from which to explore the surrounding bays of the famous archipelago. Once you’re away from the main hub, you can expect lush mangrove forests, freshwater lakes, and untouched sandy beaches to explore. As a popular stop on the Ha Long Bay tour, there’s no shortage of hostels, and you’re guaranteed to meet other backpackers looking for some Vietnamese sunshine.

  • Where is it: The largest of the 366 islands spanning 260 km² that comprise the Cat Ba Archipelago.
  • Who would love it: Nature lovers and adventure seekers.
  • What will you find when you get there: Lush hills, sandy beaches, and a national park filled with biodiversity.
  • When to go: From March to November for pleasant weather and ideal water conditions for boating and swimming.
  • How to get there: Fly to Hanoi, then travel to Hai Phong where boats are available to the island.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. Various accommodation types from hostels to resorts cater to all budgets.

Safety Status: Vietnam Travel Advice

El Nido, The Philippines

@graciepap

It’s been a quiet few years for El Nido, but with The Philippines back open to tourists as of February this year, this backpacker hotspot is sucking in visitors like a sunscreen and sand-covered magnet. And what’s not to love?! Stunning weather, postcard-perfect beaches, more hostels than you can imagine and solo travellers galore. Come for 3 days, stay for 3 weeks… it’s that kind of place!

  • Where is it: On the northern tip of Palawan island, renowned for its white-sand beaches and coral reefs.
  • Who would love it: Beach goers, divers, and nature enthusiasts.
  • What will you find when you get there: Stunning seascapes, limestone cliffs, and vibrant marine life.
  • When to go: The dry season from December to May is best for clear skies and calm seas.
  • How to get there: Fly to Puerto Princesa, then a scenic drive or a direct flight to El Nido.
  • Budget Range: Low to mid. Despite its growing popularity, El Nido remains a budget-friendly destination with a range of accommodations.

Safety Status: Philippines Travel Advice

Wherever you’re heading on your solo travel adventures, don’t forget you can download our Hostelworld Travel App to connect with other travellers before, during and after your stay!

 

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