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12 Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

Underrated summer travel ideas that will ignite your wanderlust spirit await. As the sunshine beckons and temperatures rise, popular destinations from the Arc de Triomphe to the Golden Gate will swell with selfie-snapping travelers. Rather than join the touristy masses, why not venture off the beaten path to overlooked locales brimming with as much magnificence, intrigue, and opportunities for adventure? From dazzling waterfalls hidden in Washington forests to Technicolor rivers in Colombia that resemble liquid rainbows, these under-the-radar havens offer road-less traveled delights without the crowds. Let your curiosity chart a course for stunning vistas, cultures, and beaches that surprise and inspire. Seize summer not with a hurried herd but on your captivating terms by exploring these 12 unsung hot spots. Just don’t be surprised if you unearth a new favorite destination!

12 Underrated Summer Travel Ideas

Lesser-Known Nature Destinations

Just because a landscape is less famous doesn’t mean it’s any less stunning. Some of the most breathtaking vistas and unique geographical formations fly under the radar.

Palouse Falls State Park, Washington

Palouse Falls State Park, Washington

This state park in eastern Washington is home to the 198-foot Palouse Falls. The mighty waterfall tumbles into a canyon surrounded by beautiful basalt formations. The park offers camping, hiking trails, and panoramic views that look almost alien in their striking beauty. Go during the week to avoid crowds.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Located in northeastern Brazil, this national park features over 1500 square kilometers of dunes and clear rainwater lagoons that form between them. The contrast of the blue lagoons against the white dunes is visually arresting and makes for incredible landscape photographs.

Caño Cristales, Colombia

Caño Cristales, Colombia

From July through November, this Colombian river transforms into a vibrant explosion of color thanks to an aquatic plant called Macarenia clavigera. The riverbed appears painted in red, blue, yellow, orange, and green hues, earning it the nickname “The Liquid Rainbow.”

Off-the-Beaten-Path Cities

Avoid the summer tourist rush by visiting some lesser-traveled cities around the globe. You’ll find everything from rich history to stunning architecture without the crowds.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mostar’s Ottoman-influenced architecture and stone arch bridge set it apart from other European cities. Stroll through the Old Town area to visit historic mosques, shops, and cafes. Watch locals dive off the Stari Most bridge or try traditional Bosnian cuisine.

La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, Bolivia

Built within a canyon in the Andes mountains, La Paz offers visitors scenic vistas, vibrant indigenous culture, and a look at daily life within one of South America’s fastest-growing cities. The traffic-free streets make it ideal for walking tours. Visitors can browse markets, sample cuisine, hike near the city, or travel to Lake Titicaca.

Saint John’s, Canada

Saint John’s, Canada

As the oldest city in North America, Saint John’s has plenty of history buffs and culture lovers to explore. Walk along the harborfront and through the narrow downtown streets lined with boutiques, restaurants, and historic architecture. The city’s coastal location also provides opportunities for boating, whale watching, and breathtaking ocean views.

Hidden Beaches & Islands

Some of the world’s most picturesque beaches remain largely undiscovered by mass tourism. With fewer visitors, these islands and shores offer room to relax and enjoy the natural paradise around you.

Palawan, Philippines

Palawan, Philippines

The Philippine island of Palawan boasts limestone cliffs, coral reefs, crystal clear lagoons, and the Underground River – one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The remote location keeps crowds at bay. Glamping on a secluded beach or staying in a waterfront bungalow connects visitors to the island’s pristine environment.

Nosy Be, Madagascar

Nosy Be, Madagascar

This tropical island off the northwest coast of Madagascar earns rave reviews for its beaches and natural landscapes yet remains under the mainstream travel radar. Palm tree-lined beaches, snorkeling reefs, rainforest hikes, and spectacular sunsets await. The island’s tourism infrastructure makes it accessible for travelers.

Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019, Indonesia’s remote Raja Ampat Islands are home to the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs and rich marine life. These largely untouched islands are a perfect destination for snorkeling, diving, birdwatching, and experiencing millennium-old sunrises over the Pacific Ocean.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some advantages of visiting underrated destinations?

Some advantages include fewer crowds, better availability for booking hotels/activities, more opportunities to connect with locals, lower costs, and a more off-the-beaten-path travel experience.

Which destination on the list would be best for hiking or wildlife viewing?

With its sand dunes and lagoons, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil offers excellent hiking opportunities. Raja Ampat Islands is ideal for marine wildlife viewing, like tropical fish, manta rays, sea turtles, and exotic birds.

Do all the destinations have tourism infrastructure like hotels and airports?

Most destinations on the list have existing tourism infrastructure, though some more remote locations may need more accommodation options. Travelers may need boats or domestic flights to reach islands like Palawan or Nosy Be.

Which destinations offer opportunities for water sports?

Palawan, Nosy Be, and Raja Ampat provide excellent snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, and other watersports. Saint John’s location provides whale-watching tours and boating excursions to offshore islands.

Are there safety concerns to consider when visiting any of these places?

As with international travel, it’s essential to check government resources for travel advisories and safety information. Some locations without heavy tourism may necessitate extra precautions. Overall, these destinations provide off-the-beaten-path experiences with the chance to immerse in local culture.

dhia errahmane nedjai

Dhia is an aspiring travel writer who researches and writes content about interesting destinations, places worth discovering, and fascinating facts and mysteries about locations around the world in order to inspire wanderlust in readers.

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