The Most Unique Places to Go Camping Around the World

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We spend an excessive amount of time talking about the finer side of travel: fancy hotels, room service, and world-class amenities. For a change of pace, we felt it was time we highlighted a few of the purer experiences, where the only facilities are bathrooms (if you’re lucky) and five-star service is ditched for 100 billion real ones.

Camping (not glamping) is the classic travel option. Long before any of us could afford to hop hemispheres at the drop of a hat, it was off to the great outdoors to pitch a tent, light a fire, and revel in Mother Nature’s greatest gifts. Of course, that hemisphere-hopping privilege means we can sample the best places to go camping worldwide.

And with this digital planet of ours becoming more so every day, there’s never been a better time to get a little off-grid and taste the fresh air. To help you reset, we’ve found some of the best places to go camping around the world.

The best places to go camping for stargazing

Bruneau Dunes State Park

Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Idaho, US
Price: $14-$24
Vibe: Milky Way to go
The rundown: It doesn’t matter how far you are from civilization—camping should feel remote and lend some perspective to your place in the world. Bruneau Dunes State Park goes one step further and lets you question your own place in the universe. With a number of campsites in the park, it’s one of your best opportunities to sample some of the darkest skies in the country.

It was the US’ first Gold-Tier International Dark Sky Reserve, meaning on a clear night you’ll have a front-row seat to the Milky Way. Then when the sun comes up, you’re in the middle of a stunning dune desert. There are facilities at some of the camps, so you don’t have to rough it too much if that’s not your thing, but make sure you book ahead—it’s not uncommon for the park to fill up in the busier months.

The best places to go camping for history lovers

The Great Wall Adventure Club

Location: Gubeikou, China
Price: $200+
Vibe: Once-in-a-lifetime epic
The rundown: This one is special. If you’ve ever visited the Great Wall of China, you’ll know the tourist section is a rebuilt segment swarming with tourists. Slides roll off the edge of the wall and it’s a challenge to avoid stepping on influencer’s dresses. One way to beat that? Hike up and camp on an untouched segment of the wall.

The two or three-day experience sees your small group hike to a section of the wall that’s been left to the fates. The walls are crumbling, trees and bushes have conquered the paths, and many parts have toppled down sheer cliffs on either side. Once there, you’ll hike almost 20 miles along the wall, camping inside a 700-year-old watchtower at the halfway point.

The best part? There’s not another soul in sight. Check out my own experience here.

Please note: this must be done with a company that works with the villagers who maintain the wall. Any solo attempts can be punished with jail time. That’s not something you want in China.

The best places to go camping for mountain scenery

White Horse Hill

Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Mt Cook, New Zealand
Price: $18 per person
Vibe: Basic but breathtaking
The rundown: Even if your only reference point for New Zealand is a Lord of the Rings movie, there’s one thing everyone knows—it’s damn beautiful. Mt Cook, or Aoraki as it’s known by the indigenous Maori, is one of the biggest mountains in the country and the national park it’s located in is beyond comprehension.

White Horse Hill puts you campers in the middle of it all, offering staggering views of the surrounding mountains and a slice of serenity only found in a few places. It’s a simple campsite, so you’ll need to wander 1.5 miles to the nearest village to grab a hot shower. Or you could embrace it. Just make sure your tent mate is on the same page.

The best places to go camping for wild pitches

The Scottish Highlands

Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Anywhere in Scotland
Price: Free
Vibe: *screams down an empty valley* Freedom!
The rundown: While most places have strict policies on camping, or more specifically, where you can camp, Scotland opens things up a little. Well, a lot. The country is privy to a unique “right to roam” law, meaning anyone can wander or camp through any piece of unenclosed land—even if it’s privately owned.

This opens the entire country’s mesmerizing countryside to adventurers, gifting them the chance to pick their own campsite. Bothys (basic shelters, once used by shepherds and farm laborers) are also dotted around the country, lending some handy shelter if you don’t feel like pitching the tent. Just make sure to leave the site exactly as you found it. 

The best places to go camping in US national parks

Dry Tortugas National Park

Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Garden Key, Florida
Price: $15-$30
Vibe: Never-heard-of-that national park
The rundown: You probably thought I was going to put Yosemite or Yellowstone in here, didn’t you? That’s too easy. You know all those places are amazing. But what about Dry Tortugas National Park? Clinging to the bottom of the Florida Keys is Garden Key, a tiny island reachable only by ferry.

The campsite area isn’t big and is nestled between a picturesque beach and the island’s main attraction—Fort Jefferson, the largest brick structure in the Western Hemisphere. It’s a unique location, and one your friends might never have heard of…not that we’re telling you to show off your off-the-beaten-path adventures. It’s not a competition. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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