Most isolated places in the world: Top 10 places to feel complete isolation

There's getting away from it all, and there's getting away from it all.

For some people, just leaving their home city is enough of a break. Maybe relaxing on a beach with a few other people will do it. Or climbing a mountain and breathing in some clean air. It recharges the batteries. It makes you feel alive.

However, if you really want to get away from it all – if you want to experience total and utter isolation, the feeling that you're the only person left on the entire planet – then you need to visit these places.

Mongolian steppe

Ulan Baator is pretty horrible. The Mongolian capital is polluted and cramped, and not a lot of fun. However, drive just a few hours in any direction and suddenly you're in the most perfect, complete wilderness you've ever seen. The Mongolian steppe is a seemingly never-ending series of rolling plains, of treeless valleys and hillsides dotted with just the occasional white blob of a ger. The silence is eerie. Especially compared to UB.


When the nearest gathering of human civilisation is an entire ocean away; when the nearest point of interest is just a notional spot somewhere over the snowy hills that marks the end of the Earth; when your only friends are penguins and seals – then you know you've achieved isolation. Antarctica is the perfect place to be if you've grown weary of the worries of the world.

The Red Centre

Australians don't have to go far to be in the middle of nowhere. Out in the centre of this great land lies a fairly big patch of absolutely nothing. When you're wandering the Red Centre you could very easily imagine that the rest of the world has ceased to exist. And when it gets dark, and all those stars come out, you'll become obsessed with worlds much further away.

Lake Uyuni

During the day, this huge salt pan in central Bolivia is isolated. It's an endless stretch of bright white merging with a shimmering horizon that dips and swirls and fools you into thinking you know where you're going. But even still, during the daytime you'll see other people, other tourists, other 4WDs. At night it's another story. Camp out on the lake, and all those other people disappear. It's just you and the howl of the wind. It's a little scary. And very cold.

The Yukon

You're not completely isolated in northern Canada. You're not the only one around. That is, if you count the bears, the blacks and the grizzlies, the coyotes, the cougars, the beavers and even the hares. If it's humans you're thinking about, however, there aren't any. You can be helicoptered in to some of the most beautiful, remote places on Earth in the Yukon.

French Polynesia

While islands like Bora Bora and Moorea have been well and truly colonised, there are still places to get away from it all in French Polynesia. Try the Tuamotus, an hour-long flight from Tahiti. This group of atolls and islands is paradise of the classic kind, palm-tree-lined beaches stuck in the middle of the Pacific, where barely another soul has walked. It's another world, and it's a serious adventure even getting there. 


Silence. That's what you notice most in Patagonia. When you're out on the steppe, hiking rugged mountains, passing rivers, looking down over glaciers, the sound you hear is silence. There's no one else and nothing else around in the south of Argentina and Chile. If you're trying to get away from it all, then this is where you want to be.

Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Do a rafting expedition in this patch of south-west Tasmanian wilderness and you'll come to know isolation. This is world heritage-listed beauty we're talking about, a place strictly controlled for preservation, where you'll come to realise that your rafting party makes up just about the only human presence for miles and miles around.

Purros, Namibia

Purros, officially, is a town, but it doesn't look like any town you've ever seen before. It's more just a collection of a few shacks and a dusty campground, a place that takes days to reach by 4WD from the nearest thing you could refer to as civilisation. This is the home of the Himba tribespeople, although only a small number of them exist. It's also as far from anything you know as you're likely to have ever been.

Atacama Desert

The Atacama is the ultimate expression of the phrase "high and dry" – a desert 4000 metres above sea level, where only a couple of millimetres of rain falls every year. It's also almost completely uninhabited, a place in northern Chile where you can see for mile after mile in the thin, dry air – but you still can't see anything of note. There's a beautiful stillness to the Atacama that will never be shattered.

Where would you go to feel cut off from the rest of the world? Where's the most isolated place you've been?



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