There are many places around the globe where a traveler can wander through pristine forests, take in the grandeur of breathtaking mountains or leisurely stroll alongside a beach seemingly hundreds of miles from civilization. Despite their isolation, thousands of remote tropical islands, along with vast Arctic landscapes and rugged alpine settlements, beckon to adventurous travelers all over the world. Here are five of the most remote places on Earth that all travelers should visit at least once.
1. Tristan da Cunha
The four islands of Tristan da Cunha is nestled in the heart of the South Atlantic Ocean, 1,500-miles away from their nearest neighbor St. Helena. Visitors to the world’s most remote town, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, can tee off at the Tristan da Cunha Golf Club before heading up to Queen Mary’s Peak, with its spectacular heart-shaped crater lake. Not far off the main island are Gough and Inaccessible Islands, uninhabited by humans but nevertheless teeming with life, including three endemic bird species and 20-plant species found nowhere else on Earth.
© The Official CBTO Photostream
2. Easter Island, Chile
Although Easter Island, located 2,200-miles west of mainland Chile, is best known for its iconic moai statues, it is also home to several beautiful beaches, including Tongariki, Anakena, and Ovahe. Travelers to the island can also explore four and a half miles of underground passageways at the Ana Te Pahu cave. For a taste of the local Rapa Nui culture, visitors should check out Ballet Kari Kari and Te Ra’ai in Hanga Roa, where the island’s traditional music and dances come alive.
© Henry Cheung
3. Pitcairn Islands
The Pitcairn Islands may be small, but they compensate for their size with a plethora of amazing sights. Scuba divers can explore the wreck of the HMS Bounty, infamously set ablaze by mutineers in 1790. Visitors can also relax on the beaches of Onoe Island, ride ATVs with local guides, swim alongside tropical fish at St. Paul’s Pool, and browse a selection of locally made souvenirs. Birdwatchers will enjoy the archipelago’s rich avian diversity – Henderson Island is home to four bird species not found anywhere else on the planet.
© Denis Bin
4. Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
With its tongue-twisting name and harsh climate, Ittoqqortoormiit may be the most remote town in Greenland but it is an adventurer’s dream come true. Visitors can regularly travel by dogsled across the vast Arctic landscape, while during the summer, the area is a favorite with kayakers paddling through the fjords to the pristine wilderness of Cape Hope and Cape Tobin. Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy sighting Arctic foxes, musk oxen, wolves, polar bears and caribou at nearby Northeast Greenland National Park. After a long day of exploration, visitors can relax in the town’s hot springs and admire the Northern Lights at night.
© Ser Snarkish
5. Tibetan Plateau, China
The vast Tibetan Plateau in southwestern China encompasses a greater area than Alaska and Texas combined. The region plays host to a wide array of breathtaking scenery, including crystalline lakes, towering mountains and glaciers as far as the eye can see. In addition, the Tibetan capital of Lhasa is home to many ancient temples and monasteries. Lhasa’s charming tea houses allow tourists to enjoy a hot cup of tea alongside locals after a long day of sightseeing, for an immersive cultural experience. Undoubtedly, the Tibetan Plateau takes travel to new heights.
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Cover photo © Ser Snarkish