20 of the Most Remote Places on Earth
Want to really get away? These incredibly isolated, serene, and unspoiled locations will give you what you're craving.
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Ever feel like leaving your life behind and going off to the most remote region of the world where no one knows your name? If you're looking for solitude, these places have it. Check out these remote places from around the world below, and if you're looking for silence, this is the quietest place on earth.
Easter Island, Chile
Known for it's more than one thousand Moai statues, Easter Island may be famous, but it's remote—more than 2,000 miles away from modern civilization. The statues were sculpted by the Rapa Nui people from volcanic rock between 1250 and 1500 AD. The island's three peaks, Terevaka, Poike, and Rano Kau, are comprised of the same ancient lava and create a visually stunning landscape. Flights to and from Easter Island are limited, as are conveniences like air conditioning—but anyone who's been will tell you it's worth the trip. Check out these other extreme travel adventures around the world.
This is one of the northernmost decent-sized towns on earth. In 1950, Longyearbyen passed a law that prohibited burial in this frigid region, due to the fact that the frozen ground would mummify corpses indefinitely. There's a running joke that it's illegal to die in Longyearbyen; there also happens to be a law requiring locals to carry a gun for protection against polar bears. On the archipelago of Svalbard, this unique town's 2,100 residents hail from a variety of countries. Popular outdoor activities include kayaking, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and biking. This is the one word that makes Norwegians the happiest people in the world.
Devon Island, Canada
You know a place is desolate when NASA designates it for interstellar research. The space program has tested robots, spacesuits, and vehicles here in preparation for a mission to Mars. Part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, Devon is the second largest in the group and is situated within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, closer to Greenland than the heart of Canada. The barren landscape guarantees you solitude—it's even devoid of most animal life! This is the true story of how one man survived a polar bear attack in Canada's Arctic tundra.
Crescent Lake, China
Want a true desert oasis? Plan a trip to the 2,000 years old Crescent Lake, a moon-shaped body of water in the Sahara Gobi Desert fed by natural springs. A small, isolated town sets on the edge of the water, but since shuttle buses can bring visitors to the area, it's one of the few easily accessible remote wonders. Here are some other natural wonders you've never heard of.
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
Danakil Depression is a crater in northeastern Ethiopia, where surreal landscapes composed of salt, acid pools, and sulfur compound surround one of the few known lava lakes in the world. With scorching temperatures, it is the hottest place on earth, often referred to as "The Gateway to Hell." Here are 15 countries that existed 100 years ago but don't anymore.
Barra Island, Scotland
Barra is the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides. With a population barely of just more than 1,000, the ten-mile-long island has generous space to roam and explore. Getting there requires boarding a tiny propeller plane that lands on the sandy beach; Barra's runway disappears with changing tides, which dictates when visitors can come and go. Needless to say, the flight is breathtaking. Did you know that the shortest commercial flight in the world is also in Scotland?
Samoa is comprised of four islands, and Apolima is the smallest. Don't let its size fool you, though. Apolima is bursting with breathtaking jungle foliage and surrounded by pristine blue water. Travelers must negotiate with local families to arrange a stay, however, and a boat ride is your only way there. Here are some more accessible island escapes around the world.
Tristan da Cunha
This group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic is a British overseas territory. While it rains a lot, the island is the perfect place to spot whales, dolphins, penguins, and a diverse assortment of seabirds. Intense isolation and beauty draw those in need of refuge from the world. Only 269 people reside on the island, making it the most remote island on earth—the nearest landmass is more than 1,500 miles away. Here are some of the least-crowded Caribbean islands to add to your bucket list, too.
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
When you think of remote destinations, Antarctica has to be on the top of your list. This scientific community at the southern edge of Ross Island sits a mere 850 miles north of the south pole. Researchers and scientists occupy McMurdo, which is the main U.S. research station on the continent. This is what it's really like to visit Antarctica.