See the beauty of the untouched country of Equatorial Guinea.
Here’s a random fact you can use to impress people: Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign state in Africa where Spanish is the official language.
Situated on the west coast of central Africa, Equatorial Guinea spans nearly 11,000 square miles, making it about the size of Massachusetts, and it’s home to only 1.2 million people. According to some reports, the country was the sixth least visited country in the world in 2015.
The country is gorgeous, too. It's one of many beautiful places around the world that you might not have heard of.
Don't believe me? Here are 14 photos that sum up what the country is all about:
1. Tiny fishing villages.
2. 19th century colonial architecture.
The country became known as the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ("Guinea Ecuatorial" in Spanish) when it declared independence from Spain in 1968. And although Spanish isn’t the only language spoken in Equatorial Guinea, years of Spanish education means the Spanish language and culture is still deeply entrenched in society.
3. Italian basilicas.
4. Lots of cathedrals.
5. Ornate decorations.
6. Members of the indigenous Fang tribe.
7. Ruins on ruins on ruins.
8. Tropical beaches with palm trees.
9. Untouched white sandy beachscapes.
The country’s landscape is made up of the mainland territory, Rio Muni, and five islands (some volcanic), including Bioko, the largest.
10. Waterfalls surrounded by lush jungles.
11. State-of-the-art city plazas.
Oscar Scafidi, the author of the Bradt travel guide to Equatorial Guinea, says his experiences visiting the country were both wild and quiet.
“To get [to new capital city, Oyala], I drove for two hours from Bata, the mainland capital on the Atlantic coastline. I approached the city on an eight lane highway, completely empty in both directions, and when I arrived I was amazed. It is very strange to find a huge, modern, empty city under construction in such a remote location.”
12. Awe-inspiring sunsets.
13. Delicious snacks.
14. Incredible mountains.
“There’s an incredible sort of mini Dubai being built in the middle of the jungle, and on the other hand it’s a paradise if you’re into animals — western lowland gorillas, forest elephants and a sea wildlife unique to the area,” Scafidi told The Guardian about his visit.
But this untouched corner of the world also reminds us that beauty is hiding behind every corner, beyond typical tourist destinations and marketing campaigns.
We just have to look for it.