(CNN) — While the future of travel remains unclear in a new coronavirus world, travel industry experts say that one trend is likely to ring true: an interest in remote destinations where social distancing is a way of life rather than a concerted effort.
“Isolated places are going to have a whole new appeal because people are afraid to mix with others and socialize,” says Andrew Steinberg, an advisor at the luxury travel company Ovation Travel. “They want to travel but get away from everyone and secluded destinations offer the opportunity to do that.”
Most of these locales are set in nature, says Steinberg, and have a high-end hotel that gives guests a distinct sense of place and is a driving factor in the trip.
Also, United States residents will likely seek this seclusion domestically, instead of venturing abroad. “Many of my clients are already telling me that they want to stay closer to home,” says Steinberg.
Erina Pindar, the managing director of the luxury travel advisory SmartFlyer, agrees that isolation will be a dominating theme in the travel industry going forward. “Our clients are saying that they want to have control over their environment and protect their health, and it’s harder to do that when you’re going to someplace touristy,” she says.
From Big Sur, California, in the US to Lord Howe Island in Australia, the following destinations and properties give travelers who value the safety of isolation the remoteness they’re craving.
Big Sur, California
Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn hangs 1,200 feet above the Pacific ocean.
Kodiak Greenwood/PPR Media
Located about 150 miles south of San Francisco, the dramatic cliffside town of Big Sur is known for a get-away-from-it-all feel. Travelers come to enjoy the spectacular and dramatic scenery that includes the rugged coastline of the Pacific and vast expanses of open space, where you can hike among the redwoods and revel in the silence.
With between only 1,800 and 2,000 residents, the region is sparsely populated, and the chances of encountering any large groups on your vacation are slim to none.
Big Sur is somewhat undeveloped: Restaurants are few and far between, and WiFi and cell reception are spotty at best.
Built 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the hotel has endless ocean vistas, miles of onsite hiking trails and a spa set in the middle of the forest. Star gazing, yoga and meditation are among their most popular activities, and given the distance separating the accommodations, it’s quite easy to avoid contact with other guests.
Panama’s Pacific coast
Panama’s Caribbean coast has been a staple vacation spot for international travelers for several years, but the Pacific side is virtually uncharted territory. It’s the wild part of the country with thick tropical forests, an abundance of flora and fauna and a plethora of diverse marine life.
The Gulf of Chiriquí is part of this picturesque coast and home to large, unspoiled coral reefs and two protected marine parks. Here, travelers can surf year-round without the crowds, scuba dive and snorkel and even see migrating humpback whales, during the peak season of July through October.
Guests can enjoy a private marine safari, a treatment at the spa or simply do nothing.
Canyon Point, Utah
Camp Sarika by Amangiri opens in the Utah desert in July 2020.
The property lies on the southern border of Utah, within a manageable distance of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and Monument Valley Tribal Park, which are beginning to loosen restrictions on visitation.
In July, Amangiri will debut its Camp Sarika — an even more remote tented camp that sits on 136 acres, a 5-minute drive or 30-minute hike from Amangiri. There are ten tented pavilions, positioned to guarantee the utmost privacy and seclusion. The name Sarika is derived from the Sanskrit word for “open space” and “sky,” which is a perfect description for this otherworldly encampment.
Wolgan Valley, Australia
It may be only a three-hour drive from Sydney, but Wolgan Valley is completely removed from any civilization. Situated within the World Heritage-listed Greater Blue Mountains, this is Australian bushland at its best- a place of canyons and ancient stone formations, national parks and iconic wildlife including kangaroos and wallabies that number in the thousands.
Travelers can explore the landscape and partake in epic hikes such as the sunrise trek up Donkey Mountain, in Gardens of Stone National Park, where unobstructed views of Wolgan Valley are the reward at the top.
Bolivia’s Salt Flats
The domed accomodations at Kachi Lodge in the Bolivia Salt Flats opened in late 2019.
Formed from several prehistoric lakes, the Uyuni Salt Flats, in southwest Bolivia near the Andes, span more than 4,000 square miles and are the world’s largest salt flats. This sparsely populated part of the country is dotted with tiny, ancient villages that look virtually as did centuries ago, archeological sites including the pre-Colombian city of Alcaya and uninhabited islands covered in cacti.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the scenery in this northwest Norway coastal region is nothing short of awesome. Expect natural marvels, spectacular fjords, waterfalls and wildlife that includes puffins, orcas and colonies of seals. There’s nary a human in sight.
Chile’s Northern Aysen region
The Rio Palena Lodge sits on 35 acres in North Patagonia.
Your typical Patagonia this isn’t: While most travelers who venture to the southern Chilean region head straight to Torres del Paine National Park, the Aysen area in North Patagonia is untraversed territory. The scenery of ice fields, glaciers, lakes and rivers set against the rugged Andes and emerald green valleys is dramatic to say the least, but the dearth of other people may be Aysen’s biggest appeal.
Lord Howe Island, Australia
This New South Wales island in the Tasman Sea is full of long, sandy beaches, subtropical forests and colonies of birds (perfect for would-be ornithologists). The tiny inlet is also surrounded by corals that are home to more than 500 species of fish, making it a dream for snorkeling and scuba diving — in fact, it has the southern-most reef in the world. Only 400 people a day are allowed on Lord Howe so this getaway is isolated — you can spend hours outside without seeing another person at all.
Inside a luxury tepee at Mustang Monument in Northeast Nevada
MIchael Partenio/Mustang Monument
Characterized by wide open desert plains dotted with sage brush and desert blooms, northwest Nevada may have more horses than people. There are a handful of forgettable small towns in the area, but a visit is about appreciating a landscape and wildlife — namely the free-roaming mustangs — that exemplify the distinct heritage of the American West.