12 of the Most Remote Places on Earth (Part 1)
Ever dream of just getting away from it all? Ever wonder where you’d go to do that? Well, here are a dozen of the world’s most remote places…Part 1!
1. Hanga Roa, Easter Island
I put Easter Island, aka Rapa Nui, in the number one position on this list because I’ve been there. It’s a five hour flight on LATAM (a Chilean airline) from Santiago to the Chilean island in the South Pacific. As of 2017, there are roughly 7,700 residents on the 63 square mile (164 square kilometer) island. Why would you go there? For the 900 giant stone statues or “moai” throughout the island. They’re fascinating! How and why they were made is still a mystery, AND the entire island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We actually went scuba diving and saw an underwater moai (that I later found out was manufactured and put underwater as an attraction. It was still cool to see). Oh and the closest islands to Easter Island? That would be number two on this list!
2. Pitcairn Islands
Most of us probably think of Mutiny on the Bounty when we hear Pitcarn Island – a group of islands 3,300 miles from New Zealand. Officially known as Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, only one island, Pitcairn Island, is inhabited, and only 50 people live there. Most of the inhabitants are descendants from nine Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians who were with them. To attract people to move to Pitcairn, the government tried to give land away to anyone who would move there, but only one person applied. How do you get to Pitcairn Island? First you have to fly to Mangareva Island (not Pitcairn Island) via Air Tahiti Nui, then catch the airport taxi ferry to a village on Mangareva Island, then take a ship to Pitcairn…. Yeesh!
Dark note: In 2004, 13 Pitcairn Island men were charged with child sexual abuse and most of the men were convicted. In 2010, the mayor faced charges of possessing child pornography and in 2016 was found guilty.
3. Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
The world’s smallest capital is totally adorable! It’s smack in the middle of the North Atlantic, between Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. I visited the Faroe Islands a while back, and based my trip out of Tórshavn. What’s there to do? We did a bit of hiking, but we also relaxed. How the heck did we get there? We flew on Atlantic Airways from Edinburgh, Scotland to the Faroe Islands.
Nauru is the world’s smallest republic and home to about 11,000 residents, making it the second-least populated country. What’s the first least populated country? Vatican City – 557 citizens, 246 residents, one of them being the Pope. Nauru is technically part of Micronesia. The island is made up of phosphate so strip mining was the main industry for a long time. But mining damaged the environment (there’s little vegetation and water is scarce) and once the phosphate reserves were exhausted, Nauru scrambled to earn income. The island became a tax haven and money laundering hub. Recently, it received aid from Australia in exchange for becoming an Australian immigration detention facility.
5. Barrow, Alaska
Officially known as the City of Utqiaġvik, many people know it as Barrow. It’s the most northern city in the United States and has the lowest average temperatures of cities in Alaska. That’s saying something. It ain’t cheap to live there either. According to Numbeo, a pound of oranges costs $4.89 and a loaf of bread cost $5.01! Ouch! How do you get to Utqiaġvik/Barrow? Well, that would be by plane since there are no roads that will get you there.
6. Supai, Arizona
Supai, with a population of just over 200, is the capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Although the town is located near the Grand Canyon and Havasu Falls (the name Havasupai means “People of the Green Blue Waters,”), you can only get there by helicopter or hike in, and mail is delivered by mule (so no complaining about slow mail delivery in your town!).
Remember to come back next month for Part 2!
Tina Vignali is an English as a Second Language adjunct at the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Campus. She writes a monthly travel-themed column for the CommuniCator. You can follow her trips around the block and journeys around the world in her travel blog Traveleidoscope.com. Psst! You can also visit Traveleidoscope on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! And guess what – she’s now a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association!