While popular travel destinations such as Paris, Barcelona and Bali have become overcrowded and losing their special atmosphere, there are countries in the world that possess natural beauty, culture and history waiting to be discovered but kept under the radar.

From the quiet beaches with powder-like sand in Tuvalu, a traditional feast in Kiribati to the humpback whales’ warm-water nursery in Niue,  compiles the world’s least visited countries that are worth consideration.

Tuvalu

A South Pacific country you should consider to visit soon, as its beaches, tiny islands and stilt houses are at risk of being washed away by rising sea levels. Visited by a mere 2000 international tourists in 2017 as reported by CNN Travel, the country is among the most isolated in the world, but it offers tranquil beaches where flying fish are in view and candy-hued coral reefs are within a snorkel away. Included in the activity recommendation is strolling on the powder-like beach sand.

Kiribati

Located 1,394 miles away from its more crowded neighbour Fiji, Kiribati is a central Pacific country where atolls and lagoons are visible from the surface of its waters. CNN Travel reports that 6000 international visitors came to Kiribati in 2016.

Among the rare few who made it to Kiribati, some could be lucky enough to be invited to join a traditional feast called the botaki. Dancers in pandanus skirts, traditional percussion music and party treats including breadfruit, taro and sprouted coconut await at the botaki.

 

 

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Marshall Islands

The term ‘bikini’ for the two-piece swimsuit comes from this country. Bikini atoll, where the United States conducted nuclear testing is part of the Marshall Islands. Apart from giving its name to the swimsuit, the atoll also houses many shipwrecks on its seafloor, hence attractive scuba diving sites.

Among the shipwrecks is the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, which was previously seen at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Divers, too, are in for the view of colorful coral reefs and schools of fish.

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Montserrat

Many parts of this Caribbean island were affected by volcanic eruptions in the 1990s, including its capital Plymouth that was covered with a thick layer of ash and volcanic stones. The country is now dubbed a modern-day Pompeii, with such attractions as a 17th century church that turned grey because of ash and ruins of a grand hotel. Following the tour to the capital, new beaches formed by crumbling volcanic stone await.

Niue

Not a typical Polynesian island, Niue has a rugged and cave-pocked coast. Humpback whales are known to flock to the island between July and October, using the sea as a warm water nursery. Those who fancy visiting this country, one of the world’s smallest, could immerse themselves in a guided swimming session with the school bus-sized whales. (sop/mut)

Also in CNN Travel’s list of world’s least visited countries:

American Samoa

Solomon Islands

Comoros

São Tomé and Príncipe

Federated States of Micronesia

Djibouti

Sierra Leone

Guinea

Tonga

Anguilla

Timor Leste

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

San Marino

Dominica

Liechtenstein

Vanuatu

St. Kitts and Nevis

New Caledonia

Eritrea

Moldova