With so many vacation destinations to choose from, many travelers have a desire to visit some of the most popular tourist spots in the world, such as Italy, France and Greece.
However, travel agents will often recommend places to visit that are totally underrated:
Pam MacIntyre of Travel Leaders in Maple Grove, Minnesota recently had the opportunity to visit Mazatlán, a city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She was surprised by how much she liked it.
In fact, though MacIntyre describes Mazatlán as party central to spring breakers some time ago, she’s already made plans to return.
“Although you can still absolutely find this, they’ve really invested a lot of money into the city, making it a destination that is not just for college kids,” she said. “They’re working night and day to complete the brand new boardwalk just in time to host Tianguis Turístico in April 2018. This truly is a beautiful colonial city on the beach.”
MacIntyre believes the boardwalk will be a beautiful place for scenic walks along the coastline. Visitors can also see the Angela Peralta Theater—a restored movie theater in downtown Mazatlán—the Plaza Machado Central Plaza and the Playa Brujas beach.
With more people seeking destinations that have an authentic, untouched feel, Liz Dominguez—a Dream Vacations Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist with Go There With Us in Jacksonville, Florida—wishes more people would realize the beauty of Micronesia and Melanesia.
“When one thinks about the South Pacific, you tend to conjure ideas of beautiful beaches with pristine waters like Tahiti. But just beyond that lies a raw beauty and culture in places like Yap, Palau, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea,” said Dominguez. “Some of the major and luxury cruise lines have itineraries that touch on these islands, but a trip only on land or through an expedition cruise would be ideal.”
In fact, experiencing several of these places on a Silversea Expedition left quite the impression on her.
“We were wowed by the warm welcomes, untouched beauty and culture that greeted us,” she said. “It was an experience that touched both my husband and me, making us look at the world differently. The tales you tell after sitting through a sing-sing on Tami Island or meeting an artisan who hand-carved a mask and brought it many kilometers down the Sepik River to make some money to support his family, that is travel that transforms.”
READ MORE: 10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Viking Sky Cruise Tips
Stacey Hartmann—owner of Enjoy Vacationing, in Waunakee, Wisconsin—said she wishes more people would travel to underrated Scandinavia.
“It’s a growing area of interest but has primarily been a focus for those with family history,” said Hartmann.
“I encourage visitors who want to avoid the large crowds seen in cities in Italy, Spain and other European destinations to consider the diverse vacation options of Scandinavia. A fjord or northern lights cruise in Norway; a visit to Helsinki; a trip to visit the palace, outdoor air museums and ships in Sweden; visiting the original Legoland or a church buried by sand in Denmark can get you out with the locals and give you an experience like no other.”
You may find the road less traveled will lead to the best vacation you’ll ever have.
To pre-order Lisa Iannucci’s book On Location: A Film and TV Lover’s Travel Guide, click here .
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