By Jess Goulart
Photo courtesy of Per Salomonsson.
While apps like Party with a Local, Skout, and TravBuddy will help you connect with fellow travelers and locals alike, we know that sometimes when you want to “get away from it all,” that includes people.
Of course it’s nice to travel to bustling cities, experience different cultures, and see how locals live in foreign lands. However, there are so many meditative benefits to skipping out on civilization and just connecting with the surroundings, whether it’s hiking through the desert or visiting a secluded island that has less than 100 inhabitants.
Here are BTR’s top six most anti-social vacation destinations. Book some R&R at any of them, and we guarantee you’ll see nary a soul.
Torres Del Paine National Park
Photo courtesy of Jan Reurink.
Torres Del Paine National Park in southern Chile is 935 square miles of breathtaking mountains, lakes, and glaciers. No hiking in single file lines here. On average, it attracts only about 150,000 visitors per year, as compared to Yosemite’s 3.8 million. In the center of the park you’ll find Explora Patagonia, a breathtaking 49-room hotel from Explora, a company specializing in the world’s hardest to reach places. Any vacation spot from them is guaranteed to be secluded (albeit pricey).
Photo courtesy of Gunther Wegner.
In Namibia, a country in southern Africa that stretches along the Atlantic Ocean, you can journey solo to the Sossusvlei Desert. Most of the terrain is austere, but you can still find a few places to lay your weary head under a thick canopy of desert stars. &Beyond, for example, offers rooms at their Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, the English translation of its namesake being “Nobody’s Ever Here” (not really, it is a geographical reference that means salt and clay pan).
Photo courtesy of Johan Siegers.
You’ve probably seen photos of Ittoqqortoormiit. It’s the tiny village with brightly colored wooden houses picturesquely poised on the barren, windswept coast of Eastern Greenland. Accessible only via helicopter or ship (after a jet and two charter planes), activities include sea kayaking, dog sledding, and nighttime viewings of the Northern Lights. Don’t count on making lots of local friends there; the entire population is around 500.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
It’s called Palmerston, or, “The Island at The End of the Earth.” Need we say more? Located in the southern Pacific Ocean near absolutely nothing at all, most of the island’s 62 inhabitants descended from one settler and are, apparently, incredibly welcoming to the handful of tourists they see in a year.
Photo courtesy of DIBP images.
Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean territory of Australia, is just remote enough (flights from Perth only four times a week) that there is really no one there, but popular enough that guided extreme sports adventures abound for those willing to make the trek. Plus, around this time of year, Christmas Island is the place to go to witness the famous red crab migration!
Photo courtesy of Phillip Capper.
Sark Island, of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, is accessible only by ferry and, even better, has a strict no vehicle policy. How do people get around? Why, horse-drawn carriages of course!
Sark is a designated Dark Sky Community, meaning there are no artificial lights allowed so that astronomers can conduct research free of light pollution. The darkness also makes for some spectacular views.
You’ll note Antarctica is not on this list, and here’s why; the world’s coldest continent is actually a vacation hot spot. Because cruises are really only offered in the summer months, if you go from November to March, expect to board a crowded ship.
Unabomber-worthy solitude not your jam? Tune into BTR’s Twenty-Something Traveler for top apps and tips to help you meet people while on the road!