With so many amazing places to visit in the world, it seems unfair that only a few get all the publicity. Dig a little deeper though and you’ll find incredible destinations that you probably didn’t know existed.
They’re not necessarily off the beaten track but they’re often overshadowed by more famous attractions in the same region. Why not give them a chance when you plan your next trip?
1. Colca Canyon, Peru
The canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is home to hot springs, archaeological sites and the Andean condor.
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2. ‘Hidden Beach’ on the Marieta Islands, Mexico
3. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
4. Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil
However, Lencois Maranhenses National Park in Maranhao, Brazil isn’t really a desert. Plenty of rain ensures that dotted among the dunes are freshwater lagoons complete with fish.
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5. Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, Sask.
The Athabasca Sand Dunes are located in northern Saskatchewan on the southern shore of Lake Athabasca and the only way to get here is by float plane.
6. The Enchanted Forest, B.C.
7. Staten Island Boat Graveyard, New York
The Staten Island Boat Graveyard (also known as The Witte Marine Scrap Yard) is where ships come to die and is eerily beautiful. Though not exactly romantic.
Jellyfish Lake, Palau
10. Hobbiton Movie Set, New Zealand
Did you know, however, that you can visit the actual movie set? It’s located on a family-run livestock farm only a few kilometres from Matamata. New Zealand, it's so damn beautiful.
11. Coober Pedy, Australia
The people here escape the midday heat by going underground into their subterranean homes, hotels, shops and even churches. You may recognize Coober Pedy from the Australian hit movie The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. As stunning as Mount Nyiragongo in the Congo.
12. Rainbow Family Village, Taiwan
As a family village in Taichung was being abandoned over the years, one of its only remaining residents, a veteran in his late 80s, started covering everything in colourful paintings. The Rainbow Family Village is now one of the area’s leading attractions.
13. Miho Museum, Japan
Most of the museum is built underground into a mountain and to get to the art collection you need to walk through a tunnel and then cross a bridge set amidst tranquil woodland. And at least it's not abandoned.
14. Lake Natron, Tanzania
The lake has a high sodium content which makes it inhospitable for most species except cyanobacteria, which give the water a dramatic red colour.
16. Cannaregio, Italy
The mainly residential Cannaregio district is home to several stunning churches and palaces, neighbourhood markets and the city’s Jewish Ghetto. Or you can try one of these smaller towns in the country, if the bigger ones are too daunting.
17. Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina
18. Basilica Cistern, Turkey
19. Freiburg, Germany
You’ll find charming medieval architecture but since Freiburg is also a university city, it has a vibrant atmosphere. It’s also one of the sunniest places in Germany.
20. Amersfoort, Netherlands
One of the city’s most fascinating attractions is the Onze Lievevrouwetoren or Lange Jan, a steeple without a church, where students from the nearby bell-ringers’ school practice their art. The perfect place to travel, if you're on your own.