4 Countries That Get an Undeservingly Bad Rep From Tourists

When planning a vacation, you probably want to go somewhere that is fun, hospitable, welcoming and memorable. These countries can fulfill all these requirements and more. Visiting these countries will also likely save you money because their undeserved reputations make them less desirable for many tourists.

South Africa

South Africa Though this country has been volatile in the past, travelers now consider it one of the top places to travel in the world. Head to Cape Town Central along the coast and enjoy many activities alike. If you love soaking up the sun, head to Clifton Beach and catch some rays. This highly rated attraction is actually four beaches separated by boulders. Head to Boulders Beach to view African penguins in their natural habitat. Other top attractions include Table Mountain, Kisrstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the African Dance Theatre.


France When many think of France, the stereotypical rude waiter comes to mind, who says disparaging things about Americans and despises serving them. This conception is just a myth and for the most part is inaccurate. Many who visit France find the French people exceedingly friendly and helpful to Americans. There is also a myth that the French hate Americans, but actually many, especially French teens and young adults, love Americans and their culture. Though you may consider avoiding France because of these stereotypes, don't deprive yourself of the sites and rich history found in France. After a flight on Air France, head to Marseille, France's second largest city. Located along the Mediterranean, it has an idyllic climate and lots of history, including Roman ruins and medieval architecture. Other notable cities in France include Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, and of course Paris.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Just south of Nicaragua, which is the second poorest country in the Americas, lies Costa Rica. Many of the Central American countries do not have strong reputations when it comes to tourism, due to issues with slow service and pickpockets. Costa Rica, however, has improved over the last 15 years with many having exceptionally enjoyable experiences. In an article for USA Today, Stephanie Oswald relates a story where she left her wallet and passport in a restroom. Amazingly, they were both turned to the U.S. Embassy. Included in the wallet was a small handcrafted wall hanging -- a gift from the person who turned it in. Many in Costa Rica have taken on the motto of "pura vida," which means to live a good life.


Colombia Though Colombia was considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world 20 or 30 years ago, the major cities have been cleaned up and are ready for visitors. Caution should be taken whenever you travel to large cities or places you're unfamiliar with, but a vacation to Colombia can be just as lovely as one to a Caribbean island. Santa Marta, along the northern coast, is a wonderful destination where you'll have the opportunity of taking in the breathtaking Tayrona National Park. The beaches in the park are pristine, with beautiful white sand. Not far from the beach is a dense jungle with 770 plant species and 300 bird species. [smartads] Do you have recommendations for an untapped vacation destination?

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