There are countless cities and natural wonders that are well known for being popular vacation destinations. In many places across the world the economy depends on tourism and the industry has been well developed to include numerous attractions, activities, and easy access to fun. For the curious traveler who wants to venture a bit off the beaten path however, crowded cities and resorts may not offer quite the experience they are seeking.

Instead, many travelers purposely choose to spend their vacation in places that do not attract troves of tourists. This does not mean that these well kept secrets are any less fun or beautiful; oftentimes because of their hard to reach location and less developed tourism industry they manage to slip under the radar when most people are searching and planning for their next memorable adventure. Aside from avoiding the crowds of tourists that flock to the more popular cities, travelers who want to try something completely different are often treated to places and natural wonders that have been largely untouched or unchanged by people or time.

The following is a list of 30 little-known hidden gems around the world, and a couple in the United States, that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

30 La Montaña de los Siete Colores, Perú

The bright and vivid colors might make it seem that one is on another planet, but one is very much still on planet earth when visiting the Montaña de Siete Colores, also called “Rainbow Mountain”, in the Andes of Perú.

According to, full day tours are offered for those who are looking to hike an area that truly looks like it was painted by an artist.

The area also offers horseback tours, rafting, and even bungee jumping. Whatever the reason for going, most people make sure that they get at least one good long look over the mountains which showcase all the different colors of the rainbow in rock formation.

29 The Needles District in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

About 22 km north from the very small town of Monticello, Utah lie The Needles district of the Canyonlands. The Needles was named so because of the distinct and colorful layers of wind blown sand and deposits from mountains that seem to form spires.

According to tripadvisor, you can even do a safari jeep trip around the many hills, and under the tunnels.

For hikers who are looking for a challenging but rewarding experience, The Needles offers more than 60 miles of interconnecting trails, as well as 50 miles of rough roads that lead to numerous trailheads, campsites, and other natural wonders. Overnight camping is popular in the area, which is only open in the Spring and the Fall.

28 Saturnia Hot Springs, Italy

Italy has many popular attractions for many tourists who want to explore the natural beauty of the country as well as immerse themselves in a land that is full of ancient history. In southern Tuscany, a small town by the name of Saturnia in the area of Maremma boasts numerous historical sights such as Roman Gates dating back to the 2nd century B.C.

The town is full of similar pre-classical monuments, but one of the main attractions is the natural hot springs which according to, are entirely free to visitors and filled with bubbling water which are rich in mineral deposits that can provide various relaxing and therapeutic properties to weary travelers.

27 Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

For the adventurous traveler who is determined to push themselves to the limit during their vacation, the Annapurna Circuit is sure to provide a worthy challenge to even the most experienced of hikers. Depending on the route you choose to take, the entire hike could take up to 13 days of hiking for most of the day and camping at Mother Nature’s mercy during the nights.

There is a certain sense of triumph that one feels when looking down at the natural beauty that is all around in the mountains and valleys, which can at times remind us that our problems are only as big as we make them out to be.

26 Angel Falls, Venezuela

Considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Canaima National Park spreads over south-eastern Venezuela and is the home to the world’s highest waterfall, at over 1,000 meters.

Angel Falls is aptly named because it is the closest a waterfall will ever get to touching the sky, and visitors will certainly get a view that is unlike any other in the entire world because of how high above everything they will be.

Because of its height and rough terrains, Angel Falls is only accessible by air and several planes are known to fly tourists over large expanses of untouched forests, various rivers, and several surrounding mountains.

25 Benagil Cave, Portugal

Near the small fishing village of Benagil in Portugal lie the impressive Benagil Caves on the Algarve which is the southern coast of Portugal. For visitors interested in spending some time on a beautiful beach, the Bengali Caves are a great option since there are many white sand beaches around the area.

If one is craving a little more than just relaxation in the sun, there are boat tours and kayaks that can be rented in order to take some time to explore the main cave as well as some smaller caves around the area to really get a sense of the environment.

24 Casa Pueblo, Uruguay

Constructed by the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró, Casapueblo makes a striking impression. Even more striking is the view of the Atlantic ocean, which is visible from the many terraces specifically designed to provide the best views of the sun setting on the ocean.

According to, the artist who created the structure lived there until he passed.

Now the building includes a museum, art gallery, cafeteria, and even a hotel for those who want to make sure to catch a glorious sunset each and every night. For those who value artistic flair on their trips, Casapueblo is sure to make an unforgettable impression.

23 Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

For those who are interested in encountering different kinds of wildlife in their natural habitat, Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota offers amazing trails that wind along the homes of animals like porcupines, bobcats, and mountain goats.

In addition to the diversity of plant life, Spearfish Canyon also includes Spearfish Falls, which is a bit off the beaten path but well worth the effort.

In addition to the bigger falls, there are also numerous smaller ones that wind along the clear hiking paths around the area. If one makes it to the end of the canyon, the small town of Savoy is en route to more hiking trails that take hikers through ancient mining and logging camps.

22 Cerro Chirripó, Costa Rica

Some vacations are all about relaxing; others are all about finding out what our physical limits are and putting our body to the test. A hike up Mount Chirripó, Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, certainly falls into the latter category. Boasting colorful sunsets and views that are unforgettable, Mount Chirripó has escaped development because of its relative inaccessibility.

This means that the extra effort of hiking less developed trails is well rewarded through the ecological diversity of the plants and wildlife that are bound to make an appearance on traveler’s journey to the top, as well as views of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea if the day is clear enough.

21 Playa del Amor, México

Hidden from view inside a sandy cavern in one of México’s uninhabited Marieta Islands is a hidden beach called the Playa del Amor. The beach’s name means “The Beach of Love” and although it isn’t easily spotted if you don’t know what you are looking for, there are a few companies that provide transportation to and from the hidden spot by water.

The island’s marine life is protected due to the Marieta Island’s designation as a National Park in 2005.

If a quiet beach getaway is on the top of your bucket list, why not make it in a hidden beach known for love?

20 Samos, Greece

Surrounded by the waters of the eastern Aegean Sea lies the small, largely untouched island of Samos. Samos is a Greek island within sight of the coast of Turkey that is home to the Greek goddess Hera and the Greek philosopher Pythagoras of Samos.

The charms and blooming vegetation that surrounds this small island has remained largely untouched by tourism which ensures a different type of relaxation.

Rather than the lavish pampering of large resort hotels, Samos offers simpler amenities. Family owned businesses line the streets and white pebbled beaches dot the coast of the small island, for anyone looking to disconnect and truly relax (

19 Saltos del Monday, Paraguay

In one of the lesser visited countries in South America runs the Monday River in Paraguay, home to the three huge waterfalls named the Saltos del Monday.

The waterfalls each top 40 meters or more in height and lay nestled between the border of Brazil and Argentina.

There are numerous hiking trails around the river and waterfalls for anyone who wants to enjoy beauty and power of nature. For those who want to have a more relaxing time, easier trails are also available, as well as camping and picnic areas to spend even more time in this hidden gem.

18 Pucón, Chile

Located roughly 17 km south of Lake Villarrica and Villarrica volcano, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, lies the town of Pucón. Residents enjoy a relatively stable climate and for those who are looking for a more active and adventurous getaway, Pucón is a great choice.

The town offers adrenaline pumping activities such as zip line rides, skydiving, and rafting.

More laid back activities include the natural hot springs, bird watching, and horseback riding along the water’s edge. Whatever the level of activity one is looking for, there are plenty of options that will allow anyone to take in the natural beauty of the area at their own pace.

17 Hallstatt, Austria

Truly a postcard picture perfect town, the small village of Hallstatt in upper Austria is nestled between the lofty Dachstein mountains and Lake Hallstatt. The well preserved village is a hidden gem for those looking for a more quiet and laid back vacation far away from the hectic pace of urban life.

Known for their ancient salt mines, the town is dotted with small shops and cafes that offer various local treats.

The village may be small, but the natural wonders of waterfalls, mountains, and valleys are vast and jaw dropping so that no matter the angle, any picture taken is sure to come out spectacularly.

16 Kaindy Lake, Kazakhstan

Near the city of Almaty, the largest city in the country of Kazakhstan, lie the turquoise waters of Kaindy Lake. One look at the beautiful vibrant waters will have visitors wondering if they have stepped into a bright dream like world.

The lake itself was a bit of an accident since it was formed after an earthquake over a century ago.

A natural dam was created as a result of a landslide and years of rainwater have filled the valley ever since, creating a lake that is known for the sight of the tops of bleached spruce trees that inhabited the area before it was filled with water.

15 Caldera Hot Springs and Petroglyphs, Panama

When sitting in a chlorine filled pool or jacuzzi just isn’t enough to satisfy those who want a truly naturally rejuvenating experience, there is always the Caldera Hot Springs and Petroglyphs in Panama. Not visited by many people, there are four natural pools of varying temperatures from 38°C - 46°C to choose from.

Caldera means boiling pot and it is also the name of the small town located near the Caldera River, which is also open to tourists who want to experience both the warmth of the hot springs and the coolness of a rushing river all in one location.

14 Tham Kong Lo Cave, Laos

For those travelers who don’t mind spending some time underground, the Tham Kong Lo Cave in Central Laos is sure to satisfy the curious adventurer. Because of the Nam Hinboun River which flows right through the cave, it can only be accessed by small boats, which are available for hire at one of the various river villages near the area.

Tourists can relax and sightsee from the decks of their hired boat, or they can also hop off to view the interesting stalactites that have formed and enjoy the acoustics of 300 foot tall ceilings, many of which are lit up by multicolored lights.

13 Battambang, Cambodia

Cambodia is no stranger to tourists, and some of the cities are extremely crowded with foreigners and locals trying to sell their wares which can make for some pretty congested traffic. If one is looking for a more easygoing pace in southeastern Asia that is no less full of culture and sights to see, a destination to consider is Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia.

Not only are there numerous cafes, restaurants, and hotels to visit, the surrounding countryside is full of rivers and fishing villages that still depend on the natural resources that the land provides for their livelihood.

12 Cienfuegos, Cuba

Known for its colonial-era buildings, the town of Cienfuegos (or “100 fires”) lies on a bay in Cuba’s southern coast. For those who like to learn about history, this particular vacation spot will certainly provide a lot of that through the style of architecture which has been well preserved, and through the various historic centers and memorials.

Also known as the “Pearl of the South”, the town boasts a unique mix of French and Caribbean customs and style that is sure to make an impression on anyone who ventures a bit further south than the more popular city of Havana.

11 Butrint, Albania

Having been the site of a Greek colony, a Roman city, and a bishopric, which means a district under a bishop’s control, the site of Butrint is certainly a one of a kind place in the history books.

Located in the south of Albania, Butrint is a historical landmark that has been preserved from any new developments despite its proximity to the modern city of Saranda approximately 20 km away.

The different groups who settled there each contributed their own style of architecture, and as can be seen from the photo above, one of the more well preserved was this Greek theatre which is still open for people to appreciate.