The world is full of places of great beauty that are worth a visit at least once in your life. Lonely Planet has the ranking of the 10 best destinations to travel this 2020 and in the number one position is Bhutan, paradoxically one of the countries with the most access restrictions. In general, there are many countries in the world that are difficult to visit, but they may be the ones that are most worth knowing.
Bhutan is a Buddhist kingdom located on the eastern edge of the Himalayas, famous for its spectacular landscapes, monasteries and forts with a lot of history. This country is considered one of the most incredible in the world, as well as one of the most difficult to visit. Today it is possible to travel to Bhutan, although with many restrictions. However, until 1974 its borders were completely closed to visitors.
For a few years there has already been an airport that allows you to arrive by plane, but to organize a trip to Bhutan you need an agency to organize it in full: permits, vaccinations, plane tickets, accommodation, transportation within the country itself.
As in the case of the United States to visit North Korea it is necessary to obtain a visa. This is not very complicated, but the real challenge is meeting the rest of the requirements to enter the country, including getting a guide to take you around the city. To visit North Korea you need a local to accompany you all day to take care of not committing any illegality. You can be deported at any time if you don’t follow the rules.
North Korea is one of the most hermetic countries in the world because of its politics and economy, but its closure is beginning to change. According to data from the management of the travel agency Travel Korea, in 2017 there were 40% more visitors compared to 2016 and the figures continue to grow.
Kiribati is a country in Oceania made up of 33 atolls of coral origin and one island, Banaba. The island groups are The Gilbert Islands (16 atolls located about 1,500 km north of the Fiji Islands ), the Phoenix Islands (8 atolls and coral islands located about 1,800 km southeast of the Gilbert Islands) and the I slas de la Línea (8 atolls and a reef, about 3,300 km east of the Gilbert Islands). And three other atolls of the Line Islands that belong to the United States.
The difficulties to visit Kiribati are several: First, it is necessary to belong to one of the 60 countries that are authorized to travel to this Republic. If not, a visa must be applied for at the consulate and not all countries have a Kiribati consulate. And also, to get there, it is necessary to fly to the Fiji islands and take a series of planes to land on one of the islands of Kiribati.
According to data obtained by UNHCR, since the start of the war in 2011 more than 5 million people have escaped from Syria and 6 million are within its borders as displaced persons. If the locals themselves flee their homeland, it would not be very smart to visit … And in fact, the access conditions have multiplied.
The beauty of Syria is fading little by little because of this long and complicated conflict. Despite this, tourist agencies (especially Russian ones) profit by organizing visits at very high prices. There is an option with an eight-day itinerary with a visit to Damascus, Aleppo and the ancient city of Palmyra for a price of almost $ 2,000 not including airline tickets and travel insurance.
According to the Global Peace Index, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Unhcr establishes that millions of people have fled this country since the late 70s when Afghanistan began to be ravaged by different wars. This country has come to be considered as “the country of never-ending wars” since, since the Soviet invasion of 1979, Afghanistan does not know what peace is.
Tourism to Afghanistan does not seem highly recommended, although it could be an option for those intrepid travellers who have a lot of experience and resources to deal with all the problems that may arise in such difficult areas. In addition, it is essential to learn to speak Farsi or Pashto since the locals hardly know any other language.
Nauru is a small island in the Pacific with very difficult access. First, you need to get a visa and to get it you must first travel to one of these three destinations: Taiwan, the Fiji Islands or Australia, the only places in the world with a Nauru consulate. According to UNWTO data, in 2017 there had only been 160 visitors to Nauru, data that made it the least visited place in the world.
The island has 21 square kilometres and less than 10,000 inhabitants live there. The peculiarities of Nauru are considered, in turn, as the place where the greatest number of people with obesity live, with an average of 100 kilos. In addition, Nauru is known as “a little hell” since it was home to a detention centre for immigrants that allowed serious human rights violations: sexual assaults on women and torture on men. It had to be the United Nations who was warned of such a situation and closed the centre. In any case, Nauru is still not a safe place.
Like Kenya with its safaris, Angola is a country that attracts a lot of attention. This African country has experienced a tremendous civil war since 1975 that ended in 2002. Since then, visits have been safer, although it is still advisable to take many concerns. For example, one of the main risks for Angola is the large number of antipersonnel mines that are still underactive or unidentified and are scattered throughout the country.
To travel to Angola you must apply for a visa. In the case of Spain, the embassy is located in Madrid. These types of visas allow visits for only 30 days and usually for a single entry. In addition, you will also need to be vaccinated against hepatitis, typhoid fever, polio, and meningitis C.
Somalia is another one of those countries of great tourist interest, but which nevertheless lives in a perpetual war. The Somali civil war started in 1991 and 20 years later, peace has not yet come for the Somalis. According to UNHCR, the country experiences daily kidnappings, incidents, violent robberies and even piracy in its waters. The only area experiencing some political stability and security is the self-proclaimed Independent Republic of Somaliland.
The material and intangible wealth of Somalia was very wide before the war, although part of it still survives: The gastronomy is tremendously rich and draws on others such as Ethiopian, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish, Indian or even Italian, due to a long commercial history. However, its beautiful sandy and rocky beaches are inaccessible. Visiting the country is complicated and dangerous.
Although it is still a fairly hermetic country, Uzbekistan is increasingly opening its borders to tourism. Its beauty as the nucleus and heart of the ancient Silk Road has no limits. To travel to this country, Spain grants its citizens a free 30-day visa. It is recommended to take out insurance, specifically with IATI Seguros.
Another tip is to bring all the money in cash. This has to be declared both when entering and leaving the country. With regard to flights, they are usually quite expensive so it is recommended to fly to Almaty, Bishkek or Dushanbe and then enter Uzbekistan by land. You also have to keep in mind that scams are the order of the day and therefore, you have to be very careful.
When it comes to Europe, it seems easy to travel to any country, but security is not as assured as we think. For example, travelling to Russia involves some complication than another. In the case of Spaniards, it is necessary to have a passport valid for at least six months, as well as to obtain a tourist visa. Not only that, but another mandatory document is the visa support or invitation letter, a document that has to be issued from Russia and that, therefore, must be requested directly from the hotel. And in addition, you have to go with medical insurance that covers possible health care and/or emergency hospital care, as well as repatriation, if something serious happens.