With summer now firmly upon us Black Tomato, the travel experience gurus, have finally unveiled their essential summer destinations. The list includes a plethora of hotspots that span 5 continents and include a few rather surprising places. Samoa, The Philippines and the Cook Islands may not be the first places that spring to mind when you think of summer, but the promise of perfect seascapes and seldom-explored interiors should be enough to drive anyone there for an insight into the world’s lesser known cultures.

If venturing into virgin jungles and coming up close and personal with Maoris is not your cup of tea, fear not.

Another sizzling recommendation for this summer comes out of Central America. In Mexico, Black Tomato suggests you tip toe away from the well-trodden coast in favour of colonial Oaxaca and the UNESCO protected Queretaro. For some essential beach time in Mexico the quieter beaches of southern Baja California or the Panamanian Bocas Del Toro islands are a must.

Talking of beaches, the Togean Islands in Indonesia offer inquisitive visitors a rare combination of turquoise seas, eclectic food and a secluded escape into tourist-absent territory. Summer time is also the perfect time to visit to catch all the all-day all-night festivities of Independence Day on 17th August.

Finally, a first for Black Tomato is a foray into unexplored Ethiopia, a land of stark contrasts with mountain highlands to the north and sections of the mighty Rift Valley and stunning lakes to the south. The chance to encounter genuine tribal life in the Southern Jinka lands is a great excuse for some time away this summer.

If you’re in need of a holiday fix this summer a little closer to the UK, Black Tomato have also turned their bespoke attention to the little known ancient town of Basilicata on Italy’s southern (and impossibly aqua) Tyrrhenian coast.  Take their advice and you are sure to avoid the madding summer crowd.

For the extensive list of alternative summer travel locations, visit Black Tomato.