Why pay to visit a crowded beach or bustling city everyone has already seen when you could be living one-of-a-kind experiences in some of Earth's least visited countries? If you're looking for adventures away from overpriced and crowded tourist locations, these rarely visited countries might be what you're looking for.
Tuvalu is a country made up of small islands scattered in the Pacific Ocean that boasts warm weather, beautiful sandy beaches, coral reefs, and several uninhabited islets. Only the main island of Funafuti features an airport and hotels, although guesthouses can be found on outer islands. The highest point is only 15 feet above sea level, meaning the country is threatened by rising oceans. Tuvalu is extremely remote and has no organized tours, which means you can organize your own tour around the islands.
Kiribati is a sovereign state scattered across 1.3 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean. Composed of 33 islands and atolls, it's the only country that is located in four hemispheres of the globe. The foodie in you will enjoy the authentic traditional food while your adventurous side will be excited to participate in local customs and activities, which include surfing, diving, and bird watching. Lodging in Kiribati is varied and easy to afford, so you can choose from traditional hotels to open-air bungalows on the beach.
The Marshall Islands can offer you a rare peek into history. Bikini Atoll was the site of the United States' nuclear testing during World War II and where the popular swimwear got its name. The Marshall Islands see only around 6,000 visitors per year, and parts of the islands remain radioactive. However, you can enjoy an incredible scuba diving experience in the surrounding waters. Coral reefs and colorful fish surround the shipwrecks, including the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.
If you're looking for a rarely visited place in the Caribbean, try the volcanic island of Montserrat. Plymouth was buried by volcanic ash and rock in a series of eruptions that began in 1995. The town is abandoned, but you will be intrigued by all the items left during the evacuation. The north part of the island has been largely unaffected by the volcanic eruptions in recent years, so you can find beaches, towns, and caves. Get awesome beach photos on the black sand at Bottomless Ghaut Beach.
The coral reef and white sand beaches of Nauru would be packed if it wasn't so hard to get there. This tiny island nation is in the middle of the Pacific, north of New Zealand, and offers a single airport that operates five days a week. Although the island is inhabited, it doesn't offer many activities, so it's a great place to spend a quiet week on the beach away from people. Everyone will be jealous when you post a pic from a basically private beach.
Turkmenistan sees very few tourists, in part because it can be difficult to obtain a visa. But if you go, you can snap a pic at the Darvaza gas crater. Also called the Door to Hell, this crater of natural gas has been burning continuously since 1971. A tourism zone along the Caspian Sea offers beaches and bougie hotels, although you may run into more travelers there than in other parts of the country.
A lack of infrastructure can make traveling to the Solomon Islands challenging, but the lack of tourists means you can enjoy clean ocean water and abundant marine life. The Solomon Islands were once known for cannibals and then became the scene for bloody World War II battles between the United States and Japan. You can see historical relics and enjoy the unpopulated beaches.
Mauritania is a risky place to visit due to its reputation for terrorism and kidnappings. It's an Islamic County located on the west coast of Africa where alcohol is illegal, and slavery still persists in the country despite being technically illegal. It's easy to understand why tourists avoid it, but it's a fascinating country. You can find giant sand dunes, medieval architecture, and rich traditional foods. You'll likely be the only person you know to visit this country.
You can enjoy untouched nature and visit beaches your friends have never seen in Guinea-Bissau. Also located on Africa's west coast, the country is extremely affordable and offers beautiful pristine beaches that are relatively undisturbed by humans. Guinea-Bissau is a fairly tolerant country, and Portuguese beer and wine are very popular.
Skip the boring European vacation that everyone else is doing and visit Liechtenstein, one of the least visited countries in Europe. The alpine landscape is rugged, but it also offers exceptional architecture and some of the oldest traces of human existence. You can have fun riding alpacas or drinking wine. Liechtenstein is also considered one of the safest countries in the world if you are looking for an unusual trip without risk.
Sierra Leone has been in the news in recent years over a long civil war followed by a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has undoubtedly kept tourists away from this otherwise beautiful country. It's relatively safe to visit, although you should be cautious of roads and strong tides at the beach. Locals are mostly friendly and English-speaking, making it easy to interact with them. Make your friends jealous when you post pics of the nightlife and beaches in Freetown.
Located on the east side of Africa on the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti is mostly volcanic formations and dry shrublands. Visit Lake Assal, a saltwater lake with white sand beaches, or see steam from the Ardoukoba Volcano. Though the environment is harsh, you can watch camels and bright flocks of flamingos grazing. Djibouti is one of the safer countries to visit in Africa, so you can have a risk-free trip without bumping into lots of other tourists.
Monaco, one of the world's smallest and wealthiest sovereign states, is also the most densely packed. About 38,000 people live on less than one square mile of the Riviera near the Italian border. You can never be too glamorous for this expensive, exclusive resort. Whether you're playing for high stakes in the casino, cheering the Formula-1 Grand Prix, or lounging on the deck of a superyacht, if you've got it in Monaco, you flaunt it.
Tonga, an archipelago of 169 islands in the South Pacific, is the only Pacific nation that has never been colonized. Its monarchy is 1,000 years old; its indigenous Polynesian culture strong. Nevertheless, Christian missionaries had a big impact, and Tonga is dotted with quaint, colorful churches. Visit Ha'amonga ‘a Maui, on the main island. This massive 13th century stone monument is known as the Stonehenge of the Pacific.
Niue, the world's largest coral atoll, attracts adventure travelers adventurous enough to get there. Fortnightly flights from New Zealand carry so few passengers that Niue is one of the world's least-visited countries. The island floats in the empty South Pacific, hundreds of miles from landfalls in Tonga, Fiji, American Samoa, or the Cook Islands. It's laced with secluded crystal-clear pools, and the deep ocean is close enough to watch whales from your window.
Comoros is a union of three volcanic islands between the coast of Mozambique and Madagascar. Although relatively safe, Comoros tourism is limited. Nevertheless, natural wonders draw visitors. Ylang Ylang flowers grow on the slopes of Karthala, a large active volcano. And the islands are home to rare giant Livingstone's bats. Also known as flying foxes, they have a four-foot wingspan and are easy to spot because they fly in daylight.
Why American Samoa is among the world's least visited destinations is a mystery since the territory is an eco-travel paradise. An archipelago of five volcanic islands and two coral atolls, at least 90 percent is covered in tropical rainforest. The National Park is known for steep volcanic mountains. And the National Marine Sanctuary's Valley of the Giants has the oldest and largest Porite coral heads on earth.