Culture

22 Best Beaches In Latin America: Beat The Cold Winter And Escape To One Of These Beautiful Sunny Beaches

Latin-America has the best beaches on earth. Period. Picture this, you’re walking in crystal-clear waters, the white sandy beaches are covered in tropical flora. Music plays in the background, you’re waiting for the Piña Colada and fish tacos you just ordered. Might go snorkeling in a centuries-old cenote later, or maybe you could take a nap in the Robinson Crusoe-inspired cabana you rented for a very reasonable price. Amirite or amirite?

If, instead of being on a tropical island somewhere in the Caribbean or South America, you’re stuck in your cold, smog-infested, snowy city, we recommend you take a look at the list below. We rounded up the best beaches in Latin-America to help you escape your day to day. 

Rio de Janeiro

This Brazilian city is home to Copacabana beach, sugarloaf mountain, Carnaval and Christ the Redeemer Statue.

Punta Cana 

The Dominican region is known for its beaches, luxury resorts and indigenous ecological park. 

Varadero

Major Cuban resort town on Hicacos Peninsula, with its 20km beach, golf course and several parks. 

Tulum

This Mexican town in the Mayan riviera is known for its Caribbean crystal clear waters and white sand beaches, as well as for its Mayan archaeological site El Castillo and Parque Nacional Tulum —plus, lots and lots of ‘cenotes’ (natural pits, or sinkholes, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath).

Puerto Vallarta

Resort town with historic center and its famous ‘El Malecon’ broadwalks, plus its lush beaches which offer snorkeling and fishing —don’t miss the insta-famous spot ‘Islas Marietas’ where you can swim into a hidden beach in a cave. 

Florianopolis

Occupying 54-long Santa Catarina island, this state capital of … is known for its beaches and surfing. 

Costa Rica

This Central American country with capital San Jose, is known fo its tropical rainforest, beautiful beaches and wildlife. A True paradise. 

Cabo San Lucas

The Mexican beach resort town is known for hosting some of the liveliest nights out. The beaches are a sight to be seen, as is the striking ‘El Arco’ formation. 

Cuba

The caribbean island is a white-sand beach heaven, with its colorful buildings, lively clubs and tropical music —and let’s not forget the cigars. Azucar!

Cozumel

This laid-back Mexican Caribbean island is famed for its beaches, the scuba-diving and Mayan ruins of ‘El Cedral’. Not to be missed. 

Ubatuba

The Brazilian municipality with Itamambuca Beach, Ubatuba Aquarium and the TAMAR project turtle sanctuary, this beach will make for a perfect, quiet, solitary and tropical retreat. 

Maceio

This city is known for its 19th century colonial heritage, its white-sand beaches and an off-shore coral reef. 

Cartagena

The pearl of the Caribbean is a port city with a 16th century castle, a walled old town and lovely beaches, plus the Islas del Rosario which are a must. The ideal beachy getaway when you also want to do some sightseeing.

Akumal

Akumal is a beach resort town on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Its located alongside the worlds 2nd largest coral reef and if you get lucky, you might spot some turtles and tropical fish swimming around in the waters of its Yal-Ku lagoon. 

Acapulco

This Mexican resort city is known for the cliff divers of La Quebrada, its lively night life and beautiful beaches. 

Isla Mujeres 

The Mexican island is known for Playa Norte beach, it offers diving on offshore coral reefs and a sea turtle sanctuary. 

Saint Lucia

This lush Caribbean island is home to the Piton mountains and it offers stunning landscapes, volcanic beaches, hot springs and capital Castries. 

Salvador

The bahian capital is rich with Afro-Brazilian culture and its Pelourinho colonial district offers historic buildings to add to your trip. Don’t miss the district’s Sao Francisco church. 

Lima

Peru’s bustling capital is full of Spanish colonial buildings, the Museo Larco of art, and a vibrant food scene and lovely beaches. What’s not to love?

Antigua

The Caribbean island is a white-sand beach and coral reef paradise. Plus Nelson’s Dockyard and Shirley Heights lookouts are jaw-dropping.

San Juan

The capital city of Puerto Rico has it all. Beaches, colonial sights, rich food and lively nights out. Don’t miss our on the colonial El  Morro and La Fortaleza forts. 

Punta del Este

This Uruguayan resort city is known for ‘The Hand’ sculpture, Mansa beach and Gorriti Island. A beautiful south-American destination.

Roatan

This Island in Honduras boasts white sandy beaches, tropical flora and vibrant coral reefs you can dive in. The tranquility will help you re-charge for the year to come. 

Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

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Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

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There are millions of people just itching for a vacation right now, and Cancun wants to welcome visitors with open arms. However, there’s a huge problem with their plan. Most of the country is still in a severe phase of the pandemic – with all 32 states reporting daily increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases.

In cities such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, even locals aren’t allowed to venture far from their homes and restrictions on shopping, dining, and exercising are still in full force.

However, the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has resumed his cross-country travels and is trying to portray a ‘new normal’ – the problem is little has changed to prevent further outbreaks.

Cancun is aiming to open its doors to tourists from June 10 – but it makes zero sense given the actual situation on the ground.

Quintana Roo, home to the famed beaches of Cancun and Tulum, will resume activities next week – according to the governor, Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez. The state, which depends heavily on tourism, has lost over 83,000 jobs in the last few months due to the pandemic, and with reopening the state could see an economic rebound. However, that entirely depends on the success and implementation of safety measures.

In a press conference, the governor said that tourists could start arriving in the Caribbean destination as soon as June 8th. He added that tourism is an essential activity and that there is no other of greater importance in Quintana Roo “and we are going to fight for it to be considered that way.”

He stressed during the public address that for the opening to happen by June 10th, protocols and hygiene measures must be followed to protect workers and tourists from Covid-19.

And he has good reason to reopen. According to a new survey by Expedia, ‘Cancun flights’ is one of the top 5 searches on the platform. In the same survey, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres (all located in Quintana Roo) were announced as three of the most internationally sought after destinations.

Meanwhile, AMLO has launched a cross-country tour touting the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions.

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President AMLO also held his daily press conference from the state of Quintana Roo to mark the beginning of Mexico’s economic reopening and resume his tours across the country.

But this too makes zero sense. Yes, the government has mandated that states can begin lifting restrictions – if they’re no longer declared ‘red zones.’ However, every state in the country is still in the red, with many seeing peak infection numbers.

It’s just the most recent example of confusing messaging from the president.

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While AMLO is eager to get the country reopened and put Mexicans back to work, Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country. Mexico has now recorded the seventh-highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker, with nearly 10,000 virus-related fatalities and almost 100,000 confirmed cases. Testing in the country is low and health officials acknowledge that the numbers are likely much higher.

The federal government unveiled a red-light/green-light system to implement reopening procedures state by state. But currently every state is still in ‘red-light’ phase – meaning stay-at-home orders are still in full effect – making AMLO’s messaging extremely confusing.

Time and time again, the president has downplayed the virus outbreak and has criticized stay-at-home orders for harming the economy.

Keep in mind, however, that non-essential travel between the U.S. and Mexico is still largely banned.

Since March, all non-essential travel has been banned between the U.S. and Mexico. However, that ban is currently set to expire on June 22. It’s possible both sides could extend the travel ban, but given AMLO’s rhetoric it isn’t likely he’ll keep the country closed to tourists for much longer.

However, it’s important to point that out even if you technically can travel – right now you really shouldn’t. In much of Mexico, confirmed Covid-19 cases are on the rise with many cities across the country just now entering it’s worst phase.

Coffee Is Steeped In Tradition Across Latin America, Here Is How Each Country Brews The Perfect Cup

Culture

Coffee Is Steeped In Tradition Across Latin America, Here Is How Each Country Brews The Perfect Cup

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OK, so we’re in like Week 12 of lockdown and some of us may have taken up new hobbies and interests to help pass the time. For me, that’s been getting to know a good cup of home-brewed coffee. Plus, the draw of a warm, delicious cup of coffee can definitely help you get your day started with that often much-needed shot of caffeine.

Many coffee experts agree, that now is the time to familiarize yourself with all the traditional coffee methods from around Latin America and figure out which one you like best.

Latin America is one of the biggest producers of coffee beans, but surprisingly, coffee isn’t a big part of life here, with the exception of Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina. But those who do enjoy their coffee, have a wide array of traditions when it comes to preparing that perfect cup.

Like the millions of people and cultures of the world, coffee too has its own variations and traditions surrounding it. Here is a glimpse of how it is prepared and consumed in different ways all over the planet.

Argentina

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Maté may be the official national beverage, but coffee drinking is a refined, lingering art in Argentina’s cafes.

The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, has always been Latin America’s coffee capital and long before any neighboring nation even knew of the existence of a ‘latte’, Porteños were sipping macchiatos (called lagrimas) and café con leche like it was nobody’s business. The city has always offered the best coffee in the entire continent – mostly due to its influx of Italian immigrants who brought with them the traditional techniques of coffee brewing.

Brazil

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Unlike much of South America, coffee is very popular in Brazil, with many Brazilians preferring a cafezinho – a strong and very sweet coffee. And it kinda makes sense considering Brazil is the world’s largest producer of the stuff.

Coffee is consumed all through the day, in dainty little cups, with or without meals. Coffee added to a glass of milk is often served for breakfast to kids as young as 10 years old. Though American-style coffee culture and drinks are gaining popularity, walking while eating or drinking is a strict no-no in Brazil

Colombia

Colombia, known for its great, versatile coffee beans, likes its coffee black with lots of sugar, in small cups. It’s known as tinto and it will leave you awake for days…

Colombia’s coffee culture only recently got off the ground. Prior to 2003, the country’s best beans were only exported and Colombians only had access to the leftover beans. But this has changed and coffee culture is a huge part of Colombian identity.

Cuba

Cuba may be best known for the cafecito – or Cafe Cubano. This very strong drink is a type of espresso coffee that first developed in Cuba after Italians arrived in the country.

The Cafecito beverage is made by sweetening a shot with Demerara sugar, during the coffee brewing process. There are variations on the method including a variety of recipes. The Demerara sugar is traditionally added into the glass into which the espresso will drip so the sugar and espresso mix during brewing which is said to create a unique and smooth quality.

Guatemala

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Guatemalans aren’t huge consumers of coffee. And those who do drink coffee tend to drink it as much of the world does – as a latte or shot of espresso.

However, Guatemala is revered for its superior quality and complexity of flavors. It’s a step above the rest, because many coffee fincas (plantations) still harvest beans in the most traditional of ways. The nation’s highlands are where you’ll want to head and – luckily for you – where you can experience the country’s long-held passion for coffee and discover some of the most magnificent landscapes in the entire continent. The most popular region for coffee lovers to visit is Lake Atitlan, a spectacular area framed by three volcanoes.

Mexico

In Mexico, coffee is often brewed with cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon and sugar aren’t merely added to the coffee after brewing, but they’re incorporated right into the brewing technique. The result is a coffee that’s at the same time sweet and spicy. 

Cafe de Olla is the national coffee drink and it varies from state to state but it’s definitely a must to try if visiting the county. But it’s also easy to make at home!

Venezuela

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At one point, Venezuela rivaled Colombia in terms of its coffee production. However, those days are long gone and now the country produces less than 1% of the world’s coffee (since 2001). Although some Venezuelan coffee is exported, the vast majority is consumed by the Venezuelans themselves. 

Venezuela’s most renowned coffees are known as Maracaibos. They are named after the port through which they are shipped, close to Colombia. The coffee grown in the eastern mountains is called Caracas, named after the country’s capital.