Travel agency Hayes and Jarvis curated a list of the best Digital Detox Destinations of the year. One of the destinations were New Zealand. Pictured is Lake Tekapo. All images: Pixabay

Gone are the days when travellers want to spend their holidays updating Instagram or taking a quirky video on Snapchat to share their experiences. 

Many travellers are now looking for destinations where they can escape to free themselves from the digital pressures of today’s age. Travel agency Hayes and Jarvis curated a list of the best Digital Detox Destinations of the year. South Africa was placed 12th on the list. 

Factors such as the number of free Wi-Fi spots, 4G availability and speed, the number of national parks and green spaces, and the percentage of the population that has access to the internet influenced the destinations that made the list. 

Here are the top 10: 

1. Costa Rica 

Costa Rica is a rugged, rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. With only 1.4% of the land being built on, travellers have the chance to explore the countryside, rural areas, forests and little villages. 

Stats: 

Places to visit: Playa Escondida and Playa Manuel Antonio

The number of free wi-fi spots: 5 299

Free wi-fi spots per tourist:1.79

4G availability: 53%

Individuals using the internet: 66.03%

Park percentage of the country: 25%


2. Chile 

Chile is a long, narrow country stretching along South America's western edge, with more than 6 000km of Pacific Ocean coastline. Only 0.25% has been built on, making it an excellent escape for travellers wanting to get away from it all. The country boasts 36 parks and thick forests, as well as many cultural villages. 

Stats: 

Place to visit: Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). 

The number of free wi-fi spots: 15 061

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 2.34

4G availability: 57.81%

Individuals using the internet: 66%

Park percentage of the country: 19%


3. Iceland 

Iceland is famed for its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields. It is also home to the Northern Lights. Here, travellers can hike along the back country of Iceland, where they get to witness some of the most picturesque sites. 

Stats: 

Place to visit: Goðafoss waterfall (pictured).  

The number of free wi-fi spots: 951

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 0.43

4G availability: 60.73%

Individuals using the internet: 98.24%

Park percentage of the country: 12%. 

Land percentage built: 0.03%

4.Colombia 

Located northwest of South America, Colombia is a diverse country that is worth exploring. From its green spaces to its captivating cities and towns - there’s always somewhere to take a digital break. 

Stats: 

Places to visit: Guatapé (pictured). 

The number of free wi-fi spots: 48 523

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 11.80

4G availability: 59.81%

Individuals using the internet: 58.14%

Park percentage of the country: 13%

Land percentage built: 0.19%.


5. Peru

Peru is home to Machu Picchu (pictured). The South American country offers travellers plenty to see and do, leaving you little time to worry about social media pressures. 

Visit one of their many historical and cultural sites and enjoy the views of the valleys and mountains. 

Stats: 

Places to visit: La Merced 

The number of free wi-fi spots: 15 236

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 3.78

4G availability: 67.01%

Individuals using the internet: 45.46%

Park percentage of the country: 6%

Land percentage built: 0.17%.


6.Oman 

Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Despite the hot and dry climate - travellers revel in the ancient ruins and archaeological sites. 

Stats: 

Place to visit: Muscat

The number of free wi-fi spots: 14 756

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 6.22

4G availability: 62.16%

Individuals using the internet: 69.82%

Park percentage of the country: 10%

Land percentage built: 0.06%


7.Argentina 

Argentina - the eighth largest county in the world - is home to 33 national parks and 22 waterfalls. Ideal for those who want to enjoy in the sights of a destination and find solace in the outdoors. 

Stats: 

Place to visit: San Carlos de Bariloche 

The number of free wi fi spots: 50 315

Free wi-fi spots per tourist:7.49

4G availability: 62.13%

Individuals using the internet: 70.15%

Park percentage of the country: 1%

Land percentage built: 0.17%.

8.Ecuador 

Ecuador, which translates to the "Republic of the Equator", is located in South America, bordering Peru and Colombia. 

The country prides itself on its rich biodiversity. Despite the large population, places in the countryside offer travellers a chance to take in the natural beauty and immersive experiences. If you visit the Southern Highlands, head to Parque Nacional El Cajas - a landscape that spans 1 000 square kilometres with stunning lakes. 


Stats: 

Places to visit: Chimborazo (pictured). 

The number of free wi-fi spots: 24 198

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 15.05

4G availability: 42.56%

Individuals using the internet: 54.06%

Park percentage of the country: 12%

Land percentage built: 0.37%


9.Kazakhstan 

While Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country that extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia, is not a popular tourist spot - it does provide a digital respite. 

Hike across the endless terrain or visit Singing Dunes, one of the 10 national parks in the country. 

Stats: 

Place to visit: Almaty

The number of free wi-fi spots: 51 516

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 6.69

4G availability: 52%

Individuals using the internet: 76.80%

Park percentage of the country: 1%

Land percentage built: 0.06%


10. New Zealand 

Located southwest of the Pacific Ocean - New Zealand offers everything from hiking to surfing. While the country is quite developed, it does provide digital breaks for travellers. 

Stats: 

Places to visit: Lake Tekapo

The number of free w-ifi spots: 4 655

Free wi-fi spots per tourist: 1.31

4G availability: 57.88% 

Individuals using the internet: 88.47%

Park percentage of the country: 11%

Land percentage built: 0.48%