There are around 200 countries — all of them open for tourism, but some are surprisingly underrated. Some nations might not be on a tourist’s radar because of their location (maybe landlocked like Lesotho), internal conflicts, costly flights, or unfamiliar names (like Kyrgyzstan).

However, lucky are those curious enough to go to less-traveled countries, as it affords them experiences most tourists can’t even imagine. The cuisine, the culture, the extraordinary sites, and the people themselves work together in providing a memorable trip. From Europe and the Americas to Asia and Africa, there are many unique destinations worthy of a visit. Here are some welcoming countries that will complete anyone’s travel log.

10 Belize

Belize is among the world’s least-visited countries, and it hit one million tourists for the first time just in 2012. This Caribbean nation is home to majestic beaches and a rich underwater world, making it the perfect hangout spot for those who want to have a splash. Thanks to its many reefs, islands, and cays, Belize has some of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Its most famous is the Great Blue Hole, a mesmerizing natural wonder that even snorkelers can visit. It’s a stunning sight, more so when explored.

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9 North Macedonia

The European nation of North Macedonia is home to a variety of natural wonders and cultural attractions, making it a perfect mix for tourism. In the capital Skopje, there’s the Old Bazaar that just recently welcomed tourists. Beyond its urban jungle, the country is teeming with stunning mountains. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can have an enriching time meandering through trails or national parks. The largest park, Mavrovo, has a mishmash of attractions — from lakes and caves to the Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery, one of the most known landmarks in the country. This Balkan nation is a kaleidoscope of wonders.

8 Mozambique

Mozambique dubbed the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, should not be overlooked, even as it has famous neighbors like South Africa and Tanzania. It has more than 1,500 miles of coastlines, so tourists can expect wonderful moments on its beaches. Its attractions are not crowded and not overdeveloped, making it a perfect spot for those who want to have authentic adventures. Wildlife lovers can visit the Gorongosa National Park, where they can observe elephants, lions, and painted wolves, among other animals. Under the sea or within the nature reserves, Mozambique has something to offer.

7 Guyana

Guyana is big on sustainable ecotourism because of its Amazon rainforest, one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. It might not be as known as its Caribbean neighbors, but it boasts of stunning attractions not seen in any part of the world. Its most famous is the Kaieteur Falls, which is the world’s largest single-drop waterfall. This powerful cascade is stunning, and hearing its roar is an unmatched experience. Meanwhile, history buffs can visit St. George's Cathedral, which is known for its mesmerizing interiors. Natural or man-made, Guyana is the go-to guy.

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6 Bolivia

Bolivia is like a piece of heaven on Earth. First, it has the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat and a stunning place that’s right out of movies and paintings. Bolivia might be the only country where a hotel made entirely of salt can be found. The majestic Andes extend to Bolivia, and in Chacaltaya, hikers and skiers can find the world’s highest restaurant. Nature lovers will have a field day exploring this Latin American nation. It also has Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, and Lake Licancabur, which is also among the highest on the planet. Bolivia is simply unmatched.

5 Bhutan

Bhutan is where Zen is an everyday occurrence, as it should be because it’s considered the Last Shangri-La. This South Asian nation's tourism sector is still young, and traveling here is costly because of the daily rates for tourists. However, those curious enough to visit this kingdom will be rewarded with wonderful memories. Bhutan is mountainous, with hiking trails abound. Meandering through its forest will give tourists a glimpse of why the country is considered a pocket of paradise in the Himalayas. Its most famous attraction is the cliffside monastery of Paro Taktsang, but really, the serenity is what makes tourism in Bhutan worthwhile.

4 Estonia

Estonia is infamous for its vodka tourism, but this Baltic nation is more than just its alcoholic drink. Beyond the beverage, the country boasts of the UNESCO World Heritage site Tallinn Old Town, a place where tourists can walk down memory lane, literally, because it’s a preserved medieval city. Farm tourism is big in this country, especially in Võru. With this type of travel, tourists can unwind with Mother Nature’s prime offerings while enjoying the perks of having a vacation house. From the booze to the farm, Estonia knows how to satisfy.

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3 Jordan

This Arab nation is proud of its national treasure, Petra. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most stunning archaeological sites in the region. Other than its ancient ruins, Jordan is also home to the historic Jordan River, Mount Nebo, believed to be visited by Moses, and Madaba, famous for its Umayyad and Byzantine mosaics. Travelers can also drop by the Dead Sea for a float or Aqaba for a seaside escape. Wherever tourists go in Jordan, they are treated to a royal experience.

2 Laos

Some people might not even know the existence of Laos, and it’s time that they should discover this humble Southeast Asian nation. It has two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Luang Prabang and Vat Phou, both offering memorable travel experiences. The former is known for its temples like Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Hosian Voravihane, where tourists can meet monks. The latter, meanwhile, is famous for its well-preserved 1,000-year-old planned landscape and its Khmer temples. That’s Laos — a place of culture and charm.

1 Romania

Exploring the cities of Romania is already satisfying, so when tourists visit its natural attractions, they’ll have a complete European escape. The capital Bucharest is home to stunning landmarks and monuments spearheaded by the Palace of the Parliament, which is the largest in the world. Beyond the city, there's the Danube River, the second largest in Europe, Transylvania (but no vampires or dark tourism here), the Dacian Fortresses for some serene archaeological retreat, and the hiker’s office, Carpathian Mountains. Romania awaits with its endless surprises.

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