Hidden Gems: Best Underrated Places to Travel

It’s easy to get into a rut with your routine, especially in a world with what seems like endless video meetings and virtual events. That’s why now is the perfect time to find new and unusual travel destinations you may have never considered before!

There is nothing quite like the feeling of being somewhere you have never been before, finding treasures and surprises around every corner like magical valleys, one-of-a-kind souvenir stores, or an unexpected conversation with a local.

Travel is where we learn about ourselves and about the world around us, growing our minds and our creativity.

Shake it up and get adventurous traveling to one of these hidden gems — these places haven’t quite hit the mainstream just yet, which makes them the best places to explore.

Without the hassle of crowds or tourism, you can get in on some of the best-kept secret hideaways in the world. 

Las Pozas, Mexico

About a 7-hour drive from Mexico City near the village Xilitla in San Luis Potosí, Las Pozas is a world straight out of a fairytale. Off the beaten path, this area of land is full of wonderous sculptures and rainforest magic that you could trek through for days.

Created by British author Edward James, “The Pools,” as translated into English, is a collection of surreal sculptures intertwined with majestic rainforests and breathtaking waterfalls. With over 80 acres of beautiful gardens and towering landmarks, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

James built the statues in the landscape in the 1940s to create a Garden of Eden feel for people who venture through it. He reportedly first wanted to create the site in California but eventually sought out more romantic landscapes a person could feel truly connected with the Earth.

Artists and architects alike will want to soak up every nook and cranny of this forest, enjoying a world where nature and art collide. It truly feels like a place out of space and time.

Check out these surreal sculptures now >

Labyrinth Park of Horta, Barcelona

Also known as “Parc del Laberint d’Horta,” this spot is one of Barcelona’s oldest gardens and best-kept secrets. Neoclassical in style, a cypress tree maze is a perfect scene for rediscovering the enchantment of nature. It’s a perfect slice of fairytale and is well away from tourist crowds.

This is the perfect destination for the lover of books — with a pavilion, water features, and a perfect little picnic area, enjoy the outdoors with your family, and maybe even sprawl out with a good book!

You can enjoy taking amazing photos of the green arches and winding paths through walls of vibrant leaves. A blanket of soft grass stretches around the maze, complete with a lovely pond at its center. Giant arches greet each entrance and exit, while Greek statues peek out from twists and turns in the maze.

The garden is free to visit on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and only charges a €2.23 entry fee the rest of the week.

Get lost in the magic of nature and the adventure of navigating your way through mazes you’ve only seen in movies. You’ll feel like a character in a story, weaving your way through majestic gardens.

Explore epic gardens >

Ischia Island, Italy

This volcanic island in the Gulf of Naples is the best spa ever! With thermal mineral waters, hot springs on the south coast make an epic place to relax and be surrounded by majestic views and history.

This destination is perfect for the traveler who wants the experience of luxury and pampering themselves without the hassle. Hop on a ferry for about an hour ride from Naples out to Ischia and take in the picturesque landscapes and beautiful blue seas.

Once you’ve arrived on Ischia Island, Maronti beach has a clear view of the medieval Aragonese Castle, which is connected to the island by a stone bridge. Nearby is the Sea Museum (“Museo del Mare”), dedicated to the island’s fishing history and tradition.

Many of the beaches on the island are free to visit, and nearby beaches are easily accessible by water taxi for as little as three euros. This island is often overlooked in favor of more well-known areas, and being five times as large as Capri, it never feels crowded.

Take a day trip to one of the most beautiful natural spas in the world right at the heart of beautiful Italy.

Try an island tour or explore a castle >

Dune Bashing in Dubai

Dubai is one of the most visited places in the world, with its delicious food, mega-malls, skyscrapers, and attractions like its ancient architecture, it’s a paradise for tourists year after year.

Get the locals-only experience with dune bashing, which is basically off-roading on sand dunes. Ride through extensive deserts with adrenaline pumping through your veins, sliding and drifting as a professional driver takes you on an adventure.

SUVs are the best vehicle for this activity, and the ones rented out for dune bashing have extra protective measures like roll cages and lower tire pressure to create higher traction.

You’ll be able to find plenty of dune bashing tours, which include professional drivers who will take you on the ride of your life. With their specialized licenses and skills, it will ensure that you and your friends can fully immerse yourself in the thrill while still being safe.

Typically, the tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive you straight to the desert. A few other groups taking the same tour will meet up with you (it’s safest to travel in groups of more than one car) and after about half an hour of exciting driving, your tour may include a BBQ dinner.

At a central camp in the desert, you’ll be invited to sit on ornate rugs and take part in authentic Emirati activities like henna painting and even camel riding. Then, you’ll be in for a real treat (literally!) and dine on mouth-watering Middle Eastern cuisine.

This is the perfect trip for the adrenaline junkie and for the explorer — what a story you’ll have to tell afterward!

Get the experience of a lifetime >

Leavenworth, Washington

This Bavarian mountain town is lined with German-inspired architecture and pastel-painted buildings. Though it’s in the United States, you’ll expect to be offered a giant pretzel and a beer stein.

Leavenworth offers some of the best Christmas markets and festivals, carrying the German tradition of Christkindl Glühwein and yummy treats. You’ll have to double-check that you’re not actually in Munich!

A popular skiing destination during the winter months, it’s also a great place to find winding hiking trails for walking, biking, and climbing during the off-season. It’s the next best thing to the Alps!

Discovered international delights right in the US >

Adventure is Waiting!

Imagine soaking in Italian hot springs at sunrise, walking along the beach with sand under your toes at lunch, and having a picnic dinner in a delicious eatery in Naples with fabulous pizza and wine.

Or dream about hiking through exotic rainforests with ancient stairways and strange sculptures hiding behind vines and leaves to incite a feeling of adventure and even inspire your inner artist.

The world is your oyster and all kinds of adventures are out there with new places you never even knew existed. These places are free from tourism and crowds of people who are just there to take a picture and move on.

The world is diverse with life and experiencing this wild planet at any of these hidden treasures will be the event of a lifetime.

The excitement of finding uncharted territory and discovering new places is right around the corner! Why wait to have the time of your life and make some new memories?

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