Travel goals: Exploring visa-free destinations in 2019

Traditional Buddhist culture embraces global developments gracefully in Bhutan
Image courtesy: ©Whitworth Images/Getty Images

Indian passport holders can add on another travel goal for the year 2019. Escape the visa hassles and explore these countries completely visa-free! They’re all extremely beautiful so don’t miss on any in the coming year.

Bhutan

Bhutan is no ordinary place. It is the last great Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments. The Bhutanese pride themselves on a sustainable approach to tourism in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. Environmental protection goes hand in hand with cultural preservation in Bhutan.

Duration allowed: 14 days

Also Read: Travel trends for 2019: getting off the touristed path

Also Read: India’s ultimate travelist for 2019

Ecuador

 

Image courtesy: ©Julian Peters Photography/Shutterstock

Postcard-pretty colonial centers, waves splashing white-sand beaches, Kichwa villages, Amazonian rainforest and the breath-taking Andes – a dazzling array of wonders is squeezed into this compact country. Set off on a hike and it will seem like stepping into a fairy tale: a patchwork of small villages, gurgling brooks and rolling fields and maybe a condor slowly wheeling overhead.

Duration allowed: 90 days

Fiji

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Dazzling sands, perfect palm trees and waters so blue they glow – Fiji’s beaches look airbrushed. While stunning stretches abound, it’s on the islands of the Mamanucas and Yasawas that you’ll find heavenly heavyweights. Fiji offers ample opportunities for hikers, birdwatchers, amblers and forest-fanciers, particularly on the islands of Taveuni – known as ‘The Garden Island’ for its ludicrously lush interiors – and Kadavu, a less-travelled slice of prehistoric paradise with almost no roads to speak of.

Duration allowed: 4 months

Indonesia

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This beguiling nation of over 17,000 islands has massive potential for adventures. It’s hard to beat Indonesia for the sheer range of experiences on offer. Venturing across Indonesia you’ll see a wonderfully dramatic landscape as diverse as anywhere on the planet. Indonesia is a land of so many cultures, people, animals, customs, plants, sights, art and foods that it defies homogenisation.

Duration allowed: 30 days

Jamaica

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Jamaica is the Caribbean country that comes with its own soundtrack. Groove to its singular rhythm as you explore beyond the beaches and all-inclusives. Jamaica begins with crystalline waters flowing over gardens of coral, lapping onto soft sandy beaches, and then raises past red soil and lush banana groves into sheer mountains. Rushing waterfalls seem to erupt out of nowhere. The adventurous can go caving, or get their hiking boots on to explore the remote crags and forests of this crumpled landscape.

Duration allowed: 6 months

Maldives

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Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime. Every resort in Maldives is its own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. With some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world, the clear waters of Maldives are a magnet for anyone with an interest in marine life.

Duration allowed: 90 days

Mauritius

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Mark Twain once wrote, ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius’. He was right. Mauritius is rightly famed for its sapphire-blue waters, powder-white beaches and, yes, luxury resorts that provide a front-row seat onto some of the most beautiful views in the Indian Ocean.

Duration allowed: 90 days

Serbia

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Diverse, welcoming and a hell of a lot of fun – everything you never heard about Serbia is true. Best of all, this landlocked country in the heart of the Balkans is still delightfully off the tourist trail. While the feisty Serbian spirit is embodied in Belgrade’s world-class nightlife and Novi Sad’s epic EXIT festival, look beyond these historic metropolises and you’ll discover a crucible of cultures and unsullied outdoors ripe for exploration.

Duration allowed: 30 days

Tunisia

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It may be but a slim wedge of North Africa’s vast horizontal expanse, but Tunisia has enough history and diverse natural beauty to pack a country many times its size. With a balmy, sand-fringed Mediterranean coast, scented with jasmine and sea breezes, and where the fish on your plate is always fresh, Tunisia is prime territory for a straightforward sun-sand-and-sea holiday. But beyond the beaches, it’s a thrilling, underrated destination where distinct cultures and incredible extremes of landscape – forested coastlines, Saharan sand seas in the south – can be explored in just a few days.

Duration allowed: 90 days

Note: Other than the above mentioned countries, visa-free travel is also available for Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Micronesia, Qatar, Senegal, Trinidad, Tobago, Vanuatu and a few more.

It is advisable to check the latest information regarding visa rules before planning a trip.