14 Rarely Visited Countries Worth Exploring (Only 10 Visit #5 Daily)

Discover untouched landscapes and vibrant cultures in these hidden gems.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Traveling to countries like France and Italy is on many of our bucket lists. We relish the idea of the warm, sandy beaches like the Bahamas and the quiet, frozen beauty of Alaska.

However, there's a certain thrill that comes with grabbing your best travel credit cards and seeing the world's least-visited countries, which have a lot to offer tourists.

Filtering for health and safety concerns, as well as ease of getting there and geographic variety, here are the places we want to see the most that get visited the least.

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Yann/Adobe greenery at tiger's nest monastery bhutan

Bhutan welcomes over 300,000 tourists annually (much more than the 300 it let in 50 years ago), making it one of the most-visited destinations on this list. However, the country remains extremely careful with how many travelers it allows to protect its beauty.

Visit to enjoy the abundant forests and mountains, rich biodiversity (including birds), many Buddhist temples and monasteries, and ancient wellness rituals.


Jevgenijs/Adobe grand comoros island

Tucked between Madagascar and Mozambique in the Indian Ocean is the island nation of Comoros. About 50,000 tourists visit annually, drawn by its unspoiled beaches, fishing, and nature.

The flowers bloom so abundantly that they perfume the air, resulting in the nickname “Perfume Isles.” You can also hike Mt. Karthala — an active volcano — and swim with humpback whales if you’re lucky.

Cook Islands

Stella Kou/Adobe clear turquoise water

The Cook Islands bring in just over 100,000 visitors per year, thanks to air travelers from down under and the U.S. West Coast.

There are no high-rise condos or overcrowded resorts on this pristine island nation in the South Pacific. Instead, you’ll find beautiful lagoons, hiking and water activities, great cuisine, and cultural activities.

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dbvirago/Adobe rosseau dominica

Often called the hidden gem of the Caribbean, Dominica — not the Dominican Republic — only sees 60,000 visitors annually.

Get there before everyone else to enjoy the world's second-biggest boiling lake, beautiful beaches and national parks, world-class snorkeling, delicious food, stunning waterfalls, and rainforest spa experiences.

East Timor

TravelPhotography/Adobe beach of dili in east timor

Less than 10 tourists visit East Timor, a small island country between Indonesia and Australia, every day. Here, you’ll find some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world and incredible wildlife viewing.

On land, enjoy fresh local cuisine, a bustling coffee culture, and breathtaking sunsets from the top of Mt. Ramelau.


Overflightstock/Adobe jungle region of kaieteur falls

About 130,000 people go to Guyana annually, which is on the rise, thanks to the South American country’s extensive natural beauty.

Of note is Kaieteur Falls (higher than Niagara Falls), the rich biodiversity (including jaguars and birds), mountains, savannahs, and, of course, the food and people.


Lightning Strike Pro/Adobe lagoon in Kiribati

This tiny island nation is in the northern part of the South Pacific; only 12,000 tourists visit annually. This is truly a destination for those who love traveling to far-flung locales.

With the biggest marine protected area and water-to-land ratio in the world, come to enjoy deep-sea fishing, surfing, and snorkeling. On land, the culture is unique, and the locals are friendly.


rh2010/Adobe saint nicholas church in liechtenstein

Less than 100,000 tourists visit this small country nestled between Austria and Switzerland. It’s the sixth-smallest nation on earth and is still ruled by a monarchy.

Given its location in the Alps, visitors come for excellent skiing in the winter and hiking, biking, and swimming in the summer. Year-round, there’s a rich food and wine culture for foodies.


norimoto/Adobe palau malakal island

Only 21,000 tourists venture to the Federated States of Micronesia annually, a group of islands east of Guam in the South Pacific.

Diving and snorkeling are not to be missed here, as they’re some of the best on Earth. Spend time on the beach looking for wildlife like dugongs, hike through tropical jungles, and dine on fresh seafood.

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trentinness/Adobe vanuatu after cyclone pam

Nauru is the smallest island nation in the world, situated in the South Pacific. It’s a four-hour plane ride from Brisbane, Australia. Only a few hundred tourists visit this remote nation annually.

Those who do are rewarded with the Moqua Caves, excellent fishing, World War II relics, beautiful beaches, and truly getting away from it all.

São Tomé and Príncipe

Anna/Adobe view of turtle beach

Located off the coast of Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe are two biodiverse islands often referred to as Africa’s Galapagos. About 30,000 tourists stay on this island nation every year.

Enjoy sparsely-populated beaches, volcanic exploration, trekking through the jungle, warm culture, unique cuisine, and the UNESCO-recognised biosphere reserve that is Príncipe.

Solomon Islands

gshakwon/Adobe solomon islands

About 15,000 tourists fly to the Solomon Islands, located east of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific, every year. This is the place to kayak, surf, dive, and hike to your heart’s content.

Seeing Kavachi’s underwater volcano is a must-do, as is looking for wildlife in the biggest saltwater lagoon on Earth.


Chris/Adobe tonga remote island

Southeast of Fiji, Tonga is an island nation that receives about 67,000 visitors a year. Diving, surfing, and fishing are major draws to the kingdom, as are the pristine beaches.

Tonga is one of the best places in the world to watch migrating humpback whales. Don’t miss out on engaging with locals, as their culture is rich.


Dmitry/Adobe tuvalu lagoon

One of the most remote destinations on this list, Tuvalu is a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, north of Fiji. About 3,600 people visit this unspoiled paradise every year.

Here, the main draw is the diving, snorkeling, and other water activities in the Funafuti Marine Conservation Area. Consider a homestay to really get to know the people.

Bottom line

Song_about_summer/Adobe woman standing in the airport lounge looking out at aeroplanes

Traveling off the beaten path can be a great way to save money on travel. You’re bound to meet new people, have epic experiences, and come home transformed by your journey.

It’s not always affordable to travel to far-flung locales with unspoiled beauty to discover, but if you stick to a budget and plan well in advance, you can make it happen.

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Cat Lafuente

Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.