“If there is a Heaven on Earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here!” But, if truth be told, there are a lot more of Heavens to be found on this beautiful Planet of ours. This world is full of amazing sights and stunning locations, with gorgeous beaches, mighty mountains, deeps woods, hiking trails, caves, caverns, waterfalls, deserts and inviting coastlines. Some of them are well known and some others are just hiding in the plain sight waiting to be explored. The demand to see the once that are well-known, often leaves those other little-known gems shadowed. Why limit ourselves to that handful of places that are already heavily documented and talked about, which in reality are so over-crowded and expensive that you won’t be able to enjoy it a lot?
So, let us give ourselves some off the track travel goals and look at these ten beautiful countries that deserve more travelers;
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Carribean Sea. The country comprises of the main island of Saint Vincent and the northern 2/3 of the Grenadines. Mustique is a privately owned island in the country, with its own airport and is a playground for celebrities and the uber-rich. The white-sand Macaroni Beach on the island is as delicious as its name! Canouan is another white-sand beach island, offering excellent snorkeling. Established in 1765, the St Vincent Botanical Gardens comprises of 20 acres of indigenous and exotic tropical plants and trees. The capital city of the country, Kingston which is filled with cobblestone streets, colonial buildings, and beautiful churches. Do you want to lose yourself for a weekend? The best place to do that is a privately owned secluded island Petite St Vincent, where there are no phones or TVs. The perfect weekend getaway plan. In the southern Grenadines, the Tobago Cays island is an uninhabited island, protected by reefs, calm waters, and coral gardens. The charming Bequia is popular for Yachting and whale-watching. Another popular and interesting place is the Owia Salt pool. It is constantly rejuvenated as waves come over the volcanic boulder. It has been traditionally used for therapeutic purposes and is formed by a volcanic eruption.
An overseas territory of the British Empire, Anguilla is a warm and welcoming island tucked away in the northern Carribean. It is quite close to the equator and thus has a warm, dry climate. It is a unique blend of high style and low-key elegance, having embracing white beaches, breathtaking turquoise seas, scenic bays, gentle breezes and palm trees. The beaches in Anguilla are known to be some of the most exotic and beautiful beaches in the world. Apart from beaches, there are some natural landmarks in the country such as Fountain Cavern National park and Big spring National park. These are archeological sites believed to be places of worship for Amerindian’s hundreds of years ago. There are no strips of electronic or jewelry shops, no big shopping malls, not even a single restaurant chain on the island, which probably is the reason for a lack of tourism. Nonetheless, Anguilla is a beautiful country ideal for travelers who are looking for a laid back, quiet and peaceful holiday.
Sao Tome and Principe
The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, in close proximity to the equator, west of Gabon. It is the second smallest country in Africa. Bom Bom island in this country is a popular tourist resort and ideal for fishing and viewing beautiful back whales and dolphins. Sailing boats and speed boat are available to explore the island. Lagoa Azul or Blue Lagoon is another great snorkeling location with an added advantage of bird watching. The clear water of the lagoon is filled with fish species, squids, and green sea turtle. The island of Principe is another great place to be. It is filled volcanic mountains and rainforests. The waterfall of Casta Sao Nicolau is a sight to behold. The most popular place on the island though is the Obo National Park that covers the 35% of the total island. It has everything from savannahs and dense rainforests to waterfalls and black sandy beach. It also flaunts itself as the home of around 700 species of Flora and Fauna. Since its independence from Portugal in 1975, it has been one of the most stable and democratic parts of Africa. But, the sheer ignorance of the traveler community is what has kept this beautiful country a hidden, unspoiled treasure of the world.
A small country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, Georgia is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. The high, beautiful and amazing mountains in the country are a sight for sore eyes. It is an ideal place for hiking, trekking, and exploring nature’s beauty at a leisurely pace. It is truly a beautiful country shaped by rugged mountains, rivers, meadows, valleys, parks, and churches. Visiting the capital Tbilisi, you can see witness little markets, a few soviet leftovers and a touch of modern architecture. Taking a stroll in the maze-like alleys and streets is a refreshing experience. Also, the TV tower of the city features a cool light shows at evening. Another reason to visit the country is friendly locals and the unique cuisine, having a taste of both European and Middle-eastern influence. The Black Sea coast at Batumi is a wonderful combination of mountains and sea mingling with each other.
The largest city in Central America, Nicaragua is a secret traveling treasure of the world.Almost 1/5th of the country’s landmass is covered with volcanoes, rainforests, valleys, beaches and islands, ready to be explored. Granada is a preferred spot for tourists, the city’s central park having a hoard of vendors selling local cuisine, arts and craft are a major attraction. A hit with surfers, San Juan del Sur is the most popular beach of the country. Trekking in the Rio San Juan, the largest rainforest north of the Amazon, is a magnet for nature loving tourists. Especially mindblowing is the ‘volcano boarding’ on the still active Cerro Negro volcano. Another major tourist spot is Apoyo Lagoon. Tourist comes here for snorkeling, fishing, hiking and surfing. The only reason why this beautiful country is deprived of the number of tourists it deserves is because of the drug trading that prevails in this part of central America.
Dominica is a sovereign island country, located in the Carribean Sea. Dominica has been nicknamed the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” for its unspoiled natural beauty. The Island of Dominica is a divers dream and a hikers paradise. Its volcanic peak, sparkling waterfalls and rainforest canopies are what makes the country beautiful. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests, lakes, gorges, rivers and is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species. The most famous tourist spot of the country is The Emerald pool. It is a waterfall, named so because of the lush green rainforest that surrounds it. The country has a spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system. Another popular tourist spot is Dominica’s Boiling Lake in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Getting ready to explore this unspoiled natural beauty!
Timor-Leste or East Timor is a Sovereign state comprising of the island of Timor, Atauro, Jaco and Oecusse. Atauro island is a favorite spot of travelers for snorkeling, diving and roaming around pure green wonder. The uninhabited island of Jaco is also a good place to enjoy sandy beaches, diving, and swimming. At about 3000m above sea level, Mount Ramelau offers an unforgettable experience of climbing and hiking. Another beautiful place to cover in the country is the Nino Konis Santana National Park. It has a beautiful biodiversity of coral and reef fish. Its tourism industry is still in infancy due to clashes between security services and communities challenging the Government. It is now safe to travel for foreign nationals although standard precautions must be adhered to.
Nestled between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is the 6th smallest country in the world. This tiniest and one of the richest country, with snow covered mountains, forest-covered hillsides, alpine meadows and iron-willed monarch, is a pure fairytale. It is also renowned for being the safest country where most of the time, locals don’t even need to lock their doors! It is popular for excellent hiking trails, skiing, and its impressive museums and churches. Famous as the country’s only winter resort, Malbun is a haven for winter sports enthusiastic. Its ski lifts and slopes, and groomed nordic hiking trails are best. It is home to five castles, three of which are in ruins, and the other two Schloss Vaduz and Burg Gutenberg are a good place to be in touch with history and architecture. The country is popular as a hiking paradise, with mountain peaks, wooded slopes, and attractive valleys. Several established trails crisscross the country. The best among those is the Historical Eschnerberg Trail, with spectacular views of the Rhine mountain.
Niue is a small island northeast of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean. It is one of the world’s largest coral islands. It is peppered with coral limestone rocks, caves, hidden cavern and chasm, buried grottoes and natural fissures that are yet to be discovered. Also, a number of limestone caves are found close to the caves. Opaahi Landing and Utuko Beach are two of the best and most popular beaches in the country. Some other popular destinations are Limu Pools, Matapa Chasm, Talava Arches, Togo Chasm, and Avaiki Cave. Also, it was declared the first country to offer a free wireless internet. Isn’t that a reason enough to visit this heaven on Earth?
Kiribati is an island in Central Pacific in Micronesia, curving above and below the equator. It comprises of 33 atolls and reef islands, with white sandy beaches and crystal clear lagoons. Many of its islands are uninhabited, offering a remote setting for fishing, diving, and bird-watching. It is world’s largest coral atoll and a dream destination for divers. When in Kiribati visit the Line Island, which is the largest chain of islands in the country. The best among these is the Christmas island, known for its tropical beaches, amazing lagoons and salt flats. It also has a wildlife sanctuary filled with pools, animals and huge colonies of birds. People also visit the Pheonix Island to spy on the extensive bird population. The island also comprises of blue lagoons and masses of corals. The markei Island in the country is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It has a central lagoon that has numerous deep basins and blue waters. Life in the country is slow and as peaceful as the blue water that surrounds it.
So, are you ready to walk on the road less traveled?