There are probably very few people who aren’t sick of tired of all of the negativity on social media, not to mention being worn out from all of those day-to-responsibilities. If you’re one of the many looking to escape all of the chaos and drama, these destinations are the ideal place to do it.
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Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar, Tanzania (Hotel Prices & Photos)
At Chumbe Island Coral Park you can go totally off grid. This natural park and sanctuary hosts 400 species of tropical fish that swim along 200 types of pristine coral, but there is no electricity at all, and you really won’t have a need to plug anything in anyway. The ocean will be at your doorstep, ideal for snorkeling and diving, while basic but comfy bungalows available for overnights were designed to stay cool with the Indian ocean breezes. There are practically endless opportunities for hiking too.
Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador, Canada (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Not far behind Greenland or perhaps equal to that experience, Labrador offers another quintessential, unspoiled wilderness playground, particularly in magnificent Torngat Mountains National Park. Its remote location has allowed it to remain nearly untouched by humans, but of course, that means it’s not exactly easy to get there. There are no roads, nor even any signs to direct you where to go. To get here, you’ll need to join a special tour, hire a private charter, or take advantage of the packages offered by Torngat Mountains Base Camp. Once you’ve arrived, that chaotic world back home will feel like a lifetime away – there is no cell phone service or Internet availability here, so you can forget all about that too. Instead, enjoy the stunningly dramatic mountains, glistening icebergs and glaciers, caribou and polar bears, as well as access to 3,745 square miles of pristine wilderness, stretching from Saglek Fjord to the northern tip of Labrador, and west from the Atlantic seacoast to the Quebec border.
Glover's Reef, Belize (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Glover’s Reef, situated about 30 miles off the Belize mainland, is a World Heritage Site and a Marine Reserve. It harbors one of the greatest diversity of reef types in the western Caribbean, forming a vast protected link in the enormous Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. The entire atoll is part of the reserve and the 80-square-mile lagoon housed within it contains some 700 coral patch reefs that draw countless snorkelers and divers to enjoy their striking natural beauty – the biodiversity is truly unmatched. You’ll also find the ultimate in privacy and solitude for a truly unique experience in traditional Belizean living. While there are several accommodation options, when Wi-Fi is available it’s usually very slow and comes with a fee, so it’s best to forget about the online world, and your world back home, at least for a while anyway.
Svalbard, Norway (Hotel Prices & Photos)
This group of islands at the northern tip of Norway provides everything from an abundance of wildlife to close-up encounters with icebergs and glaciers. Known as one of Europe’s last great untouched wilderness areas, these tiny islands that sit between the Norwegian Sea, the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea and Greenland Sea are home to more polar bears than people, with less than 3,000 calling it home. In addition to polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer, polar foxes and all types of birds co-exist in this harsh, but beautiful landscape. This place is so remote that it hosts the Global Seed Vault, which provides a safety net against the accidental loss of diversity in case of a major regional or global disaster. Most smartphones work in the main towns, and thanks to NASA’s presence, there is a good Internet connection too. but as soon as you step into this wilderness paradise, those electronics will be the last thing on your mind.
San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja (Hotel Prices & Photos)
San Ignacio Lagoon, located in a remote area of Baja, Mexico offers little Internet access and conditions have to be just right for your smartphone to work – getting a signal depends on the weather and time of day. But instead of staring at a screen, you can enjoy some of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters on Earth including the chance for up, close and personal meetings with 40 ton grey whales and their newborn calves. Grey whale moms often seek out human interaction, even approaching boats and introducing their new addition. When it comes to accommodation, you’ll find only a few eco-friendly tent camps, making this a getaway from the adventurer who truly wants to get away from it all and doesn’t mind roughing it a bit.
Yukon Territory, Canada (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Canada’s Yukon Territory boasts vast areas that are still totally undeveloped, and most of the area is well outside cell phone range. While visitors often come for the bright lights, there are no big cities here. Instead, the illumination comes from the natural light show known as the aurora borealis that occurs between late August and early April, and during the peak of summer, the more than 20 hours of sunlight that soaks the region. This is the ideal time to take advantage of the multiple outdoor adventures available, such as hiking, horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking and more. With so much room to roam and such diverse terrain, the wildlife watching here is pretty incredible too, including the chance to spot black and grizzly bears, wolves, caribou, moose and Dall sheep.
Australian Outback (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Escaping into the wilderness of the Australian outback is another one of the best ways to get away from all of that drama and noise back home. Here, the orange, dusty landscape stretches beyond the horizon, and when night falls, the glittering Milky Way can be seen across the starry sky. You can stay in luxury tents, we’re talking tents that were good enough for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which look out to Uluru Rock, Australia’s most sacred icon. The striking red monolith towers over the landscape at 1,141 feet, forming the centerpiece of the park, and bears various inscriptions made by ancestral indigenous peoples.
Lundy Island, Devon, United Kingdom (Hotel Prices & Photos)
There is nothing between this three-mile-long, half-mile-wide island off the coast of Devon, England and America. This unspoiled isle that’s home to fewer than 20 inhabitants, boasts dramatic scenery and a fascinating array of wildlife. It’s also rich in history, with a number of interesting places to visit. Its lighthouse is the highest in England, and though it was decommissioned, it is open to visitors who can climb the steep and precarious spiral staircase to the top, from which the whole island, and possible puffins, seals, dolphins, and occasionally, a basking shark, can be viewed. It’s also undisturbed by cars, and the only fences are there to keep farm animals in. Phone reception is sketchy, and the only pub on the island, Marisco Tavern, bans laptops and smartphones.
Akuyeri, Iceland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Iceland is close enough to North America and Europe to make it fairly easy to get to, but far enough to gain some distance from the current state of the modern world. The picturesque town of Akuyeri dubbed the “Capital of the North,” sits at the bottom of Iceland’s longest fjord. It measures 37 miles from its mouth to the bottom and is surrounded by dramatic mountains that are filled with thundering waterfalls, roaring rivers, and lush forests. While it definitely feels like a whole new planet, Akuyeri does boast a number of notable cultural attractions at its center, including a botanical garden which houses nearly every plant that grows in Iceland, though this spot is all about the outdoors.
Tasiilaq, Greenland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Greenland may seem like an uninviting place, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular vacation destination, and much of it is still untamed wilderness. This country with the world’s lowest population density (just .03 people per one square kilometer), offers breathtaking scenery, exceptional wildlife, and lots opportunities for exciting outdoor adventures. The picturesque village of Tasiilaq is the biggest town in Greenland, but it’s home to just 2,000 residents. It boasts a unique blend of traditional Inuit culture and modern European influence, and while the Internet has arrived, it’s easy enough to escape as soon as you walk, or sail, outside town. Sailing between the soaring icebergs is a surreal, humbling experience – and, during the “golden hour,” late in the evening, you can take a midnight cruise and marvel at how the bergs transform from white and blue to hues of red and orange when struck by the midnight sun.