12 Most Isolated Destinations On Earth

Photo by Filip Gielda on Unsplash

Exploring the world’s most remote places is a unique and rewarding experience.

So if you’re looking for a really unforgettable kind of wanderlust that only few humans get to experience, you might want to try visiting one of these places.

A number of these remote locations feature gorgeous tropical climates, while others require braving Arctic temperatures or relentless deserts.
The adventure is yours to choose.

It’s not easy to get to these destinations—but the payoff is well worth it.

Tristan da Cunha, British Overseas Territory

Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory with its own constitution.

There is no airstrip of any kind on the main island; the only way of travelling in and out of Tristan is by boat, a six-day trip from South Africa.

The locals speak English, but have also invented their own dialect with words derived from Scottish, English, St Helenian, South African, American, Dutch, Italian, and Irish, reflective of their various places of origin.

This is said to be the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world.

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

Frozen in for nine months a year and sandwiched between the largest national park and longest fjord system in the world, the setting of this tiny outpost is stunning.

Ittoqqortoormiit (formerly known as Scoresbysund) is remote.
So remote, in fact, that it bears the distinction of being the remotest inhabited community in the western hemisphere.

This “edge of the world” settlement is home to just 450 hardy souls.
To the north lies the Northeast Greenland national park, to the south Scoresby Sund, respectively the largest national park and fjord on Earth.

The town is made up of a scattering of wooden buildings, painted in an array of bright blues, reds, yellows and greens, across a coastal bluff of pink and grey gneiss (some of the planet’s oldest rock).

Ittoqqortoormiit has just one bright orange guesthouse in town, a pub that opens one night a week, a shop selling the basics and a post office.

Cape York Peninsula, Australia

Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia.
It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia.
The land is mostly flat and about half of the area is used for grazing cattle.

The land is owned by five indigenous communities, who also manage its tourism industry.

Cape York is about a 28-hour drive from Cairns, and renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle is a must.

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Of course Antarctica makes this list; it’s literally at the bottom of the earth.

Antarctica is the only continent that has no original inhabitants, and while the entire thing is as remote as it gets, McMurdo Station, the research center at the southern tip of Ross Island, is likely one of the most remote inhabited places on earth.

Getting there often requires you to be a scientist, military person, or artist — and you’ll arrive via military plane with special skis that can land on sea ice.

Alert, Canada

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Welcome to Alert in Nunavut, Canada, on Ellesmere Island, where the average February temperature is -33.2C and the record low is -50C.

These temperatures are cold enough to freeze unprotected corneas, skin and muscle, in minutes.

The nearest town to Alert is 340 miles away and you cannot reach it by car – only by air or sea.

And there’s a lot of gloom.
It’s dark for four months of the year.

And for four months the sun doesn’t even make it above the horizon.

Those that live and work here – between a few dozen and sometimes over 200 at a time – are known as ‘The Frozen Chosen’.

Angle Inlet, USA

Located in Minnesota, Angle Inlet is home to 150 people and is only accessible through Canada.

The area is most popular for fishing trips, with just a small handful of local stores and resources to its name.
Students access their one-room school through snowmobiles in winter and boats in summer.

Oymyakon, Russia

This remote Russian town is known as the coldest inhabited place on Earth.
Its 500 residents live in darkness for 21 hours a day with an average temperature of -58 degrees.

It’s impossible to grow crops there, so people live on reindeer meat, frozen fish, and ice cubes of horse blood with macaroni.

Indoor plumbing is also tricky since the water freezes, so most use outhouses.

Getting there can take several days.
From Moscow, a flight to either Yakutsk or to Magadan is the closest you can get, and both are over 560 miles away.
The road from those cities that leads to Oymyakon is called “The Road of Bones.”
Don’t drive it alone.

Easter Island, Chile

Easter Island’s 900 iconic statues don’t outnumber the island’s 3,300 residents, but its economy runs mostly on tourism as people from around the world make the 2,300-mile journey from Chile to marvel at them.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the construction and purpose of the statues still remains a mystery.

LAN is the only airline with flights to Easter Island with prices starting at around $900 from the US.

La Rinconada, Peru

Considered to be the highest city in the world, La Rinconada in Peru is a small mining town located nearly 17000 feet above sea level.
The city is located on a permanent glacier and it is this extreme yet impressive geography that makes it so desolate.

Traveling to La Rinconada is problematic to say the least.
The treacherous and winding mountain roads will be a challenge for any experienced driver.

Pitcairn Island

Pitcairn Island is the only island out of four volcanic islands that is inhabited.

The island is a speck of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and measures about 3.6 kilometres from east to west.
Because there is no airstrip on the island, getting to the island requires hitching a ride on a shipping boat out of New Zealand, the journey can take up to ten days.

With only 48 inhabitants, Pitcairn Island is the least populated area in the world.

Vale do Javari, Brazil

There are parts of the world we only know about thanks to advanced satellite technology, and in 2018, a drone captured the images of a previously undiscovered tribe of indigenous people in the Vale do Javari territory of the north Brazilian Amazon.

The territory, home to the largest number of isolated indigenous peoples on earth, encompasses more than 8.5 million hectares and is only accessible by waterway or by air.

Longyearbyen, Norway

This infamous town in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is located about 800 miles from the North Pole and is known as one of the world’s most isolated inhabited areas.

There’s a population of just 1,500 residents in the town, and teachers carry guns to protect their students from polar bears (hunting for polar bears is strictly forbidden, and shooting one in self-defense will require a personal inquiry from the governor of Svalbard).

Another interesting feature of Longyearbyen?
It became illegal in the town to bury their dead within city limits in 1950 after it was discovered that the temperatures were consistently too low to allow bodies to decompose.

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