Image by JuntosWorldwide via flickr
We all love a good getaway to relax and briefly forget about the pressure and demands of daily life back home. However, with an increasingly globalized world, popular tourist destinations are becoming more and more crowded. The implications of this include a higher chance that you’ll be subjected to a stressful environment, when really what you intended was to retreat from these kind of situations. A great example is Punta del Este in Uruguay, which has was once a secluded, pristine and beautiful beach resort area. However, over the years, real estate has boomed and the town has effectively become a city. Punta del Este is now a bustling urban centre that attracts hordes of South American holiday-makers from across the continent, and therefore the element of serenity it once possessed has been lost.
Today I am going to tell you about the advantages of getting out of the way of mainstream tourism. Low-key and underrated destinations are more than abundant, and if you’re looking to break away from your routine in the city, I highly recommend a new experience. Remote villages rich in history and culture, unspoiled natural landscapes and complete relaxation are available throughout the world at undiscovered locations. In fact, you could even become a pioneer and unveil true gems!
Here are the main advantages of low-key destinations:
– Adventure and Discovery
– Retreating from convention
If you’re thinking about forsaking the established norms of holiday-making, you will probably need an adventurous spirit. Main stream holidays offer significant infrastructure and logistics, in which packages are arranged for simplicity. On the other hand, offbeat holidays simply do not have such features, and are often characterized by tents, hiking, exposure to nature, phrase books and new experiences. But even if package deals are available to facilitate the organization of your trip, a predisposition favouring adventure is required.
Allow me to illustrate with a fantastic destination that I chose this year over Punta del Este. Cabo Polonio is a hamlet on the eastern shore of Uruguay, which is located very near the beach resort of Valizas. According to the legend, the name of Polonio derives from a ship of a similar name that sunk off the coast of the future town. What makes Cabo Polonio special is that it is effectively a time capsule of what these places used to be like before urbanization and popularity reached them. Only accessible on 4X4 vehicles or simply by walking through the sand-dunes, the hamlet is wonderfully secluded from the hustle of mainstream society. With a permanent population of fewer than one hundred people, the town lacks running water, electricity and gas supplies. People either collect rain water or head to water wells to drink and wash. This au naturel experience is a throwback to how we all used to live, and is complemented by stunning natural beauty, including a superb coastline. Another magnificent experience is the abundance of sea lions, although I should warn you that they are not shy and you should maintain a healthy distance from them! Another intriguing attraction at Cabo Polonio is the old lighthouse, which has been declared a historic monument by the Uruguayan government. In brief, Cabo Polonio is a place that encapsulates the three factors I listed above. It epitomizes relaxation, allows for exploration and adventure and is characterized by an undeniable sense of peace.
Retreating from society
In general terms, you probably know why are looking for a low-key holiday. Privacy and a healthy sense of solitude are becoming less and less available in mainstream holidays. For example, at a resort like Club Med (or any other of the sort) you are constantly bombarded with propositions on how to spend your time and continuously have to interact with people who you might not want to. If you’re anything like me, you prefer the independence of arranging your own holiday outside convention and pre-determination. I like to improvise and decide for myself what I want to do without having to face the nuisance of dealing with strangers. This might sound like I am a social recluse, but that’s not the case. Quite frankly, as I live in a city, I come into contact with strangers every day, and on a holiday I want to avoid that and just spend time with the ones I love. There are hundreds of remote villages across Europe, such as Benidorm holidays, where such an experience is available.