Although there are dark-sky cities throughout the U.S., there’s nothing quite like being out in the middle of nowhere — literally — to enjoy not only stars but plenty of solitude in nature as well. Here’s what it takes to get to some of the world’s most remote places on earth.
Gásadalur, Faroe Islands
- Estimated cost: $1,214
You can see one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls at this secluded destination. Set atop a grassy seaside cliff with a tumbling waterfall pouring into the ocean is the tiny village of Gásadalur. Rugged mountains surround it on three sides, the sea on the fourth.
The village tucks away on the far western edge of the Faroe Islands, centered in the ocean between Iceland, Scotland and Norway. Transport yourself to simpler times of snug homes with grass-thatched roofs, visit its famous waterfall or hike the path that was once its primary connection to the outside world.
How to get there: Although the village was cut off from the outside world prior to 2004, a hole blasted through a mountain now allows automobile access directly from the airport.
Ellesmere Island, Canada
- Estimated cost: $26,822
Want to experience a one-of-a-kind vacation in Canada? Take a journey to Ellesmere Island. Home to polar bears, muskox and narwhals, the glacial landscape provides the perfect backdrop to hike, kayak and photograph wildlife.
How to get there: The best way to visit Ellesmere Island is on a summertime expedition. Striking out from Reykjavik, Greenland, 24-day expeditions visit Inuit Villages and remote shorelines, including two days on Ellesmere Island.
- Estimated cost: $2,952
Discover the most remote inhabited community in the Western Hemisphere when you visit the village of Ittoqqortoormiit. Just 450 people live in this colorful village, featuring houses painted bright shades of blue, red, gold and green, clinging to the foot of a snowy coastal mountain.
Stay in the village and immerse yourself in local culture from visiting the local museum to seeing people go about their daily routines. You can also take a tour to other villages via dogsled or cross-country ski, or go sightseeing on snowmobile or foot.
How to get there: Fly to Reykjavik. The second flight to Akureyri lets you transfer to a small aircraft to access Constable Point near Ittoqqortoormiit. Although this is the main airport, you won’t be renting a car and going on your way. A 15-minute helicopter flight shuttles you from the airport into town.
Supai Village, Ariz.
- Estimated cost: $295
Tucked in a side canyon at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Supai Village is one of the quietest and most remote places in the lower 48 states, according to the USDA. Mail is still delivered by mule, and the village has little more than a cafe, lodge, store and museum.
The main attractions are its remote places, which include tumbling blue-green waterfalls and pastel canyonlands. Swim in a sparkling natural pool beneath the 190-foot Mooney Falls, or have a picnic with 120-foot Havasu Falls as a backdrop. There’s also a hike-in campground and trails leading to the Colorado River just 10 miles away.
How to get there: Fly to Las Vegas and rent a car for the 221-mile journey that will take you to Hoover Dam and along a stretch of Route 66. Spend the night at Peach Springs before tackling the last 64 miles of dirt road to Hualapai Hilltop.
- Estimated cost: $4,906
Tucked away in the South Pacific more than a thousand miles from anywhere else, the Pitcairn Islands offer a truly unique experience.
The only inhabited island in the tiny chain, the Pitcairn Islands were first settled by the HMAV Bounty mutineers, and their descendants still live on the island today. Dive the famous shipwreck, swim in a sea-sculpted tidal pool overlooking the ocean or visit nearby islands to have long stretches of sandy beach to yourself.
How to get there: Getting to the Pitcairn Islands is an adventure in itself. Fly to Tahiti and spend a day or two enjoying the beach as the next leg of the journey — five hours and 40 minutes by flight to Mangareva — only happens twice a week. Ferry to Rikitea village where you’ll board the MV Claymore II for a 32-hour sea journey to the Pitcairn Islands. Once on the islands, you have the option to stay for four or 11 days before retracing your journey.
- Estimated cost: $1,716
You’re guaranteed to see a polar bear when you visit Longyearbyen, providing you pop into the Svalbard Museum. A taxidermy specimen is on display, posed for a fierce selfie, along with life-size seals, caribou and other arctic wildlife.
The northernmost permanent settlement in the world, Longyearbyen is one of the planet’s most remote places with lots to do. Uncover the secrets of early attempts to reach the North Pole by air at the North Pole Expedition Museum, take a dog sled journey or send up a prayer in the world’s northernmost church. Visit a walrus island, or discover where backups of the world’s seeds are kept in an underground vault.
How to get there: Just hop on a plane headed to the city.
- Estimated cost: $16,953
As the fifth-largest continent in the world and with an indigenous population of zero, virtually anywhere you go in Antarctica will land you in one of the most secluded places on earth. The only humans you might encounter in Antarctica include 1,000 to 4,000 scientists and roughly 44,000 seasonal tourists. And you might want to book your trip soon, considering it’s one of the destinations that are disappearing.
There’s plenty of wildlife and adventures awaiting you in remote places on the continent. Join a tourist expedition and enjoy activities such as camping out under some of the starriest skies in the planet thanks to a lack of light pollution. Explore coastlines in a kayak, or strap on snowshoes or crampons to delve inland. Bring a camera to capture photos of wildlife that include penguins, grey whales and seals.
How to get there: Start your journey at the southernmost city in the world: Ushuaia, Argentina. Your expedition boat serves as your base camp as you journey along the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Estimated cost: $2,809
Siberia has a reputation for being cold, and Oymyakon bears the title of being the coldest inhabited place on earth. Bundle up for a winter road trip between December and April to experience Oymyakon during its winter splendor. Make sure to park in a heated garage, or your car will never start again. The coldest months are from December through early February, when temperatures can dip to nearly 60 degrees F below zero.
Experience the unique culture of citizens who spend much of the year dealing with freezing temperatures and extremes that can swing between 96 below zero to 94 degrees above. Because crops can’t grow, local cuisine revolves around meat and fish, sometimes eaten in frozen dishes or in a warming soup.
How to get there: Fly to Yakutsk and book a five-day winter tour through VisitYakutia.com. Stay with an Oymyakon family and explore local culture ranging from net fishing and horse breeding to exploring an ice tunnel.
Changthang Plateau, Leh, India
- Estimated cost: $2,465
Stretching from eastern India’s Ladakh region through Tibet to China, the Changthang region covers nearly 435,000 square miles. Its altitudes soar from 14,100 feet to nearly 23,000 feet, making it uninhabitable for all but the hardiest of inhabitants and one of the most remote places on earth.
Visit the Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to a variety medicinal plants and wildlife species. Look for the black-necked crane, yaks, blue sheep and a host of other animals along sandy tablelands and marshy plains framed by snowy peaks. Visit some of the highest lakes in the world, where even the saltwater freezes in winter. And, discover the culture of Tibetan herders.
How to get there: Fly to Leh where you can arrange a tour or guide to visit remote places on the Changthang Plateau.
Angle Inlet, Minn.
- Estimated cost: $847
Angle Inlet is the northernmost place in the lower 48 states. A 1783 surveying error during the Treaty of Paris left a random chunk of land known as the Northwest Angle completely surrounded by Canada on the northern edge of the Lake of the Woods.
You’ll need a car to get there and have to cross the international border twice, so bring your passport. You’ll re-enter the U.S. at Jim’s Corner, a little shed where you’ll check in with U.S. Immigration by video phone. Once there, play golf at the northernmost golf course in the country, or take to the lake to enjoy some of the best walleye fishing in the U.S.
How to get there: Reach this remote place by flying into International Falls and driving 168 miles to reach the Northwest Angle. Make sure your rental car agreement allows travel into Canada, as that’s the only way to get to this slice of Minnesota.
Green Bank, W.VA.
- Estimated cost: $721
Green Bank lies in the 13,000-square-mile National Radio Quiet Zone where TV, WiFi, cellphones and even microwaves are verboten. The silence avoids interference with the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, which listens for energies in outer space as minute as a lone snowflake hitting the ground.
You can’t upload selfies, but you can call your friends from a genuine payphone, something that’s hard to find in the rest of the U.S. Enjoy a respite from electromagnetic fields in Green Bank, and take a telescope tour, visit the observatory’s science center or hike miles of unspoiled nature.
How to get there: Fly to Charlottesville, Va., and rent a car, as trains and buses only run within an hour’s drive of the town. Just make sure it doesn’t have automatic tire pressure sensors, which interfere with the telescope.
Tristan da Cunha
- Estimated cost: $2,463
Although Tristan da Cunha is one of the most remote islands in the world, the warm hospitality of its 300 or so English-speaking residents is well-known.
Enjoy your time hiking a dormant volcano, visiting colonies of rockhopper penguins, fishing or taking a cruise to nearby wildlife preserve islands. Get to know locals one-on-one with a homestay that includes full board and laundry for $66 per day per person. Private guest houses with up to three bedrooms or remote huts are other options if you prefer more privacy.
How to get there: Reaching Tristan da Cunha is more complex than flying to Cape Town, South Africa, and setting out on the five-day boat journey to the island. You’ll need approval from the Island Council, which looks at your past criminal history, use of habit-forming substances and even physical health.
- Estimated cost: $670
Formerly known as Barrow, Utqiagvik — pronounced oot kay-ahg vik — lies on the far northern tip of the state north of the Arctic Circle. More than just a place to get away from it all, the village is one of the best places in the U.S. to see polar bears, caribou and other arctic wildlife.
Visit from September through March to see dazzling displays of the aurora borealis or during the third week of June for the annual whaling festival where a dancer is thrown high in the air from a blanket of seal skins.
Get a taste of what life has been like for centuries at the Inupiat Heritage Center as you browse through artifacts or watch traditional crafts demonstrated by elders-in-residence.
How to get there: The isolated seaside village is accessible year-round, thanks to regularly scheduled air services that provide the only way in and out.
St. Matthew Island, Alaska
- Estimated cost: $11,695
Tucked in the central Bering Sea more than 120 miles from the nearest land, St. Matthew Island is the most isolated location in Alaska and far from human habitation. You won’t find hotels or resorts on the picturesque island, with its fields of summer wildflowers and dramatic cliffs.
Clear, tumbling creeks provide hydration for the island’s abundant wildlife that ranges from puffins and snow white buntings to arctic foxes, voles, walruses and whales.
How to get there: You can set sail on a summertime cruise from Nome that visits the island as well as scenic ports in Russia and Alaska. Enjoy time on the island away from crowds, photographing its dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife as you tour or hike.
La Rinconada, Peru
- Estimated cost: $975
Not only is La Rinconada one of the more remote places in Peru, it’s the highest permanent settlement in the world. Set at an elevation of more than 16,700 feet, the city has more than 50,000 residents who live without modern amenities such as running water or sewers.
A nearby goldmine is where most of the local men — and some women — work. Savor local cuisine in one of a half-dozen restaurants along the main road through town, and stay in the lone hotel, the Hotel Royal. Trek into the picturesque Andes during the brief summer season to savor vistas of jagged snow-capped mountains towering above green valleys with sparkling blue lakes.
How to get there: The first leg of your journey — flying to Juliaca — is the easy part. Get a taxi to the Juliaca Airport, which will reliably only get you to Ananea. Hire a local driver, or hike the last 7 uphill miles along the narrow mountain road, gaining 1,000 feet in elevation along the way.
This post was originally featured on GoBankingRates: https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-money/how-much-cost-secluded-places-earth/