Though one of the oldest cultures in existence, Papua New Guinea is also one of the least-explored places on the planet. A large majority of its residents live in rural villages and communities with very little contact with the rest of the world, making this region hugely diverse and richly cultured.

The island nation is certainly a challenge to reach — flights are often costly and budget options are hard to find outside of Port Moresby — but once there, visitors are rewarded with some of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems to explore. Here, you’ll go monster-hunting in the rainforest. You’ll photograph the traditions of one of 700+ Indigenous communities. You’ll trek the famous Kokoda Trail. You’ll attempt to chew buai, or areca nut. You’ll climb volcanoes and wander into a cave of skulls. Explore below, and you might even be able to do so on a budget.