Countries and Territories You've Never Heard of (But NEED to Visit)
Traveling to France or Thailand is always an amazing experience, but sometimes you want to go against the travel current and head to a place not swarming with tourists. Better yet, go to a place you hadn't even heard of before.
Intrigued? Check out these 10 amazing destinations most people haven't heard of and even fewer people have visited.
Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.
It's surprising how few tourists know about San Marino, given that the micronation is completely surrounded by Italy, one of the most popular destinations in the world. Most visitors are day trippers who are spending time in East Italy and decide to check one more country off their list.
But we encourage you to stay at least one night in one of the world's oldest republics. The good thing is that you'll be able to see most of the country in a short time. Make sure to go to the Three Towers of San Marino, from which you can take in great views of the mountainous area.
Book a hotel in San Marino
While the Caribbean is one of the most touristy regions in the world, there are still little-known islands that offer a slice of paradise without the plague of overtourism. St. Eustatius falls in this category.
No worries if you have no idea where to place this tiny island — most people don't even know it exists. To get here, you have to take a small plane from St. Marteen or St. Kitts. Once you land, you'll find 36 pristine dive sites (many of which have shipwrecks), hiking opportunities around a volcano and, of course, beaches beautiful beyond words.
Book a hotel in St. Eustatius
Sharing half an island with Indonesia, East Timor became an independent country in 2002. After the turmoil leading up to its sovereignty, the country had a hard time shaking off its reputation of political instability.
But people who venture to this Southeast Asian country find stunning beaches, amazing diving sites filled with coral reefs, coffee plantations, hidden waterfalls and boundless natural beauty. They also get bragging rights for going to a country whose existence many people ignore.
Book a hotel in East Timor
With around 3,000 visitors per year, Tuvalu is considered the least-visited country in the world. Of course, this only entices intrepid travelers to seek out adventure on the remote Pacific Island. While infrastructure is not as developed as in other places, this is part of what makes this such a worthy destination.
Spend your days learning about local Polynesian dances, traditions and crafts or swimming in beaches that are not yet (and hopefully will never be) overshadowed by large chain resorts. Visitors also love taking the opportunity to chase wildlife encounters, whether it be with exotic birds or marine life.
Book a hotel in Tuvalu
Bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, Djibouti receives few international visitors despite its unique geology made up of sand dunes, geothermal lakes, volcanic craters and extensive coastline.
Tourism infrastructure is almost non-existent and the country suffers from high poverty rates. Still, it is considered quite safe and visitors get to experience life as it is rather than a sanitized version of cities meant to draw in foreigners. Points of interest you shouldn't miss include Lac Assal, the Afar Desert and the Ardoukoba Volcano.
Book a hotel in Djibouti
San Andres and Providencia
Though everyone in Colombia is in love with this unique region, most people outside the country are still ignorant of its existence. Made up of three small islands off the coast of Nicaragua, San Andres and Providencia are unlike anywhere in the country. English and Patois, not Spanish, are the official languages and islanders are considered an ethnic group separate from mainland Colombians.
San Andres, the biggest island, is great for those who want a livelier experience and more infrastructure. But if you want to get away from it all, hop on a small plane or cross the Caribbean by boat as you make your way to Providencia. Here, you'll find that the air is lighter and the heat seems to melt time away. Visit caves frequented by the famed pirate Captain Morgan, dive around lively reefs or simply sway on a hammock with a beer in your hand.
Book a hotel in San Andres
This former Portuguese colony off the west coast of Africa has come far from its days under European subjugation. While woefully underrated, the island nation is drawing in more and more people with a culture that fuses African, Brazilian and Portuguese traditions.
While you'll enjoy nature to the fullest here, don't neglect going out to try the wonderful island cuisine while listening to Cape Verdean Music. Want to see several islands in one trip? Book a small cruise excursion with Variety Cruises.
Book a hotel in Cape Verde
There is no obvious explanation why Suriname and its neighbors, Guyana and French Guyana, continue to be ignored by tourists. After all, they're bordered by Brazil, one of the most popular destinations in the world.
But don't let Suriname's relative anonymity keep you from visiting. Rather, add this former Dutch colony to your bucket list, so you can enjoy its well-preserved wilderness, UNESCO-listed capital, Paramaribo, and delicious fusion food. You should also take the opportunity to visit Maroon villages, founded by enslaved African people who managed to escape.
Book a hotel in Suriname
Like Tuvalu, Vanuatu is a remote Pacific island nation that receives few visitors per year. The country can proudly boast active volcanoes, cool shipwreck diving sites, caves and rainforests. It's also famed for its blue holes, which are freshwater springs with clear blue water surrounded by the jungle.
Since it's blessed with such diverse nature, Vanuatu is a great destination for adventure travelers. If you love adrenaline, you'll have the chance to go zip-lining, sportfishing, jet boating and going off-road on a buggy.
Book a hotel in Vanuatu
The largest country on this list, Kyrgyzstan is a hidden treasure that some people know about but not many visit. This Central Asian country is famed for its mountainous landscape, which is dominated by the Tien Shan range. Ride through valleys on horseback, trek through snow-capped mountains and visit important Silk Road sites.
But the best thing to do in Kyrgyzstan might be to immerse in the country's nomadic culture by staying in a yurt and witnessing traditions like eagle hunting.
Book a hotel in Kyrgyzstan