What Are the Most Underrated Travel Destinations?
In 2022, the global leisure travel market size reached around US$ 804.4 billion. While the pandemic had triggered a decline in international tourist arrivals, it was only a matter of time before travelers would take to the skies and fly to the ends of the world again.
People travel for many different reasons but leisure travel is growing in popularity. While Bali, France, Italy, Dubai and Thailand are known as the best relaxing destinations in the world, countries like Panama, Mongolia and Guatemala get less attention. So, today we’ll take a look at some of the most underrated travel destinations in the world.
Nicknamed as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky”, Mongolia is a country bordered by China and Russia. Perhaps the image of Mongolia being a barbaric or dangerous country has pervaded into our minds, but the truth is a gem that has yet to be discovered.
Things to See in Mongolia:
A large portion of Mongolians are nomads who have survived for a very long time because they’ve relied on domesticated livestock. Visiting Mongolia would allow you to explore the rich heritage of Mongolian nomads who still practice their traditional way of life. You can immerse yourself in their culture, witness their customs, and even stay in traditional ger (yurt) camps to experience the nomadic lifestyle firsthand.
Contrary to the popular belief that Mongolia is one of the least attractive countries, the country boasts breathtaking natural landscapes. Filled with vast steppes, rolling hills and rugged mountains, Mongolia offers opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and engage in activities such as hiking, horseback riding, camel trekking, and even skiing in the winter.
The central and northern regions of Mongolia are home to a variety of iconic wild animals, including the world’s only wild horse species, the Przewalski’s horse, as well as rare snow leopards, Gobi bears, and many bird species. Wildlife enthusiasts can embark on wildlife spotting tours and learn about conservation efforts in the country.
Historical and Archaeological Sites
The Mongols have a long and remarkable history that dates back centuries, and there are several historical and archaeological sites that showcase their rich history. The capital city of Ulaanbaatar, for example, offers museums and historical sites that showcase Mongolia’s history and its famed clan leader, Genghis Khan.
Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe
Stretching alongside the Mozambican border, the Eastern Highlands is a region renowned for its mountainous area of spectacular natural beauty. So, let’s see what makes the Eastern Highlands a worthwhile destination:
Nyanga National Park
Situated in the Eastern Highlands, Nyanga National Park is Zimbabwe’s oldest national park, known for its scenic waterfalls, rolling hills and granite peaks. With breathtaking viewpoints, such as the iconic Nyangani Mountain – which is the highest peak in Zimbabwe – travelers can easily enjoy activities like birdwatching, and exploring ancient rock paintings.
Chimanimani National Park
In the southern highlands lies another gem, known as the Chimanimani National Park. With its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountain ranges, the park offers fantastic hiking and trekking opportunities, including trails to Bridal Veil Falls and the stunning Chimanimani Mountains.
Vumba Botanical Gardens
The Vumba Botanical Gardens is an enchanting botanical garden built around perennial streams. The garden endears to the typical tourist who wants a serene space, spectacular views of the highlands, colorful flower displays, and a wide variety of plant species. Visitors can also take leisurely walks, enjoy picnic spots, and admire the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Thanks to the region’s beautiful and rugged rivers, Eastern Highlands is known for offering excellent trout fishing opportunities. The region is dotted with rivers, streams, and dams that are stocked with trout, providing an ideal setting for fishing enthusiasts to cast their lines and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
Known for being the most populous country in Central American, Guatemala is home to mountains, beaches, volcanoes and rainforests. However, most are unaware that Guatemala is also known for its enthralling Mayan culture.
Aren’t we all fascinated by the Maya civilization?
What if I tell you that Guatemala is home to ancient Mayan ruins?
Tikal, located in the north of the country, is one of the most captivating Mayan sites in the world, with towering pyramids and well-preserved temples. Other notable Mayan ruins in Guatemala include El Mirador, Yaxha, and Aguateca.
Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, is found in Guatemala (quite surprising, right?) Surrounded by three volcanoes and picturesque Mayan villages, this majestic lake can be explored by boat.
This charming colonial city is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as a must-visit destination in the country. Antigua is known for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant cultural scene. It also offers a range of attractions, including historic churches, colorful markets, and delicious local cuisine.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Guatemala is known for its impressive volcanoes, many of which can be hiked and explored. Volcán Pacaya, for instance, is a popular choice due to its accessibility and the opportunity to witness active lava flows. Other notable volcanoes include Volcán Acatenango, Volcán Tajumulco (the highest peak in Central America), and Volcán de Fuego.