We all love to travel for a variety of reasons. Some people like to get away from their normal routine and gain a fresh perspective on life. Others like to find out about new cultures or get some peace in a tranquil new destination. For many though, travelling is all about heading somewhere new and to places which are not the usual tourist hotspots. If you like to travel for this reason, finding obscure yet amazing places to head is a must.
But what are the ten most off radar but awesome places to travel on the planet?

10 – Huacachina

Huacachina

Huacachina – Havardtl, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Peru is well-known for being a real tourist mecca in South America. From Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley and Inca Trail, there are many popular attractions to see there. One exciting place which not many people know about though is the small desert oasis of Huacachina. This is a shame as it is a destination that will blow you away. This village sits in sand dunes in the Southwest of the country and has around 100 residents. Based around a natural desert lake, the waters of Huacachina are believed to have restorative powers. This is also a fabulous place to discover the true culture of Peru, away from the usual tourist traps.

09 – Bazaruto Archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago

Bazaruto Archipelago – Brian DellBdell555, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Mozambique is a country in Africa which is not always the first place people head to on holiday. It can often be overshadowed by other destinations like Kenya, Egypt or South Africa. This is a shame though because the country has gorgeous beaches, diverse culture and stunning nature to discover. It is also where you will find the Bazaruto Archipelago. This consists of 6 small islands and is a national park in Mozambique. This makes it an exotic and unforgettable spot to travel too. From the wild horses playing in the surf to 141 species of bird and 21 species of mammal, a trip here is a once in a lifetime experience.

08 – Hutchinson, Kansas

Hutchinson

Hutchinson – Ichabod, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Space has long been something that lots of people have been fascinated with. If you like to wonder about the galaxy or long to find out more about it, why head to Kansas in the USA? The town of Hutchinson is a little-known tourist gem for anyone who loves space. This is because it houses the Cosmosphere museum. This has over 13,000 space artifacts to explore and also delivers educational space programs. Whilst in the Cosmosphere, you can check out the Hall of Space Museum plus the illuminating Carey Digital Dome. The Justice Planetarium is also great for taking a journey into the night sky with.

07 – Heaven Lake

Heaven Lake

Heaven Lake – Bdpmax, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

China is an exotic place to explore and one that more people are venturing to. While travel hotspots like Hong Kong or Beijing might appeal at first, why not take in somewhere less travelled? Heaven Lake is a great choice and lies on the border of China/North Korea. Found on the top of Paektu Mountain, it is the highest volcanic lake on the planet. A place of stunning beauty, it is also said to be the home of the Lake Tianchi monster! A trip here really is worthwhile though for the serene qualities the area has and the immersion in nature it brings.

06 – Southern Namib Desert

Southern Namib Desert

Southern Namib Desert – Olga Ernst & Hp.Baumeler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We know a desert does not sound the first place to head on holiday! But this list is all about getting off the beaten track and finding obscure yet fabulous locations to spend time. Found in Namibia, this desert provides sweeping vistas and desolate beauty. At night, it is also a great place to see the stars in all their glory. Believed to be around 55 million years old, it is also great for those who love wildlife. From zebra to springbok, cheetahs, lions and more, it is a nature lovers dream. It is of course essential to head there with local guides who know the area and to take every safety precaution possible when camping out or exploring the desert.

05 – Penghu

Penghu

Penghu – Zeze0729, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Found in Taiwan, Penghu is made up of about 90 tiny islands in the Straits of Taiwan. They are not usually packed with tourists and so make a great place to head if you want to miss the crowds. Penghu is also worth going for its superb beaches and access to ancient Taiwanese culture. There is also plenty do when on holiday here. From walking over basalt cliffs to exploring local temples and walking next to the sea on Penghu Paradise Road, you will have a blast. For history lovers, the ancient Sitai Fortress from the Qing Dynasty is worth a look too.

04 – Tohoku

Tohoku

Tohoku – mko294, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There is no doubt that Tohoku in Japan is a beautiful place to spend time which is not that well-known to tourists. It is not just about the tranquil atmosphere and friendly locals here though! Fun is also a big part of the culture, as the bright yellow Pokémon themed train which runs in the area shows. There is also lots to do, including enjoying the Aomori Nebuta Festival when it is on and trekking up the Hakkoda Mountains. If you have never thought of heading to this part of the world before, Tohoku is a true Asian delight.

03 – Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park – Conrad88 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Africa is a continent with lots to offer and South Africa shows why this is true. But you shouldn’t always go for old favourites like Cape Town or Johannesburg when heading out to SA though. For a more obscure yet stunning trip, why not take in Tsitsikamma National Park? Part of the Garden Route National Park, it is the biggest marine reserve in the country and has massive Outenique trees to wow visitors. There is also a great hiking trail here for those who like to be active when away. In the Storms River area, you can also enjoy the highest commercial bungee jump on the planet and superb diving.

02 – New Caledonia

New Caledonia

New Caledonia – my LifeShow from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Australia and New Zealand are always popular places to take a break. But they are not the only interesting and exciting places to head in this part of the world. New Caledonia is found about 900 miles east of Australia and is a place of unspoilt beauty. The Isle Of Pines here houses the magical Upi Bay, where you can see dolphins playing in the clear water. Tourists can take a boat ride into these waters and engage in lots of fun activities like snorkeling or swimming. New Caledonia also has very impressive rainforests to explore for the adventurous. On the developed mainland area, there are lakes to visit, great places to eat and comfy places to stay.

01 – Extremadura

Extremadura

Extremadura – Serudlto, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The top place in our list for gorgeous yet obscure places to travel is Extremadura in Spain. This region is bordered by Portugal and Andalucía on the Iberian Peninsula. As the least populated Spanish region, it is the ideal place to get away from the crowds at other Spanish destinations like Barcelona. Extremadura also has plenty of culture, history and heritage to discover. Merida is the capital of this region and home to a Roman amphitheatre, a stadium and 3 aqueducts. Those who like to take in ancient architecture will also enjoy the historic Santa Maria de Guadalupe and Yuste monasteries.

The above are all perfect places to travel if you want an awesome experience but don’t want to head to the same old destinations everyone usually goes. Any of the locations we have looked at not only offer the chance to check out places others don’t but also have a brilliant time as you do.