Coming up with a list of the ten most visited countries in the world is probably easy enough, but how about the 10 least visited countries in the world? Some on the list are not surprising, but a couple near the top are in Western Europe and may surprise you.
I’ll start with #10 and work my way back. These are not the actual top 10, but my choice of 10 interesting nations near the top of the list.
10. Sierra Leone (74,400 visitors in 2016)
Blame the 2014 Ebola epidemic for Sierra Leone’s lack of visitors. Although there is much natural beauty in this impoverished nation, tourism has never recovered.
9. Liechtenstein (69,000)
This tiny nation-state, nestled between Switzerland and Austria, is the sixth smallest country in the world. The beauty is breathtaking and Lichtenstein is the only country in the world located wholly within the Alps.
8. Timor-Leste (66,000)
Getting here is not easy: it requires flying to Australia or Singapore first. But ask Stefan from Rapid Travel Chai if you need help planning a trip here.
7. San Marino (60,000)
I remember traveling to San Marino in 2011. It’s a small landlocked nation toward the east coast of Italy that has natural beauty and history. The city center dates back to the 13th century.
6. Djibouti (51,000)
Not the safest place to visit at the moment due to the ongoing conflict in Eritrea and Yemen, but the small nation offers a juxtaposition of mountainous desert and water that gives it a unique topography.
5. Comoros (24,000)
This cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar is high on my wish list. There is natural beauty, wildlife and beautiful architecture.
4. Montserrat (9,000)
I visited Montserrat in 2010 and had a fabulous visit. The island was decimated by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and again in 1995 by an unexpected eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano. It still has not recovered. But the people are extremely friendly and the beauty is stunning.
3. Sao Tome & Principe (8,000)
This is another place high on my bucket list. Located off the coast Gabon, it features beautiful rainforest and colonial architecture from its Portuguese era.
2. Kiribati (4,000)
Five hours from Hawaii, the closest civilization, this is truly in the middle of nowhere. It was the site of bloody WWII battles and is home to a native people who still live off coconuts, bread, fruit and fish.
1. Tuvalu (1,000)
Look at pictures from Tuvalu and you’d be surprised why more people do not visit. The clear water and sandy beaches are beautiful. But it’s a pain to get to–you must travel via Fiji.
I’ve been to only 3/10 on the list but look forward to eventually going to all 10. How many of these ten least visited countries in the world have you been to?