Other magical spots still feel like lost worlds, even though hardy travelers can actually visit them. Craving your own trip off the beaten path? Here, four destinations worth a look.
This massive shelf served as the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book "The Lost World" and for the waterfalls in Pixar's "Up." The looming plateau surrounded by steep cliffs borders Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana and rises some 1,200 feet above the ground.
It is part of Venezuela's Canaima National Park, according to Atlas Obscura, and is the site of the highest peak of the country of Guyana's Highland Range. It's also considered one of the oldest known geological formations.
These islands, found about 900 miles east of Africa, were unknown to Westerners until the 1500s.
A travel writer, noting the flora and fauna unique to the group of islands, calls the destination "like the Galapagos but not as well known."
The Seychelles are an out-of-the-way spot known for exquisite, white-sand beaches minus crowds. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reportedly rented out an entire island for their honeymoon. The islands are home to the largest population of giant sea turtles in the world.
At first it seems an unlikely vacation spot. But the freezing cold landmass at the South Pole — with more ice than any other place on Earth — has become a hub for some intrepid travelers.
The payoff for those who make the journey: seeing penguins up close, along with other wildlife. Some outdoor enthusiasts even choose activities like kayaking or cross-country skiing.
The rise in visitors –a although still a small number -- has caused some concern over keeping the area pristine. Tourism has jumped from just 2,000 tourists in the 1980s to about 35,000 in 2013, according to the Associated Press.
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Welcome to the end of the world. Not reached by outsiders until explorer Ferdinand Magellan came upon this "land of fire" in 1520, the archipelago is located off the southernmost tip of South America.
Even after 500 years, the gateway to Antarctica remains a draw. One travel site bills it as "the undiscovered jewel of South America that tourism has not yet altered."
Tierra del Fuego also boasts the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. Lonely Planet's guide describes the "triangular archipelago surrounded by the stormy South Atlantic and the Strait of Magellan" as a place that offers "scenic glaciers, lush forests, astounding mountains, clear waterways and a dramatic sea coast."