Extreme Travel

Places few travelers have ever seen

When you want to feel more like an explorer than a tourist, consider traveling to one of these 13 remote places around the world—lost cities, distant islands, even the "Middle of Nowhere" China. Some are endangered destinations, so tread carefully.

  • 1. Tikchik Narrows Lodge, Wood-Tikchik State Park, Alaska

    Tikchik Narrows Lodge, Wood-Tikchik State Park, Alaska

    Courtesy Tikchik Narrows

    "This small fishing lodge, located on the tip of a peninsula in Wood-Tikchik State Park, is more than 300 miles from the nearest connecting roads system—which means it's only accessible by seaplane. Four full-time pilots, employed by the lodge, fly guests from Dillingham (a small city in southwestern Alaska) to the property, where freshwater fishing and plenty of Pacific Northwest cuisine (reindeer sausage, smoked salmon, moose tenders) await."—Claire Brown

  • 2. The Principality of Sealand

    The Principality of Sealand

    Associated Press

    "It might not look like much, but that lone structure 7 miles off the coast of Suffolk is the Principality of Sealand, the brainchild of an eccentric pirate radio broadcaster. The isolated nation in the North Sea boasts a flag, anthem, and even a soccer team. (Since Sealand isn't recognized by any other nation, it's unclear who the soccer team plays.) Sealand currently has a population of one: a caretaker who lives on the platform. The nation’s main source of income continues to be the online sales of mugs, T-shirts, and even peerages—you and that special someone can become Count and Countess of Sealand for just $320!"—Ken Jennings

  • 3. Ciudad Perdida (Lost City), Colombia

    Ciudad Perdida (Lost City), Colombia

    brianlatino / Alamy

    "The endangered city is hidden in the middle of the Colombian jungle, a few days' hike from Santa Marta, the country's oldest colonial town. Ancient jungle ruins include more than 200 structures (staircases, wide stone platforms) built by the Tairona people from the 8th to the 14th centuries. In order to preserve the archeological treasures, the Global Heritage Fund is helping locals develop environmental education programs, and is working to lessen tourism's impact on the area. Meanwhile, Wiwa Tour, the only agency in Santa Marta that's owned by indigenous peoples, offers four- to six-day treks through the area."—Dorinda Elliott

  • 4. The Minority Villages of Guizhou, China

    The Minority Villages of Guizhou, China

    iStock

    "Guizhou, terraced with lush rice paddies and dotted with elaborate wooden structures and stupas, is China's poorest province. But modernization is coming, and villages that have maintained ancient traditions are threatened by increasing industrial activity. Drive three hours from Guiyang City until you reach Dali, a charming village. As you pass through rolling mountains, stop along the way and buy crafts (such as hand-made paper) made by the Dong, Buyi, and Miao people. The Indigo Lodgein nearby Zhaoxing, a beautiful Dong village, offers simple accommodations in a traditional setting."—Dorinda Elliott

  • 5. Mirador, Guatemala

    Mirador, Guatemala

    age fotostock Spain, S.L. / Alamy

    "You've heard of Peru's Machu Picchu—this is Guatemala's answer, home to the earliest Preclassic Maya archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. It also boasts one of the world's largest pyramids, a majestic edifice entangled by lush jungle. Trekking to the site is half the fun: You can book the two-day sojourn (on foot or by mule) from the Ni'tun Private Reserve, on the shores of Lake Petén Itzá in nearby Flores."—Dorinda Elliott

  • 6. Rifugio Torre Di Pisa, Dolomites, Italy

    Rifugio Torre Di Pisa, Dolomites, Italy

    iStock

    "You'll have to hoof it to Rifugio Torre di Pisa, a hostel nestled in the Italian Dolomites (and named for a nearby peak said to resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa). Plan accordingly for the two- to three-hour hike: The property is open June through October only, and the barebones accommodations consist of 20 bunk beds split between two dormitories, and one shared bathroom."—Claire Brown

    Discover more of these locations around the world that few people have ever seen.

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