It’s a new year, and a chance to pen a new chapter in Black travel.
Thanks to Instagram, Facebook, and other social media, there are many spaces where Black people can share travel experiences of all kinds.
Over the years, Travel Noire has highlighted Black travel groups, and some cater to specific interests within the community. Are you into RV and camping experiences? Try (Black) African-Americans That RV And Camp (AARVC). Hoping to find a travel boo and live happily ever after? The Single Black Travel Group could help make that a reality. If you’re a Black woman looking to vibe with other Black women, there are plenty of spaces that cater to that.
A theme that commonly arises in online discussions is safety. It isn’t prudent to live your life in fear. But there’s hostility towards Black people in some parts of the world, especially where we don’t have the option of blending in.
Here are some of the countries which generally treat Black people with kindness and warmth.
Colombia is home to the first free Black town in the Americas. The name of that town is San Basilio de Palenque, or simply Palenque.
Cartagena, Medellín, and Bogotá also get praise from Black travelers. Moreover, the African influence is omnipresent, especially in the music, food, and dance.
According to the Colombia website, “Cumbia uses African drums, and many believe it is based on an African courtship ritual or a form of ‘dance singing’ in which stories were passed through the ages.”
“Mapalé from the Caribbean, with its quick rhythm and furious clapping and currulao, one of the best known Pacific rhythms, have strong African roots, as does the more modern champeta.”
In 2021, Travel Noire interviewed Larquana Bryan, who had a fantastic experience as a solo traveler.
Live Be Do, which has also been featured here, frequently hosts trips to Colombia.
Ghana recently hosted two Black music festivals.
There’s Afrochella, recently re-branded as Afro Future Fest, and the Black Star Line Festival, which took place on January 6. Artists like Erykah Badu and T-Pain were booked to perform at the latter.
But there’s another, more serious reason for Ghana’s appeal.
In 2019, it launched The Year Of The Return campaign, which urged Black Americans to visit and possibly live in Ghana.
According to DW, 2019 “marked 400 years since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.”
“The Year Of The Return also honored the resilience of all the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, who were forcefully displaced throughout the world, ending up in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.”
If you visit, Accra is a must, where you’ll find Black Star Square and the Makola Market.
The Assin Manso Slave River tells an interesting and somber tale. Here, slaves took their last bath on African soil before being shipped to the Americas, never to return.
Mexico’s warm weather, delicious food, and vibrant culture make it a popular choice for Black visitors and expats.
Meckell Milburn shared her expat journey from the U.S. to Mexico City.
“Some of my closest friends here are Black Americans or other folks from the diaspora,” she told Travel Noire.
“There are great resources here in the city for staying in connection with each other like WhatsApp and Facebook groups. I also think people are more intentional about creating space to connect with each other which feels good.”
That said, Afro-Mexicans are still struggling for recognition, largely due to colorism and class issues.
In 2020, The Guardian reported that they finally made the census at two million “mostly in Guerrero, Oaxaca and Veracruz.”
Jamaica’s motto may be “Out of Many, One People,” but it’s Blackity-Black and proud!
Compared to other Caribbean islands, your dollar can stretch a long way.
For example, many of the private villas are fully staffed, while those on islands like St. Barts and St. Martin usually just have maid service included.
From all-inclusive resorts to villas, Jamaica offers accommodations for most price points.
As far as Black history goes, check out the Bob Marley Museum, National Heroes Park, and Emancipation Park.
In 2021, Travel Noire interviewed Courtney Ragsdale, who abandoned U.S. hustle culture for a more manageable pace of life in Jamaica.
Rounding out our list is Costa Rica.
Rebbecca Bakre, a Nigerian-American, told Travel Noire about her relocation to Costa Rica in 2021. She sought to find the peace and solitude necessary for her personal and professional life.
Other Black expats and travelers have carved out a place for themselves here.
Soul Life Travel, the first Black-owned tour agency in Costa Rica, arranges tours for visitors interested in all things Afro-Costa Rican.
The Motherland’s influence is evident in about “8% of Costa Rica’s population, half of whom are from Limón,” according to Essential Costa Rica.
Costa Rica started to observe Día del Negro in the 1980s. Over time, this “expanded to the celebration of the Día del Negro y la Cultura Afrocostarricense (Black Peoples and Afro-Costa Rican Culture Day).”
There are all kinds of celebrations during August, culminating in the Grand Parade in Limón on August 31.
According to Essential Costa Rica, “Over the course of the parade, families can enjoy the best of the region’s music, dances, concerts and cuisine, as well as many more activities that mark this day, which is important for all Costa Ricans.”
Adventure seekers will love Costa Rica’s nature, especially the rainforests.