Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel: 17 Splendid Least Visited Countries to Discover
Updated On: June 16, 2023
Popular destinations have their own allure that captures the attention of every travel bug and wanderlust. Yet, there has always been some enigmatic charm surrounding the less-travelled paths. Our beautiful world is full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten destinations that intrigue every traveller with a penchant for a bit of adventure.
But then there are really off-the-beaten paths that only a select handful of visitors, a mere thousand, venture to each year. Numerous countries are tucked away in secluded corners, with only too many visitors that step foot into them. In fact, this only adds more appeal to these least visited countries, compelling many to ditch the bustling touristic crowds and yearn for different trails to take.
If you happen to fall among those few who would love to explore oases of calm and tranquillity, you have come to the right place! The following list features the world’s least visited countries that you should take the initiative to unravel their raw beauty. Remember, with today’s social media platforms, these untouched paradises can go viral in a glimpse, so now is the time to explore these pristine areas.
Despite having a popular series of animated films under the country’s name, Madagascar remains among the world’s least visited countries. The country is nestled near the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Its poor infrastructure, underdeveloped roads, and expensive flights have given it a tainted reputation.
However, this country is a natural paradise for nature lovers, as it offers vast national parks with a myriad of wildlife, unique plants, and magnificent outdoor activities. We still haven’t even started with its breathtaking white sand beaches and lush rainforests. Little do people know that its local Malagasy cuisine is one of the world’s most underrated.
Brunei is one of the not-so-popular small countries on Borneo Island, near Indonesia and Malaysia; no wonder it’s one of the least visited countries. It has gained itself the reputation of being a boring country with nothing much to see. Yet, you’ll genuinely see its authenticity once you give it the chance it deserves.
One interesting fact about Brunei is that it’s almost the last country with a Sultanate rule, leaving traces of rich history. This makes it a land full of exquisite palaces that seem straight out of a Disney movie. It’s also home to fantastic wildlife, thanks to its abundant rainforests, bustling nightlife, numerous huge mosques, and succulent traditional dishes.
Often abbreviated to Micronesia, the Federated States of Micronesia is a small country in Oceania, spanning the western Pacific Ocean. Its seclusion is one of the reasons it became among the least visited countries. Although it may be a little challenging to reach, what awaits you in that hidden country is extremely rewarding.
The country is made up of over 600 islands, yes, you read that right, yet its total landmass is deemed relatively small. It’s a literal heavenly slice of Earth, offering pristine azure waters, colourful coral reefs, and numerous beautiful aqua life. Being an island, it provides the best snorkelling and diving spots too. If you’re a seafood lover, Micronesia cuisine will appeal to your taste buds, leaving them screaming for joy.
South America embraces numerous countries with splendid beauty, yet not all of them are well-known to the world. Guyana is among South America’s best-kept secrets and one of the world’s least visited countries due to its political instability that compelled less-than-praising headlines. Despite the little mishap, Guyana is still one of the world’s most splendid countries that you would love to explore yourself.
The country is home to a swarming nightlife that will keep you occupied with no room for boredom. Notwithstanding being among the least visited countries, it’s still a sacred spot with a Caribbean spirit. Let’s not forget that it embraces parts of the magnificent Amazon rainforest, which is home to breathtaking waterfalls, ample savannahs, and beautiful wildlife. The best part is the Guyanese food, which features diverse taking elements from many other cuisines around the world.
Despite being quite mesmerising, Southern Asia embraces more than a few countries that didn’t make big headlines, and Bhutan is one of them. This small country is landlocked, lying somewhere between the Asian giants India and China. It has a Himalayan nation and features a Buddhist culture. The main reason this hidden gem became among the least visited countries is being quite expensive to tourists.
If you can afford its daily tariff, you’d be fortunate enough to explore its off-the-beaten paths and take its forgotten trails. The country promises rewarding sceneries, being embraced by the beautiful Himalayas that add a stunning backdrop. It’s also home to several gorges and vast landscapes, making it a cradle for hiking activities you can take while exploring the monasteries scattered around every corner.
Tuvalu is the world’s least visited country ever, with a mere couple of thousands of visitors that venture into its lands annually. The country is nothing but a smudge in the South Pacific, tucked between Hawaii and Australia. It comprises nine islands with a population of around 12,000 inhabitants, with spacious atolls without signs of intelligent life.
Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu’s location is one of the main elements that put it on the list of the world’s least visited countries, not to mention its lacking the infrastructure of an actual city. It’s purely a flat island with amazing marine life to explore, pretty white-sand beaches, and beautiful palm trees embellishing the island.
Bermuda is a beautiful escapade nestled in the western North Atlantic Ocean, spanning along the Sargasso Sea like small yet lavish dots. The country is quite small, featuring a luxurious and colourful string of structures. Its natural elements are pretty colourful too, where it’s home to appealing coral reefs, making it one of the world’s best diving spots. Despite all of these appealing touristic elements, it remains one of the world’s least visited countries.
Some do blame its small landmass for its low tourism number, but it’s home to magnificent museums and art galleries to explore, breathtaking pink-sand beaches, and enthralling outdoor activities. Well, we do believe that its low tourism number has something to do with the famously mysterious Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, which has always been associated with perplexing myths and legends about disappearing.
8. The Solomon Islands
When the word ‘islands’ is uttered, pictures of crystal clear waters hugging sandy beaches pop into one’s mind. The Solomon Islands fits this typical description of an impressive small island country in the South Pacific. It’s home to untouched natural beauty and the remnants of an indigenous culture. Being quite isolated makes the Solomon Islands relatively less accessible, which resulted in it being among the least visited countries.
The lush greenery embellishing the sandy beaches isn’t the only appealing factor of the islands. It also takes part in the history of World War II, where several shipwrecks sunken in the bottoms of the beaches remain, offering a glimpse of a bygone era. The local food is authentic too, mostly fresh out of the sea, presenting the most colourful and flavourful dishes.
9. Sierra Leone
Situated in West Africa right on the Atlantic Ocean, Sierra Leone is among Africa’s least known and the world’s least visited countries. Its unsettled history, plagued with diseases, mainly Ebola and civil war, had made tourists stir clear from the trouble. Although the country has now recovered and flourished, it remains among the least visited countries in the world.
There are numerous reasons to visit Sierra Leone and allow yourself to take in its unique raw beauty. For a starter, it’s been announced to be Ebola-free and safe to travel to now. It’s also home to a plethora of tourist attractions, including blissful beaches, historical destinations, and deep food culture. If you would love to embark on a culinary journey in Sierra Leone, we suggest you don’t miss the famous Sweet Salone dish.
Suriname is a small yet beautiful country in South America, falling among the least visited countries list. For many years, Suriname has been overlooked by the tourism masses, causing travel bugs to miss some of the world’s unprecedented beauty. The country is part of the Caribbean countries, but given its tiny landmass, it doesn’t offer as much. Don’t let that fact halt your trip, for the least likely destinations offer the best and most authentic experiences.
Suriname is an ideal destination for those lingering for an escapade from the touristic crowds. It offers a rare opportunity where you can enjoy an authentic tropical Caribbean vibe at a more relaxing and slowed-down pace. There’s a plethora of unmissable destinations in this so-called least visited country, including lush vegetation, mesmerising waterfalls, wealthy wildlife, and diverse architectural pieces. It’s also home to a unique culture, authentic local dishes, and entertaining festivities.
11. The Cook Islands
It seems that the South Pacific Ocean region is home to a plethora of hidden countries that deserve the hype that other countries get. The Cook Islands is one of those countries; it’s made up of 15 islands and lies roughly between New Zealand and Hawaii. It’s one of the world’s spots that are on the front line of extreme climate change, with droughts on the rise and severe tidal changes.
While these elements may have contributed to its being one of the least visited countries, the reasons to visit definitely outweigh. With the low touristic crowds, the tropical oasis has kept its beaches unspoiled for years, featuring beautiful coconut trees, white sand, and blue lagoons. Marine life is also thriving around here, giving you the best snorkelling experience ever.
As you explore the unprecedented spectacle of this country, you’ll find a lot more than its natural beauty to immerse yourself in. For starters, you’ll encounter the rich Polynesian culture and its unique traditions, which are often overlooked and rarely spoken of. It’s a cultural gem that deserves to come into the spotlight and be highly appreciated.
12. Central African Republic
Have you ever heard of the Central African Republic country? Well, if you answered yes, then you’re definitely among the very few who know about it; no wonder it’s one of the world’s least visited countries. It’s an African landlocked country bordered by Cameroon, Chad, and Congo right in the heart of Africa. Its reputation has always been tainted by having a high crime record.
The country has been in a continuously unstable political state and is one of the poorest populations though being rich in diamonds, oil, and gold. While travellers often overlook poor countries, many of them offer the best travel experiences, and the Central African Republic is no exception. It possesses exotic nature, abundant wildlife, and splendid vast landscapes that you should visit at least once.
Mozambique is another African country in East Africa that experiences a low number of tourists every year. It sits right across Africa’s largest island, Madagascar, sharing a maritime border. Although the destructive civil war ended 25 years ago or so, it remains among the least visited countries. Its turbulent history seems to be still haunting the country.
Mozambique merits a chance for its tourism to thrive, especially since it possesses all the success factors for this to come to pass. When it comes to natural beauty, Mozambique doesn’t disappoint. It’s home to a thousands upon thousands of kilometres long coastline, spanning along the Indian Ocean. Maybe that’s your chance to make use of its quietness and enjoy its dreamy, unspoilt charm.
14. French Polynesia
Located in the south-central Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France that seems to have existed in uncharted waters. The country possesses a captivating charm and embraces over 100 islands. Despite being one of the world’s least visited countries, it’s one of those sacred spots that are sure to leave a lasting impression.
French Polynesia is a splendid place where you can immerse yourself in its breathtaking beauty, thanks to its stunning beaches, lush green forests, and crystal clear waters that brim with fascinating marine life. The local culture will leave you in utter joy, and the locals’ hospitality will impress you.
Liberia is a tiny country that quietly sits on the coast of West Africa. Like many African countries in this particular region, Liberia is among the least visited countries. For many years, this country has been unfairly overlooked by travellers and never made the list of desirable destinations, given its troubled history with civil war and Ebola outbreaks.
Little do people know that travelling to the least visited countries can grant you the journey of a lifetime. Liberia is one of those spots that will offer an authentic side of Africa that you’ll barely find in other well-known destinations. There are so many hidden gems to discover around Liberia, including its diverse wildlife, vibrant culture, and unmissable white sand beaches.
16. New Caledonia
The South Pacific region embraces a plethora of under-the-radar countries, and, more often than not, they’re always brimming with exquisite beauty. New Caledonia is another hidden gem begging to be explored. Despite being packed with a rich cultural heritage and unmissable destinations, it remains one of the world’s least visited countries.
New Caledonia is home to an enchanting island paradise with pristine beaches and abundant coral reefs that radiate with colours. It also embraces an incredible cultural diversity, where it’s home to more than a few Kanak tribes and also features traditional dishes inspired by French cuisine. All of those wondrous appeals, and we still haven’t even begun with its fascinating history that needs to be unravelled.
This list may be full of hidden countries in West Africa and South Pacific Ocean regions, but don’t let that fool you into believing that Europe has already revealed all of its treasures. There’s this little European country tucked away between Austria and Switzerland that goes by the name Liechtenstein.
Its name clearly clarifies that it’s a German-speaking country, but it still conceals the allure that deserves to shine brighter. Liechtenstein is home to several charming towns that you would love to explore. It also features a beautiful mountain scenery that embellishes its lands. Although it’s deemed a relatively small country, it offers more than you can imagine.
If you’ve already explored the typical tourist destinations in different parts of the world, then it’s time to take the less-travelled road and explore one or two of these least visited countries. There’s so much beauty waiting for you to unravel and rare cultures begging for you to uncover. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey of a lifetime!