Traveling to popular tourist destinations is fun.
Imagine walking down the streets of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the backdrop, or biking along the Great Wall of China.
It’s kind of cool, right?
Yes, but that might not be enough for some people.
Some people might want to travel more off-the-radar. They could be trying to forget about a past life, seeking out a destination untouched by modern civilization, or maybe they’re just thrill seekers trying to explore places that most people wouldn’t dare to go.
Whatever the reason, these individuals might be booking a trip to one of these countries, all of which are among the least visited in the world:
This country neighbors Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Caledonia, but sadly, the Solomon Islands don’t attract as many tourists as the aforementioned nations.
Rainforests, secluded beaches, and lagoons make this country perfect for tourists looking for a thrilling and relaxing trip without having to mix with the crowd. The country’s capital, Honiara, has an outdoor fish market where one can buy fresh and delicious seafood.
Ask the vendor to cut up the catch of the day and enjoy sashimi or a grilled meal by the beach.
With 230 different types of flowers scattered throughout the country’s 900 islands, the Solomon Islands are perfect for nature lovers. But if you ever decide to travel to this country, make sure to get your vaccinations first – malaria is a serious threat.
Stories of civil unrest and Ebola outbreaks make Liberia one of the least-visited countries. But despite all that, Liberia was the first African nation to elect a female president. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, elected back in 2006, received the Nobel Peace Prize Award five years later.
The beaches of Monrovia and the surfing spots of Robertsport make Liberia a must-visit country for thrill seekers. Despite all the negative events that have happened in the country in recent years, the negative vibes are sure to be carried away with the unique Liberian English hip-hop music, which remains very much alive to entertain locals and visitors alike.
Fun Fact: the country’s capital, Monrovia, is named after the 5th US president, James Monroe, after he helped establish the African nation.
São Tomé and Príncipe
With the slogan “A well-kept secret!”, seclusion is sure to be found here.
The colonial Portuguese architecture, the beautiful beaches, and the colorful houses that line the outskirts of São Tomé can captivate the eyes of visitors. And the warm hospitality that locals show to visitors can steal their hearts.
Fishing, trekking, and whale-watching are the popular activities around here.
One should also try out the local chocolates that the country offers. São Tomé claims to have the best dark chocolate in the world. It wouldn’t really be a surprise, since the country used to be the biggest producer of cocoa in the world.
This small island nation only has a population of 800,000 people. Since 1975, the country has experienced 20 coups (and coups attempts) until finally gaining independence from France.
Sailing, diving, and volcano trekking are one of the many activities that invite thrill seekers looking for a secluded adventure.
After those exhilarating activities, one should head over to Moroni. The colorful markets are the perfect place to buy souvenirs to take back home and have friends and relatives scratch their heads thinking about what/where on Earth Comoros is.
And if they ask about Comoros, tell them that they should be thankful for this nation. Comoros is the largest producer of ylang-ylang oil. This oil is used for producing perfumes, making the world smell better one person at a time!
This country is famous for having the “Gate to Hell”.
It’s not a literal gate to Hell, but it is a large crater filled with natural gas. The said gas was lit after a Soviet-era scientist had the brilliant idea of igniting the crater in the hope of snuffing out the leaking fumes.
Even after almost five decades, it’s still burning.
Besides the burning hole in the middle of the desert, the country’s capital, Ashgabat, holds the world record for the most buildings clad in marble. It’s a very impressive architectural feat, though no one actually works in the buildings.
If you’re a US citizen, you don’t have to worry about getting a visa. Americans are exempted from visa requirement in the country for stays of up to 90 days.
If you’re not a US citizen, you’ll have to go through a painstaking process, making this country one of the least visited in the world.
Despite the country’s poor tourism infrastructure, Equatorial Guinea still has plenty to see and do, especially for nature lovers and adventurers.
Did you know that it’s also the only African state with Spanish as an official language?
Does the name ring a bell?
What about the name “Bikini Atoll”?
Not only is the famous swimwear item named after this group of islands, it’s also host to several US nuclear bomb testing sites. And yes, we mention the Bikini Atoll because it belongs to the Marshall Islands.
The Marshall Islands are a divers’ paradise. With over 250 types of coral and 1,000 different species of fish, the waters surrounding the islands are teeming with marine life.
With several nuclear tests conducted here by the US from 1946-1958 (67 in total), it was once regarded as the “most contaminated place in the world” by the Atomic Energy Commission. But that was back in 1956. Don’t go diving expecting to see three-eyed fish or radioactive coral.
With an area of 21 square kilometers, you can literally run around the whole country!
With only a population of 10,000, what makes this country very secluded is the lack of modern transportation to the tiny nation. Only one Boeing 737 flight takes visitors to and from the island.
There’s no nightlife here, and there are only two hotels in the country. The country is so small, it doesn’t even have a capital! Yaren, the biggest village in the area, can somewhat be considered a capital.
Going off the beaten path and traveling to any of these countries is a unique and thrilling experience, not to mention an awesome way to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and not travel like a tourist.
Where will you be heading this 2018?
Also published on Medium.