The hottest and lowest place on Earth
Ethiopia is an under-the-radar destination chock full of culture and insane geographical features that you have to visit before everyone else does. While everyone is rushing to Cuba from the US, I say get yourself to Addis and explore a country steeped in history and where the oldest human remains were discovered.
Last year, I had the pleasure of traveling to Ethiopia with a rag-tag group of friends, who are some of the most well-traveled and intelligent people I know. I was fortunate to be in this group and go back to a country that I merely had a stopover in the capital city 10 years prior. At first glance, it was an entirely different city than I recalled when we arrived. We were just starting our 12-day adventure around the country, mostly in the northern region.
While all of us on the trip were excited, in hindsight, we were not nearly prepared for the excursions that lie ahead. Our itinerary was jam packed with activities and several inter-country flights. People mostly fly since the long-haul drives are best to be avoided on many roads, while the country is working quickly to adapt and grow their infrastructure. Still, we had only dreamed of such a trip and be escorted around by local guides.
Our first flight took us to Lalibela, a place known for its rock-hewn churches, ancient history, and civilization. Church after church, it began to impress upon on us the deep faith and religious devotion. We visited about 11 in total in that one condensed area and went outside the city through the valley to one church tucked away up a hiking trail. The view from our hotel was spectacular and witnessing the sunset.