5 Underrated Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler

5 Underrated Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler

While many people like to feel safe and in control throughout their lives, we also know there’s a more than a few of us who like to live on the edge a bit too!

In fact, that’s probably the reason why so many of us travel, right?!

If, like us, you’re one of those people who enjoy exploring off the beaten track destinations, then this list is for you!

These 5 exciting and underrated destinations for the adventurous traveler are definitely aimed at those who appreciate a little adrenaline in their life!

From the snowy plains of Antarctica to the modern Persian land of Iran, these places aren’t your usual travel spots, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less worth visiting.

In fact, quite the opposite.

So, next time your scanning the globe for an awesome adventure, don’t pass up the opportunity to explore one of these 5 underrated adventurous travel locations.

#1 Antartica

The best and most unique part about Antarctica is that no one country owns this massive expanse of land.

Without any visa requirements therefore, Antartica is actually one of the easiest underrated destinations to visit on this list.

That being said, you will still require a tour operator to get in due to the Antarctic Treaty’s Protocol on Environment Protection.

This means you’re most likely to visit Antarctica with a cruise ship.

Cruises usually take place between November and March when the ice allows for vessels to approach the shores.

Besides all the southern wildlife you will get to see, Antarctica trips usually take you to the following places:

  • Abandoned whaling stations
  • Antarctic research centers filled with scientists
  • Historical sites such as the shelters used by the first explorers of the frozen plains

You’ll want to prepare your thickest clothes and get in shape for your journey to Antartica – the cold is unforgiving, but the memories will last you a lifetime!

#2 Myanmar

Last year we visited Myanmar and I’m happy to tell you it was a totally unforgettable experience.

With a pretty complicated and unstable political landscape, Myanmar definitely makes it onto our list of destinations for the adventurous travelers among you.

Indeed, armed conflicts at the borders have been known, but what makes braving this situation worthwhile is the fact that Myanmar has over 10,000 temples scattered throughout its landscape.

In fact, the city of Bagan itself has over 2,000!

And if checking out these amazing feats of architecture at ground level isn’t adrenaline-raising enough for you, then you also have the option to view them as part of a hot air balloon ride!

Up in the sky you are able to see tens upon tens of temples littering the horizon – a truly awe-inspiring view.

In fact, if you’re not completely captivated by this perspective of Myanmar from the sky, we’re not sure if anything will impress you!

#3 Cuba

To us, Cuba appears to be one of those places that’s stuck in the past.

However, this doesn’t make it any less of an exciting destination for the adventurous traveler. In fact, quite the opposite!

With its plentitude of classic American cars, Russian Ladas, and somewhat old, decaying buildings, taking a trip to Cuba you will have you feeling like you’ve landed straight back in the 1950s … or walked into a Hollywood film set!

With an interesting political history, Cuba’s isolation has kept it largely off the travel radar.

But now things are changing and with some of the friendliest locals you’ve ever met and some of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen, Cuba should not be overlooked.

That said, with few tourists around, getting off the beaten track in Cuba will probably require some basic Spanish skills on your part, so start brushing up early!

You’ll also need to know a thing or 2 about the currency too. For example, in Cuba they have 2 different monetary systems – one for the locals and a different currency for foreigners – which can get a bit confusing!

If you’re not interested in Cuba’s great beaches, then there are plenty of historic sites to explore too. From churches to museums, the most famous attraction is probably the Museo Hemingway Finca Vigia.

It is here that the U.S. author, Ernest Hemingway, spent a lot of time. In fact, he penned For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and The Sea from this very destination.

This typifies how culturally rich a destination Cuba is and we definitely recommend soaking up the wonderful ambience of the country before the crowds get here.

#4 Iran

Despite what the alarmist media will tell you, Iran is not a dangerous country for tourists.

All you need to remember if you don’t want any problems on your trip is this:

  • Respect the cultural traditions
  • Respect the locals
  • Try to have someone who speaks Persian with you

On your trip to Iran, you will most likely visit the capital of Tehran.

Once here you must take look at their National Jewelry Treasury which houses a truly impressive collection – you can even find jewel-studded swords here!

Outside of the Treasury, Tehran is also home to an array of incredible palaces and mosques you should definitely visit – there’s no denying, the Persian architecture really is something!

There’s also the beautiful Jamshidieh Stone Garden, which you shouldn’t miss, and a trip to Persepolis is another must-see piece of ancient Iranian history.

#5 North Korea (DPRK)

Surprise!

You might think we’re kidding about this destination, but really, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t make the trip to this remote and isolated country.

The DPRK is a fascinating place, generally full of peaceful people with their own unique culture and landmarks.

Of course, the country has incredibly strict rules regarding tourists, but you are still able to visit as part of organized and authorized tour.

Unsurprisingly, many people question how safe North Korea is to visit, but for the adventurous among you, it may be very tempting!

Indeed we were super excited about our visit to North Korea and it didn’t disappoint.

Hard to put into words, we can only say you really have to go to this underrated destination to see what it is like for yourself and to try and make sense of the unique position it holds in the global order.

With few people getting the chance to do this, North Korea is definitely one of the most underrated destinations for the adventurous traveler.

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So which of these countries would you most like to visit?

We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

After hitting the road in 2011, Cez and Agness have become experts in the field of world travel. Their journeys have taken them across Asia, Europe, and beyond! Originally hailing from Poland, you can follow the journey of Agness and Cez by visiting their blog or checking them out on Facebook.

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 6 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Kay says:

    Awesome post! Love your list here. I totally agree on Myanmar and Cuba – those were two places I visited that I was pleasantly surprised by. I’d love to go to Iran, but need to figure out how to get there as an American (dual citizenship, maybe?). And I’m dying to get to Antarctica one day as well!

  2. Agness says:

    We’re so excited to be featured here, Steph as we consider ourselves as adventurous travelers. Antartica is next on our list! x X x

  3. I’d love to visit Antarctica! While we don’t think of Antarctica as having historical attractions, those old research stations and shelters would be fascinating.

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