Why it's Taboo: The security situation is still unstable in Afghanistan, with car bombings, kidnappings, and other violence presenting a real risk to visitors.
Why it's Still Worth Going: Jonny Bealby and his Afghan team at tour group Wild Frontiers say Afghanistan is "one of the most fascinating, beautiful, and, at least from a tourist perspective, least visited countries in the world. From the stunning architecture in Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif and the famous mountain caves of Bamiyan and the Panjshir Valley to the epic limestone lakes of Band-i-Amir and the high passes of the Hindu Kush mountain range, the country has everything modern adventure tourism could ask for. Add to that some of the most hospitable and welcoming people anywhere, and you have the makings of a great traveler location. Afghanistan is undergoing tremendous change at the moment, but for the vast majority of Afghans, daily life continues in much the same vein as it has for centuries." Regarding safety, Bealby says, "Whilst there are some regions that are definitely off-limits, the majority of the country is peaceful and attracts a small, but growing, number of visitors. Wild Frontiers runs the majority of its trips to the Wakhan Corridor—in the remote northeast of the country—which is a pristine land well away from the dangers in the rest of the country."
How to Visit: It's perfectly legal to visit Afghanistan from the U.S. You'll need a visa, which you can get from the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. There are no direct flights from the U.S. to Afghanistan, so you'll have to first fly to countries offering service, such as Germany or Turkey.