13 Countries You Didn’t Know Existed (And They’re Amazing Travel Destinations)

With nearly 200 countries in the world, it’s hard to know about every single one of them unless you’re really into geography. Some of these countries are beautiful hidden paradises, while others have struggling economies or are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels. Despite their challenges, each country has its own flag, customs, and traditions that make it special.

List of 13 countries that don’t get much global attention that you can travel to.


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There’s a small country in the South China Sea called Brunei, located on the island of Borneo. It’s made up of two separate parts. Brunei is very wealthy because it has a lot of oil and gas. This wealth has given the people there a very high standard of living. However, when oil prices went down recently, it negatively affected the country’s economy.

Cape Verde

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Cape Verde is a country made up of islands located 300 miles off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. It used to be a Portuguese colony and played a role in the transatlantic slave trade. Today, Cape Verde is famous for its warm and friendly hospitality, known as “morabeza.” This term describes a relaxed and welcoming attitude, similar to the Hawaiian “aloha” and the Portuguese “saudade.”


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Comoros is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, about 200 miles off the coast of Africa in the Mozambique Channel. It is among the least wealthy nations in the world. Nearly 45% of the population lives below the poverty line, and 44% face food insecurity. Comoros is densely populated, with about 465 people per square kilometer, and 53% of its population is under 20. Comoros has one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, called Mount Karthala. The capital city is Moroni, which means “in the heart of the fire.” The islands are famous for their beautiful white-sand beaches. However, Comoros has had a very unstable political history, with over 20 coups since it gained independence from France.


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Djibouti is a small but very important country located on the Horn of Africa. It plays a key role in trade, especially for Ethiopia, as 95% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports pass through Djibouti’s port. Djibouti has also been recognized as a top travel destination, partly because of its unique and beautiful landscapes. This means that Djibouti is becoming a place that more people will hear about and want to visit.


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Gabon is a country in West Africa known for producing a lot of oil. It has been mostly peaceful, allowing people to pay attention to its other natural treasure: the forests. Nearly 90 percent of Gabon is covered in forests, and 11 percent of this forest area is protected as national parks. These forests are home to the largest number of forest elephants in the world. Unfortunately, this also means there is a lot of illegal hunting and trading of elephant ivory.


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Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian republic that was once part of the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union fell apart, Kyrgyzstan became an independent country. It is located along the ancient Silk Road, which was a famous trade route connecting Asia and Europe.

Most of Kyrgyzstan’s land, about 80%, is covered by the Tian Shan Mountains. Because it has so many beautiful mountains, people often call Kyrgyzstan the “Switzerland of Central Asia,” similar to how Switzerland in Europe is known for its stunning mountain scenery.


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Palau is a country in the Western Pacific Ocean, made up of over 250 islands. Its territory covers a large area of ocean, about 230,000 square miles, which means it has a lot of sea life to take care of. Palau is famous for its beautiful and healthy coral reefs, earning it the nickname “the underwater Serengeti.” The country is very active in protecting its marine environment and fighting against illegal fishing.


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Nauru is a tiny island nation, only eight square miles in size. It used to be very rich because of the mining of phosphate, which is a valuable mineral used in fertilizers. However, Nauru isn’t as wealthy as before. It’s known for being a stopover for people trying to reach Australia as refugees. Unfortunately, not many people visit Nauru, so it’s called the least-visited country in the world.

São Tomé and Príncipe

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São Tomé and Príncipe is a country made up of two volcanic islands and some smaller ones near Gabon in Africa. A long time ago, these islands were used for growing crops like sugar, coffee, and cocoa. However, people visit these islands mainly to enjoy nature and wildlife. It’s a great place for eco-friendly tourism, where people can explore the natural beauty of the islands.


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Tuvalu is a small group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. These islands are facing climate change, which is causing the sea level to rise. Tuvalu is very flat, with the highest point only 16 feet above sea level, so it’s vulnerable to being flooded. Not many people visit Tuvalu, and its closest neighbor is another lesser-known place called Kiribati.


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Kiribati is a country made up of 33 islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.There are 121,300 people living in an area that covers 811 square kilometers. It offers exceptional fishing opportunities, including both game and bone fishing.

St. Kitts and Nevis

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St. Kitts and Nevis are the countries made of two islands in the Caribbean. Old sugar farms have been turned into cool places for tourists to stay. In St. Kitts, you can visit Brimstone Hill Fortress Park, where you might see other islands nearby. There’s also a beautiful train ride and an inactive volcano called Mt. Liamuiga.


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This country in Southeast Asia became independent in 2002. The capital city, Dili, has many landmarks that show its history of 400 years under Portuguese rule and 24 years under Indonesian control. One famous landmark is the 27-meter-tall Cristo Rei de Dili statue, which stands high above the city and provides a great view of the bay.

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