8 months ago
There are dozens of write-ups that cover where people snap the classics: Eiffel Tower in Paris, the French Quarter in New Orleans, Havasupai Falls in Arizona.
This is not one of those of those write-ups.
You’ve seen Big Ben, you know New York well enough to sell real estate there, and you’re tired of dodging social media-obsessed tourists eager to get in front of a tripod in Phuket, Cape Town, and Dubai. Well, here are a few of the least Instagrammed and traveled-to places on the planet where you can experience your surroundings—and take the perfect shot—in peace.
Yamal Peninsula, Siberia
High above the Arctic Circle in Russian Siberia is the Yamal Peninsula, inhabited by the Nenets people who are known for their massive nomadic reindeer herding. The Nenets reportedly move through the tundra throughout the year along well-worn paths set by their ancestors, with herds as large as 12,000 reindeer strong.
Only a handful of posts on Instagram give any insight into what life looks like there, but travel information about the region touts a glorious and gorgeous view of the landscape, the indigenous people, their religious beliefs, and way of life.
Komodo Island, Indonesia
We get it. Komodo dragons are massive and they look like something that probably should’ve been left in the Cretaceous period, but don’t pay them too much attention. You’re traveling to Komodo Island in Indonesia for the incredible snorkeling and scuba diving—just bring a long lens to snap photos of the giant lizards from a safe distance.
Classified as a World Heritage Site, Komodo boasts healthy reefs, shark activity, and an incredible array of schooling and big pelagic fish, as well as an overall marine diversity that’s impressive. Take note, though, this is not a place for unseasoned divers to take a plunge, due to dangerous spiraling currents that have sucked unlucky divers down to their deaths.
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Vatnsnes Peninsula, Iceland
The Vatnsnes peninsula in North Iceland doesn’t get anywhere near the foot traffic as the rest of the country does. Home to one of the largest seal colonies on the entire island nation, visitors can catch stunning glimpses of the northern lights (aurora borealis) without being bothered by other photographers or adventure travelers. There are only a handful of Instagram posts from Vatnsnes.
Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina
This is one of the more unique places on our list. Home to approximately 200,000 people, Banja Luka is reportedly in the middle of “a political tug of war” between Bosnia and Serbia, and is actually the capital of the Republic Srpska, which is an unrecognized state. Scroll through the location on Instagram and you’ll see tons of opportunity and space for you to express your unique take of the city.
Called a highlight of the country by Lonely Planet, this city is known for one of the most famous and best preserved Crusader castles still standing. In 2016, Islamist terrorists attempted to take hostages at Karak and several people were killed in a violent shootout. But following the event, Lonely Planet notes, the community came together to rebuild any mosques and churches that had been damaged by the fighting. They also formed volunteer groups to assist and improve local services. Feast on Shawarma while you explore, and experience the incredible people and history this city has to offer.