While there are some attractions in the world that can’t be missed, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, there are plenty of other places to see that go under the radar and are often known only by locals. The world has plenty of hidden gems that haven’t been explored and offer unspoilt majesty. Last year, the South Pacific paradise of Tuvalu was the least visited destination with just 1,000 foreign visitors – that despite playing host to some of the most vibrant wildlife in the region.
There are many destinations in the world that offer a relaxing atmosphere away from the chaos of more popular tourist traps. Who doesn’t love to have their own special spot? The Secret Traveller blog says: “You want to know that you have places, magical places, that you can go back to and be the only tourist there.” If you want to explore a few of these gems yourself, read on.
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Ciudad Perdida, Columbia
A lost city similar to Machu Picchu in Peru, this Columbian hideaway in the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta epitomises the country’s historical background. Archaic stone steps are encompassed by lush greenery, as nature and manmade beauty collide into one.
Ciudad Perdida was only discovered back in the 1970s and remains largely undiscovered by tourists, thanks to the need to embark on a very long hike to witness this beauty. A 6-day return is no easy feat, with many tourists stating first timers should avoid the journey owing to steep climbs and dangerous river crossings.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Well-preserved and naturally beautiful, Lake Aitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands is considered a must for tourists looking for an escape away from the busy noise of the city. While very little is said about Atitlan in the guidebooks, the vast sparkling waters are not something to be missed.
These very same guides will tell you that the lake is only worth visiting for a few days, but there’s a whole host of things to do here; from trying the best Guatemalan food to visiting local towns and well-hidden sights where only the locals lurk.
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During winter seasons Japanese ski resorts like Niseko, Hakuba and Nagano all become flooded with tourists. Despite the high number of holiday goers flocking to the nation, one particular resort remains popular with only the locals. Located in the far north of Honshu, Appi offers 21 trails for adrenaline junkies looking to take to the slopes.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, this is the spot for you - with very few people able to speak English. Most people here are instead local farmers looking for work during off-season. While Snow Japan claim it’s “one of the largest and well-known snowboard resorts in Japan,” the white frosty blankets of the Appi hills remain a hidden gem to the greater world.
Mexico is known for its stunning beaches and breath-taking sights, with millions of foreign tourists visiting the central American nation to experience the white sand and clear water of Cancun. Unknown to many, there’s a better Mexican beach that only a few foreign travellers ever visit.
The sleepy town of Zipolite offers a more relaxed coastal experience, especially for those daring travellers who want a more “open” approach to beach dress codes (if you catch our drift). The place is best known for hosting one of Mexico’s nude beaches and retains a hippie culture and atmosphere that fits those in search of a relaxing getaway. Whatever your choice of clothing, you will find a perfect sanctuary on the crisp sands of Zipolite.
There are many other hidden gems in the world worth unravelling, that may soon become your favourite secret travel spot. Continue to explore the world’s beauty and share your stories with us below.