Travel agents share their top underrated destinations

Tribune News Service • Oct 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Every day, travel agents recommend a variety of destinations to their clients that they believe would be a perfect vacation fit. But what one place would they recommend that they consider highly underrated?

Pam Walker, an affiliate of Travel Experts, Walker Adventures, LTD would recommend that her clients visit South America’s country of Ecuador. “So little, green, beautiful, and unknown,” she said. “From the Andes Mountains to the beaches, this country has it all.”

Argentina is on the top of Trish Mercer’s most underrated destinations to recommend. “It is, by far, the most underrated country I would suggest and sell,” said Mercer, Georgia Travel Experts, an affiliate of Travel Experts. “Since it does not have any one big attraction, there is nothing like Machu Picchu or a volcano to attract guests.”

Machu Picchu is a beautiful citadel of cut stone fit together without mortar. While in Argentina, she would also recommend to her clients that they visit the resort town of Ushuaia. It’s located on the southernmost tip of South America and is nicknamed the “End of the World.” “It is full of amazing sights, interesting wildlife, and gorgeous scenery,” she said.

“The country I would recommend to clients that currently is extremely underrated by American tourists is Montenegro,” said Theresa Jackson, Affiliate of Travel Experts, Enlightened Journeys Travel. “Montenegro is a tiny country that is formerly a part of Yugoslavia. This is a mountain and sea destination that has great cultural diversity because of its position between the East and the West.”

Jackson explains that here, in Montenegro, architectural influences from Byzantine and Christendom abound. “The people are friendly and the food and wine are divine,” she explained. “There is much to explore in this small country that is the size of Connecticut, ending with a sojourn by the sea. The dollar goes very far and nothing is overly touristy, except maybe Kotor which sees cruise ships.”

A little closer to home, Alex Dalton, an affiliate of Travel Experts, says that Canada is extremely underrated as a vacation destination. “There is emerging interest in our northern neighbor that wasn’t there years ago,” he says. “The issues in Europe have made Americans wary of popping across the Atlantic. Canada has a lot to offer anyone who wants that European feel without the hassle of flying across the ocean, plus the exchange rate is a great value for the US consumer.”

Andrea Crowther believes that tourists who are looking for a great destination shouldn’t look further than the United States. “There is so much diversity, attractions and scenery,” said Crowther of Susan Peavey Travel. “Many people forget to look local. They think if they want sun they need to go to the Caribbean, or if they want to ski they need to go to Austria. Some of the most beautiful fall scenery is in New Hampshire and some of the most beautiful beaches are in Florida. When money is an issue for families, driving can allow people to vacation without the crazy cost of air travel.”

And finally, now that its doors are open to travelers, Jill Petrowsky thinks that more travelers should flock to Cuba, an underrated destination. “I think people should visit Cuba and fast,” said Petrowsky, Travel Advisor. “Before it starts changing and becoming more commercial. Now you can see it how it actually is. It’s an amazing experience.”

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