15 Countries You Should Visit Before You Die


Why to go when you’re young: It’s all about bang for your buck and diving (literally) into one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Where to head first: After you land at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, make a beeline for the port to take a boat over to Caye Caulker.

The window when backpacker culture seems s*x* is smaller than it appears. That time is your 20s. (You could maybe push it into your 30s, but by then you admit that a decent shower no longer has to be a luxury.) In your 20s, sand, sweat, and salt make a heady aphrodisiac, and the island of Caye Caulker is rife with it. The small, skinny island is a haven for backpackers from around the world — a playground for the young, the aimless, the unwashed. It’s also a beautiful convergence of tourists and locals, where Caribbean culture warmly embraces everyone — something we all could use more of these days.

The island’s population is so small that by day two you’ll already be a regular, making plans with the locals to meet up later at the beach bars for Panty Rippers and a puff of something potent. By the time the sun goes down the locals usually go home to prepare for an early morning of fishing, and the backpacker bars hum with lobster-faced tourists slamming Belikin beers and chowing down on the local catch. As a popular tourist spot, Caye Caulker tends to run more expensive than local places inland, but with the US dollar worth about two-to-one over the local currency, your money will spend well. Hostel accommodations go as low as $14 a night. Cocktails are about $2.50, local beers a cool $2. Meaningful experiences are a major part of your 20s, but so is having enough money to eat.