Hard to Reach Travel Destinations That Are So Worth the Effort
Traveling the world is one of those things that most people dream of doing. Taking a stroll along the Seine in Paris is a dream come true for many, while visiting the filming location of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in New Zealand might be the perfect vacation for someone else.
For the most curious travelers, unique, unusual and out of the way places are some of the most rewarding spots to visit. So, even though these destinations may be hard to get to, they are well worth the effort once you arrive.
Coober Pedy, Australia
This unique town in southern Australia only has 1,800 residents, but the size of the town clearly isn’t what makes it challenging to get to. It’s the fact that the city is made up of underground dwellings and an underground hotel. Cool, right?
Dogon Country, Mali
Dogon Country in Mali is located on a breathtaking plateau with a 124-mile cliff plummeting down to the remote plain. The destination can be reached from your starting point, Bamako, on a flight from Mopti, where you meet your local guide before moving on to this remote location.
Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
This incredible destination is affectionately known as Tiger’s Nest, but it’s officially known as the Paro Taktsang Monastery, home of Buddhist monks in Bhutan in Paro near Mount Chomolhari (a.k.a. Jomolhari). The site was constructed in 1692 around the cave where Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche first meditated.
Easter Island, Chile
You have probably seen the famous Easter Island heads on tourism sites praising the island’s wonders and unique displays. The site is absolutely amazing and worth the visit if you can get there. The most common way is via a flight from Santiago, Chile.
Ciudad Perdida, Colombia
Another unique jaunt in South America is the "lost city" located in Colombia, which wasn’t discovered until the 1970s. The place was built in the 11th century by Mayans, and the location stands as a rival to Machu Picchu, except for one thing: It can only be reached by an intense six-day hike.
The Amazon and Rupununi Savannah, Guyana
For those brave enough to journey there, the incredible mist-shrouded jungles and roaring waterfalls of Guyana promise the culture of a nearly untouched land. The raw wilderness and rolling grasslands delight and thrill as you wander across the Amazon and Rupununi Savannahs.
The Great Dune Sea, Sahara Desert
The mere mention of the Sahara Desert conjures images of Bedouin camps, meandering camels and rolling hills of rich, beige sand. The Great Dune Sea — sometimes called the Great Sand Sea — is one of the most interesting places to explore in the region, but the trip there isn’t easy.
Knoydart Peninsula, Scotland
When you think of Scotland, you probably don’t consider "remote" in the equation. Instead, you imagine beautiful highlands and sheep bleating in the morning dew-swept fields. There are actually some hard to reach places in the country, specifically Knoydart on the west coast in the Highland region.
Stromboli Island, Sicily, Italy
While the name might sound like paradise to an Italian turnover lover, this is an actual place in Italy that does not, In fact, grow pastries from the trees. The island’s name comes from the Greek word for the volcano’s round, conical appearance.
Faroe Islands, North Atlantic Sea
This string of 18 major islands in the North Atlantic Sea between Norway and Iceland is a magical place in the Arctic Circle. Only two airlines go there carrying visitors who want to take in the splendor of the volcanic and rocky isles.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
For those who long for distant green lands and untouched landscapes, the stunning, sun-drenched island of Waiheke in New Zealand is the place of dreams. It’s the second-largest island in the country’s Hauraki Gulf and happens to be only 40 minutes by ferry from Auckland City.
Nimmo Bay, British Columbia, Canada
This amazing site is located deep in the wilderness of Canada, and it happens to be the only inhabited location in the region. It is completely inaccessible by road and frequented by very few airlines. Visitors have to schedule special flights, fly in by helicopter or arrive by boat.
Svalbard Islands, Arctic Ocean
Located between the North Pole and Norway in the Arctic Ocean, the Svalbard Islands feature some of the most incredible, uninhabited territory on the planet. The high regions call to adventure travelers, with ice cave explorations, dog sledding and snowmobiling opportunities.
Baliem Valley, West Papua
For a much warmer spot, you can make your way to Baliem Valley in West Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). The Valley is in Central West Papua and still holds on to a much older, simpler atmosphere, with untouched landscapes and people that follow their ancient tribal traditions.
Mount Bisoke, Rwanda
If dormant volcanoes are your thing, then Mount Bisoke in Rwanda is one of those unique, remote locations you might want to put on your bucket list. The mountain boasts a glassy crater lake and stunning volcanic mountain ranges all around.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
For nature and animal lovers, the Galapagos Islands are a dream destination. The islands are world-renowned for those incredible tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, penguins, Darwin’s famous finches and many, many more creatures.
Annobon, Equatorial Guinea
This island is nearly 300 miles away from Equatorial Guinea, southwest of Corsica, and separated by the Atlantic Ocean from the rest of the nation. A few thousand residents live there, but for the most part, it’s a small island community that speaks a type of Portuguese Creole.
Tristan da Cunha, Saint Helena
For a truly unique, absolutely remote experience, Tristan da Cunha has more to offer than anywhere else in the world. It is the most remote inhabited island chain in the world, with more than 2,000 miles between it and the nearest land in South America and about 1,700 miles between it and South Africa.
Nestled on the eastern shores of Greenland, the unusual land of Ittoqqortoormiit is one of the most interesting places you could visit. The town is incredibly isolated and can only be accessed by helicopter from Nerlerit Inaat Airport or from cruiseliners.
Pitcairn Islands, British Overseas Territory
A super small community is located on this amazing, incredibly remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. The 50-ish residents of the islands are descendants of the Bounty mutineers — cool, right? — and their Polynesian comrades. The humid, tropical climate makes it a paradise for those who make it for brief visits.
Kure Atoll, Hawaii
Kure is an incredibly fascinating coral atoll about 160 miles east of the International Date Line. It’s the world’s most northerly coral atoll and was formerly part of Honolulu, although it is basically now uninhabited, except for turtles and birds.
Cape York Peninsula, Australia
The beautiful nation of Australia is resplendent with many unusual locations that are remote and low on population. One of those amazing sites is the Cape York Peninsula that is home to only 18,000 people, who are mostly indigenous to the beautiful, wild, remote land.
Socotra Island, Yemen
This archipelago off Yemen is so isolated that many of the plants and animals — one-third the species, to be more precise — cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. The strange-looking animals and alien-like trees and plants provide some of the wildest, weirdest and most interesting sights you will ever see.
Anegada, British Virgin Islands
Those who are looking to find a sparsely populated island paradise should consider Anegada, which is located in the British Virgin Islands. This island is barely above sea level and is surrounded by beautiful empty beaches.
Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska
If you’re looking for a U.S. national park off the beaten path, look no further. This is the second-largest national park and the northernmost park and is located above the Arctic Circle. The location is hard to reach, with no highways leading to it, requiring visitors to either hike or take chartered flights.
Deception Island, Antarctica
As remote of a place as you can find, Deception Island is a part of Antarctica’s South Shetland Islands. This island was made famous as a whaling and research station that operated off and on from 1931 to 1969. The outpost was eventually abandoned due to volcanic eruptions, but the buildings were left standing.
If you’re hankering for a visit to an exclusive island that is still in pristine condition, Madagascar may be the place you want to visit. It’s the fourth largest island in the world and is home to a uniquely diverse biome — yet it remains remarkably unspoiled by man.
Independence Hills, Antarctica
For the adventure seeker who doesn't want to compete with other travelers for the view, Antarctica’s Independence Hills might be the ideal location. This spot features all the extremes that are involved with any sort of travel on the ice-covered continent, but minus the crowds. (Yes, trips to frigid areas can be crowded.)
Nunavut is a gorgeous, sparsely populated area located in the far northern area of Canada. This location is approximately the combined mass of Texas, California, Colorado, Montana and Nebraska combined. Wow! In this large expanse of land, around 38,000 people live there with zero traffic lights — and survive. Canada for the win!
Marble Caves, Patagonia, Chile
For those who love caves but don’t appreciate crawling around in darkness and dirt, the Marble Caves will hold some appeal. These unearthly formations are found in Patagonia, Chile, and border General Carrera Lake, a remote glacial lake on the Chile-Argentina border.