Travel and social media are intrinsically intertwined. We all long for those perfectly framed pics in our feeds and, sometimes, they nudge us out onto the open road. This form of Insta-driven-tourism is often so successful that idyllic beaches end up getting shut down due to over-tourism. And though we’re never going to say “don’t travel” or even that social media is negative, maybe it’s time to start thinking about other parts of the world. Places where the wanderlusty gaze of the masses isn’t threatening delicate ecosystems due to over-exposure.
That’s why we thought we’d cobble together a short list of some of the most beautiful places around the world that have yet to hit the Instagram Explore page. The list below isn’t necessarily full of places that are hard to get to — though you’ll need a visa here and there — these are simply spots that aren’t overcrowded and (we believe) deserve your attention. Our litmus test here was hashtagged based; we only picked places that haven’t broken 1,000 posts. They’re all special, a little less tourist-touched, and definitely worth the effort of exploring on your own.
CERAM SEA, INDONESIA — 138 posts
For Comparison’s Sake: Bali has 42,345,314 Instagram posts.
Indonesia is a magnificent corner of the world. The 20,000 islands that make up the archipelago are a diverse mix of cultures, foods, and environments. As you can tell from the fact that Bali has 40 plus million posts, the majority of the tourism-gaze is there. And, that’s fine. Bali is rad.
However, there’s a vast array of islands sitting between Sulawesi and West Papua (New Guinea) throughout the Ceram Sea. It feels like an endless peppering of paradisiacal islands in a postcard-perfect setting. You can dive on coral reefs few have seen, you can island hop from beach to beach, and you can immerse yourself in island cultures that you may have never even heard of. Those are all wins.