When many people think of the Amazon, they think of Brazil, but Peru offers a great base for exploring the region: Iquitos, a metropolis of almost half a million people in the heart of the Peruvian jungle.Here's an Iquitos video from YouTube.
Iquitos is a fitting destination for 2011, which has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Forests.
"You can create your own adventures when you're there," Reid said.
It's the biggest city you can't drive to in the world, he added. You have to fly in or take a boat.
To experience the region in a unique way, Rapp recommended taking an Amazon River cruise from Iquitos on Delfin or Aqua Expeditions.
Guatemala checked in at number 8.
More than 10 years after the end of its civil war, Guatemala is coming into its own as a tourist destination, Frommer said.
The country is an appealing alternative for people looking to travel south of the border and trying to branch out beyond popular places like Costa Rica, she added. Once there, you'll be amazed by the sites -- and the low prices.
"Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful places in the world. In fact, Aldous Huxley said it was more beautiful than Lake Como. I was there in March, and I would agree," Frommer said.
She called the destination "a bargain wonderland." A round-trip flight from New York cost Frommer $350, "decent hotels" charged as little as $35 a night, and a meal at a sit-down restaurant might set you back just $3, she said.And here's a YouTube tourism video for Guatemala.