“I need a holiday! I want to switch off and get away from the daily grind.” – All of us.
You book your days off, promise yourself a lovely relaxing holiday, finally arrive at your dreamy destination, and within hours find yourself lying on the beach, sipping a refreshment… browsing through your work emails or your arch-enemy’s Instagram feed. We’ve all been there. So what does it take to disconnect completely? Where do you have to go to leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind, to resist the pressure of being constantly connected, to be so taken aback and engrossed by your environment that you forget to pick up your phone?
Here are 5 beautifully remote yet accessible places that are ready-made for a digital detox…
Explore Bolivia’s famed salt flats
1- Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Bolivia is to South America what Tanzania is to Africa: a country of superlatives filled with jaw-dropping natural wonders. One such place is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Not only is it extremely remote (a bumpy, overnight bus ride away from La Paz), very high (perched at 3,600m), but it’s also as bare as a landscape can get, only interrupted by the occasional baby llama running by or giant cacti colony. It’s hands down one of the most unforgettable and overpowering landscapes you’ll ever visit. So put your phone away and get your shades out as you experience a sea of bright white or, if you visit during rainy season, a huge reflective canvas where the sky melts into the ground.
Go really wild in Kilimanjaro National Park
2- Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
You’ll struggle to find a better place to unplug than Kilimanjaro National Park. Not only is there no phone network, but there are no roads, no stores, and little to no electricity or running water in the higher camps. When was the last time you didn’t handle money for an entire week? Or didn’t have to worry about food shopping or any kind of shopping for the matter? Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, whether you make it to the Uhuru Peak or not, is a truly elevating, mind-clearing experience. After your second day trekking, you’ll be completely cut from any noise or light pollution, meaning you can practically touch the stars at night. You’ll adopt a true pole pole (slowly, slowly) lifestyle as you melt into the environment with all your electronic devices safely tucked away in your backpack.
Discover Brazil’s secret natural wonder
3- Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil
Picture pristine sand dunes, turquoise water, and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in northern Brazil, or mega-amazing-desert-beach as it should really be called, is without a doubt one of the most well-preserved natural wonders that you can easily access and enjoy. After a short jeep ride through a jungle-desert-like landscape, your guide will help you haul yourself up a sand dune – and from then on it’s all fun and games as you sprint down sand dunes before diving into sweet-water pools. This unique desert, 10 times the size of London, is so beautiful that you’ll forget to blink and remote enough for your cell reception to be patchy at best.
Meet Morocco’s sandy heartland
4- Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Some landscapes seem to be the stuff of fairy tales or movies. Erg Chebbi is both. Close your eyes and be transported to Aladdin or Lawrence of Arabia, open them and be blown away by a perpetual sunset-like landscape consisting of massive wind-blown dunes. Hike up to the top of the dunes, which can tower 150m, venture on a camel ride, or spend the night glamping in the desert. After visiting Erg Chebbi, you’ll have nothing more to wish for.
Tick the Grand Canyon off your bucket list
5- Grand Canyon, USA
Who doesn’t have the Grand Canyon on their bucket list? It’s one of those natural wonders that we’re familiar with from Westerns, postcards, and National Geography cover pages. While it may attract 5 million visitors per year, the sheer size of the Grand Canyon ensures you can let go of all your city troubles away from the crowds, no matter if you’re hiking, rappelling, rafting or even taking a helicopter tour.