Breathtaking Photos of the Earth's Most Remote and Unexplored Places

Greenland Ilulissat Colorful Town Cityscape View


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Greenland Ilulissat Colorful Town Cityscape View

Our Amazing Planet

Earth Day might have passed, but that doesn't mean you can't do a little armchair traveling while appreciating some of our planet's more isolated and undeveloped places. From the northern reaches of Greenland to the depths of the South Atlantic Ocean — and plenty of awe-inspiring destinations in between — here are the works of globe-trotting photographers who've been lucky enough to go places the rest of us normally cannot. 

Related: The 50 Most Beautiful Views in the World

Blue lake on a snowy mountains background and cloudy sky Torres del paine
Alexandr Berdicevschi/istockphoto

Torres del Paine, Chile

This 700-square-mile Chilean national park has incredible views awaiting adventurers who are willing to embark on the long journey to get there. Known for its towering mountain vistas, craggy glaciers, and crystal-clear cerulean waters — not to mention an ornithologist's dream with more than 100 bird species — this national park can only be reached by a long trek via sea, air, and/or car. 


Related: Bird Watchers Flock to These 15 Prime Spots Across America

Driving off-road in Western Australia at sunset
Francesco Ricca Iacomino/istockphoto

Francois Peron National Park, Australia

Parkgoers drive on a red dirt road at sunset in Western Australia's Francois Peron National Park. Known as a "desert on the edge of the sea," the park features contrasting scenery such as red cliffs, white beaches, and blue waters. It's located about 450 miles north of Perth.  

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Bear Sits on the Shore of Kuril Lake.
Dmitry Aristov/istockphoto

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

A bear sits on the shore of Kurile Lake in remote Kamchatka, Russia. In the distance is the Ilyinsky volcano. A peninsula in southeastern Russia, Kamchatka is known as the "land of fire and ice" for its geology, climate, and volcanic activity. 

Related: 30 Serene and Secluded Lakes Worth the Drive

Mesa Arch sunrise landscape in Canyonlands National Park
Tsingy sunset

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar

This national park is located in the Melaky region of northwest Madagascar and is known for its fissure-like limestone structures. The indigenous word tsingy can be translated into English as "where one cannot walk barefoot." This area is home to unusual wildlife such as the predatorial fossa, the Von der Decken’s sifaka (a primate), and more than one species of lemur. 

Related: 21 Places to Safely See Wild Animals Up Close

Oasis withe green trees in the middle of red dunes
Lena Pillars National Park at sunset time
Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast, Hawaii

With no roads leading into the Hawaiian island of Kauai's Na Pali Coast, visitors must hike in or take one of the many boat, helicopter, or airplane tours that local companies provide. Those that do are treated to a truly fantastic experience of lush valleys, sea caves, dramatic waterfalls, and more.   

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Colorfull house in Nuuk West Coast Greenland

Nuuk, Greenland

Colorful houses dot the landscape along Nuuk, Greenland, which, despite being the country's capital, is a small city of fewer than 18,000 residents along its southwest coast. In the background is the nearly 4,000-foot-tall Sermitsiaq mountain. 

Related: 30 Spectacular Photos of Hard-to-Reach Places

The Milford Sound fiord. Fiordland national park, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

This nearly 5,000-square-mile park on New Zealand's south island features incredible scenery like this landscape of Mitre Peak reflected on the Milford Sound fiord at sunrise. Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is home to a variety of dramatic landscapes as well as popular hiking trails. 

Related: 10 Countries Where They Love RVs as Much as Americans Do

World's Largest Cave - Han Son Doong
Geng Xu/istockphoto

Hang Sơn Đoòng Cave, Vietnam

The Hang Sơn Đoòng, one of the world's largest caves, is in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park in Vietnam's Quảng Bình Province. While most of us will never get a chance to go there, National Geographic offers an incredible immersive experience that lets armchair travelers experience it online. 

Related: Spectacular Caves You Can Rent

Mount Roraima, South America
Image Source/Getty

Mount Roraima, South America

This cloud-engulfed mountain plateau is one of many tepuis, or tabletop mountains, that are found in the Guiana Highlands of the continent. The summit of this structure encompasses around 12 square miles and is bordered on all sides by steep cliffs rising around 1,300 feet. Parts of the mountain lie in areas of Venezuela, Guayana Esequiba, and Brazil.

Related: 14 Under-the-Radar Destinations in Latin America

Neist Point Lighthouse

Isle of Skye, Scotland

In the distance of this photo is Neist Point Lighthouse in the Duirinish peninsula on the United Kingdom's Isle of Skye. With views of the Lochs Dunvegan and Bracadale for miles, the lighthouse rises more than 140 feet above sea level. 

Related: 50 Incredible Castles Around the World

Stehekin at Lake Chelan

Stehekin, Washington

The sun rises over Lake Chelan, shown from this unincorporated community in the Evergreen State. Accessible only by plane, boat, or trek, Stehekin is abundant with the North Cascades' year-round beauty. 

Related: 40 Destinations Where You Can Unplug from the World

Village of Mikladalur, Faroe Islands, Denmark

Mikladalur, Faroe Islands, Denmark

Turf-roofed cottages lie near the sea in Denmark's northern Faroese island of Kalsoy, located about halfway between Norway and Iceland. Mikladalur translates to "the great valley," and in the background, the neighboring island of Kunoy can be seen. 

Related: 25 Coolest Tiny Home Rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo

Golden Bottle tree

Socotra Island, Yemen

A Bottle Tree rises from the rocky ground on this remote island in the Arabian Sea. Socotra's landscape is filled with surreal plant life like Bottle Trees, Dragon Blood Trees, gaping canyons, and tall sand dunes. 

Related: Fascinating Places Where Tourists Aren't Welcome

Palau Ngeruktabel Island - World heritage site -

Ngeruktabel Island, Palau

This is the second-largest of Palau's Rock Islands, a collection of several hundred limestone and coral uprises. Located in the Micronesia area of the Pacific Ocean, north of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, it is uninhabited in modern times, but local lore notes that there were once five prehistoric villages here. 

Related: These Island Vacations Don't Require a Passport

Dallol Volcano  Danakil depression  Ethiopia

Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

This otherworldly view shows acid springs and stepped salt deposits created by the area's high volcanic activity. Sitting at the junction of three tectonic plates, this surreal atmosphere sits more than 300 feet below sea level and reaches temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha
Peter Schaefer / EyeEm/Getty

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha

Located in the South Atlantic Ocean about halfway between South America and Africa, this settlement is the main village on the island of Tristan da Cunha, a United Kingdom territory that is also sometimes called the "world's most isolated settlement."  

Dusk at Ahu Tongariki

Ahu Tongariki, Chile

Part of Easter Island — also known as Rapa Nui — this photo shows the moais carved by Polynesian island inhabitants between the years of 1250 and 1500. The tallest among these statues stands at nearly 33 feet and weighs more than 80 tons.