Looking to reconnect with nature in an off-the-grid locale? From secluded islands to old-growth forests, there are isolated destinations around the world that are well worth the trek. Here are 12 of the most remote places on Earth that you can visit.
1. Savusavu, Fiji
Planted on the remote southern coast of Vanua Levu is Savusavu. The island is known for its outdoor experiences, including first-rate scuba diving at Jean Michel Cousteau Resort, kayaking Salt Lake in Vatudamu, and hiking to see Maroroya Falls. Travelers can reach this verdant destination by flying one hour from Fiji’s Nadi International Airport to arrive in Labasa and driving an hour and a half to Savusavu.
2. Carmen Island, Mexico
The magical Loreto Bay National Park is a biodiverse UNESCO World Heritage Site comprised of five islands. One of the five, Carmen Island, is nicknamed “white gold” because of its now-defunct salt mine. Look out for barking sea lions on outcroppings near the island as you arrive by boat charter from the mainland of Loreto. Visitors to Carmen Island can hire a local adventure outfitter that will provide overnight tents along the beach. Enjoy spectacular scenery with a kayak ride around the island, stargaze without light pollution, and hike to see stunning cliffside views.
3. Punta Islita, Costa Rica
Tucked away from the bustling towns of Costa Rica, Punta Islita is located in the province of Guanacaste and is home to one of the world’s five Blue Zones, regions where people are expected to live the longest. The destination has beautiful white-sand beaches and bays separated by volcanic rock thought to be 80 million years old. You can take nature walks with Hotel Punta Islita to see creatures like scorpions, howler monkeys, and even golden web spiders, which hold the record for creating the strongest webs. Punta Islita is a 2.5-hour drive from Liberia Airport.
4. Bartang Valley, Tajikistan
Nestled in the Pamir Mountain Range, the Bartang Valley is replete with lush, green alluvial plains, turquoise alpine lakes, and raging rivers. Get your blood pumping with adrenaline-boosting activities in the Bartang, like road-tripping through the valley and exploring the rugged scenery in all-terrain vehicles. Getting to the valley involves flying into Dushanbe and accessing the mountains in four-wheel-drive vehicles via a side road from the Pamir Highway. Activities include overnight hiking in the Jizeu Valley and trekking to the popular Sarez Lake.
5. Ko Rawi, Thailand
With rugged old-growth jungle and only a handful of hiking trails, Ko Rawi is a remote island located in Thailand’s Tarutao National Park. It’s accessible only by boat from Ko Lipe, and there aren’t any accommodations on the island. The tropical haven is ideal for travelers looking to snorkel or swim along white-sand beaches and mangrove forests.
6. Bastimentos, Panama
Accessed only by water taxi from the larger island of Colón, Bastimentos is one of nine islands that belong to the Bocas del Toro archipelago. The action-packed island allows visitors to spot seahorses sleeping on coral while diving, see and hear monkeys and sloths feasting on leaves in the tree canopies, and kayak through the mangrove trees at Cayo Crawl, a shallow channel on the tip of the island. One of the most popular reasons for visiting is to see the inch-long, endemic red frogs found all over the island, especially in the forested areas of the Red Frog Beach Resort.
7. Abia State, Nigeria
The Abia State is a bustling region in the eastern part of Nigeria and can be reached by a two-hour flight from Lagos. The local produce markets — where you can shop for goods like yams, bananas, and local greens — are among the area’s best attractions. You can also hail a keke (a Nigerian tuk tuk) to tour the Abia State and see the everyday life of the local Igbo people — keep an eye out for masquerade festivals during the holiday seasons.
8. Chiloe, Chile
Chiloé, a remote Pacific island off the coast of Chile, is known for colorful, pastel palafitos (stilt houses on the water) and beautiful countryside. The island produces large amounts of wool and salmon and is regarded as the birthplace of the country’s salmon industry. Visitors can reach the island via a 30-minute ferry ride from the mainland.
9. Longyearbyen, Norway
Located in the isolated Svalbard Archipelago, the town of Longyearbyen is known as one of the most beautiful places in Scandinavia, thanks in part to the midnight sun and northern lights that illuminate night skies throughout the year. Despite its remote Arctic location, Longyearbyen has much to offer tourists, including dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice caving, and more. You can get a direct flight to this remote city from Tromsø, Norway.
10. Saaremaa, Estonia
The tucked-away Baltic country of Estonia boasts the idyllic island of Saaremaa. The rural island has a bit of everything: You can explore quaint beaches, a lighthouse, and even a large medieval castle that towers over the town of Kuressaare. Visitors can book a stay at The Pilguse Manor House, which dates back to 1558 and is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and untouched nature. The easiest way to the island is a 30-minute ferry from the mainland harbor of Virtsu.
11. Great North Woods, New Hampshire
Packed with serene and rugged wilderness, New Hampshire’s Great North Woods lies just north of the White Mountains and just south of Quebec. Access the region on a road trip from Canada or southern New Hampshire. The Great North Woods is home to animals like moose, deer, bald eagles, and other rare birds. Activities include kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, hiking in Weeks State Park, and overnighting at cabins like the Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg, the northernmost town in New Hampshire.
12. Deception Island, Antarctica
Located on a caldera brewing with geothermal energy, Deception Island is a remote destination absent of hotels or vehicles. Accessible via cruise ships, the island is home to black-bellied storm petrels, seals, and penguins that you can spot as you explore its black-sand beaches and hot springs.\