The Least-Visited Country in the World Is the Closest Thing to Paradise

Need a secluded retreat? Here's the place for it.


If you’ve always dreamed of a private island getaway, this might be the next-best thing: An island hardly anyone visits.

That’s right, according to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, there’s a tropical island that gets fewer than 2,000 visitors each year. So you won’t have to fight for a nice spot on the sand if you travel here, or to one of the 11 least-crowded islands in the Caribbean.

The country of Tuvalu in the South Pacific promises to be an unspoiled sanctuary for however long you decide to stay—and since it’s an average 87 degrees year-round, we’ll assume that might be a while. Expect pristine beaches, a low crime rate, and a thriving marine ecosystem of atolls, lagoons, and coral reefs. This paradise is spread throughout the nine islands that make up Tuvalu.

Tuvalu under the wing of the airplane. Aerial view of Funafuti atoll and airstrip of international airport in Vaiaku from air. Fongafale motu. Island nation in Polynesia, South Pacific Ocean, Oceaniamaloff/Shutterstock

So why don’t more people visit this lovely island? For one, it’s really hard to get to. Air Fiji sends flights in just three times a week, each leaving from Nadi International Airport in the Republic of Fiji, another South Pacific Island. The only airport in Tuvalu is on the main island, Funafuti.

Second, its own population is dwindling, and the U.N. has it listed as one of the islands the most likely to disappear into the ocean in the 21st century—along with these 13 others. According to the Guardian, two of the islands are already seeing the impact of coastal erosion and rising tides. So have some patience for the travel requirements, and soak up the sun while you can at this quiet tiny island. It might be your next favorite escape.