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Lesser Known Travel Destinations

09/07/2020

Like many people, I love traveling and exploring new places! 2020 has grounded the travel plans of many, so I wanted to get lost researching some lesser known destinations that I’d love to visit. Some of these places may be more familiar to you than others.

Patagonia- Located on the southern end of South America, Patagonia is split between Chile, and Argentina, and is made up of the southern part of the Andes mountains. This is not a heavily populated area, but has attracted tourists in recent decades. Back packers, cruise ship passengers, or those looking for picturesque scenes, all find themselves visiting this part of the world.

Samoan Islands- The Samoan Islands are an archipelago group, also in the South Pacific. The islands have a population of about 250,000, and Samoan and English are the most spoken languages here. Samoans are also one of the largest Polynesian populations in the world. Some things that travelers can enjoy are the beaches, and water activities, cultural shows, museums, and lava fields. Coconut is an important part of many dishes here.

Iguazu Falls- Located on the Argentina/Brazil border, and divides the Iguazu River between upper and lower parts. Iguazu boasts of at least 275 waterfalls and islands. With 275 waterfalls, you can imagine why I’d want to go here!

Faroe Islands- Located in the north Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands are an archipelago, and is a self governing nation that is part of the kingdom of Denmark. These are some of the most remote parts of Europe, with breathtaking mountainous views. There is a population of about 52,000 people, and Faroese and Danish are spoken here. A traditional dish in this part of the world is called skerpikjøt, semi-fermented mutton meat that is wind dried, (I think I’ve gotten that right). Because of where the Faroe Islands are located, the average temperatures hover around the 40-50s F.

Seychelles- are archipelago islands, (apparently I have a thing for wanting to visit archipelago islands) located in the Indian Ocean, and is a part of Africa. Seychelles is a colorful place of beautiful beaches, and beautiful people. The islands were uninhabited until the Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Seychelles was a colony of both France, and Britain, and both countries brought enslaved Africans to the islands. As a result, many people on the islands are of mixed race heritage. Seychellois Creole, French, and English are all official languages, with Seychellois being the most widely spoken language. Fish, seafood, rice, and curry are some staple food withing Seychelles, and there are many beaches, coral reefs, and national reserves that can be explored.

Bhutan- The Kingdom of Bhutan, is located in South Asia in the Eastern Himalayas, with Tibet bordering it to the north. Tropical plains can be found in the south, and sub-alpine Himalayan mountains to the north. Dzongkha is the national language, although schools are taught in English. Rice, buckwheat, and corn are important foods here. One of the most beloved dishes here is called ema datshi, which is made with cheese, and hot chili peppers. Up until the 20th century, Bhutan had remained pretty untouched, so culture, and tradition are some of the main attractions to this nation. Deeply rooted in Buddhism, there are many structures to see, and you can even try your hand at archery, (the national sport.) Travel here however can be tricky due to certain requirements that tourists must follow to gain entry into the country. One interesting fact about Bhutan, is that it became the first country in the world to ban smoking in 2010.

Tuvalu- Tuvalu is made up of 9 small islands in the South Pacific Ocean, and is a part of the British commonwealth. The population is just over 11,000 as of 2017, and Tuvaluan, and English are spoken here. Coconut, and fish are staple food in the Tuvaluan diet. You can rent a motorbike to take a ride around the small island, check out nearby smaller islands, relax on beach, and meet locals who will gladly introduce you to their culture, and way of life. One interesting fact about Tuvalu, is that it is a sinking nation. Most attribute this to global warming, as every year it continues to sink beneath the ocean.

Nauru- Is small island nation in Micronesia, just south of the equator. It is also a member of the British commonwealth. Nauru is the world’s second smallest nation after the Vatican, with 12,704 people living there. The languages spoken here are Nauruan and English. Some tourist attractions in Nauru are fishing, scuba diving, visit lagoons and plateaus. Most of the food on Nauru is imported, but coconut, fish, and seafood are native to the island. One interesting fact about this island, is that it is surrounded by coral.

Liechtenstein– Bordered by Switzerland, and Austria, this German speaking country has a monarchy, and a population of 38,749. Liechtenstein’s national dish is “Käsknöpfle, which is dough made of eggs, water, salt, flour, and pepper. You can visit castles, museums, go hiking, or skiing while here. Pictures of Liechtenstein look like something out of a fairy tale. Fun fact: Liechtenstein is the world’s leading manufacturer for dentures.

Bolivia- A country in South America, with a population of just over 11 million people.There are plenty of gems within this country, however, I wanted to focus on two areas that intrigue me: the city of La Paz, and Salar de Uyuni.

La Paz is where the seat of the Bolivian government is, and sits 3,500 meters above sea level! It’s surrounded by mountains, and the peak travel time is during the dry winter months of May- October. November- April are the rainy summer months.This city boasts of beautiful architecture, delicious food, and cultural diversity. It is easy to get around the city using public transit, and a cable car system has recently opened in the past few years.

Salar de Uyuni is a natural wonder of Bolivia, and is the world’s largest salt flat. It is located in southwest Bolivia, and is 3,656 meters above sea level. It is known as the place where heaven meets earth, as during certain times of the year, the ground reflects the sky. The salt flats formed from several prehistoric lakes, and is a popular destination in Bolivia. Fun fact: during certain times of the year, Salar de Uyuni serves as a breeding ground for flamingos!

Now that I’ve shared some places that I’d like to visit, in the comments let me know some of the places you’d like to visit!