10 Remote Travel Destinations From Around The World


easter island


As technology and transportation advance, the world becomes smaller and smaller; however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still out-of-the-way destinations with well-preserved history and culture worth exploring. Although tricky to get to, these 10 remote spots are worth the journey.

Easter Island

One of the most famous remote islands in the world, Easter Island, a special territory of Chile, is well known for its iconic moai statues (shown above). Located 1,289 miles from the closest inhabited island and 2,400 miles from Chile, it’s one of the world’s most isolated inhabited islands. To get there, flights run to and from Santiago, Chile, Lima, Peru and Tahiti, although check with LAN Airlines ahead of time as they don’t run daily from each location.


robinson crusoe


Robinson Crusoe Island

The largest island of the Chilean Juan Fernández Archipelago, Robinson Crusoe Island is 419 miles west of South America in the South Pacific Ocean. In 1704, a man named Alexander Selkirk asked to be put ashore here after a dispute with his ship’s captain, and spent four years living on the island alone. This lonely man on a lonely island gave Daniel Defoe the inspiration for one of the most famous literary characters in history. With less than 900 inhabitants, the community depends heavily on the spiny lobster trade. The main reason to visit this island is its unspoiled beauty, with excellent diving and hiking and an array of landscapes like mountains, valleys, rainforests and rugged terrain from ancient lava flow. ATA runs flights there from Santiago depending on the weather. Fliers will descend on a small landing strip on the Aerodrome Robinson Crueson, and will then be taken by boat to the village of San Juan Bautista.


greenland


Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

Although Greenland is large in size, it’s home to numerous remote areas, the most remote being the settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit. With less than 500 inhabitants, locals have ample space to roam around. Visitors can take part in activities like dog sledding, trophy hunting and sailing the largest and longest fjord system in the world, Scoresby Sund. To get there, you can take a flight with Air Iceland, Iceland Express or Iceland Air, although flights aren’t daily. Once you arrive in the destination airport of Constable Point, you’ll take a helicopter to Ittoqqortoormiit.


pitcairn island


Pitcairn Islands

These tiny islands are the last of the British colony in the South Pacific and the most isolated British dependency. Of the four islands, Pitcairn is the only inhabited island of the group, with Adamstown being the capital and only settlement containing the islands’ entire population. Visiting Pitcairn is extremely difficult due to irregularity of transport. First you’ll need to pay a $100 fee and get a license from the governor by showing proof you’re in good health, have a way to leave the island and have at least NZ$300 (about $246) per week to cover your cost of living. To actually get there, you’ll take a plane to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, 330 miles away from Pitcairn. Then you can catch a charter vessel, which takes 32 hours. Once you are there, you’ll be able to see the shipwreck of the “Bounty” in Bounty Bay, Polynesian petroglyphs at Down Rope cliff, a Galapagos tortouise named Mrs. Turpin and the sea-level cave and picturesque beach of Gudgeon.


macquarie island


Macquarie Island

Located about halfway between Australia and Antarctica in the Southern Ocean, Macquarie Island is a Tasmanian State Reserve managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site for two reasons. One, it is the only place in the world where rocks from the Earth’s mantle, nearly four miles below the ocean floor, are actively exposed above sea level. Additionally, the fact it’s so remote allows the island to have a windswept landscape featuring dramatic changes in flora, unspoiled beauty and huge colonies of penguins and seals. To get there, travelers can get a boat from Hobart in Tasmania or Bluff in New Zealand, which takes three to four days. Some transportation companies that do the route include Quark Expeditions, Aurora Expeditions and Heritage Expeditions. Because there is no port on Macquarie Island, visitors are brought to shore on small boats.


concordia


Concordia, Pakistan

Residing on the border of Pakistan and China, Concordia is the meeting point between Baltoro Glacier and the Godwin-Austen Glacier, in the center of Pakistan’s Karakoram range. Around Concordia, you’ll also find four of the world’s 14 “eight-thousanders.” These include the mountains of K2 at 8,611 meters, Gasherbrum I at 8,080 meters, Broad Peak at 8,047 meters and Gasherbrum II at 8,035 meters. In fact, Concordia is the only place in the world where four peaks higher than 8,000 meters can be seen. While a beautiful place, you’ll have to walk for about 10 days until you reach the foot of K2. You’ll first fly into Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, to fill out the necessary trekking papers, then fly or drive for two or three days as for as you can toward Askolie, the last village before Concordia and K2.


barrow alaska


Barrow, Alaska

Barrow, the largest city of the North Slope Borough of Alaska, is the ninth northernmost city in the world and the northernmost city in the United States. It’s a great place to enjoy the Iñupiat Heritage Center, bird watching, experience an unusual tundra tour, browse traditional markets and visit the northermost most point in the U.S., Point Barrow. While remote, you can into Wiley-Post Will Rogers Memorial Airport via Alaska Airlines and Era Airlines.


deception island


Deception Island, Antarctica

Located in the South Shetland off the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is the caldera of an active volcano. People visit this remote island to view wildlife like fur seals, sea birds and Chinstrap penguins, swim in Pendulum Cove’s volcanically-heated waters, take in ash-layered glaicers and sometimes even experience an icy scuba dive into the restless volcano. There is also history and ruins, as the island was once home to the whaling and Antarctic bases of many countries until violent volcanic eruptions pushed them out. The island was named after a pilot who misjudged his landing and crashed, killing four passengers and leaving one to die waiting for help on the isloated island. To get to Deception Island, you’ll need to arrive by ship via a cruise or tour.


tristan de cunha


Tristan de Cunha

Located 1,750 miles from the nearest mainland of South Africa‘s Cape of Good Horn, Tristan de Cunha is another world. This group of remote volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean is the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, with a population of less than 300 people. Reasons to visit include the brilliant basalt cliffs and a volcano reaching 6,760 feet above sea level, the most isloated settlement in the world, bird watching and coins and stamps, one of the island’s main sources of income. Because there is no airport, Tristan da Cunha can only be reached by taking a six day journey from Cape Town.


Svalbard, Norway


Svalbard, Norway

This Artic archipelago is the northernmost part of Norway, located above the Arctic Circle about 400 miles off Europe’s mainland. Out of Svalbard’s 2,700 residents, about 2,000 live in the town of Longyearbyen (shown above), with the rest of the population being scientists and miners. One special facet to the destination is it houses the Global Seed Vault, an underground cellar that safely stores the planet’s plant seeds in case of a global emergency. Reasons to visit the destination include exploring untouched arctic wildnerness, seeing polar bears, bird watching, visiting national parks and seeing Norway’s largest glaicer, Austfonna. To get to Svalbard, you can fly into their airport in Longyear, located about two miles from Longyearbyen.

[Images via Shutterstock, Pato Novoa, Hanes Grobe, Shutterstock, Shutterstock, sjorford, Shutterstock, Shutterstock, Michael clarke stuff, Shutterstock]

Hotel News We Noted: October 5, 2012

the d las vegasHappy Columbus Day weekend, everyone. We’d wish you a happy holiday, but we’re not sure that anyone other than postal carriers really get the day off for this anymore.

Lucky for you, we have lots of fun news this week to keep you busy reading over your two (or three) day weekend.

As always, email us with questions, comments or tips. We love to hear from our HNWN fans!

Hotel News We’re Noting: Birth of a Hotel
If you haven’t already, take the time to check out our newest series on Gadling, “The Birth of a Hotel.” We’ll be following the development and opening of Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown, and talking all about the hotel industry as well. We’d love for you to tune in!

Hotel Openings, Renovations & Rezzies Galore in Las Vegas: The D, Nobu, Wynn and Golden Gate
It has been a busy few weeks in Las Vegas. Recently, one of our favorite ultra-luxe hotels, Wynn, unveiled a major renovation of its spa space. The Zen-themed spa has 45 updated treatment rooms and a new menu. Nobu’s first hotel, inside Caesar’s Palace, has started taking 2013 reservations (about $250/night).

But it isn’t just the strip that’s booming. Downtown Las Vegas is going through a massive overhaul. Doors opened at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the National Mob Museum. Zappos announced plans to build its corporate headquarters in the historic neighborhood as well.

Hotel-wise, next week the downtown area will welcome the D Las Vegas, a soaring renovation of the former Fitzgeralds property and sister hotel to Las Vegas’ original Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. Golden Gate announced completed renovations last month. Looks like there’s a lot to see in the Glitter Gulch. We hope to bring you a live report soon.Hotel Openings: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
There’s more to love in Toronto today with the grand opening (or shall we say re-opening) of the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. The hotel moved buildings and closed for several months while it moved into the new space. The location will be the brand’s new flagship, and, as can be expected, cool perks, design additions and amenities abound. Enjoy Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud’s latest dining experience, a massive art collection, in-room iPads and house cars with WiFi. The spa should also be impressive. It’s the largest not only in the city but of any Four Seasons worldwide.

Hotel Spotlight: Chile
Things have been heating up in Chile over the past few months. The South American country has seen the launch of several ultra-luxe hotels, including: Hotel Palacio Astoreca (in Valparasio), a 1920s-era Victorian mansion featuring a wine cava, library, a piano bar lounge and a chic spa. The hotel’s restaurant Alegre, is even helmed by an ex-chef of El Bulli.

In more remote settings, we can’t wait to visit Refugia Lodge, the first luxury lodge on Chiloé Island in southern Chile, a region chosen by the New York Times in “45 Places to Go in 2012.” The 12-room property offers all-inclusive packages that tie in trips to remote islands aboard the lodge’s custom-built Chilote boat, visits to penguin colonies, UNESCO Jesuit churches and more.

And, for a true bucket-list adventure, we’d head to Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa on Easter Island. The Hangaroa is Chile’s most ecologically sustainable hotel, modeled after the Orongo ceremonial village with curvilinear walls and grass roofs. In addition to awesome water views, you’ll find a 75-person cinema, spa and two restaurants. It’s a big deal … this hotel is located in the only village on Easter Island.

Voyage To Rapanui: Sailing 10,000 Miles Without GPS, Maps Or Compass

The Voyage to Rapanui is done without GPS, maps or a compassIn these modern times most of us have become very reliant on technology – some would say a bit too much so. But no one will accuse the 24 sailors on the Voyage to Rapanui expedition of being too technology dependent. The group will soon set off on an ocean journey that will see them crossing more than 10,000 miles of open water without the use of any kind of modern navigational tool. That means they’ll be sailing the Pacific Ocean without GPS, a compass or even maps of any kind. Instead they’ll use traditional navigational techniques, which date back thousands of years, to help them find the way to their remote destination.

Each of the sailors on this journey are Māori – the indigenous Polynesian people who live in New Zealand. Their ancestors once sailed the Pacific Ocean using only the movement of the currents and the sun, moon and stars to guide them safely across the sea. These modern day explorers intend to do the same and recapture a bit of their cultural heritage in the process. Their destination is the island of Rapanui, better known as Easter Island, which is one of the most remote places on our planet. Locating it without navigational charts could be akin to finding a needle in a haystack, however.

The team will split into two crews of 12 with each crew manning a traditional double-hulled Māori sailing canoe. Sometime in the next few days they’ll set out from New Zealand and begin the long journey to Easter Island. Ironically they’ll be using social media to keep all of us updated on their progress with a Twitter feed, Facebook page and Google+ account all dedicated to the voyage.

[Photo courtesy of WakaTapu.com]

Video: Scientists Make Easter Island Statue Walk

Video from Easter Island demonstrates how the moai could have been moved.Easter Island is a remote and mysterious place best known for the iconic and other worldly stone faces that dot its landscape. More than 880 of those statues, known as moai, are spread out across the island, some of which weigh in excess of 80 tons and stand more than 10 meters in height. One of the enduring mysteries of the moai is just how they were carved and then moved miles away from the stone quarry. Now two archaeologists believe that they have come up with the answer, which you can see demonstrated in the video below.

Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo believe that the inhabitants of Easter Island used ropes to rock the statues back and forth. This built forward momentum could then be used to “walk” the stone figures to their permanent sites. The duo put their theory to the test with a moai replica last year and was able to maneuver the large statue with as few as 18 people. As you can see from the video, which comes to us from National Geographic, this seems to be an efficient and quick way to move heavy objects.

So what do you think? Is this how the moai were moved about the island? Have Hunt and Lipo solved one of the great archaeological mysteries of all time?


Grilling Around The Globe: A Memorial Day Photo Tribute

Where there’s smoke, there’s barbecue – and there’s no better time than Memorial Day to light that grill. This year, instead of the same old, same old post on burgers, food safety and how not to burn the patio down, I thought I’d offer a photo tribute to grilling in all of its glorious permutations around the globe.

I confess to taking some liberties, and adding a few methods that don’t call for an open flame. The Hawaiian imu is a familiar site to luau lovers; it’s a pit filled with hot rocks that effectively roasts the food (in this instance, pork). The curanto from the Chilean archipelago of Chiloe is also Polynesian in origin (hailing from Easter Island, or Rapa Nui) and operates on the same principle, but also includes shellfish and potato cakes called milcao and chapaleles. Spit-roasted suckling pig, whether it’s Filipino lechon or Cajun cochon de lait, by any other name would taste as succulent.

Argentina remains the indisputable holy grail of grilling but plenty of other countries utilize fire –indirectly or not – to cook food, including Japan, Morocco, Turkey, Vietnam and Australia. Enjoy the slideshow and don’t forget to wipe your mouth.

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