15 Travel Destinations So Difficult to Visit They’re Worthy of Your Bucket List

Sometimes, you have to “risk it for the biscuit,” which travelers often do to get to a beautiful or bucket-list destination. These off-the-beaten-track destinations are so challenging to get to that it’s an achievement when you reach them.

1. Sam Ford Sound, Canada

Sam Ford Fjord, northeast Baffin Island
Image Credit: Ansgar Walk, Own Work – CC BY-SA 2.5/Wiki Commons.

Sam Ford Sound, known as the “Yosemite of the North,” is an isolated Arctic fjord on Baffin Island. The most common way to explore this part of the island is via cruise ship, which can be pretty pricey.

2. Yemen

Agricultural terraces in the Haraz-Sarat Mountains
Image Credit: Rod Waddington, Own Work – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

Yemen, and Socotra in particular, are rich in natural beauty. However, the humanitarian crisis has made visiting the country too dangerous for travelers.

3. Pitcairn Island

St Pauls Pool, Pitcairn Island
Image Credit: Henning Axt – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

Pitcairn Island is a British Overseas Territory right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean with fewer than 50 residents. With no airfield or proper harbor, the only way to get to Pitcairn is by boat. Small rafts then collect passengers and freight deliveries from the boats, and if the sea conditions are bad, you don’t get to visit.

4. Torngat Mountains National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Nachvak Fjord, Torngat Mountains, Labrador, Canada
Image Credit: Paul Gierszewski, Own Work – Wiki Commons.

Torngat Mountains National Park is a land of small glaciers, mountains, caribou, and polar bears. There are no roads, signs telling you where to go, or campgrounds, and Parks Canada recommends that “a visitor engage the services of a trained Inuit polar bear guide when hiking in the park.” Before going, you will need the correct equipment, register with park officials, and a plan.

5. Antarctica

Lake Fryxell, in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica
Image Credit: Joe Mastroianni/Wiki Commons.

Although you can take several cruise liners to see Antarctica, they’re expensive. If that’s a bucket-list item for you, you’ll need a lot of planning and saving to go on the trip. One way to see more of this ice block of a country is to get a job down there and earn a little money.

6. Iraq

Felaw Pond in Sakran Village, northern Iraq
Image Credit: Nature of Iraq NOI, Own Work – CC BY 4.0/Wiki Commons.

Explore the ancient ruins of Nineveh, Babylon, and Nippure, swim across the Euphrates, and meet the friendly people of Iraq. Although some travelers have gone and raved about the beauty of Iraq and its people, this war-ridden country is quite dangerous.

7. Chiribiquete National Natural Park, Colombia

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Chiribiquete National Natural Park is part of the Colombian Amazon and is home to three tribes. It’s one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and stunning to see. However, only those granted a scientific license are allowed to visit.

8. Turkmenistan

Image Credit: Tormod Sandtorv – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

This country is notorious for being difficult to enter, especially for travelers who come overland in their vehicles. The best option is obtaining a Turkmenistan Transit Visa, which can also be challenging. With this visa, travelers are given a five-day pass to get from the entry to the exit point, with no detours.

9. Tristan da Cunha

Gough and Inaccessible Island
Image Credit: Ron Van Oers – CC BY-SA 3.0 igo/Wiki Commons.

Tristan da Cunha is a group of the world’s most remote inhabited islands. They sit between the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and South Atlantic Current and are land and sea biodiversity hotspots. The only way to visit is via a ship from Cape Town, South Africa. Travelers must have permission from the Island Council, and you should have a police certificate on hand when you arrive.

10. El Mirador, Guatemala

La Danta at the Mayan site of El Mirador
Image Credit: Dennis Jarvis – CC BY-SA 2.0/Wiki Commons.

This remote part of Guatemala boasts lush green jungles and ancient Mayan ruins. There are only two ways to get there: on foot or by helicopter. If you choose to walk to the site, it’s a five-day hike.

11. North Sentinel Island, India

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

North Sentinel Island has green forests and blue beaches — a perfect holiday destination. Unfortunately, it’s illegal to visit this island. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Protection of Aboriginal Tribes Act bans travel to the island. This is to protect the tribal community from contracting diseases that they have not been exposed to. The inhabitants have also been known to kill visitors, so this island is definitely not the “risk it for the biscuit” kind of destination.

12. Myanmar

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Myanmar is known for its beauty and historic culture. This beautiful country experienced a coup in 2021, and the Myanmar military has cracked down on those who oppose its rule, making it a dangerous place to visit.

13. Democratic Republic of Congo

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The indigenous cultures, geological wonders, and incredible wildlife reserves are why travelers visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, foreigners face the risk of kidnappings and attacks, and it’s advised that travelers consult professional security advice before going.

14. Sudan

Image Credit: Walter Callens – CC BY 2.0/Wiki Commons.

There are more than twice as many pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt, and those who have visited them say it’s worth it. Unfortunately, most international flights no longer land in Sudan, and traveling to this country is extremely dangerous.

15. Kerguelen Islands

Image Credit: Daniel Delille – CC BY-SA 3.0/Wiki Commons.

This natural paradise of cliffs, waterfalls, and mountains is only inhabited by 45 to 100 French scientists, researchers, engineers, and soldiers. To get to the Kerguelen Islands, fly from Paris to Reunion Island and then take a ship that sails to the island over 28 days.

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