7 off-the-beaten path destinations for your next trip

Who needs big crowds and tourists at every turn? We've selected seven wonderfully remote vacations for your next getaway.
Old monk standing on the doorsteps of an ancient temple in Chiang Mai. Photo: Shutterstock
Old monk standing on the doorsteps of an ancient temple in Chiang Mai. Photo: Shutterstock

Old monk standing on the doorsteps of an ancient temple in Chiang Mai. Photo: Shutterstock

Had enough of overcrowded destinations and played-out tourist hotspots? Sometimes the best trips are ones that take you a little bit off the beaten track. We've searched high and low to bring you seven dreamy locales that are fantastically secluded...

1. Tiger's Nest, Bhutan

There's off the beaten path, and then there's Bhutan. This travel gem, hidden in the wild and isolated Himalayas, was made for introspection and solitude. According to Bhutan's tourism council, only two airline carriers fly into the country. They also highly recommend booking travel through a tour operator: Insight Guides makes this part easy, with customisable trips at the ready. Once you're there, Tiger's Nest, formally known as Taktsang Dzong, is easily its most worthy attraction. This famous monastery, nestled in the cliffs of Paro, is a magically isolated spot. Expect lush green backdrops and astounding views at the peak.

2. The Plain of Jars, Laos

Laos is pretty remote to begin with, but if you really want to explore quiet wonder at its best, head to the Plain of Jars. The origin and purpose of these ancient jar-shaped stones remain a mystery, but what we do know is that they're about 2,000 years old. Peppered throughout numerous locations in Phonsavan, these jars make for a bewildering sight, especially at Stone Jar Plain, which boasts over 250 fixtures. For the best views of the nearby plains, head to Hai Hin Laat Khai. Enjoy the mystical Plain of Jars on Insight Guides' Historical Laos vacation.

Plain of Jars in Laos. Photo: Shutterstock

3. The temples of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Travellers who'd like to take in Thai culture without the hustle and bustle would be wise to put Chiang Mai on their lists. Unlike buzzing Bangkok, this city in northern Thailand is a refreshing change of pace from the throngs of tourists found elsewhere. Chiang Mai has a noticeably slower vibe, as well as vibrant green hillsides and epic temples. Wat Phra Singh is arguably the city's most revered site, along with Wat Prasat and Wat Chedi Luang (prepare for golden architecture and shimmering boldness). To explore these holy temples for yourself, check out Insight Guides' Chiang Mai Sustainable Trails getaway. This way you won't miss a beat.

4. Darwin Bay, the Galapagos Islands

For naturalists who fancy a private vacation, the Galapagos Islands continue to lead the pack. In addition to the top-notch snorkelling and out-of-this-world landscapes, the archipelago's northeast region is also home to Genovesa Island. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, its horse-shoe shape came after a shield volcano erupted. When one side of the caldera caved in, it created a crater that's now known as Darwin Bay. As writer Sandra Wagner-Wright notes, Genovesa is widely regarded as "Bird Island" and is home to everything from the lovely swallow-tailed gull to the exotic Red-Footed Booby and beyond. In other words, Darwin Bay is ideal for bird lovers. Experience its magic on Insight Guides' Cruising the Galapagos trip.

Floating garden in Myanmar's Inle Lake. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Floating villages, Myanmar

Myanmar may be best known for its famous hot air balloon rides over Bagan, but there's plenty more to this Asian jewel than sky-high adventure. Head off by motorboat into charming stilted Intha villages, and you'll be met with unreal floating gardens and local fishermen taking to the water for a day's work on Inle Lake. As A Little Adrift gorgeously describes, one other highlight of these floating communities is the abundance of seagulls, which you can feed to your heart's content. Immerse yourself in Myanmar's serene floating villages with Insight Guides' Best of Myanmar trip.

6. Cinnamon Dhonveli Resort, the Maldives

For many travellers, remote vacations translate to luxury treatment and desolate stretches of pristine beaches. Cinnamon Dhonveli Resort in the Maldives definitely ticks all the boxes here. Located on the deliciously decadent North Malé Atoll, this slice of paradise is ideal for those who prefer to indulge in fabulous cuisine and absolutely breathtaking waterfront views (think sunset pier dining, or tucking into a five-star meal while on the terrace of a private bungalow). Heart-pumping watersports are also on offer. Experience it for yourself on Insight Guides' Luxury Sri Lanka and the Maldives trip.

7. Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

Few destinations are quite as far-flung and alluring as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There must be something about ascending the legendary Andes, going deeper into vast wilderness and astounding altitudes, that attracts adventurous travellers. Machu Picchu (aka the gateway to the Incan Empire) is about as remote as it gets - and the destination of a lifetime. Wrap yourself in wonder with Insight Guides' Peru Express vacation. Your wild side will thank you.

Ready to take your next hassle-free luxury vacation? Insight Guides' local experts can handle all the details!

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