When planning to travel, it’s quite common to end up choosing some of the most popular places as your trip destinations, but this has the potential to leave you disappointed. Too many tourists and packed flights can really put a damper on your experience. Perhaps you’re a seasoned traveler who has simply run out of new locations to visit, or maybe you’ve never traveled at all and want to start with someplace that flies under the radar. Either way, the following list of locations are a bit more off-the-beaten-path while still being sure to offer you a fantastic experience. Over at eTramping, Agness and Cez have picked these 7 lesser travelled locations for you to consider when planning your next adventure.
When looking for an out-of-the-way destination or seeking a little solitude, simply look to the continent at the end of the world. Perhaps there is no definitive end to our globe, but visiting Antarctica will certainly make you feel that you’ve reached it. Solo travel to Antarctica is not quite feasible but the solitude you’ll experience there is of a grander scale anyway; vast lands uninhabited by humans means no cities or streets, no man-made structures or distractions. You’ll get to experience pure, unadulterated earth. You’ll see the wildlife of the arctic in its natural habitat while cruising alongside whales through the Drake passage, which is the fastest and most travelled route for cruise ships.
Speaking of Antarctic Cruises, you’ll need to decide which option suits you. If you’re adventurous enough to go on a shore excursion you’ll want a smaller cruise ship with less passengers; ideally under 200. There are plenty of charters to choose from that will do land and Zodiac excursions. If you just want to enjoy the scenery from the safety of the ship, then a larger, cheaper cruise line should fit the bill. (And speaking of bills, the difference between these two types of expeditions can run you around $10,000! So, budget accordingly)
Next on our list is Tibet; sitting at some of the highest elevations on earth, Tibet is certainly out of the way! There is no shortage of natural wonders to experience when you tour Tibet, with the region touting the highest mountains on earth, the largest canyon in the world (Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon), and stunning rivers and lakes.
There is bound to be an adventure waiting for virtually every outdoor enthusiast. If the great outdoors isn’t your thing you’ll certainly be enchanted by the many palaces, temples and monasteries to be seen and visited. Get yourself a tour guide and experience the culture of Tibet, from relaxing with a hot cup of Butter Tea to enjoying a Tibetan Opera, there’s undoubtedly something to suit everyone’s tastes.
Unless you are an avid outdoorsman, Alaska may not seem like an immediately appealing travel destination, but the state actually has much more refinement to offer than one would think. Alaska may be known for its fresh seafood, but you can also find classy eateries like Sacks Café and Restaurant offering up ground filet mignon burgers and live jazz shows. Likewise, if you’re not up for a wilderness adventure you can always stay at the Anchorage Hilton or The Hotel Captain Cook which offers its own health club in addition to fine dining.
There are various museums and festivals to be experienced as well, such as the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival which offers art workshops ranging from one hour to one week long.
#4 South Africa
When it comes to locations that you absolutely have to visit, South Africa is undeniably at the top of the list. Not only is everything in South Africa still pretty darn cheap (1 US dollar is equal to roughly 13 Rand, or 1 Euro to 14 Rand), they also offer almost everything anyone could ever want to do or see. Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Paragliding, Surfing, Hot Air Ballooning, and Skydiving are just some of the outdoor activities you’ll enjoy there. In Cape Town you’ll experience everything from fine dining and world-class shopping to whale watching, along with all-nightclubs and casinos for entertainment.
You can visit Kruger National Park in Limpopo and experience a 4×4 adventure, go on a game walk or follow some of the mountain biking routes through the glorious wilderness of South Africa. You’ll see a wide range of wildlife including African lions, leopards and elephants, the Cape buffalo, and the rhino; better known as Africa’s Big 5. There are also a number of museums, heritage sites, and art galleries to keep you busy, and if that’s not enough, there’s the Cape Town International Jazz Festival which is one of the top ranked jazz festivals across the globe.
If you don’t think of fine wines, high-rise hotels, inviting sandy beaches, and the world’s longest carnival when you think of Uruguay, then it’s probably time that you visit this often overlooked country. Uruguay is a top ranked Latin nation for peace, economic-freedom, income equality and liberalism. The country’s capital city, Montevideo, boasts a rich culture and is known for its architecture, music and art.
You can visit a number of important museums there including the National Museum of Visual Arts and the National History Museum of Montevideo. Uruguay can offer you a nightlife akin to that of Miami Beach if you visit Punta Del Este, or you can take it slow and immerse yourself in the history and culture of the country by visiting its former most important city, Colonia Del Sacramento.
#6 Cayman Islands
Visiting the Cayman Islands is truly a trip to paradise. Imagine a sparsely populated, white sand beach in the Caribbean, stretching as far as the eye can see. You’ve just imagined the famous crescent-shaped, Seven Mile Beach of Grand Cayman. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing are all activities to enjoy on Grand Cayman and when you need time to recover from those adventures there’s plenty of beach bars to grab a cool drink and relax at. The Cayman Islands actually offer you plenty of options for relaxation aside from their beaches as well. You’ll find no shortage of spas, salons, and yoga studios. There are also museums, golfing, Stingray City, the Cayman Turtle Farm, and the botanic park to enjoy.
Another paradise stop not to be missed sits in the heart of the South Pacific and is known for much more than just fancy bottled water. Fiji is comprised of a diverse blend of cultures ranging from the native Fijian to peoples of European and Chinese descent. This diversity will shine through in every aspect of your trip to this tropical island country. The main attractions of Fiji will be scuba diving, white sand beaches, experiencing the rainforests and botanical gardens, and the many festivals and ceremonies that occur throughout the year. Dining options range from American to Japanese cuisine but trying out the local specialties is a part of the Fiji experience you don’t want to skip.
Of course, if the lure of pure paradise isn’t enough for you, there is always plenty of golfing, sailing and shopping to be done.
We’re confident there’s a location here suit everyone, but what do you think? Do you know of any gems that should have made the list? Please let us know in the comments, and share your experience if you’ve visited any of these ones!