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What an amazing world we live in.
So many places to be, things to see, people to meet, and food to eat—it can almost be overwhelming.
There are just too many places on our planet to visit in one life, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
Every region on Earth has untapped destinations filled with everything a traveller wants.
Fortunately, getting to these destinations has never been easier. Modern technology has made travelling a breeze compared to times past. We’re lucky to live in a time when we can drive, fly, or take a boat anywhere.
The hard part is finding out these destinations exist. Our planet is massive, and it can be hard to know where to start. But have no fear. We’ll show you the best-hidden gems in each region of the world that you should add to your travel bucket list.
Let’s get started.
Asia is huge.
29.5% of Earth’s land. 59.76% of the planet’s population. 45% of world GDP by 2050. This continent tops the charts in all of them.
The 21st century will be the Asian Century—Great news for those of you hungry for a trip to this region.
Flights, tours, and accommodations have expanded in the region since the turn of the century, but there are still plenty of places far off the beaten track.
You know a country is worth visiting when they have a dragon on its flag.
But a cool flag is just the start of the tiny but mighty nation of Bhutan.
If you’re in the market for traditional adherence to Buddhism and pristine Himalayan nature, then check out this incredible kingdom.
It’s only 38,394 square kilometres big, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in spectacle.
The magic of Bhutan lies in its firm commitment to conservation. 60% of the land is dedicated to nature. The Bhutanese government increased this protection by enshrining environmental conservation into the constitution—making it the first country to do so.
Then there is the Buddhist architecture. Punakha Dzong and the Tiger’s Nest Monastery are just two glorious homages to the Buddhist way of life encapsulating every aspect of Bhutan. The lifestyle here is stubbornly against modern life. Perhaps with good reason. Life in Bhutan is laid back and peaceful. Happiness and well-being come first, not money and material goods. In today’s hectic world, a culture like this is like inhaling sweet, mountainous air when all you’ve ever breathed is the smog of a big city.
If it isn’t already, Bhutan should be at the top of your bucket list.
North America: Polar bears and maple leaves in the upper part, gun-toting freedom lovers in the middle, mariachi bands and tequila down below. That’s about it, isn’t it?
Words will never do justice to the number of destinations packed in the world’s third largest continent.
You could spend decades just travelling in one of the three countries in this region—and still not see everything.
North America is a kaleidoscope of stupefying nature, modern technology, and endless diversity.
Everybody knows New York City, The Grand Canyon, Toronto, Banff National Park, Mexico City, and Mayan ruins. These destinations are worth a visit, but they can’t hold a candle to other places tucked away in North America.
The United States of America. Canada. Mexico.
These are the only three countries that call North America home, right?
Each member of this North American trio is in a world of their own and worth a visit.
But if you want a unique experience, go to Denmark.
The largest territory of this tiny European kingdom is just 16 kilometres away from Canada. It may be called Greenland, but its name couldn’t be further from the truth.
Greenland is the largest island in the world, boasting endless vistas of Arctic marvels.
The land and water of the island are home to polar animals of every type: arctic foxes, reindeer, polar bears, narwhals, and beluga whales, to name a few.
The geography is textbook Arctic scenery. Massive fjords carved by ancient glaciers jut gloriously into the chilly waters. Above the Northern Lights flicker and flow like a wave through the long winter nights. Greenland has no shortage of space and wildlife.
The hardy Greenlanders (there are only 57,000 of them) are a fascinating blend of Danish and Inuit lifestyles. Families run small-scale sheep farms, and colourful little villages look like something straight from a postcard.
There are very few roads on the island. Getting anywhere requires effort. But the challenge Greenland will put before you is one worth undertaking. Those brave enough to head to this Arctic isle will be well-rewarded.
There are more than just deserts here.
Carved up by colonialism, the Middle East is still struggling with the conflicts from its subjugated past though things are changing.
Travelling here has never been easier or safer. And if you’re conception of the Middle East is that it’s one big conflict zone, prepare to have your mind changed. Islamic architecture, ancient Roman ruins, forest-covered canyons, and mega-cities come together to create a fantastic display you should witness before you die.
In the Middle East, antiquity and modernity clash, locals are open to people of various flavours, and fascinating points of interest lie around every corner.
Here’s a country you should check out first.
Lebanon: The last place you’d expect to find cedar trees.
But what you think may often be far from the truth.
Lebanese are proud of their mighty cedars—as they should be. This remarkable tree has been part of Middle Eastern mythology since The Epic of Gilgamesh, written roughly 4,000 years ago. Since then, various civilizations have used cedar wood to build boats, craft paper, and construct railroads. Thankfully, humans didn’t cut them all down, and Lebanon is the beating heart of the cedar tree homeland. You wouldn’t expect to find something like this in Lebanon, but that’s the beauty of this Mediterranean nation.
Unexpected is the one thing you should expect here.
Where else can you find Roman ruins just a car ride away from a metropolis? Or the ancient Phoenician sea city of Sidon neighbouring the Jeita Caverns?
Nowhere except Lebanon.
And, of course, you’ve got to see Beirut. This capital is called ‘The Paris of the Middle East,’ and rightfully so. Its waterfront cafes, European architecture, and Islamic influences combine to create a city unlike any other. Walking down the streets of this city feels more like an excursion through a European capital than the heart of Islamic civilization.
Lebanon is tiny but gifted with many marvels. All of which gives you an endless sense of awe.
It’s a one-of-a-kind country.
Not quite Middle Eastern. Far from your typical Mediterranean county. A world apart from Sub-Saharan Africa.
North Africa in a nutshell.
Even though the Sahara Desert dominates most of the region, there are still tons of memorable destinations for every type of traveller. North Africa offers a spectacle of nature rivalling anywhere else, from the mighty Nile River in the east to the Atlas Mountains in the west.
Berbers have lived here since 10,000 B.C., as well as Egyptians and Nubians. Civilizations of every era have left their marks in North Africa. Egyptians, Greeks, Punic people, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Europeans, and Africans have each left their unique footprint on the land.
If you’re looking for pyramids, Roman ruins, desert dunes, and an abundance of cultural diversity, then take a journey to the handful of colourful countries in North Africa.
Imagine living thousands of years ago on the sweeping savannahs of Africa. Hunger gnawed at you daily. Predators waited out of sight. The relentless sun gave off insufferable heat. What would you do?
If you answered make cave paintings, then you’re in good company. The Laas Geel cave paintings of Ethiopia were created roughly 20,000 years ago by pre-historic people and are the most vivid cave paintings in Africa.
The capital Addis Abba is a sprawling capital with many historical relics—such as Lucy. Lucy is the world’s oldest humanoid skeleton, dating back 3 million years. All her skeletal fragments were reconstructed after her discovery in the ’70s. Now she’s fully assembled and well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Addis Abba.
The breadth of views out here will leave you speechless.
Danakil Depression holds the two records of being the lowest place on Earth and the hottest in terms of year-round averages. The bubbling, brewing hot springs here produce steam and nose-pinching smells akin to rotten eggs. The odours may be bad, but the sights make up for it. Microorganisms thrive on the unique chemical composition of the hot springs, producing an array of colours from Martian green to sunlight yellow.
Add into the mix the vast lakes, endless plateaus, and wildlife like the rare Beira antelope, and you have a recipe for an unforgettable trip. All of this is in Ethiopia, North Africa’s best-kept secret.
Spain. France. Germany. Italy. Greece.
Many of you have been there. Most of you have done that.
Europe is the world’s most visited continent for several reasons. It’s easy to get around, travel restrictions are relaxed, it’s safe, and you can see many landscapes, cultures, architecture, and climates in one trip.
Every traveller, both seasoned and novice, has probably been to Europe. Despite being a holiday hub, many of the forty-four countries here never get the limelight. If you want a side of Europe away from the Coliseum or the Eiffel Tower, there is one place perfect for you.
That’s what most people ask when they hear about the Republic of Moldova.
This little nation tucked between Ukraine and Romania is charming.
Wine connoisseurs will have a heyday here. Vineyards and wineries are as typical as Orthodox churches and the scenic countryside.
Moldova’s Orhei Vechi will enthral you if you’re an ecclesiastical history buff. Atop a remote and rocky ridge near the capital, this famous sight is a cave converted into a monastery. Its history goes back hundreds of years, and a trip here feels like a journey to medieval Europe.
The elephant in the room is Transnistria. Technically part of Moldova, this fragment of land is unabashed in its cries for independence. Soviet architecture, flags, monuments, and transportation still operate within the breakaway state. Though it’s a headache and a half for Moldova, Transnistria is one place you should stop on your way through Eastern Europe.
No region has seen hardship quite like Central America.
The land was divided among the colonizers. The resources were ransacked. The natives were killed.
Today, poverty, crime, and unemployment are higher on average than in most parts of the world.
Yet, despite the past and present struggles, the region holds a wealth of natural beauty, friendly locals, delicious food, and plenty of sightseeing opportunities.
If you want a mix of Mesoamerican ruins, spacious beaches, coral reefs, and jungled mountains, the small countries smackdab between North and South America are where you should go.
Here’s one country to get you started.
It’s a tragedy to think of the great civilizations which prospered here. Imagine a world where the Mayans were left to themselves. Sadly, this history has already been written.
But you can still catch glimpses of the once-great Mayan civilizations in Honduras.
On the border of Guatemala are The Copán Archaeological Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former capital of one of the most influential Mayan civilizations. This city dominated the region culturally, economically, and politically. The sprawling site contains temples, plazas, altar complexes and ball courts that can be seen today. Journeying to this famed spot will give you a glimpse of the New World before Europeans colonized it.
If Mesoamerican ruins aren’t enough, Honduras is also home to many natural wonders. Pristine natural parks pepper the land, containing mind-boggling waterfalls, jungles, mountains, and various bird species.
Honduras has had a violent past, and it’s still struggling to find the peace and stability its people crave. But the situation is on the up and up. The country is ready to embrace foreigners, so if you’re planning a trip to Central America, stop by Honduras. You won’t regret it.
The home of humanity.
Fossil and genetic evidence show our ancestors developed 350,000 to 260,000 years ago in this region, a mere bat of the eye on a geographic scale. Think about where we’ve gone since then. The lands we’ve cultivated, mountains we’ve climbed, and technologies we’ve created. We’ve all come so far.
And yet we all started at the same place: Sub-Sahara Africa.
Not a bad beginning.
This massive region spans almost all of Africa and contains an endless wealth of enduring traditions and breathtaking natural wonders. If you’ve never gone to Sub-Sahara Africa, prepare to fall in love.
It’ll be a romance you’ll never forget.
Hills, hills, and more hills. Rwanda is known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills” for a reason. They just seem endless.
Tucked away amongst these hills is everything needed for the entire African experience.
There is Kigali, the clean capital with its sobering genocide memorial. The mighty mountain gorillas in the north (Rwanda is one of the last countries these gentle giants live in the wild.) Lake Kivu, where you’ll find some of Africa’s finest beaches and the most glorious sunsets imaginable.
The dark days of the Rwandan genocide happened a generation ago, and the Rwandan people are ready for peace and reconciliation. Fortunately, the nation is well on its way to healing the horrible wounds of the past.
Stay for a day, stay for a month. Get a tan at Lake Kivu, or nestle next to the mountain gorillas. It doesn’t matter how long you’re in Rwanda or what you do there.
You’ll always be welcome in this small African nation.
Two things dominate Oceania: Australia and the ocean.
The Land Down Under dominates in population, land size, and economy, while the Pacific Ocean makes up almost all the rest of the region.
Most of the countries here are islands barely noticeable on maps.
Each of these beautiful little destinations is a tropical paradise filled with locals who abide by a culture of hospitality and respect for the land.
You’ve probably heard of New Zealand, Fiji, Papa New Guinea, and Samoa—but that’s a sliver of the countries scattered around Oceania.
Remote is an excellent word to describe most countries here, but some are especially difficult to get to.
Getting here isn’t easy.
In Oceania, where everything is far, the Pitcairn Islands take the cake as the most challenging islands to get to.
The typical way looks like this: Take the flight running once a week from Papeete, Tahiti, to the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. Once there, jump on one of the boats that infrequently voyage to the Pitcairn Islands. Spend thirty-two hours at sea. And finally, arrive.
The journey is no walk in the park but well worth it.
Four islands comprise this British Overseas Territory and are roughly 5 square kilometres combined. Despite its microscopic mass, the islands are filled with gorgeous scenery ranging from tropical hillsides brimming with birds to steep cliffs with ocean waves lapping at the base.
Marks from humanity are out there too. Catch sight of the HMS Bounty wreck. The story behind this ship contains mutiny, ocean survival, revenge, and a Lord of the Flies scenario. Fascinating is an understatement. Seeing the wreckage of this ship still on the shores of the Pitcairn Islands, even after almost two hundred and fifty years, is a memory you’ll never forget.
Lovely hikes. Enthralling oceanic history. Gorgeous views of the bright, blue Pacific. The place to get all this and more is the Pitcairn Islands.
Where do you even begin?
The sheer scope of South America boggles the mind.
Knowing where to go is half the battle of travelling here.
Should you go to the Iguazú Falls in Brazil? Trek the great, green expanse of the Amazon? Journey up to Machu Picchu? How about flying over the geoglyphic art of the Atacama Desert in Chile?
No matter what you choose in South America, a dazzling experience awaits.
Guyana is essentially one giant rainforest.
The Amazon covers most of the country’s territory. Hidden within the foliage is a lively mix of people and places you have to meet and experience.
Ecotourism is booming. With sights such as Kaieteur Falls, it’s no surprise why. This cascading giant is one of the world’s largest waterfalls, surrounded by untouched rainforests. Few tourists frequent this location, making it a must-see item on any nature lover’s bucket list.
While in the jungle, you will probably see several of the 1,168 animals, 814 birds, and 2,700 plants in Guyana. As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Guyana is a sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds.
If you’re looking to mingle with the locals, Guyana’s capital Georgetown makes it all too easy for you to stroll through its colonial-era streets and stop at one of its fine restaurants. The vibe here is Caribbean: laid back, fun, and welcoming.
Many people glance over it, but if you want a fusion of Caribbean culture and Amazonian nature, then Guyana, “The Land of Many Waters”, is your ideal destination.
Lupine Travel runs tours to all these countries and many more. We do tours to over 35 different countries. Our mission is to support the local economy, protect the environment, and give you an unforgettable adventure.
Questions about any of these destinations?