How travelers seeking the ultimate adventure can reach some of the most amazing far-flung destinations.
There are some places in the world that simply aren’t meant for the average traveler, as they’re located far from mainstream tourist spots. But that hasn’t stopped intrepid adventurers from seeking out these far-flung sites.
Here, find out how to get to five of the most popular remote destinations around the world.
Easter Island, Chile
Dreaming of seeing the Moai statues for yourself? First, you’ll have to fly into Santiago, Chile, or Papeete, French Polynesia. LATAM offers (pricey) flights to Easter Island out of both airports, both of which last about 5.5 hours. There are flights daily from Santiago, but only one per week from Papeete.
For starters, one does not simply fly into Antarctica unless you are a scientist or employee at one of the research bases. Most tourists have to get there the old-fashioned way — on a ship. Tour operators offer one- or two-week cruises from Ushuaia, Argentina; Port of Bluff, New Zealand (and occasionally Christchurch); or Hobart, Australia. Cruisers should be aware that the Antarctic seas can be extremely rough, and ships are not always the most luxurious.
Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
To visit this iconic monolith in the Outback, nearly smack-dab in the middle of Australia, you have several options. You can drive (it’s about 30 hours from Sydney); you can fly into Alice Springs (about three hours from the major coastal cities), then drive 4.5 hours; or you can fly directly to Ayers Rock Airport via Sydney in about three hours.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Though it’s one of the least-visited national parks in the U.S., it still is a bucket-list item for travelers trying to visit all 417 official units of the National Parks System (this includes the 59 national parks, 87 national monuments, 78 national historic sites, and many, many more locales). There are no roads or trails into the park, so guests either need to hike or fly in.
Start your journey in Fairbanks and take a flight to one of three small villages — Bettles, Anaktuvuk Pass or Coldfoot — before beginning a trek on foot. Coldfoot is the only of the trio that’s accessible by road, so you can drive up the mostly unpaved Dalton Highway and hike from there. Alternatively, you can charter your own flight that will bring you right into the park.
Despite being north of the Arctic Circle, this remote archipelago halfway between the European continent and the North Pole is surprisingly easy to reach, compared to the other destinations on our list. You can simply hop on a flight to the island’s town of Longyearbyen via Oslo or Tromsø.
Daily flights bring visitors and locals up to the land where polar bears outnumber human residents. Many travelers make the trek to see the Northern Lights during the polar night (when it’s dark 24 hour a day), and kayaking, dogsledding and whale watching are popular activities during the rest of the year.