4 Exotic and Isolated Travel Destinations of 2013

Forget the everyday typical vacation. These destinations are new and unique, and they will fill you with wonder and excitement as you explore:

Image via Flickr by jaffeuxnouguier

For a taste of the Balkans, enjoy the newly-expanding tourism of this small but varied country. The Bay of Kotor, recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, offers a view into medieval life with its several walled and fortified cities that  date back to the Middle Ages. Once you’ve walked the winding, cobblestoned streets and visited some historical sites and cathedrals, enjoy the stunning Mediterranean-like beaches of the bay. The landscape changes significantly as you move inland. Go rafting in the Tara Canyon at Durmitor National Park or visit some of the last virgin forests of Biogradska Gora National Park.

2. The Bay Islands, Honduras

With the best of both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Honduras has its share of beautiful beaches. The Bay Islands on the Caribbean side are one of the best places to start a Honduras vacation—the primary language is even English. Home to the second-largest coral reef in the world, these islands are ideal for snorkeling and diving. Roatan, one of the Islands, is the most popular island and has the most Honduras hotels and resorts (as well as some of the loveliest coastline). Back on the mainland, the town Tela is known for its resort pools and beaches and is near Jeanette Kawas National Park, which has even more beautiful beaches in addition to its charming howler monkeys. Get a taste of the old town with an inn in the city, or look for a resort located right on the water.

3. Cappadocia, Turkey

Image via Flickr by Moyan_Brenn

This ancient city features rock formations, plenty of history, and an entirely new landscape. Dotted by lunar-looking volcanic rocks, the area is best seen by hot-air balloon. The town even has an annual hot-air balloon festival. The soft volcanic rock allowed ancient dwellers to carve out homes, churches, and whole cities from the rock. Visit one of the underground cities, take a hike through one of the many valleys and parks, or stay in one of these carved-out homes yourself. The local fare is fantastic, and you can also help grow the blossoming wineries by touring local wineyards.

4. Palawan, Philippines

This collection of islands has only recently been discovered by tourists, so the water and nature is still fresh and untainted. The many reefs around the islands are bursting with diverse life while the inland jungles offer equally interesting hikes and adventures. For a taste of the surrounding Sulu Sea, walk along the water or take a boat out to explore hidden lagoons, caves, and beaches in this country gem. The seafood is another highlight, so don’t forget to try the stuffed squid!

Whether looking for ancient ruins and relics in Turkey or snorkeling around the reefs in the Philippines or Honduras, you will find yourself marveling at the beauty and isolation of these destinations. What is the most interesting and isolated destination you’ve been to.