For some people, remote travel is going no further than another state. But adventure travelers want to explore something entirely out of the ordinary, a place so far off the grid that most people have never even heard of it. For those travelers, safetravelRX has six ideas that are definitely not on the average traveler's radar. These destinations offer stunning landscapes, unique cultures, and an opportunity to experience something far from the norm.
Easter Island, a Chilean territory, is one of the most remote inhabited islands. Located in the Pacific Ocean, its native name is Rapa Nui. It is nearly 2,300 miles west of South America and 1,100 miles from the nearest island. It's primarily known for its archeological sites, including almost 900 Moai statues. These monumental structures, which stand about 14 feet tall and weigh 13 tons, are thought to have been tributes to the inhabitant's ancestors or chiefs. There is much debate about how the early settlers created these mammoth structures and the cause of the population's demise. One theory is that the inhabitants may have been responsible for their own ecocide by destroying the native trees and fauna. Over three thousand years ago, the island was covered with woods and had more than 40 arboreal species, which are now extinct due to human depredation. However, there are some unique birds, such as the Tavake (tropical bird) and the Makohe (frigate bird), as well as some shearwaters and terns. And the marine fauna is quite varied and includes the Ura or great-sized lobster, as well as fish like the Nanue, the Poopó, and the Toremo.
2. Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the arctic ocean and one of the world's northernmost inhabited areas. Known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers and tundra, it is home to polar bears, reindeer, and Arctic foxes. If you are lucky, you will see The Northern Lights during winter, but summer is a bit more weather friendly and brings the "midnight sun"—sunlight 24 hours a day. The islands offer stunning landscapes, including glaciers, mountains, and fjords. Visitors can explore the islands by snowmobile, dog sled, or foot. There are also small expedition ships that can take you around the islands.
3. Socotra is an isolated island in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Yemen. Known as the 'Jewel of Arabia' or the "Galapagos of the middle east," its biodiversity is one of the reasons it's listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The island is home to a unique ecosystem, including several species of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Frankincense and Dragon's Blood trees are located in the Dixsam plateau and Homhil. Flamingos, Green pigeons, and Laughing doves are some of the unusual birds you can find there, as well as abundant sea life. The landscape is otherworldly, with massive golden sand dunes lining the coast next to dazzlingly blue waters. There are plenty of ways to relax or get out in nature, with numerous beaches, hiking trails, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
4. Tristan da Cunha is an inhabited archipelago located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The British territory is so remote that it can take several days by sea to reach the island, and there are less than 300 residents. Tristan da Cunha's 2062m high Queen Mary's Peak is a mecca for lovers, offering a stunning view of its heart-shaped crater lake. However, to reach it requires good weather and a guide. The isolated location means that Tristan has unique fauna and flora; almost 50% of its flowering plants and ferns aren't found anywhere else on Earth. And it's a globally significant breeding ground for seals and seabirds, including Rockhopper Penguins and Albatrosses. However, one thing to remember is that the island is so tiny that it has no hotels, although residents rent out accommodations to visitors. And when you stay with locals, it offers an excellent way to learn about the island first-hand.
5. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland, is a small settlement in the eastern part of the country. It only has a population of around 450 people. It is isolated from other Greenlandic settlements and known for its unforgiving Arctic climate. That said, tourism is growing in importance due to researchers and explorers interested in extreme Arctic expeditions on land and by sea. When you venture somewhere so isolated, you can expect to hear that the locals eat things you normally might not. You might be able to sample musk ox, seal, whale, narwhal skin, walrus, and more. The Government of Greenland prohibits the export of these meats, so you will have to get your fill while in the country. You may be lucky enough to see a polar bear or a narwhal, a medium-sized toothed whale with a large "tusk" that can only be found in arctic waters. Finally, Ittoqqortoormiit offers one of the best opportunities in the world to see the northern lights.
6. Bhutan is a small Buddhist country in the Himalayas with stunning nature, vibrant culture, and a commitment to sustainability. While it has gained in popularity over the last 20 years, the country is intent on maintaining the quality of life for residents by preventing overcrowding. They even measure the happiness of their population with their gross national happiness index. They limit the number of tourists to about 275,000 annually to minimize damage to the pristine landscape. For comparison, about 3.5 million people visit Yosemite alone each year. They also require that all visitors pay a daily tax and book their trip through a licensed tour operator. But while these measures may seem a bit arduous, tourists to Bhutan can explore monasteries perched on steep cliffsides, fortresses (or dzongs), and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. More than 72% of Bhutan's territory is covered by forest, and more than half of the country's landmass is protected. The country is one of the world's biodiversity hotspots and the first and only carbon-negative country. The kingdom is home to 90 species of mammals, including tigers, snow leopards, red pandas, rhinos, Himalayan musk deer, 770 species of birds, and at least 5,400 species of plants.
While these remote destinations are certainly not for everyone, those who venture there are rewarded with stunning landscapes, little-to-no crowds, and unique cultures. You are also guaranteed to have something interesting to discuss at your next cocktail party or family reunion. And although getting to these locales is not easy, that's half the fun for an adventure traveler.
To stay safe and worry-free throughout your trip, download the safetravelRX app before you depart so you can get real-time destination alerts, securely store documents, including medical information, emergency access to health professionals immediately, and much more. For more information about how the features in the safetravelRX can keep you safe and informed while traveling in remote destinations, click here.
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