Not a people person? We don’t blame you. More often than not, traveling means dealing with other travelers and the dreaded tourist crowds. What’s the point of taking a trip halfway across the world just to be surrounded by the same kind of loud voices, pushy attitudes, and disregard for personal boundaries that you deal with in your own city?
Part of spending money on a hard-earned vacation is about buying yourself a little break from this daily grind. Maybe to you (or someone you know), peace and quiet is the absolute number one vacation priority. In this case, uncrowded and under-visited vacation spots should be high on your to-visit list.
There are still plenty of options for people who would love to get away and see the world but would rather not have to deal with crowds of strangers – or the chance of running into somebody they know, thousands of miles from home. We've taken a look at the United Nation's list of recognized countries and found the least populated ones, plus a bunch of their deserted islands which you can actually visit IRL.
From Vegas to Paris and beyond, you already know what the most popular places to visit are these days. You also know that these places are full to the max with tourists and overrated tourist attractions. Take the path less traveled by - on purpose! Relax, unwind, and read on to find 25 places where you can have your own holiday in solitude.
25 25. Majuro Island, Micronesia
Called an island, Majuro is actually a large coral atoll (a ring-shaped floating cluster of coral reef and sand). If that doesn't sound beautiful enough for you, just imagine what the biodiversity of the wildlife is like swimming around this unique destination. It's incredible!
Majuro is the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which are all located smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - near both the Equator and the International Dateline. It's miles from anything, but it does have one single resort for you to use for your visit. You can relax there knowing you have nothing but a few locals that could ever possibly interfere with your stay.
24 24. Chitrakoot, India
You might think of India as one of the most highly populated places on earth, and you wouldn't be wrong. Chitrakoot is special, however. It's hallowed ground for Hindus, who respect it for its significance in their legends and its location along the iconic Ganges River.
If you'd like to experience India's amazingly rich culture without being jostled around in crowds, this space is a great choice for you to visit. It's where locals go for a little peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of nearby major cities. The views are breathtaking and the legends are spectacular. Even saints are said to visit Chitrakoot for inspiration!
23 23. Hvar, Croatia
We all know Croatia is a favorite destination for today's A-listers and high fliers. It's got crystal blue waters, soft sandy beaches, plus a whole lot of history and culture you can't access your typical North American resort spot. But what if you want to enjoy the pleasures and treasures of Croatia without having to share your personal space with hoards of tourists and paparazzi? Hvar is your answer.
Hvar is a little resort island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea. It's got iconic sites for travel pictures, from its ancient stone wall to its Renaissance-era cathedral to its vibrant and fragrant lavender field. Your vacation could be therapeutic in so many ways!
22 22. Barra Island, Scotland
This is the perfect spot for anyone who would choose to cozy up beside a fire to laying out on a beach. If you wish it was sweater weather all year round, consider visiting this remote island in Scotland's Outer Hebrides.
Have you ever read a fairy tale or mystery novel set in a crumbling kingdom far far away? Stepping onto Barra Island feels like stepping between the pages of those kinds of books. It's ancient and foggy, with ruins of a castle, ruins of old statues, and a small (not yet in ruins) village of locals. They're not tired of tourists, so feel free to say hello and ask them to share some local lore over a nice cup of tea.
21 21. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Cocos Island is far from the mainland but still a part of Costa Rica. It is maintained as a National Park, and Costa Rica doesn't allow anyone to live on it aside from the official park rangers. This means not only do you have a remote and secluded space free from crowds of tourists, but you also don't even need to worry about dealing with locals if you don't want to.
The destination's status as a national park is proof of its incredible sights and wildlife. It's protected for a reason! It's got manta rays, dolphins, whales, schools of hammerhead sharks, and more, all which make for unforgettable diving opportunities.
20 20. Vaduz, Liechtenstein
The country so small, Snoop Dogg once tried to rent it. And that wasn't even a crazy thing to do - anyone can rent Liechtenstein for $70,000 per night. That's an entire country all for your personal use! Although as far as countries go, this one is very minimally populated and geographically tiny.
It's also Europe’s second-least-visited country, mainly because nobody cares that it's there nudged in beside Germany. Smart travelers know it's a great alternative destination to Germany's major cities. Liechtensteinians in Vaduz speak German, offer quaint accommodations, and are so few in number that you'll likely never be bothered by one.
19 19. Lapland, Finland
This is a gorgeous place to visit, especially in the summertime. Lapland in the summer has both Aurora Borealis (the awe-inspiring and photogenic Northern Lights) and 24 hours of sunlight per day. You would expect tourists to flock to such a cool place in the summers, but Lapland is more remote than other Scandinavian travel hubs so it often gets overlooked.
Visit Lapland for miles and miles of wilderness and wildlife, friendly Finnish locals, and plenty of space between you and busy city centers. This place has amazing options for outdoorsy introverts, too. Prefer dogs to people? Take a dog sled to your secluded igloo accommodation and call it a day!
18 18. Dry Tortugas Island, USA
If the idea of Florida vacations appeal to you but the reality of tourist hoards does not, you need to check out Dry Tortuga Island. It's a 100 square mile national park, which means its cleanliness and natural beauty is officially protected by the American people. The same can't be said for Florida sunny spots like Miami Beach.
Take yourself for a nice little rest and relaxation trip to this island off the Florida Keys instead! You'll enjoy the same azure waters and luxuriously soft sandy beaches that other tourists flock to Florida for, but your experience will be different because of this island being relatively unknown.
17 17. Mutianyu, China
China is the most heavily populated place on Earth, there's no arguing that, but you may not know that some parts of the Great Wall of China are blissfully rural and under-visited. You don't need to go to the heart of Beijing to experience all that China has to offer. You can touch the iconic and ancient Great Wall of China in the Mutianyu region without all the business and fuss of the bigger cities.
The Great Wall is like a fantastic open-air archaeological museum site. It's accessible to people with all different kinds of physical needs, especially in the non-crowded portions where the wide path is unobstructed by tourists. See for yourself!
16 16. Nevis Island, The Caribbean
Most Caribbean islands have found their place in tourists' Facebook photo albums over the years. It's understandable since this particular part of the world has so much sun, sand, and natural beauty to offer. One island that is slightly off the beaten path is Nevis.
Unlike the popular Caribbean islands, Nevis is not reachable by plane. Travelers who are truly determined to get there need to take a boat from neighboring St. Kitts, so most choose to just stay where they flew into and enjoy their immediate scenery instead. Stand apart by making the effort to reach this little island paradise.
15 15. Hella, Iceland
You've heard of how spectacular Reykjavik can be for people stopping over in Iceland on their way to Europe from North America. This city's rising popularity has made a once hidden gem into a well-known and well-respected tourism hub. If you want to avoid throngs of tourists, we say fly into Reykjavik and keep moving along your way to Hella.
Hella is an Icelandic town with all the charm and majestic scenery you could ask for. It's also got a secluded luxury resort where you can soak in a thermal bath under the wide open night sky. While extroverts love Reykjavik, introverts are sure to prefer this lesser-known Icelandic location.
14 14. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is a tucked away Mexican destination that is actually the site of an ancient city. Come for modern accommodations where you can spend your nights unwinding by infinity pools, but stay for the ancient Mayan ruins you can explore by day.
The most famous site in Tulum is El Castillo, the ancient ruin of a Mayan castle that sits upon the city's highest peak. It's like stepping back into an unknown world! The surrounding town and landscape can't be beaten, and it's all wrapped up in a neat little accessible destination that most travelers don't know anything about.
13 13. Pontresina, Switzerland
Pontresina is a Swiss town that's beautiful at all times of the year. In winter it's a paradise for serious skiers, who come from all across the world to tackle the slopes of the Alps in this region. In the summer, this destination is significantly less popular but equally worthwhile.
Visit Pontresina if you've always wanted to see the Alps but never wanted to deal with a busy city like Geneva to experience them. This destination is gorgeous in its summer off-season when wildflowers bloom all around the base of the mountains and the glacial lake they surround. Unique, quiet, and gorgeous!
12 12. Shropshire, England
Want to live your Harry Potter fantasy life without actually having to navigate King's Cross Station in downtown London during peak tourism season? Head to the English countryside for a more laid-back, authentic experience of Britannia.
This charming yet sparsely populated countryside town has miles and miles of "right of way" land, which is private property that anyone is welcome to walk across. You don't even have to worry about running into property owners: their sheep are the only living things you're likely to encounter along the way. If quaint and cozy scenes appeal to you, this is your happy place.
11 11. Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, Botswana
Botswana's Makgadikgadi Salt Pan is one of the largest salt flats in the world, making it a delightfully silent and wide-open place to be. A salt flat is a large expanse of land covered in salt, which makes the land look like it is glowing white at some parts of the day. How cool is that?
This particular salt flat is located right in the middle of the Savannah Desert and used to be a large lake that has since dried up. The lake (called Lake Makgadikgadi) used to be larger than Switzerland, according to Makgadikgadi Pans officials. The area is now a well-preserved national park where you can go to enjoy true peace and quiet on the African Savannah.
10 10. Easter Island, Peru
Easter Island is a Polynesian island in the middle of the Southern Pacific Ocean. It's famous for its giant statues and cultural folk art, which you may have used before in emoji form. This place is good for more than just artsy photo ops, however.
Despite its fame, not many people can actually visit Easter Island annually. That's because it is so remote and far from the rest of the world. Luckily for introverts and people who want to avoid other people, its unpopularity with tourists is actually a plus. Visit for gorgeous national parks and interesting archaeological sites.
9 9. Northpole, Alaska
Not the real North Pole (although that would totally qualify as a destination where you can avoid people), Northpole Alaska is a quiet little city overflowing with northern charm and majestic natural beauty.
Visit for some spectacular mountain landscapes dotted with the iconic restaurants and businesses that Americans can't live without. We're talking about McDonald's restaurants with red and white striped exteriors, Taco Bells with candy cane signage, and more. Where else can you enjoy a taco under the Northern Lights with no tourists in sight? Amazing.
8 8. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and visiting it will quickly show you why. The islands are an archipelago that UNESCO calls a "living museum and showcase of evolution." While museums on land are often overrun with visitors, this unique place is more than 1,000 kilometers from the South American land mass, so it welcomes far fewer people than your average American exhibit.
What the Galapagos lacks in people, this area more than makes up for in animal life. You'll be able to walk the beaches and look out the window of your luxury resort (yes, the islands do have some) and see sea lions, tropical fish, rare tortoises, lava lizards, wild birds, and more.
7 7. Cluny, France
Everyone wants to go to Paris. It's romantic, historic, and oh-so-French, but it's not the only place that checks all of those boxes. If you'd rather soak in the scenery solo, choose to vacation in Cluny, France, instead.
Check out an old chalet castle on a hilltop, take a 'Tour de Fromages' and taste all of the regions most delectable cheese samples, and converse en Francais with the locals you might stumble across. Unlike in Paris or Marseilles, your chances of stumbling across a fellow traveler are relatively petite.
6 6. Piha, New Zealand
New Zealand as a country isn't generally bustling with people. The entire country has a population of only 4.8 million, which is 1 million people less than the population of Miami. In other words, this country is not crowded. Why come to this particular destination in New Zealand? Two words: black sand.
Piha Beach is especially secluded, located west of the major city of Auckland. The black sand is easy to see under the crystal clear waters and as part of its rocky shoreline. It goes without saying that this place produces amazing pictures. Somehow it's still a hidden gem that you can visit crowd-free.