Planet earth is full of mysterious, scary and beautiful remote places. As the word ‘remote’ should suggest, these places are mostly located in the middle of nowhere. Some are situated in the oceans and some of them are on land.
Having a date on a remote island is a unique experience onto itself, where no one is there to hear your voice except for the trees, birds, waterfalls and water. So lets have a virtual trip to the exciting world of the middle of nowhere. See if you want to turn this trip into the real one later.
10. La Rinconada, Peru
For sheer inaccessibility, few locations in South America compare to La Rinconada, a small mining town in the Peruvian Andes. La Rinconada is known as the “highest” city in the world, and has a stunning geography that makes it so desolate. Located around 17,000 feet above sea level.
What is exciting about La Rinconada?
The city is situated on a permanently frozen glacier, and can only be reached by truck via treacherous and winding mountain roads. Just reaching the city takes days, and even then altitude sickness, combined with the shantytown’s deplorable condition, means that few people can handle living there for long.
Still, the town is said to have as many as 30,000 inhabitants, almost all of whom are involved in the business of mining gold, which is extracted from beneath the ice inside nearby caverns.
9. Easter Island
Easter Island is located some 2,000 miles west of the Chilean Coast. It is relatively small, measuring roughly seventy square miles, and is today home to around 4,000 people. Due to its extreme geographic isolation, many people assume that only the highly intrepid traveler can get to Easter Island. In fact, the island is accessible by regular commercial air service to Hanga Roa, Chile (IPC), and tourism is the main industry of the island.
What is exciting about Easter Island?
Easter Island is extremely small and it is famous for its remarkable isolation in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. The island has become well known for the massive rock sculptures, called Moai, that dot its beaches. They were carved some time around the year 1500 by the island’s earliest inhabitants, and it has been said that the massive wood sleds needed to transport them from one place to another are a big part of what led to the almost total deforestation of Easter Island.
8. Cape York Peninsula, Australia
In Australia, the middle of nowhere is not hard to find, but this place presents a remote and forbidding frontier even by Aussie standards. The region has a population of only 18,000 people, most of whom are part of the country’s aboriginal tribes, and it is considered to be one of the largest undeveloped places left in the world.
What is exciting about Cape York?
The northernmost tip of the country can be reached along corrugated 4WD tracks that will rattle your teeth from your jaw. You’ll find the cape approximately 1000km from Cairns, which means days and days of driving, including crossing creeks inhabited by estuarine crocodiles. For your reward, you’ll find a rocky headland and, well, not much else. Now the only thing left to do is to turn around and clatter your way back.
7. McMurdo Station, Antarctica
McMurdo Station is located at the South pole of the earth. Antarctica needs no introduction to get listed on world’s best Scary But Beautiful Remote Places list, and McMurdo Station is situated just smack dab in the middle of nowhere.
What is exciting about McMurdo Station ?
It is Located on Ross Island, near the northern tip of the continent. The almost perpetually frozen station is a center for international research, and is home to as many as 1,200 scientists and workers during the warmer summer months. It’s one of the most desolate locations on the planet, but – although McMurdo is as far from a major city as any location in the world – it’s no longer as backwater as it used to be.
Trips by boat to Antarctica once took months, sometimes even years, but McMurdo’s three airstrips have helped to make the region a much less remote destination than before.
6. Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia
Whether you call it the Empty Quarter (Rub al-Khali) or the Abode of Silence, the largest area of sand on earth is, well, rather empty. It covers an area of the Arabian Peninsula that’s larger than France, Belgium and the Netherlands combined.
What is exciting about the Empty Quarter?
The desert covers some 650,000 square kilometers. It also has sand dunes as high as the Eiffel Tower, rising to more than 300 m in height and stretching for hundreds of kilometers. And, while the Eiffel Tower remains firmly rooted in Parisian soil, these dunes can move up to 30 m a year, pushed along by strong winds.
5. Pitcairn Island
Pitcairn Island, the last remaining British territory in the Pacific, has a standing population of some fifty people. Many of whom are descended from crew members of the famed HMS Bounty. A tiny speck of land located nearly dead in the center of the southern Pacific Ocean. Its closest neighbors are the Gambier Islands and Tahiti to the West, but even these are several hundred miles away.
What is exciting about Pitcairn Island?
In 1789, the Bounty was the setting for a now legendary mutiny, when crew members enchanted by the idyllic life of the native Pacific islanders overthrew their commander, burned their ship in a nearby bay, and settled on Pitcairn. Today, the descendants of those sailors mostly make their living off farming, fishing, and selling their extremely rare postage stamps to collectors, but even with modern transportation they still remain one of the most isolated communities in the world.
There is no airstrip on the island, and getting there from the mainland requires hopping a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, a journey that can take as long as ten days.
4. Olkhon Island, Russia
Travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway as it skirts Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest freshwater lake. You can appreciate the place’s remoteness – it’s about three and a half days by train from Moscow, and three days from Beijing. Containing around 20% of the world’s fresh water, the lake also sports Olkhon Island near its center. Around 72km long, Olkhon is Baikal’s largest island, and by some climatic quirk it’s said to get more sunny days than the Black Sea coast, even as the rest of the lake and its surrounds mope beneath heavy clouds.
What is exciting about Olkhon Island?
The island’s appearance is a result of millions of years of tectonic movement, resulting in the hollowing of the channel between the land (Small Sea Strait) and the block of stone forming the island. The steep slopes of the mountains show the vertical heave of the earth.
3. Kerguelen Islands
Kerguelen Islands is also known as the “Desolation Islands” for their sheer distance from any kind of civilization. The islands have no native population, but – like Antarctica, which lies several hundred miles south – the Kerguelens have a year-round population of scientists and engineers from France, which claims them as a territory.
The islands do have something of a storied past. They were first discovered in 1772, and have been visited by a number of different biologists and explorers. Captain James Cook is one of them, who made a brief stop on the archipelago in 1776.
What is exciting about the Kerguelen Islands?
There is no airstrip on the islands. Travelers must take a six-day boat ride from Reunion to get there. Reunion is a small island located off the coast of Madagascar.
The island is primarily a scientific center today that holds a satellite and a French missile defense system. The area even serves as a refuge for a French cattle that has become endangered on the mainland.
2. Motuo County, China
Motuo County is considered the last county in China without a road leading to it. A small community in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, located in the laps of Himalayas. It remains as one of the few places in Asia still untouched by the modern world. The county is renowned for its beauty—Buddhist scripture regards it as Tibet’s holiest land—and is said to be a virtual Eden of plant life, housing one-tenth of all flora in China.
What is exciting about Motuo County?
Just getting to Motuo is a Herculean task. Travelers must follow a grueling overland route through frozen parts of the Himalayas. Just before crossing into the county through a 200-meter-long suspension bridge. Despite its scary but beautiful remoteness and natural resources, Motuo still remains something of an island unto itself. Millions of dollars have been spent over the years in trying to build a serviceable road to it. All attempts have eventually been abandoned because of mudslides, avalanches, and a generally volatile landscape.
In the early 90s a makeshift highway was built that led the outside world into the heart of Motuo County. It lasted for only a few days before becoming not passable, and was soon reclaimed by the dense forest.
1. Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha island epitomizes ‘the middle of nowhere’. It was first discovered in 1506 by a Portuguese explorer. Later annexed by the British, who feared the French might use it as a point of departure to rescue Napoleon. A small group of British, Italian, and American settlers began living on the island in the 1800s. It is still under the U.K.’s jurisdiction today.
What is exciting about Tristan da Cunha?
A single most remote inhabited place in the world. It is an archipelago of small islands located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The country nearest to the island is South Africa, which is roughly 1,700 miles away. While the South American coast lies at a distance of about 2,000 miles. The islands now have a total population 271 people. Most are descended from original settlers and make their living as farmers and craft makers.
Although the island now has television stations and internet access, it is still the most isolated location on planet earth. The island’s rocky geography makes building an airstrip impossible, so the only way to travel to it is by boat.