Destinations

SWITCH OFF: The top five destinations for a digital detox

Remember the days when travelling overseas meant leaving your responsibilities behind?

When the only way to reach you was to send a postcard or make a costly international phone call?

Going on holidays should be a time to recharge and rejuvenate, without the compulsion to check work emails or the temptation to become embroiled in the dramas of your life back home. But with the increasing availability of wifi hotspots and 4G, it’s becoming more difficult to really become immersed in a destination without taking your job or your home life with you.

Luckily, a recent study by Hayes and Jarvis has revealed the top 20 destinations for taking a digital detox, highlighting the availability of internet connection for tourists as well as the percentage of parks you can explore.

Here’s the top five:

1. Costa Rica 

Mountain Bike Costa Rica

In Central America, bordering the Caribbean is Costa Rica, the best destination for a digital detox. Over half of the population (66 per cent) here has access to the internet but with 4G speeds of 5.82 Mbps, you won’t be surfing the web quickly.

Instead of being distracted by the internet, you could surf the waves or venture into the jungle. Costa Rica also has the highest percentage of parkland at 25 per cent, higher than any other destination on the list making it the perfect location to get back in touch with nature.

2. Chile 

Girl looking at the amazing mountain views of the turquoise waters from the "Embalse del Yeso" (Cast Lake) close to Santiago de Chile city in Andes mountains. Snow mountains and water reflections

The Chilean countryside is renowned for its beauty and amazing weather, but that isn’t why it’s second-best on the list. Based on the number of free hotspots and the population density there isn’t much wi-fi to go around per tourist. If you manage to find one, it won’t be fast at 18.59Mbps – which is great for a digital detox.

Luckily, there are many outdoor activities, like hiking, mountain biking and sand surfing to keep you occupied and away from your emails. Chile is also one of the least built-up countries at 0.25 per cent and has 36 national parks that you should definitely visit.

3. Iceland 

Geothermal spa. Woman relaxing in hot spring pool in Iceland. Girl enjoying bathing in a blue water lagoon Icelandic tourist attraction.

Iceland is mostly known for the Aurora Borealis and the Blue Lagoon, it is also a great place for your digital detox. Only 0.03 per cent of the land is built on – leaving a lot to be explored.

The beautiful picturesque countryside consists of valleys, mountains, rivers and waterfalls, so be sure to bring your hiking boots and a camera.

4. Colombia 

Strong woman rock climbing at Guatape in Colombia

There are many things to do in Colombia, from cave exploration to horseback riding, perfect activities to distract you from your digital devices. Parks also make up 13 per cent of Colombia so be sure to visit one of the 56 throughout the country. Research showed that only 0.19 per cent of Colombia is built on, leaving a lot of untouched and beautiful space for exploration.

5. Peru

Couple admiring the spectacular view of Machu Picchu, Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Peru, Archaeological site, UNESCO World Heritage

Peru is home to the famous Machu Picchu, and many other historical sites. The South American country is also a perfect destination for some downtime. Even though nearly half of the population (45 per cent) have access to the internet, you’ll find yourself more occupied by the number of outdoor activities available here rather than checking your emails.

These could be exploring the Sacred Valley or trekking through the Amazon.

Go here to see the full list.

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