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- 19 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Plettenberg Bay (or Plett, as it's called by locals) is a lively seaside town and one of the main stops on South Africa's epic Garden Route road trip. As well as a buzzing centre with bars and restaurants, it's got plenty of natural attractions. Its two sandy beaches, Central Beach and Lookout Beach, have fantastic surf breaks. Just along the coast is Tsitsikamma National Park, a huge forest known for its adventure activities, hiking trails and native wildlife.
When you stay at a Plettenberg Bay hostel, you can meet and share stories with other Garden Route adventurers. As well as free Wi-Fi, the majority have outdoor spaces where you can relax with a view over South Africa's unique fynbos landscape (heathland) and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Some Plettenberg Bay hostels have nightly braais (barbecues) with a bonfire, so you can sit around late into the night chatting. Most also have on-site bars so you don't have to venture far for a beer.
Main Street is the centre of Plettenberg Bay. It's lined with shops selling beach gear like pool floats and swimsuits, as well as South African handicrafts. It's also where you'll find the nightlife, with outdoor terraces where you can sip local wine and craft beer. Central Beach is perfect for basking in the sun or taking a dip in the ocean. Afterwards, you can meet new friends in the relaxed waterfront bars, which have decks where you can watch the sunset.
The Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay has a circular hiking trail where you can spot seals frolicking in the ocean. For more adventure, drive 45 minutes east to Tsitsikamma National Park. Go kayaking in the Storms River Gorge or zip-lining in the native forest canopy. The Bloukrans Bungy, one of the world's highest jumps at 216m, is also in the national park and a must-do for adrenaline addicts.
Plettenberg Bay is about 520km, or 6 hours' non-stop driving, from Cape Town by car. The Baz Bus hop-on, hop-off backpacker bus also swings through the town on its way between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Plettenberg Bay itself is small enough to get around on foot, and is easy to navigate. The town centre is at the top of the hill and the beaches are at the bottom. If you're staying outside the centre, hiring a bike is one of the best ways to get about.