Skip to main content

Remote places

Remote places
By Damien Martin

     There’s something about remote places that captures the imagination of the intrepid traveler and conjures up images of exotic faraway lands. Sometimes you just want to get away from it all and go as far as you can. These are some of our favorite remote destinations that you can still get to and still make it back without a search party going out after you.

Easter Island

     As any glance at a globe will tell you, the Pacific Ocean is utterly vast and therefore full of remote places. Rapa Nui, aka Easter Island, lies more than 2,000 miles from mainland Chile. It’s a five-hour flight from Santiago to the island, where the famous moai statues were erected by Polynesian adventurers who settled there about 900 years ago. SCUBA diving and surfing are popular activities, as are trekking and horseback riding. The isolation makes it a great place for stargazing when the sun goes down.


      Although it’s very popular and a full-fledged U.S. state, Hawaii is definitely remote. Honolulu is almost 2,500 miles from the nearest large city, San Francisco. Of the eight main islands, six are open to visitors, and it’s practically impossible to run out of things to do. Oahu is home to Diamond Head and the famed North Shore. Maui boasts magnificent sunrises over Haleakala, while Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is a sight to behold. Hawaii, aka the Big Island, has an active volcano in Kilauea and a permafrost lake atop dormant volcano Mauna Kea. Lanai, in contrast is the smallest inhabited island. Just 9 miles from Maui, it’s a world away, full of rugged backroads and endless views. Molokai has the world’s highest sea cliffs and longest continuous fringing reef.


     It’s at the end of the world and, while long theorized, wasn’t seen by humans until the 19th century. It’s mind-blowing how truly spectacular that much ice can be. It doesn’t hurt that there are also penguins, leopard seals, whales and Antarctic birds on and around all that ice. You can take a long hike or go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the seventh continent and kayaking among orcas in the waters offshore. Antarctica is a truly wild place, and that’s just how we like it.


     With 3 million residents in more than 600,000 square miles, Mongolia is the most sparsely populated sovereign nation on Earth. Those 3 million people are incredibly friendly, and thrilled to share their homeland with guests. Nomadic horsemen still roam the steppes. The vast gorges, snow-capped peaks, crystalline lakes and endless grasslands will make you forget that city life even exists. There’s nothing like fly-fishing all day then retiring to a yurt to make you feel rustic. Culturally, visitors can explore ancient Buddhist temples and Karakorum, the capital from which Genghis Khan took over large swaths of Asia.


     About halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a Norwegian island home to polar bears, Arctic fox and reindeer. Snowmobiles are the main mode of ground transportation as there are no roads connecting settlements. Most travel is done by air and sea. Svalbard has three seasons: polar summer from mid-May through September, when the sun barely sets; Northern Lights winter from October through February when the sun rarely shines and the Aurora Borealis dance through the long night; and sunny winter from March through mid-May, when days get a little longer and the animals start waking up from their long winter’s nap.

Popular posts from this blog

Virtuoso Travel Week highlights

Virtuoso Travel Week highlights By Damien Martin      It might not be that big, tucked on the side of Spain on the western edge of Europe, but Portugal is the hottest destination going this year. Combine the capital of Lisbon -- think a European San Francisco -- with second city Porto and the beach-laden Algarve region with the diverse islands of Madeira and the Azores, and Portugal becomes a lot bigger than you might have previously imagined. That was one takeaway from Virtuoso Travel Week this month in Las Vegas, where more than 6,000 attendees from 100 countries shared the latest and greatest in the travel industry.

      Another important trend is the rise of sustainability. From resorts such as The Brando in French Polynesia, where 95 percent of the energy used is renewable. Buildings made from local, renewable and recycled material blend with their natural surroundings, and even waste is turned into compost that is used in organic gardens. The resort’s conservation program focuse…

World Cup semifinals: ranking the destinations

World Cup semifinals: ranking the destinations By Damien Martin
     Though the final isn’t until Sunday, we do know one thing for sure about the team that will hoist the World Cup: The winning country will hail from Europe. With the last remaining South American teams, Uruguay and Brazil, ousted in the quarterfinals we’re left with an all-Europe final four. While each team has a unique story of making it this far and its own collection of stars who led the way, we’re making our picks based on what the semifinalist countries have to offer for travelers.

France vs. Belgium
      It’s matchup of haute cuisine vs. comfort foods. Cassoulet and escargot vs. waffles and chocolate. Those French fries we’re all so fond of? The origin is highly in dispute. Ask a Belgian, and he’ll say that Belgium invented the delicious potato everyone knows and loves, and that the term “French fries” comes from a French gastronomic hegemony that subsumed neighboring cuisine under the French umbrella. One thin…

World Cup 2018: Whom to root for based on your travel style

World Cup 2018: Whom to root for based on your travel style By Damien Martin
     The World Cup is in full swing in Russia, and as you must know by now, the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify. Despite that fact, there’s still a month’s worth of games to be played, so you might need a new team to root for. Sure, you could trace your ancestry and pull for that country. Or, you could back a team based on your travel style.

      The nation of about 330,000 people is in its first World Cup after a quarterfinal run in the 2016 European championships. The soccer team’s rise has coincided with a spike in tourism to the land of fire and ice. Iceland as a team is the plucky underdog that everyone is abuzz over, much like the country itself. With beards covering their chiseled Nordic jaws, ‎Gylfi SigurĂ°sson and the crew are the hipsters of the World Cup, the soccer world’s answer to lumbersexuals. When you hop on the Iceland bandwagon, just remember, we liked them before it was …