Our world is full of surprises, mystical wonders, and natural beauty which are often or not left unexplored. And since we love discovering the unknown here at Secret, we decided to uncover some phenomenal places you may not know even exist. From underwater cities to a theme park inside a mine…we’ve found it all across the globe. Prepare to have your mind blown by 15 of the most undiscovered places worldwide.
1. Lake Retba, Senegal
We know about many famous pink lakes, but this pink lake – Lac Rose – in Senegal, is one of the most undiscovered places worldwide. It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a strip of narrow sand dunes, and is high in salt, like the renowned Dead Sea, so you can expect to unwind and float across the lake. Indeed, it is perfect for swimming since the micro-algae is harmless to humans. Be sure to visit between November and June, when the lake is at its redness pigmentation due to absorbing sunlight.
2. Okiwana Islands
You may not know about a secret collection of islands in the East China Sea – which is just a five hour direct flight from Singapore. The lesser-known tropical island paradise in Japan, boasts total Hawaii vibes, and exhibits 160 inhabited and uninhabited islands. Okinawa offers beautiful white sand beaches, the best stargazing experiences globally, some of the world’s best diving spots among coral reefs, and a rich culture and history with a number of World War II sites to explore. Learn more.
3. Salina Turda, Romania
Discover the extraordinary natural underground man-made formation at Turda Salt Mine – in the oldest settlement in Romania. Salina Turda will take you on a magical experience that combines modern facilities with the work of miners. Let loose and explore the Salt Museum, take a boat ride on the mine lake, watch movies in an Amphitheatre, play at the iconic underground amusement park, just to name a few activities. Certainly, you’ll find no other place like this in the world.
📍 Aleea Durgăului 7, Turda 401106, Romania
4. The Door To Hell, Turkmenistan
In 1971, scientists decided to meddle with nature and lit this crater hole, full of natural gas, with fire. Now, 50 years later, it still burns at temperatures of 1,000 degrees. Though, it has led the way for plenty of expeditions of people who are desperate to witness the hellish flames for themselves. Nevertheless, it brings some tourism to the remote village of Darvaza nearby.
📍 Karakum Desert, Darvaza, Turkmenistan
5. Shi Cheng City, China
Deep below the waters of Qiandao Lake, you’ll find this 1,400 year old mysterious underwater city. Dubbed the Atlantis Of The East, experienced divers discovered the carefully-preserved ancient structures and buildings of Shi Cheng. The lake was created in 1959 to make room for a reservoir and hydroelectric station. Unfortunately, tourist diving is not allowed at the moment, but we can only hope that in the future we’ll get to see this unusual spot for ourselves.
6. The Wave, Utah-Arizona, USA
Hike three miles to the slopes of Coyote Buttes, at the Arizona-Utah border, to experience this majestic sandstone swirly coloured rock formation. Allegedly, it dates back to the dinosaur era when winds pushed the desert dunes across the sandstone, and water deposited chemicals fell over it. But who knows? Be sure to register for a permit before visiting because 20 travellers per day is the maximum.
7. Huacachina, Peru
We bet you’ve never heard of this secluded oasis in Southwestern Peru. Head to this small village oasis, which is home to just 96 residents, and be surrounded by gigantic dunes and an exclusive lake. Bathe in the water and cover yourself in mud which allegedly can help to cure illnesses like arthritis and asthma. Excitingly, catch iconic sunsets, sandboard, and explore the village’s culture and shops. Certainly, one of the most undiscovered places worldwide.
8. Þingvallavatn Lake
Another one of the most unexplored destinations in the world is Thingvellir National Park in Iceland. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is unique because it’s the only place globally you can exist between two continents at the same time. Here, there is two continental plates where Þingvallavatn Lake is located. Wonderfully, you can swim and dive between rock formations and you’ll be in both Europe and North America at the same time.
9. Jellyfish Lake, Palau
This famous lake is the only place worldwide where you can swim with thousands of jellyfish without being harmed. Lucky for you, these particular jellyfish live off algae which means they have evolved without their stingers. Although swimming is permitted, diving is not allowed because the bottom layer of the lake hosts poisonous hydrogen sulfide. Naturally, it’s South Pacific’s most unique underwater attraction, so you need to add it to your bucket list.
📍 Eil Malk Island, Palau, Oceania
10. Ice Canyon, Greenland
This impressive area is one of the most visited places in Greenland, but you probably have not heard about it. Discovered in 2013, the subglacial bedrock canyon is almost twice as long as the Grand Canyon, and is a must-see at least once in your lifetime. At this mystical landmark, immerse yourself in the beauty of the turquoise river flowing through the canyon, and hike around the icy landscape. However, it is melting due to climate change!
11. Buzludzha, Bulgaria
This abandoned UFO-shaped Monument House is a great exploration for enthusiastic travellers. Opened in 1981 and run by the Bulgarian Communist Party, it is enriched in history and culture with some epic architecture and mosaics. Nowadays, it is covered in vandalism but it still makes an incredible sight to see, especially in winter. Definitely, one of the most unexplored and undiscovered places globally for your bucket list.
12. Red Beach, Panjin, China
Another rare location that is worth the six hour drive from Beijing. Located in the largest wetland and reed marsh on the planet, Red Beach doesn’t have any sand at all. Confused? Instead, it is covered in a red plant called Sueda, which turns the land strikingly red during the autumn. Most of the beach is protected and forbids tourists. Nevertheless, there is a walkway and other sections where you can capture the most captivating scenes ever.
13. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
This surreal salt-covered lake is the world’s largest salt flat and transforms into a giant sky-reflecting mirror from September to May each year. Feel as if you’re parading across ice because the pools left over create a shimmering, illusionary horizon. Therefore, this makes it one of the most instagrammable places to visit globally. Additionally, nightfall brings an incredible stargazing experience.
14. Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia
If you love history and culture, you will adore this unusual World Heritage Site, featuring more than 111 monumental tombs, cave drawings, and architectural designs dating back to the 1st century BC. A trip here offers an enlightening experience and an opportunity to learn about the Nabataean Kingdom. Thousands of wanderlust-hungry visitors flock here each year because it is one of the most obscure and phenomenal places on the planet.
15. Tunnel Of Love, Klevan, Ukraine
Another one of the most unexplored and undiscovered places worldwide is the Tunnel Of Love in Ukraine. This fairytale-like setting traces back to the Cold War, when Soviet forces planted trees alongside the tracks to keep their transportations a secret. Nowadays, it is a popular location to pop the question, and attracts tourists from across the world looking to take a stroll on the unique railway tracks.