Iceland is one of the most undiscovered places in the world. Its vast landscapes, volcanic rock, waterfalls, and mountains draw only the most adventurous visitors in. In southern Iceland is a volcanic island called Surtsey. It was formed between 1963 and 1967 from nearby volcanic eruptions, and it became what it is today. Unfortunately, it’s not open to your everyday tourist, as scientists are the only people allowed to the island as of right now. Because the island is so new, scientists are unaware of the region and what it has. It may open to the public in the years to come, otherwise, it looks like we’ll have to change our careers so we can get on that island. The good news is, though, you can still see the island as a tourist from a small plane that flies over the island. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site to keep its preservation (via Flamingoof).
Located in the Himalayas, Dharamshala is home to the Dalai Lama, If you’re lucky, you’ll be in this mountainous town at the same time he’s there. Even if he’s not there, it’s still a beautiful place to visit, given it’s one of the most undiscovered places in the world. Not only does it have incredible hikes and chances to go camping, like in Triund for example, but it’s home to many yoga and meditation centers. There are also historical forts, delicious places to eat, and tea gardens (via Travel Triangle).
Everyone’s heard of Nashville, Tennessee, but not quite as many people have heard of Knoxville. While it’s popular amongst the young college crowd, it’s not a tourist hotspot. It’s in proximity to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and tons of campsites. It’s the perfect place for an outdoor getaway. In the city itself, you’ll find bars with live music, locally brewed beer, and dishes like ribs and cornbread. Locals are friendly and welcoming and will make you feel right at home (via Downtown Knoxville).
The small mountain town of San Cristobal is not on every traveler’s radar. It’s nestled in the valley of mountains in a state called Chiapas. Once you’re there, you’ll find it hard to leave. With its abundance of coffee and chocolate shops, healthy restaurants, and handmade trinket shops, you’ll keep yourself busy day in and day out. Nearby, there are plenty of hikes to keep you active. In several hours, you can drive to some of the biggest waterfalls in the country. In a way, it looks like a city frozen in time, and won’t take you long to fall in love with it (via Road Affair).
Tibet is extremely difficult to visit, but once you’re there, you’ll wonder how it’s one of the most undiscovered places in the world. Lhasa is a city in Tibet known for its beautiful scenery and magical monasteries. It means “place of the Gods” and it’s easy to see why. The locals are friendly and will greet you with some of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see in your life. Spin the prayer wheels and wander along some of the markets for a more unique, local experience. The monasteries themselves are colorful and rich in history. It’s one of the last places in the world untouched by outside influence or culture, so it is incredibly preserved (via Yowangdu).
Italy is one of the most visited destinations in the world. With the ancient Roman ruins to restaurants with some of the best pizza in the world, it comes as no surprise that tourists flock to Italy at any given time. But did you know Italy has some of the best-undiscovered places in the world too? That’s where the city of Matera comes into play. It’s home to the Sassi, a series of caves carved into the mountainside. But it doesn’t stop there, these caves house restaurants, bars, and museums, so you can sip on your cocktail with an incredible view of the mountains while sitting inside a cave. Now that’s a great story to tell your friends back home (via Hostelworld).
When we think of Canada, we think of vast, undiscovered places where people normally don’t step foot. Devon Island is one of them. Even though we can’t necessarily visit this island as a tourist, it’s still a place everyone should try to visit at least once. According to NASA, it’s known as a “polar desert.” It’s completely covered in ice and is the largest uninhabited piece of land on the entire earth. Because Devon Island has such extreme temperatures, no one has inhabited the island since the 1930s or 1940s. The only people exploring the land now are scientists, who use it for NASA research. It mimics the conditions of Mars, and for that reason, the space program tested their equipment and space suits on the island before sending them into orbit (via Flamingoof).
3,300 miles off the coast of New Zealand is a string of breathtaking islands where no helicopters or planes have ever landed. The only way you can reach these islands, one of the most undiscovered places in the world, is by a 32-hour boat ride leaving from New Zealand. They’re a British Overseas Territory and house only 50 residents. This makes it one of the least populated territories in the world. These pristine, untouched islands look like they’re from another world. Unfortunately, because they’re so remote, those who get into an emergency have to fly to New Zealand or Fiji for prompt medical care (via Flamingoof).
For a jump back to prehistoric times around three million years ago, check out the Son Soong Cave in Vietnam. It’s located in Nha-Ke Bang National Park and was only discovered in 2008. It was initially discovered in 1990, but the site of the caves was lost until the mid-2000s when they were rediscovered again. It’s one of the most undiscovered places in the world, as its discovery is so recent. It’s also the world’s largest natural cave. In 2013, it opened up to the public. While it attracts many visitors, it’s still not a highly trafficked destination, so you’ll have a unique experience (via Flamingoof).
The Amazon Rainforest, surreal landscapes, and vast desert all encompass the country of Brazil. Its jungles and white sandy beaches appeal to travelers around the entire world, so it may be a surprise to hear that there are some undiscovered places there. The state of Maranhão is home to Maranhenses National Park. During the rainy season from January to August, a giant lake the color of emerald green emerges between the desolate, rolling dunes. This stark contrast is breathtaking, and not many people see this phenomenon. You must time your travels with the rainy season to see this incredible sight (via Hostelworld).
If Africa isn’t high on your radar, it will be after you read about one of the best-undiscovered places in the world. Off the west coast of Africa is an archipelago called Cape Verde. Most travelers head to the island of Sal and miss the best part of the destination. Sal is a complete contrast to Boa Vista, which is home to an island of sea turtles, colorful villages, and beaches with soft sand and turquoise water. This is where you can turn off your phone, relax, and unwind for a few days. There’s no better way to hit the reset button than lounging in paradise (via Hostelworld).
Many tourists head to Kathmandu, but it’s Pokhara where you’ll want to spend your days relaxing. Even though it’s the second biggest city in Nepal, not many travelers realize it exists. It’s home to a beautiful, vast lake and views of the Himalayan mountains. It’s the perfect place to unwind after trekking for weeks on end through the Himalayas. Why not put your feet up, sip a chai tea, and take in the views? We deserve to treat ourselves once in a while (via Nepal Hiking Team).
Even though we’ve all heard of Antarctica, do you know you could visit it? It’s one of the most undiscovered places in the world, considering how hard it is to get to. As a traveler, you need to embark on a long expedition with a reputable company to see the seventh continent. Its extreme climates make it uninhabitable. Because it’s too difficult to live there, scientists only stay at the research stations. It has unstable icy grounds and tundra that make it impossible to explore. Luckily, we have powerful, advanced equipment that helps scientists study the phenomenon of Antarctica (via Flamingoof).
Many travelers head to Marrakech or Casablanca when they arrive in Morocco. But for a more private experience with a lot of surf, head to Imsouane. It’s one of the most undiscovered places on earth. Not only that, but it’s home to Africa’s longest bay. It’s here you’ll find secluded rock pools and footpaths along the cliffs. There are cute beach cafes and surf rentals. Not only that, but if you like longboarding, you can hit the streets here and skate around town (via The Surf Atlas).
Cuba is one of the most undiscovered countries in the world given it is practically untouched by tourism. Not many people have made their way to this tiny island, which makes it even more of a reason to go. Havana is a vibrant, colorful city that looks like it was frozen in the 1950s. You won’t find any famous franchises here. It’s charming and probably one of the last authentic places on earth. Fusterlandia is a quiet neighborhood that’s home to public art installations from local artist Jose Fuster, also known as the ‘Picasso of the Caribbean.” You’ll find magical sculptures of beings swimming through pools and walking upstairs. It’s a colorful sight that’s unlike any place in the world (via Hostelworld).
One of the driest, most undiscovered places in the world exists in South Africa, in the Namib Desert. The Southern region of the desert is mostly unexplored. It’s also said to be one of the earth’s oldest deserts. Namib means “vast place” in the language of Khoekhoegowab, which is certainly fitting for this dry, desolate place. Overall, it’s a gorgeous landscape with contrasting colors that’ll shock you with its beauty. Just look at those dunes against the ocean, it looks like a place from Mars (via Flamingoof).
Bazaruto Island is heaven on earth. It’s known as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” and lives up to its name. The island is located off the coast of Mozambique and boasts incredible landscapes of coral and dunes created by the erosion of the Limpopo River. It’s suspended in the middle of the ocean and is a landscape that not many people will ever see in their lifetime. Calling it pristine is an understatement, and you’ll probably never want to leave once you step foot on its soft sand and take a dip in the blue water (via Hostelworld).
Sri Lanka is an island country south of India. It boasts wild elephants, spectacular waterfalls, and some of the best surfing in the world. Even though it’s quite touristy, it’s still one of the most undiscovered places in the world. Backpackers and travelers flock to its beaches and hillsides, and once you set foot on the island, you’ll see why. Jaffna is a vibrant city with a Hindu Temple and pre-colonial artifacts. It’s a city where you’ll learn about the history of Sri Lanka in a way that many people miss out on (via Hostelworld).
Home to the Konyak Tribe, Nagaland is where you’ll find some of the last living headhunters in the world. Before the 1970s, the tribes in Nagaland used to fight until death. The winner would keep the skull as a trophy and wear it symbolically wear a golden skull around their neck to show how many people they’ve killed. While this may sound terrifying, they don’t practice this anymore. Christian missionaries came in and stopped the practices in the 1970s. One of the biggest draws about visiting the tribe is seeing the men with their tattooed faces. It’s quite the journey to get here, it involves an overnight bus and another four-hour jeep ride. But overall it’s worth the journey (via Tour My India).
It may come as a surprise that Paris is on this list considering it one of the most touristy places in the world. With the Eiffel Tower, cafes, restaurants, and wine, many people from around the world flock to this city. It’s also one of the most romantic destinations in the world since love is certainly in the air. But there are more undiscovered places in Paris to fall in love with, and one of them is Belleville. It is a neighborhood that’s packed full of culture and charm. It has gorgeous street art, crepes, and hipster hangouts that most people miss out on when they visit Paris (via Hostelworld).
You’ve probably heard of Bogota, Colombia, but you may not have heard of the river Caño Cristales. There are numerous undiscovered places in Colombia, and that’s one of them. Seriously, it’s so spectacular it should be considered the eighth wonder of the world. This is where you’ll find waterfalls and rare local flora you’ll only see here. For half of the year, Caño Cristales takes on a vibrant beautiful yellow, green, red, and black color. This is because of the ‘macarenia clavigeria’ phenomenon, which is a plant. This plant has magic powers because it turns an entire river into a rainbow wonderland (via Hostelworld).
Japan is another island in the world that’s full of undiscovered places. Most people visit Tokyo, and for good reason. But there’s way more to the country than meets the eye. The island Ishigaki is home to green cliffs and cerulean blue water. This is where you’ll find paradise, nestled amongst big cities with towering buildings. It almost looks like you’ve stepped foot into the Caribbean. Kabira Bay is another sight on the island you can’t miss (via Hostelworld).
Even though Cape Melville is only 900 miles from Brisbane, an incredibly popular city in Australia, it’s still one of the most undiscovered places on earth. The rainforest habitat is a stark contrast to the bustling city, and it’s here where you can immerse yourself in the lush greenery and flora, and fauna of Australia. It’s considered one of the lost worlds of Australia, and the most distinctive part of the national park is its granite boulder pile (via Mental Floss).
Because China is one of the biggest countries in the world, it may come as no surprise that it’s also full of undiscovered places. The Salween River runs directly through China and Thailand. It’s one of the longest rivers in Southeast Asia, which is why there’s so much beautiful land along the banks. It’s also home to vast marine life and plants deep underneath the river’s surface (via Flamingoof).
The Andaman Islands are a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. Havelock Island is the most visited one of the bunch since it’s the easiest to get to. But the further out you go, the more rugged islands you’ll come across, Little Andaman being one of them. It’s one of the most undiscovered places in India and is home to crocodiles, jungles, and pristine beaches. Not many people make the long boat journey to Little Andaman, but those who do are grateful. You’ll have the entire island to yourself. That’s rare nowadays (via Thrillophilia).
Greece is a popular destination among travelers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not full of undiscovered places. The UNESCO site of Meteroa is one of those places. It’s located in Thessaly and is certainly a bucket list destination. It has one of the largest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world. There are six monasteries altogether, and they’re built on immense natural, towering pillars. It’s certainly nothing like you’ve seen before (via Hostelworld).
Slovenia is a country that skips the tourist radar, but those who do make it usually head straight to Lake Bled. But there’s another, lesser-known lake just past Lake Bled, and that’s Lake Bohinj. It’s perfect if you’re seeking peacefulness and tranquility since not many tourists make it there. The lake is reachable by bus, and there are several guesthouses near the lake, as well as tons of hiking trails into the mountains. It’s considered an outdoor playground and is a breathtaking off-the-beaten-path location in Europe (via Earth Trekkers).
Greenland misses the tourist’s radar, considering how inaccessible it is. The entire country is one of the most undiscovered places on earth. It’s untouched and pristine and is probably one of the last places on earth that are left so unspoiled. Many remote parts of Greenland are nearly impossible to access and are only accessible by a small airplane or long boat ride. Because it’s so beautiful and full of nature, it’s an ideal destination for any adventure lover. It’s similar to Iceland but less developed than the neighboring country. You’ll see vast, icy landscapes, small, cozy towns, and dogs that look as big as wolves (via Flamingoof).
Not many people make it here, but those who do are rewarded with incredible sights and unique cities. Almaty is a city nestled near the border of Kyrgyzstan. While the city itself boasts delicious restaurants, cafes, and a colorful church, it’s the nature near the city that makes it one of the most undiscovered places in the world. Nearby is the Big Almaty Lake, a stunning turquoise blue lake in the mountains, Kok Tobe Mountain, and Charyn Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon’s Little Brother. Kazakhstan has some of the most stunning nature in the world, so get there before everyone else figures it out (via Dook International).
Only a small number of tourists make it to Oman, a country in the Persian Gulf. Not many people know about the country. It’s only recently that it’s gotten picked up on the traveler’s radar as one of the most undiscovered places on earth. Now is the best time to visit, before its tourism economy booms. It’s home to expansive cities, barren deserts, and fjords. If you’re an adventurous traveler, you can kayak along the fjords and take in the turquoise water and towering cliffs. You may even spot a wild dolphin if you’re lucky (via Hostelworld).
Chiang Mai and Bangkok are two of the most popular cities in Thailand. But what many travelers miss is Pai, a tiny mountain town located four hours away from Chiang Mai. it attracts many backpackers seeking yoga, meditation, and vegan food. You’ll also find lively bars playing electronic dance music, tons of hikes snaking through the jungle to secluded waterfalls, and some of the best sunsets in the country. It’s no wonder why people who go to Pai end up staying for months or even years on end (via Southeast Asia Backpacker).
If green is your favorite color, then you have to make your way to Dominica Island, which is nicknamed the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean.” It has some of the most untouched, unspoiled beauty in the world. Some of the best parts of the island include tropical rainforests, Boiling Lake, and Champagne Reef. There’s also an underwater volcano and the Morne Toris Piton National Park. All of these natural wonders cannot be missed, and it’s the only place in the world where you’ll have all of these in one place. It’s one of the world’s best-kept secrets. If you can make it to this Caribbean island before the rest of the world discovers, you’re in for a treat (via Hostelworld).
Rarely do any travelers make it to Bhutan. It’s partly due to the tourist fee, which is $250 per day. The upside to that fee is that everything is included, so you don’t have to spend any more money once you set foot in Bhutan. That being said, Bhutan is home to some of the most undiscovered places in the world, and that includes the Tiger’s Nest. It has a precarious location, and its backstory involves a bit of mystery. It’s said that in the 8th century, Guru Padmasambhava flew on the back of a winged tiger in Paro Valley. He soared more than 3,000 meters high and landed on Tiger’s Nest, where he meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours. Now, it’s home to seven temples, which takes five hours to reach. It has some of the most untouched scenery in the world and is an incredibly exciting place to visit, especially if you’re adventurous at heart (via Hostelworld).
For some of the best beaches in the world, head to Mexico. There are quite a few undiscovered places in this country that’ll make you gasp with their beauty. Everyone heads to Tulum and Cancun, two of the most touristic spots in the country. But there’s another, lesser-visited spot, and that’s Playa Del Amor. It’s located on the Marietas Islands and is easily accessible from Puerto Vallarta. This is where you’ll find an array of marine life and ocean water reaching down to 110 feet. The beach itself is a hidden cove that was formed from a gigantic crater (via Hostelworld).