Hidden Gems of Travelling
It’s those places that you never considered visiting.
Those spots that you stumble upon.
Those aspects that etch away at your mind, heart and soul.
Those places that you can never forget.
Those are the hidden gems of travelling.
Having travelled far and wide, I have a fair few hidden gems that have surprised me along the way…
Namibia: Night sky in Spitzkoppe
In Namibia you might expect sand dunes and desert sun, but what about an area of giant granite boulders and peaks? It was here I first noticed the hidden gem of sleeping under the night sky in an area that felt like another world.
Argentina: Glacier walks in El Chalten
When it comes to Argentina, those well travelled will know the typical tourist route of Torres del Paine and the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier, but what many don’t realise is that a less-weather-dependent option is the sleepy town of El Chalten. It is here that you can go on single or multi-day walks amongst mountains, forest and glaciers. It isn’t Torres del Paine National Park, but it is a hidden gem in its own beautiful right.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Some think quaint beauty like Budapest and Prague when it comes to the eastern side of Europe. But how many would honestly think of previously worn-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina and a hidden travel gem? Me, that’s for sure. Rolling green mountains, stone built towns like Mostar, incredible tasty (and cheap) food. I travelled there in 2012 and imagine now tourists may know more about it, but at the time I visited it was still off the tourist trail and different from the rest of Europe.
When I think of Africa and the many places I’ve visited, I think of wildlife and freedom. I think of hiking to see the gorillas of Rwanda, taking safari trips through areas like Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and many more. However, the hidden gem that I never knew existed before I volunteered in Namibia and went on safari in Etosha National Park was the Oryx.
The Oryx is a beautiful animal that can’t go unnoticed when you see it in all its glory amongst the African planes. It has four antelope species and it recognised for its pale fur and contrasting dark lines on its face and legs. Their horns are long and almost straight, making them incredibly unique amongst the other African wildlife.
Imagine a lagoon surrounded by palm trees in the middle of a desert of sand dunes all around. Sounds like an oasis that dreams are made of right? Well, in a little spot in Peru is exactly that. It’s not a place you would expect in a country known for ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, vibrant Lima, Nazca lines, and the condors of Colca Canyon.
In Huacachina you can sandboard and ride dune buggies around at sunset. You can laze by a pool with a swim up bar and feel like you’re a million miles away from civilisation.
Drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy
Queenstown one of the biggest tourist hubs of New Zealand. Rightfully so too, when you consider everything around it. Milford Sound, Arrowtown and Wanaka are all big destinations around the Queenstown Lakes District. Yet, the hidden gem I found was a drive I took along the lake to Glenorchy, in fact, to a place called Paradise. The trip went from stunning clear blue lake views with snow capped mountains in the distance, to up-close mountains towering over a river and farmlands filled with sheep and cows. Incredible.
This post was part of March’s Travel Linkup all about the hidden travel gems. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
Breath taking places! ❤ Love the appearance of Oryx and Giraffe in one frame tho! 🙂
Thanks! Yer pretty lucky with all the wildlife when you visit Africa!
It’s on my list!
Awesome! Another trip is still on my list too – need to see the migration at some point!
More power and best of lucks on your trip!
I am loving all your photos! I am even more interested in Namibia now. Also, who knew Bosnia and Herzegovina were so beautiful.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is incredible-most understated spot in Europe I think! Namibia (and the rest of Africa) is awesome too – plenty of posts amongst this blog about Africa if you need inspiration!
What an amazing selection. The glacier is something I would love to do
Well Argentina, Chile and NZ are great options for glaciers!
Haha, I went on a school camp to Glenorchy once. It has weird memories of being 14 for me!
Awww but it’s so lovely, but maybe that’s cos I just missed nz when I visited and it was such a stunning drive there!
Wow, some gorgeous hidden gems and lovely photos… I’m a sucker for the Bosnia and Herzegovina one though. I also loved your first few lines – I thought this post was going to be a poem! #travellinkup
Bosnia and Herzegovina is pretty awesome isn’t it?!
Wow what an amazing collection of hidden gems and beautiful photos. I like ve the nightsky in Namibia. Thanks so much for sharing these favourites of yours with #travellinkup
Aww thanks for reading!
What stunning places, Ngaire! Would particularly love to go to Namibia one day..
Highly recommend Africa!
Wow, I’ve never been to any of these places! Great to read about
Glad you enjoyed it!
All these places look amazing! I especially agree with you about Namibia. Was one of the most incredible places we visited in our 4 months in Africa 🙂
Oh cool! Where else in Africa did you go?
We travelled from Kenya all the way down to South Africa. Best trip of our lives!
Awesome! I still need to go back to Kenya/Tanzania for the migration and still I did the west coast last time I figure the garden route down could be cool! One day at least!
The Garden Route is absolutely beautiful! Hope you get to go back soon 🙂
What an amazing collection of gems! I loved El Chalten; the beauty was just too much to handle!
Awesome that you’ve been there! Great hiking spot in nature aye?!
My friend is cycling the length of Argentina currently and blogging as she goes – El Chalten is now on my list… Stunning photos
Gosh that would be incredible! What’s their blog?
Cyclingpatagoniablog.wordpress.com – enjoy!
Cheers! I’ll have to add it to my reading list today!
Right, Bosnia and Herzegovina is now firmly on the list! Looks incredible. The Oryx is a familiar site to me as I live in Qatar and it’s the Qatari national animal, and I agree, they are beautiful animals.
Wow I never knew that about Qatar! The oryx is simply stunning you’re very lucky!
These places look incredible! Bosnia and Herzegovina sounds like heaven to me and any African adventure is right up my street
Cool, good on ya!
New Zealand is the best place I’ve ever been. We drove a lot on the South Island. We went to Queenstown, Doubtful Sound, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Mt. Cook, and Glenorchy — but I didn’t get to go to Paradise. I guess I’ll have to go back!
Ah Paradise is more of a name for more rural Glenorchy I guess! Those are all lovely spots you visited! I still haven’t gotten to Mt Cook yet
Both you and Mandy have me slightly obsessed with Bosnia and Herzegovina now…
It’s a sign Emma… you must go…. 🙂
Paradise is one of my favourite spots in New Zealand!