Beyond borders: 14 places you can collect extra passport stamps
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Usually collecting passport stamps requires entering a new country. From the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador to the United Nations in New York City, here’s a list of places where you can collect extra stamps for your passport within a given country. (Just be sure to remember to bring your passport to each location.)
This South American country is known for its biodiversity, and for travellers it’s a great place to collect extra souvenir stamps in addition to the one you’ll get for entering the country.
#1-3 The Galápagos Islands (and attractions)
You can collect extra stamps for visiting the Galápagos Islands themselves and for going to two popular attractions, including the Rancho El Chato Reserve and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
#4 The equator, aka “La Mitad del Mundo”
Back on the mainland, you can take up even more space in your passport with an extra stamp at the equator, known locally as “La Mitad del Mundo” (“the Middle of the World”). While there’s a visitor’s centre, monument, and a souvenir line painted to mark the equator, it’s worth noting that the real equator is actually located several hundred feet away, unadorned.
Two of Peru’s top attractions, and places to immerse yourself in the country’s rich history, are also sites where you can collect extra stamps for your passport.
#5 Machu Picchu
Once you collect your stamp upon entering Peru, don’t forget to bring your passport with you as you head to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. You can get a stamp at no extra charge at this UNESCO World Heritage site when you enter the historic sanctuary.
#6 Islas Uros/Floating Islands
If you make it to Peru’s border with Bolivia, Lake Titicaca — believed to be the cradle of Andean civilizations — is a must-see, as are the lake’s celebrated Uros floating islands, made by hand out of locally growing totora reeds by the indigenous Uros people. While you’re learning about the Uros culture that predates Incan times, you can pick up an extra souvenir stamp.
#7 Easter Island/Rapa Nui
One of TPG’s favourite passport stamps is the one he collected while visiting the remote Easter Island, located more than 2,000 miles (or a five-hour flight) away from mainland Chile. Head to the local post office to collect this brag-worthy stamp.
With many sought-after destinations located all over the map in Argentina, two favourites are also places where you can acquire more stamps to commemorate your far-flung travels.
#8 Iguazu Falls
If you head to the country’s famed Iguazu Falls, be sure to ask the park staff for a commemorative stamp for your passport.
#9 Ushuaia/”El Fin del Mundo”
Known as the end of the world and located at the southern tip of South America, Ushuaia may feel as far away as Antarctica, but technically it’s still located in Argentina. No matter, if you visit the tourist information office, you can pick up an extra stamp for your effort.
In the United States
#10 The United Nations
If New York is on your itinerary, head to the U.N. headquarters to get a commemorative stamp in your passport to mark the date of your visit.
#11 Churchill, the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”
Located in northern Manitoba, Churchill is known, as its nickname suggests, for its polar bears. So much so, that if you visit the local post office, you can get a stamp in your passport (or on a postcard) that says “Polar Bear Capital of the World.”
#12 Checkpoint Charlie
Now a historic landmark that commemorates what was once the best-known border crossing checkpoint between what used to be East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War, when East Germany and West Germany were two separate countries, this site is one of Berlin’s top attractions and a place where you can collect souvenir passport stamps. Donations accepted, but not required.
#13 Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, or “Llanfair PG” for short (Wales)
This one’s a 58-letter mouthful, and one you’ll want to show off to your friends. Apparently the village with the longest name in the U.K. is the result of a publicity stunt (one that appears to have paid off). While you’re here, ask the tourist information office staff how to pronounce the name (they get asked this a lot) and a local souvenir store will gladly stamp your passport so you can always remember your trek to this Welsh village with the unforgettable (if also unpronounceable) name.
#14 In the 26-member countries of the Schengen Area
Once visitors enter the Schengen Area in Europe, travellers can pass between the borders of these 26-member countries freely, meaning you’ll likely acquire fewer passport stamps than you think when exploring Europe. One pro tip? Simply ask immigration officers for a stamp when you’re at a border crossing. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to collect those extra souvenirs for your passport.
It’s worth noting that souvenir passport stamps are unofficial, and while they aren’t likely to lead to problems, they could lead to extra questioning from border security staff.
For passport mistakes to avoid, check out our guide to 6 Very Important Things to Know About Your Passport.
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