With a world that is becoming increasingly globalized, there are fewer places that genuinely feel “remote.” However, all avid travelers have their favorite areas of cities and countries, and usually, these areas are untouched by souvenir shops, buskers, or other touristic tidbits. Often, these places are inhabited by a local population going about their everyday lives.
A significant characteristic of responsible tourism is that a visitor leaves the area as they entered it, impacting the place as little as possible. Responsible travelers shop local, avoid big hotel chains, and respect the culture of the surrounding area.
If you’re a responsible traveler looking to get away from it all, check out these amazing remote locations far removed from human civilization as we know it:
Faroe Islands, Denmark
Denmark’s Faroe Islands is an adventurer's wildest dream. This rugged archipelago of islands is located halfway between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic. This northern location makes for a cool, windy, and wet climate.
With endless adventures in store such as bird watching, hiking, sailing, and diving, there’s something for every type of traveler. Currently, the population of the islands lay at around 50,322, with the islands operating as a self-governing country.
How to get there: The Faroe Islands are remotely located, but that doesn’t mean that they’re hard to reach! Visitors can fly non-stop from a range of locations including Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Edinburgh, and Bergen, reaching the islands in only one to two hours.
Feel like traveling slow? It’s only suitable that the islands are accessible by ferry from both Denmark and Iceland.
Okay, I get it: Hawaii may not feel like a “remote” location, but as these magical islands lay smack-dab in the middle of the Pacific. In total, the Hawaiian Islands are made up of 137 islands and islets, with eight main islands that are easily accessible for visitors.
With endless eco-tourism options, Hawaii is perfect for the responsible traveler looking to get in touch with nature once again. Hawaii has the highest number of threatened and endangered native animal and plant species in the world, meaning that it’s the responsibility of visitors to learn about the area and act with care to conserve the immaculate landscape.
How to get there: There are direct flights to Honolulu International Airport on Oahu from many North American destinations, from where travelers can easily get to other islands in the area via ferry or airline connections.
Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is now a part of Chile, but boasts an ancient culture different from anywhere else on the planet. Also known as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is brimming with large stone heads crafted by Polynesian inhabitants who lived on the island hundreds of years ago.
This mysterious and remote island is not for the faint of heart, as its inhabitants are dedicated to eco-tourism and keeping things personal.
How to get there: Easter Island is reachable by regular direct flights from Santiago, Chile, and once a week from Papeete on Tahiti.
The rural town of Oymyakon, Siberia is one of the coldest inhabited locations in the world. Located on the Indigirka River, this Russian town of 500 people is one of the most remote landlocked areas reachable - and livable - by humans. During the winter, the area is dark 21 hours of the day. This extreme location demonstrates the determination of the human spirit and dedication by locals to continue to call this place “home.”
How to get there: Due to the freezing temperatures, plane travel to Oymyakon isn’t usually an option. However, a two day drive in a car will get you there, with some companies offering customizable tours for visitors.
Remember that these remote destinations and their inhabitants are precious spots on Earth that deserve respect. Where ever you choose to go, do so with humility and curiosity.
Carlene Kurdziel is a writer who uses her love of storytelling to get to the heart of the matter, whatever it may be. Interested in “do-good” businesses, she helps humanize brands to connect with their audience. When Carlene isn’t tapping away at a keyboard, she’s partial to researching social and environmental justice, exploring her city, and traveling to foreign lands when she can.