5 places you couldn’t have visited a few years ago

Reading time: 2 minutes

You know, the world is such a bigger place than it was just a couple of years ago. This claim might sound a little bizarre to you – most people would say the world is growing even smaller thanks to technology and expanding flight routes. But it really is getting bigger.

Just in the past decade or so, countries that were once closed off to travellers due to politics, war or environmental issues are now open for business. With all these new places to travel, the world did indeed get that much bigger!

If you’re ready to add some new countries to your travel bucket list, come with us and check out these exciting destinations.

1. Colombia

Photo credit Getty/Luciano Lejtman

Pablo Escobar made Colombia a relatively dodgy place to visit for a while – his cartels were in the business of causing trouble regardless of who you were. It was certainly a destination anyone would have dared venture to without some serious travel insurance. But Pablo’s reign is long over and now the country is as safe as it is exciting to travel to. Come for the exciting culture filled with colourful festivals and joyous people, or just for a secluded getaway on some of Caribbean’s most luxurious beaches.

2. The Darien Gap

Have you ever heard of this place before? Probably not – it was more dangerous than Colombia itself and was off-limits to tourists in 2002 as it linked Central and South America, a zone shared by Colombia and Panama. For travellers, this was a bit of a disappointment as it’s a lush rainforest and beautiful beach community. A recent ceasefire in this region of Latin America has allowed it to reopen to curious travellers. This is the definition of uncharted territory, though you can be among the first to explore.

3. Montenegro

Photo credit Getty/Tuul & Bruno Morandi

You haven’t been able to visit Montenegro as it was a part of the Yugoslav Wars, however, of all the areas in the Balkans, it was the least damaged. Well, that and because the country actually didn’t exist. Montenegro was founded in 2002 when it gained independence from Serbia. Now, it’s a quaint seaside country filled with villas and luxury hotels that are all set against a beautiful backdrop of towering mountains.

4. Angola

Photo credit Getty/Kostadin Luchansky – Angola Image Bank

Many parts of Africa are well travelled and charted with exotic safaris, but not Angola. From the late 70’s into the early millennium, this country was best left unexplored as it was in the middle of a Civil War. However, the war is now over and the country is already accepting tourists. Travellers will be excited by the many treasures that have been hidden in its borders such as the second largest waterfall on the continent, Kalandula Falls, amazing beaches and wonderful people.

5. Sri Lanka

Photo credit Getty/Nicolo Sertorio

Finally, we come to Sri Lanka off the tip of India. This is another country that was too dangerous to visit for a while due to a messy Civil War which ended in 2009. Tourists are entertained with the best aspects of Southeast Asia. We’re talking everything from the history and culture of ancient ruins, picturesque beaches and, of course, tonnes of elephants. It’s also home to eight Unesco World Heritage sites – all which make for one unforgettable trip.


TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

Travel Alert: Cover is not available for loss arising from government restrictions including travel bans, border closures and broadly imposed quarantine requirements, or failure to follow government advice. If your travel is affected by government restrictions, we have options available if you no longer need your policy. See our travel alerts.

Food & Drink

What to look out for when shopping in Hong Kong

The neon lights of Hong Kong have long drawn shopaholics to this corner of the Earth. Visitors to the city-state ...



How to Survive a Lone Wolf Terror Attack

There is no guaranteed way to avoid a terror attack, but there are things you can do that will massively increase ...



Buckle up, we’ve found Australia’s best road trips!

There’s no better way to see what Australia has to offer than a car. Discover some of the best road trips with ...