10 Most Underrated Countries to Visit for an Unusual Getaway

The World’s Least-Visited Countries & Why You Should Go

Discover the unspoiled paradise of your dreams.

Are you a travel geek who’s on the lookout for the next destination to jet off? The bustling city and the usual crowded beach life may still fascinate the wanderlust in you. But how about flying to one of the world’s most underrated countries for your next holiday? You’ll surely have a new story to tell once you return from this rare adventure. 

So,  leave all the famous attractions for a while (especially during peak season). And let us walk you through the top underrated travel destinations you should visit at least once in your lifetime:

Also read: 15 Most Walkable Cities in the World to Visit or Live In

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Must-visit underrated countries across the globe

1. Tuvalu – Polynesia

tuvalu one of the most underrated countries to visit

Funafuti Atoll | Image credit: Dmitry Malov via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±2,000

Local population: 12,201 (as of writing)

How to get there: Fiji Airways, Kiribati Airways

Among the most underrated countries to visit is Tuvalu, a cluster of nine small islands in the South Pacific. This gem is here to offer you a brand-new beach holiday experience, especially if you prefer the white sand and the blue waters all to yourself. FYI, this nation is one of the most secluded countries in the world, with only one flight operating every week. 

Four of the islands are beautiful coral atolls, including Funafuti (Tuvalu’s capital), Nanumea, and Nukufetau. Stroll along the beach dotted by coconut palms, and you might spot some flying fish skimming through the water’s surface once in a while. 

Top things to do:

  • Join a mangrove planting activity in the Nanumea atoll.
  • Tour the islands with a motorbike.
  • Dive or snorkel the blue waters of Tuvalu and see its beautiful coral reefs.
  • Visit the Funafuti Marine Conservation Area.
  • Watch Tuvalu’s cultural dance at any nearest maneapa (local town hall).

2. Nauru – Micronesia

Nauru anibare bay and command ridge most underrated countries to visit

Anibare Bay (left); Command Ridge (right) | Image credit: mtcurado via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±200

Local population: 11,015 (as of writing)

How to get there: Nauru Airlines

Fly to Nauru and discover what lies within the Pacific’s smallest nation. This bean-shaped island divides its land into multiple constituencies instead of cities. Three of the most popular constituencies include: Yaren, which is considered the nation’s capital; Anabar, famous for the Anibare Bay; and Meneng and Boe district, where plenty of hotels are located.  

Spanning just 21 square kilometres, Nauru is explorable in less than a day. But fret not, you can still get the best out of this place with all kinds of activities!

Top things to do:

  • Check out Nauru’s unique landing strip.
  • Rent a drive-a-car service and tour around the island.
  • Visit Command Ridge for panoramic views of the island and discover war remnants from World War II.
  • Sunbathe and enjoy the breeze in Anibare Bay.
  • Explore the Moqua Caves, which houses a small freshwater lake called Moqua Well.

3. Kiribati – Oceania

kiribati tarawa island most underrated countries to visit

Tarawa Island  | Image credit: Kiribati Tourism Official Website Page

Annual visitor count: ±4,000

Local population: 133,105 (as of writing)

How to get there: Fiji Airways

With the nation’s tourism still in its infancy, it’s only right to visit Kiribati before more and more tourists flock here. Kiribati islands and atolls are mainly grouped into what is known as the Gilbert, Phoenix, and Line Islands

One of the fascinating spots in this pristine destination is Tarawa: Kiribati’s capital that’s home to various species of fish and shellfish as well as breadfruits. Abaiang Atoll and Teirio Island are the nation’s lost paradise with golden sands and rocky beaches. Psst — if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be invited to a botaki (traditional feast) by the locals. Definitely one of the best underrated travel destinations you should explore!

Top things to do:

  • Go fishing at Kiritimati (pronounced as “Christmas”) Island.
  • Visit World War II historical sites on the Gilbert Islands.
  • Check out the nesting and feeding ground of more than 19 species of wild seabirds on the Phoenix Islands.
  • Surf the warm waters of Fanning Island.
  • Scuba dive around the spectacular atolls of the Gilbert Islands.

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4. Dominica – North America

dominica trafalgar falls most underrated countries to visit

Trafalgar Falls | Image credit: Discover Dominica Official Website Page

Annual visitor count: ±235,000

Local population: 72,980 (as of writing)

How to get there: Take a connecting flight from Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, or Martinique

Your list of the most underrated countries to visit is incomplete without talking about Dominica. Nestled in the Caribbean southeast of Mainland North America, this country is also famously known as the “Nature Island.” If you’re up for an adventure in an untouched forest with a volcanic landscape, this island offers the best experience. 

The Caribbean’s first-ever long-distance hiking trail, The Waitukubuli National Trail, is one of the top attractions in the country. Expect 185 kilometres of steep and muddy terrain along your trail before you spend a good time in a hammock at the end of the day. For a cooling respite on humid days, The Emerald Pool and Champagne Reef will do you wonders. Definitely one of the most underrated countries to add to your itinerary!

Top things to do:

  • Visit Cabrits National Park and explore an English garrison called Fort Shirley.
  • Go on an advanced hike up The Waitukubuli National Trail.
  • Snorkel alongside tropical fishes in the Champagne Reef.
  • See the Boiling Lake up close or take in the spectacular views of the Trafalgar Falls.
  • Meet and greet the locals in Kalinago Territory.

5. Sao Tome and Principe – Central Africa

banana beach and cao grande peak of sao tome and principe

Banana Beach (left); Cao Grande Peak (right) | Image credit (L-R): Joan Llopart Mora | atosan via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±34,000

Local population: 230,590 (as of writing)

How to get there: TAP Air Portugal with stops in Lisbon and Accra

Another least-visited country that offers wonderful nature-based tourism is Sao Tome and Principe, which comprises two volcanic islands on the Gulf of Guinea. This tiny African nation remained uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese navigators first discovered it. The islands were later put under the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

FYI, this country was once a thriving cocoa producer and coffee plantation before it became a famous biodiversity hotspot. We’re talking about lush tropical rainforests, unique flora and fauna, rugged coastlines, hidden coves, and more! Undoubtedly one of the underrated travel destinations every nature lover should fly to.

Top things to do:

  • Explore Sao Tome city on foot and experience Sao Tomean life.
  • Trek to the base of Pico de Sao Tome and take in the spectacular view of the Cao Grande Peak.
  • Go birding and waterfalls hunting in Obo National Park.
  • Experience whale watching at the sea surrounding Principe.
  • Soak in some blue at Sundy Praia.

6. Djibouti – East Africa

lake abbe of djibouti most underrated countries to visit

Lake Abbe | Image credit: mtcurado via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±53,000

Local population: 1,028,344 (as of writing)

How to get there: International airlines from Paris, Dubai, Doha, and Istanbul

Somewhere in the Horn of Africa is Djibouti, the land that houses one of the saltiest bodies of water: Lake Assal. The main ethnic groups that inhabit the nation are Somali, Afar, and Arabs. These Djiboutians have been living side by side since the 12th century.

Aside from the famous Lake Abbe with chimney-like mineral formations, Djibouti also offers rock canyons, hot springs, and volcanoes to be discovered. Plus, you’ll have plenty to do at the beaches of the Red Sea, where there are all sorts of water activities. Not an aquaphile? Djibouti City awaits you with its French-style architectural wonders.

Psst — don’t freak out if you see a herd of camels casually crossing the main road like they own it! This is due to Djibouti being home to some of these amazing animals. Hands down one of the most underrated countries to visit that has something for everyone.

Top things to do:

  • Go diving with whales and sharks in the Red Sea.
  • Enjoy authentic and tasty seafood from Yemeni restaurants.
  • Bump into the wildlife of Djibouti by the sidewalk or everywhere you go.
  • Take in the stunning views of Lake Assal or watch bubble-gum-coloured flamingos at Lake Abbe.
  • Discover beautiful mosques in Tadjoura.

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7. Marshall Islands – Oceania

majuro atoll of marshall islands

Majuro Atoll | Image credit: kurakurakurarin via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±6,000

Local population: 60,311 (as of writing)

How to get there: United Airlines

Despite being recognised as one of the world’s youngest nations, the Marshall Islands has a lot to offer for every travel enthusiast out there. Marine life and diving opportunities are the backbone of its tourism industry. 

With 29 beautiful atolls and over 1,200 islands dotted with Flame of the Forest, hibiscus, and plumeria flowers, you’ll be sure to enjoy the breathtaking views right by the sea. Apart from that, the country is also famous for its numerous shipwrecks on the seafloor that transform into a unique diving experience for many.

We assure you that it is one of the most underrated countries to visit for an unforgettable adventure in the great outdoors!

Top things to do:

  • Visit fish markets and restaurants on Majuro Atoll.
  • Explore the ship graveyard from World War II at the seafloor of Bikini Atoll.
  • Catch stunning sunset on Arno Atoll.
  • Go paddle boarding around Likiep Atoll with your family.
  • Rent a bike and ride along the tranquil cobblestone streets of Kwajalein Atoll.

8. Guyana – South America

kaieteur falls of guyana

Kaieteur Falls | Image credit: deeltijdgod via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±315,000

Local population: 797,201 (as of writing)

How to get there: Take a flight from Dynamic Airways, American Airlines, or Surinam Airways

Guyana literally translates to “Land of Many Waters” in an indigenous language spoken there. This English-speaking country on South America’s North Atlantic Coast is blessed with natural attractions and stunning colonial architecture that’ll wow the visitors.

Its untouched rainforest is home to a vast number of wildlife species, including otters and tropical birds. The nation’s capital is Georgetown that’s spoiled with British and Dutch heritage with more and more Caribbean influence coming in. So, expect a colourful blend of cultures through different ethnicities that inhabit the country.

Top things to do:

  • Go on an adventurous hike up Awarmie Mountain or walk the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway.
  • Visit the leatherback turtles’ nesting ground on Shell Beach.
  • Take a closer look at the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish: the arapaima, which are found in the Rewa River.
  • Check out the spectacular Kaieteur Falls in Kaieteur National Park.
  • Explore Georgetown on foot and take a peek into the life of Guyanese locals.

9. Liechtenstein – Western Europe

vaduz castle

Vaduz Castle | Image credit: Leonid Andronov via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±99,000

Local population: 38,435 (as of writing)

How to get there: Fly to Switzerland or Austria, then take a bus to Liechtenstein

To divert you a bit from the sea and nature, Liechtenstein, the sixth smallest nation in the world, has something else to offer. This small German-speaking country between Austria and Switzerland is famous for its alpine landscapes, medieval castles, and art galleries.

In the winter, tourists come here to ski and snowboard. As for the summer season, visitors prefer to climb the mountains and admire the picturesque monuments across the country. And the best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy these wonderful sights all to yourself.

So, don’t forget to put Liechtenstein among the top spots of your list of the most underrated countries to visit!

Top things to do:

  • Visit straight-out-of-fairytale Gutenberg Castle in Balzers and Vaduz Castle in the capital city, Vaduz.
  • Immerse in the beauty of contemporary artworks at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.
  • Take a tour around Vaduz via the Citytrain.
  • Test your skiing skill in Malbun.
  • Hike along the Historical Eschnerberg Trail.

Also read: 10 Best European Countries That Won’t Break the Bank

10. Vanuatu – Oceania

mount yasur of vanuatu

Mount Yasur | Image credit: Gerold Grotelueschen via Canva Pro

Annual visitor count: ±83,000

Local population: 327,291 (as of writing)

How to get there: Fiji Airways, Air Niugini, Aircalin, Solomon Airlines

For the more daring traveller, why not make your way to Vanuatu? This South Pacific Ocean nation is home to Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. From breathtaking islands and adrenaline-rush adventures, to friendly locals that will make you feel at home, there’s always something for every pilgrim who comes to this city.

Aside from Mount Yasur, some of the country’s top attractions include Port Vila on the Efate Island that’s famous for its lively market stalls. There is also the Vanuatu National Museum, which features unique artefacts such as masks and slit-gongs. That said, you’ll be sure to enjoy your visit to this one of the most underrated travel destinations in the world.

Top things to do:

  • Dive in the blue waters of Tanna Island and discover its marine life and underwater caverns.
  • Bathe in the translucent waters of Champagne Bay.
  • See nature’s pyrotechnics up close when you visit Mount Yasur.
  • Cruise along the Havannah Harbour on The Coongoola, a 23-metre sailing ketch.
  • Experience the stunning light rays flooding in from the Blue Hole of Vanuatu.

Also read: 12 Best Graduation Trip Destinations Around the World

And that concludes our list of the most underrated countries to visit. So, all the best finding your preferred untouched haven among these underrated gems to get the best out of your upcoming adventure!

Facebook image (right): Adrian Wojcik via Canva Pro

About Author

Izzati Haron
Izzati Haron

Izzati is an author to two poem anthologies, a slam poet wannabe, and a full-time nanny to her kitties. She loves dreaming about traveling the world just like most protagonists in the movies, but more often than not, her bank account only permits her to travel to her backyard.