Exploring the Unknown: 11 Travel Bucket List Destinations Most People Never Knew Existed

An adventurous traveler is always on the lookout for new and unique experiences. While big-name cities like Paris and New York are constantly on the radar of most tourists, there are countless lesser-known destinations that offer just as much to explore. You might think you’ve seen the world, but even the most experienced traveler has probably never heard of some of these off-the-beaten travel destinations.

1. Civita di Bagnoregio

Scenic site of Civita di Bagnoregio, small village aproachable only by footbridge climbing to the isolated stone houses on the top of the hill
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Civita di Bagnoregio is arguably one of the world’s most picturesque destinations located just two hours north of Rome (less if you’re taking the train). The small village is perched atop a hill made of tufa and surrounded by clay soils, making it look like something out of a fairytale. One of my favorite places in Italy for a romantic weekend break. The place is stunningly beautiful, there is plenty to see and to do on a weekend, the food is unbelievable, and it is just a 20-minute drive from must-see Orvieto and Viterbo.”

2. The Megalithic Island of Sumba, Indonesia

The beautiful Lapopu Waterfall. This waterfal is located in Sumba Island, Indonesia.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krist Setyawan

Every turn you take on the Island tells a story. One that takes you back through time and gives you a feeling of the Sumbanese culture. They take pride in the megalithic tombs within the area. Each tomb varies from the other according to the region. There’s also the Lapopu waterfall, that’s just breathtaking. Believe me. It’s something you’d want to experience.

3. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle, Fussen, Bavaria, Germany
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Noppasin Wongchum

The castle was an inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. It certainly makes you feel you’re in a fantasy world. It stands sturdy on a jagged hill above Hohenschwangau, close to Füssen in the southwest of Bavaria. It was a refuge for King Ludwig II. In 1886, it was then opened to the public. If you’ve never been to a castle, this is a sign to add it to your list. Do it for the Disney princess.

4. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia Salt Flats: Panorama of the Chalviri Salt Flat and Lagoon with a herd of vicuna's (Vicugna vicugna) walking quietly by the edge, altiplano of the Andes mountain range Bolivia, South America.
Image Credit: SL-Photography and Shutterstock.

You’ll find the world’s largest salt flats here. It gives an ethereal experience, with the flats mirroring the clear blue sky. It is the remains of a prehistoric salt lake that went dry, and visiting the site gives you a glimpse into the old times and allows you to experience it. Most people have yet to learn about this place.

5. Mountain Gorilla Family, Rwanda

Encounter of tourist and mountain gorilla in African jungle.
Image Credit: Shutterstick / Marian Galovic

Ever wondered what it feels like to spend time with gorillas? Imagine living with them for a limited time and getting to know them. The Mountain Gorilla Family in Rwanda is an excellent place to start. Within the area lives various gorilla family, and people are allowed to spend time with them. If wildlife is your thing, then this is your thing.

6. Talkeetna, Alaska

Facade of stores and pubs in the small old town of Talkeetna
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Claudiovidri

The small town village is in the north of Anchorage. If you want an adventure, then this is just right. There’s the self-guide hiking option through the Boreal forest. You can even go fishing by the river! There are lots to try out in Takkertna. The local food and drinks are worth the try. And, of course, we can’t forget Mount Denali.

7. Chand Baori Well, India

The Chand Baori stepwell in the village of Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Arthit Kaeoratanapattama

If you love geometry, then this is fitting. Chand Baori Well is shaped like a geometry puzzle and is one of the oldest big step wells. They built the well to provide water to the areas surrounding it. Chand Baori well is about 1,000 years old and still looks incredible.

8. Urup Island, Russia

Urup - island of Kuriles
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Cherkashin Denis

Think of Atlantis but in terms of a volcano and not water. Well, Urup Island was birthed from a volcanic eruption. It has remained uninhabited for years, and it’s a lovely sight. You can take a boat for an up-close view of the natural stone steeple.

9. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Beautiful Sea Caves on Devil's Island in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Lake Superior, Wisconsin
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gottography

The Apostle Island Lakeshore comprises 21 islands with 12 miles of mainland. Although there’s a 22nd Island, it’s inhabited. The Apostle Islands have a fantastic sea cave for kayaking, too. The creek falls are excellent for hiking while sipping on incredible local beverages. If you’re an outdoorsy person, this is one place to consider.

10. Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Small sharks swim near paradise island, Rangiroa atoll, Pacific Ocean, Rangiroa, society islands, French Polynesia, Oceania
Image Credit: Shutterstock / ze_fir

The tiny island is a giant atoll, and even viewed on the map seems unbelievable. You can jog from one coast to the other in two minutes. You’ll find many aquatic animals deep in the waters, like dolphins, sharks, and stingrays. The drift dives are the best, and no one should miss experiencing life under the sea. Remember to try out the local food there!

11. Rotorua, New Zealand

The Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu or Sacred Waters – Thermal Wonderland Rotorua New Zealand
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stargrass

The city feels otherworldly and is known for its geothermal activity. Usually, people suggest that “it makes you feel you’re on another planet.” You’ll find therapeutic hot mud pools and geysers. To top it all off, you can explore by a paddle steamer or a fishing charter. I don’t know about you, but that sounds amazing!

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