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Unexplored Travel Destinations For Backpackers

Have you ever felt like you’ve seen it all when it comes to travel destinations? Are you tired of the same old tourist traps and crowded cities? Well, it’s time to pack your backpack and head out to some of the world’s most unexplored travel destinations. From hidden gems in Asia to off-the-beaten-path destinations in South America, there are endless possibilities for adventurous backpackers ready to explore the unknown. So grab your map, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable journey to some of the world’s best-kept secrets.

1. Lesotho

Lesotho, known as the Kingdom of the Sky, is one of the smallest and poorest countries in the world, surrounded by South Africa. However, it is a safe and unique destination for backpackers seeking adventure. The country is located at over 1000m above sea level, making it a perfect destination for trekking and hiking. Backpackers can visit villages or admire cave paintings from prehistorical artists known as Bushmans. Lesotho is also home to the famous Sani Pass, an exhilarating drive that takes travelers across the Drakensberg Mountains into South Africa. The pass is a must-see destination as the road is incredibly steep and rocky. In Lesotho, backpackers can expect affordable accommodation and food, with the average cost of a hostel being around $15. The country is remote and unspoiled and perfect for travelers seeking a unique adventure that is off-the-beaten-path. [1][2]

2. South India

South is a treasure trove of unexplored destinations for backpackers. From the serene corners of the Western Ghats to the dreamy Malabar beaches, the region has something for every traveler seeking an offbeat getaway. One such unexplored destination is the quaint village of Vattavada, located on the eastern coast of the Western Ghats. Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, hidden amidst the surreal Western Ghats, is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts. The majestic Athirapilly waterfall at the Sholayar Forest Range is a serene sight to behold. Araku Valley, nestled in the magnificent mountains of Galikonda, Raktakonda, and Chitamogondi, is a hidden vacation spot for nature and wildlife lovers. Devbagh Island offers thrilling beachside activities, while Nagarhole National Park is a must-visit for photography enthusiasts. Badami Caves, a reminiscent of the great Chalukya architecture, provides a glimpse into the 6th-century Chalukya dynasty. Pollachi, with its perfect adventure activities, and Tellicherry, with innumerable tourist spots, are also worth a visit. [3][4]

a.West Coast

The Coast of South India is a backpacker’s dream come true. With its rugged coastline, verdant hills and pristine beaches, it offers a plethora of unexplored travel destinations waiting to be discovered. From the beach town of Gokarna, which is perfect for those seeking a peaceful holiday by the sea, to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi, which is a treasure trove of both cultural and natural wonders, the West Coast has something for everyone. Backpackers can also explore the quaint village of Kumarakom, which is tucked away in the backwaters of Kerala and is home to a plethora of birdlife. And for those looking for an adrenaline rush, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, rock climbing and camping amidst the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats. With so much to see and experience, the West Coast of South India is truly a gem waiting to be uncovered by adventurous backpackers. [5][6]

b.East Coast

The East Coast of South India is a treasure trove of unexplored destinations for backpackers. Varkala, a small coastal town in Kerala, offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere with stunning views of the Arabian Sea. The town has retained its traditional charm and is home to ancient temples and historic forts. Another hidden gem is Yercaud, located in the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu. It is a peaceful hill station with lush green forests, coffee plantations, and scenic waterfalls, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Pondicherry, a former French colony, is a unique blend of French and Tamil cultures. The town boasts of elegant colonial buildings, quaint cafes, and serene beaches. For those seeking adventure, Rameshwaram, a pilgrimage town in Tamil Nadu, offers water sports like snorkeling and kitesurfing. With relatively fewer tourists, the East Coast of South India is an ideal destination for backpackers looking for offbeat travel experiences. [7][8]

3. Albania

Albania, located in southeastern Europe and known as the “Land of Eagles,” is a hidden gem for backpackers seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures. The country boasts an array of natural landscapes, including untouched coastlines, imposing mountains, and hidden valleys rich in flora and fauna. Albania’s cities are brimming with history and culture, with ancient ruins and Ottoman-era architecture offering glimpses into the country’s past. Backpackers can explore the vibrant capital city of Tirana, lined with colorful buildings and lively cafes, or venture to the historic city of Berat, known as the “City of a Thousand Windows” for its well-preserved Ottoman-era houses. For beach lovers, the Albanian Riviera presents stunning seaside villages and hidden coves, such as Dhërmi and Himarë. Additionally, Albania’s affordability and warm hospitality make it an ideal destination for budget-conscious backpackers. Explore Albania before it becomes the next mainstream destination.

4. Unspoiled Beaches and Rich Culture in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is not only a paradise for adventurous travelers but also for those who seek unspoiled beaches and rich culture. While the southwestern coast is known for its commercialization and crowded beaches, there are hidden gems for those willing to dig deeper. Goyambokka Beach on the southern coast offers a quieter alternative with crystal-clear water and scenic surroundings. Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle is a must-visit for history buffs, while the ancient palace in Polonnaruwa and Aluvihare monastery offer a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial history. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy is an active temple with a two-storey high shrine. The Ridi Vihara Silver Temple boasts some of the best-preserved Kandyan frescoes. With a little extra effort, visitors can get well and truly off the tourist trail and experience the country in all its authentic glory. [11][12]

5. Thrill-Seeking in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand is the perfect destination for thrill-seekers. It boasts of being the “Adventure Capital of the World,” and it has a variety of activities to offer. From skydiving, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, hiking, paragliding, skiing, jet boating, mountain biking, and movie tours – the list of things to do in Queenstown is endless. It is home to the world’s first commercial bungee jump, and the highest at 134m above the Nevis River. Hang gliding is also available for those who want to experience New Zealand’s beauty from above without jumping out of a plane. Boating through Milford Sound is another relaxing adventure, while hiking the Ben Lomond Track, riding the Queenstown Gondola, and trying Fergburger are also popular activities. Overall, Queenstown offers an epic experience of outdoor adventure, ranging from easy to extreme activities. It is indeed a must-see destination for those who want to broaden their horizons and indulge in thrilling activities. [13][14]

6. Himalayan Adventures in Nepal

Nepal’s Himalayan adventures are a must-visit for all backpackers seeking unique and thrilling experiences. The Everest Base Camp trek is the most popular destination for trekking enthusiasts. The hike offers majestic views of the snow-clad Everest and the Sherpa culture. For the adventurous travelers, the Three Passes trek is a great alternative. It covers Cho La, Renjo La, and Kongma La Passes and lasts around 20 days to explore the Khumbu region fully. The Gokyo Lake and Gokyo Ri trek is another fascinating trail that takes you through the sparkling holy lakes and offers breathtaking views of the Ngozumpa glacier. Apart from these trails, the Annapurna Circuit trek is an excellent way to explore Nepal’s natural beauty. This trek offers a chance to immerse in Nepalese culture while passing through quaint villages and enthralling landscapes. Nepal’s Himalayan adventures have something unique to offer to every backpacker who seeks them. [15][16]

7. Funky Backpacker Scene in Kathmandu Valley

The backpacking scene in Kathmandu Valley is known for its funky vibe and budget-friendly options. Thamel, the popular backpacker area, is the go-to destination for those looking for affordable accommodation, from hostels to guesthouses. It has many restaurants, bars, and trekking goods stores. Backpackers can also meet other travelers in Thamel’s numerous cafes and bars. Shantipur, Alobar, and Zostel are some of the popular hostels in the area, offering dorms and private rooms at low prices. The Kathmandu airport is the usual entry point for backpackers, with basic facilities such as ATMs and taxis available. Backpackers can purchase visas at the airport with their passport information and payment in US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, Euros, Japanese yen, and British pounds. SAARC country passport holders can receive a free 30-day visa on arrival. For those arriving at night, it may be best to arrange for an airport pickup from their chosen accommodation to avoid any navigation issues in Thamel’s alleyways. [17][18]

8. Bogota, Colombia: Top Backpacker Destination

Bogota, Colombia is a top destination for backpackers looking for a unique experience. The city offers a mix of vibrant culture, rich history, and modern amenities. The historic center of Bogota, La Candelaria, is a must-see for its colonial architecture, museums, and street art. The city also boasts beautiful parks, such as Simon Bolivar Park, where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of activities. Foodies will delight in the local cuisine, including arepas and ajiaco soup. The nightlife in Bogota is also thriving, with many bars and clubs catering to all tastes. In addition, there are many affordable hostels throughout the city, making it an accessible destination for budget travelers. While Colombia may still be overcoming its past reputation, the welcoming locals are eager to showcase the vibrant and dynamic city that Bogota has become. [19][20]

9. Iceland’s Natural Beauty and Northern Lights

Iceland is known for its stunning natural beauty and the mesmerizing Northern Lights that light up the dark skies above. There are plenty of popular tourist attractions but there are also hidden gems waiting to be explored. Guide books and local experts can help backpackers go off the beaten path and discover lesser-known but equally spectacular sites. The Grotta Lighthouse on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula is a popular spot to watch the sunset and dip your feet in the tiny hot pool among the rocks. Seljavallalaug Pool near renowned waterfalls is the oldest pool in Iceland and a great place to enjoy nature’s quietness. The Flatey Island, located on the Breiðafjörður Bay, is a remote and tranquil place with captivating scenery, a wildlife reserve, and beautiful hiking trails. Iceland’s natural beauty is also showcased in the magnificent Ásbyrgi canyon and the unique Víti crater. Moreover, backpackers have the chance to witness the dazzling Northern Lights, which are visible from the end of August to April. Reykjavik, with its cozy cafes and restaurants, museums, and street art, is an ideal base to explore Iceland’s natural wonders. [21][22]

10. Fun and Affordable Backpacking in Copenhagen, Denmark

Backpacking in Copenhagen can be both fun and affordable. For budget-friendly accommodation, Worldpackers offer opportunities for travelers to exchange their skills in exchange for a place to stay. Hostels such as the Generator Copenhagen also offer affordable options. Copenhagen is a bicycle-friendly city, making it easy to explore the city on two wheels. The Nyhavn harbor, with its colorful buildings and boats, is a must-see tourist spot. Christiania, known for its drug tourism, also offers hidden architectural gems and a beautiful lake. Tivoli is a great place to bring kids and experience the charm of Scandinavian amusement parks. Orduopgaard is a state-owned museum with outdoor exhibitions that are a backpacker’s idea of a good time. The Experimentarium offers interactive exhibitions for a budget-friendly price. The best restaurant in the world, Noma, also operates in Copenhagen, but dining there can come at a steep price. Overall, Copenhagen is a unique city with many affordable and fun backpacking options. [23][24]

11. Discovering Undiscovered Parts of Nicaragua and Albania

Nicaragua and Albania may not be on everyone’s travel radar but they are two undiscovered gems waiting to be explored by backpackers. Nicaragua boasts a stunning natural landscape with volcanoes, lakes, and beaches. The colonial city of Granada is a must-visit with its colorful buildings and rich history. For adventure seekers, hiking volcanoes, surfing, and exploring untouched nature reserves are just some of the activities on offer. Albania, on the other hand, is a lesser-known European destination that is slowly gaining popularity. It offers a unique blend of Ottoman, Italian, and Communist-era architecture, as well as breathtaking mountain ranges and pristine beaches. The city of Berat, also known as the “City of a Thousand Windows,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-visit for history buffs. Backpackers will also love the budget-friendly prices and the chance to explore a country that is off the beaten path. [25][26]

12. Jordan

Jordan is a remarkable country that has recently become a popular tourist destination. While many people know about the famous sites like Petra, the Dead Sea, Aqaba, and Amman, there are many other hidden gems to discover. Pella, located to the south-west of Irbid, is an important archaeological site that has evidence of 6000 years of uninterrupted habitation. Ma’in hot springs, with its therapeutic waters containing calcium, magnesium, and potassium, has been a destination for people since Roman times. The Desert Castles, dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries, are a fascinating collection of historical buildings that served a range of purposes. Of course, a visit to Petra is a must-do for any traveler to Jordan. This Nabatean city with its grand structures carved into rock is one of the most photographed sites in Jordan and a new wonder of the modern world. With friendly locals, delicious cuisine, and a range of activities, Jordan is a fantastic destination for backpackers seeking adventure. [27][28]

13. Montenegro

Montenegro is a small, beautiful country nestled in the Balkans with stunning natural landscapes ranging from sparkling Mediterranean coasts to snow-capped peaks. Though it is relatively new to the international tourism scene, Montenegro offers some amazing destinations for backpackers to explore. It is recommended to travel by land and renting a car is affordable. Buses are the most common method to get into Montenegro, with Kotor, Podgorica, and Bar being the main entry points. Montenegro uses the Euro as its currency, and the official language is Montenegrin. However, Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian are also commonly spoken languages. To make the most of one’s trip to Montenegro, it is recommended to hike to the top of Kotor Fortress, explore the charming town of Perast, take a boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks, explore Budva, and watch the sunset behind the castle of Sveti Stefani. With its beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage, a visit to Montenegro is an unforgettable experience for any backpacker. [29][30]


Q: What are some unexplored travel destinations for backpackers?

A: Some unexplored travel destinations for backpackers include off the beaten path places like Thailand, Indonesia, and national parks.

Q: Why are these destinations considered off the beaten path?

A: These destinations are considered off the beaten path because they are not as well-known or popular as other travel destinations.

Q: What is the appeal of traveling to off the beaten path destinations?

A: Traveling to off the beaten path destinations allows backpackers to experience a unique and authentic travel experience, away from the crowded tourist areas.

Q: Are these destinations safe for backpackers?

A: While safety can vary from place to place, these destinations are generally considered safe for backpackers, as long as standard travel precautions are followed.

Q: What are some recommended places to visit in Thailand?

A: Some recommended places to visit in Thailand include Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Krabi.

Q: What are some must-see destinations in Indonesia?

A: Some must-see destinations in Indonesia include Bali, Yogyakarta, Lombok, and Komodo National Park.

Q: Can I travel around South East Asia on a budget?

A: Yes, South East Asia is a popular backpacking destination and offers plenty of budget travel options.

Q: Which countries in Central America are considered off the beaten path?

A: Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador are considered off the beaten path destinations in Central America.

Q: What are some underrated destinations for backpackers?

A: Some underrated destinations for backpackers include countries like Guatemala, Laos, and Myanmar.

Q: How can I plan a backpacking trip to an off the beaten path destination?

A: To plan a backpacking trip to an off the beaten path destination, research the country, find information on transportation, accommodation, and attractions, and consider obtaining travel insurance.
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