We love exploring – it’s part of human nature. From what’s around the corner to what’s around the globe, we’re always searching for new places. Skilled navigators – whether they be Polynesian islanders or European explorers – have claimed and colonized most (if not all) inhabitable islands across our world. Some islands are popular tourist destinations – Cuba, Ireland, and the Philippines come to mind – while others are barely known. Many of these little-visited islands are remote countries or territories located in the Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean Sea and there’s a few situated just off the coast of Africa. Whether you’re looking for a new travel destination to zone out away from the crowds or you’re looking for a picturesque location for your honeymoon, check out this list of the 25 Least Visited Island Countries in the World. But just in case islands are not necessarily your thing, how about mountain passes like these 25 Beautiful Mountain passes you should make a point of traveling through.
*The ranking has been provided by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Countries which did not provide numbers in the past five years were excluded. All data is from 2014 unless specified otherwise. (If a number has an *, the data comes from 2013.) Happy travels!
Solomon Islands - 24,000*
Starting our top ten of the least visited island countries in the world, the Solomon Islands was a British overseas territory before gaining independence in 1978. One of the bloodiest and most important World War II battles in the Pacific happened on and around its island of Guadalcanal. Though diving and tourism are important industries for the chain of islands, infrastructure and transportation is poor, making it a generally unappealing destination for all but the most hearty traveler.
American Samoa - 20,000*
Taking up residence to the east of Samoa (#19), American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. in the south Pacific. The southernmost part of the United States, the islands (about the size of Washington D.C.) rarely received tourists (only 20,000 visitors in 2013). The country is becoming better known to mainland Americans since 30 Samoans play in the NFL, including Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
Drawing in only 15,000 tourists in 2010, Comoros is one of three African countries on our list. Located between Madagascar and Mozambique, less than 2% of its total population came to the country as foreign visitors. A highly volatile country, Comoros has experienced multiple coup d’états since its 1975 independence which keeps tourists at bay. Leisure tourism isn’t really a considerable factor for the country, one of the poorest in the world.
Montserrat - 9,000
A British territory, Montserrat is often referred to as the “Emerald Island of the Caribbean” due to its geographical resemblance to Ireland. The active volcano of Soufrière Hills erupted in 1995 and multiple times since, destroying its Georgian-era capital. Most residents fled the country and have never fully returned. With most of the southern half of the island destroyed and the continued threat of volcanic eruption, Montserrat will likely stay one of the least touristed islands on Earth.
Dominica - 8,000
Formerly known as Dominique, Dominica is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being built by minor geothermal volcanic activity. Referred to as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” due to its extensive natural beauty and rare plant, animal, and bird species, Dominica has he world’s second largest hot spring: Boiling Lake. Visitors are taken aback by the lush beach vegetation and inland rainforests. Dominica doesn’t bring in a lot of tourists – but it wants to stay that way. After seeing the natural destruction caused to other islands which have pushed tourism, Dominica is focusing on preserving its natural beauty and only scaling up tourism slowly.