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11 Places to Do Extreme Sports in Latin America

Calling out all the high-adrenaline junkies: Latin America is waiting for you. Whether biking on Bolivia’s death road, piranha fishing in the Pantanal or snorkeling the coral reefs of Belize, Latin America is packed with exciting sports and other adventures for the extremes.

If you’re looking for an exceptional and extremely active experience backed by fascinating cultures, cheap prices, and stunning topography, we have found your perfect extreme sports playground.

Check out some of these destinations that will get your heart pumping as you enjoy your favorite hobby.

Piranha fishing in the Pantanal, Brazil

Credit: Instagram @bonitomsoficial

The destination would have to be the best rated extreme playing ground with one of the deadliest fish in the world. The interesting part is that after having a wonderful experience sporting in the area, you can actually eat the fish afterward.

Credit: Instagram @bonitomsofficial

 Ignore the fact that the Piranha itself is the face of the Pantanal, and focus on getting yourself damp on this region that is perfect for extreme sports. You can cruise the area in a cruiser or embark on a long adventure by driving the 147 km journey across Mato Grosso.

Snorkeling in the Reefs of Belize

Credit: Instagram @energymindsetBelize may be small, but its coastline is lively with beautiful scenes. A third of the 900 km long Mesoamerican Reef is covered by coral reefs which are the main charm here. Take a stroll along the coastline while exploring the charming cayes (Caulker and Ambergris).

Credit: Instagram @lpnycmermaid

Grab the chance to swim with sharks in the beautiful Hol Chan Marine Reserve and dive into the Blue Hole as you enjoy the beautiful scenes of this region.

Mountain bike, Bolivia

Credit: Instagram @erinazouz

Probably the most dangerous road, Bolivia features tough tracks that are perfect for extreme biking experience. The steep and mostly bumpy route starts on the highest point of the Bolivian Andes at La Paz and stretches for about 40 miles across the sub-tropical Yungas all the way to the sleepy town of Coroico.

Credit: Instagram @el_taraumara

 As you scale down, the road becomes narrow and you may want to be careful as it cuts through the walls of the sheer valley and passes beneath rocky overhangs and waterfalls.

Scuba Diving in Isla de Coiba, Panama

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Commonly known as “Panama’s Galapagos,” this iconic spot is challenging but quite rewarding. Most of the experienced divers who are ready to endure strong currents coupled by Pacific waters can find a safe haven in Isla de Coiba.

Credit: Instagram @richardvanginkel

Divers will also enjoy the amazing sights of manta rays, oversized sturgeon, turtles, and lots of sharks. These sharks are the reason why this region was once an outstanding prison colony as the prisoners were frightened to try to escape. The prison was later replaced with a National Park, but divers from all over the world flock the scene to have fun and for sports.

Volcano climbing, Costa Rica

Credit: Instagram @hampistravelserviceApart from its exploding flora and fauna, Costa Rica is also known for its frequent eruptions from the ground. Its volcano stretch is magnificently surrounded by the Arenal Volcano National Park. For several years, the fire has been regular and can still be seen emitting from the volcano. 

Credit: Instagram @by.andrew.m

The interesting thing is the wild animals that you can bump into while climbing the tough trails around the national park.

Kite Surfing in Cumbucco, Brazil

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If you enjoy kitesurfing in miles of empty beaches, windy environment, and tropical temperatures, then Cumbucco is your dream surfing paradise.

Credit: Instagram @gemersonmarques

The area is known for its wide variety of kiting options, with flat water lagoons and good wave spots. It’s a great sport for extreme sporting.

Avenue of volcanoes, Ecuador

Credit: Instagram @mipebraAmong the tallest active volcanoes across the globe is Cotopaxi. There is no better way to see its potential except by riding its slants either by horse riding or slumbering on its echoing belly.

Credit: Instagram @miguel_vm28

Just like the name, the Avenues of Volcanoes in Ecuador will make the sporting experience enjoyable as you cover the massive avenues of its walls. Set out on a memorable escapade to get a taste of the Ecuadorian life on the tough plains.

White Water Rafting, Costa Rica

Credit: Instagram @ecofitnessadventuresThere is, honestly, a fantastic whitewater rafting across Latin America. The southernmost area is characterized by increased water sports, from rafting through the dense jungles to sea-kayaking in the sparkling sea water.

Credit: Instagram @this_boy_sweats

The Pacuare River stills stand out as the ideal place to get wet. Stretching over 12 miles across the pristine rainforest, the place will get you sweaty while you enjoy the adventure. Bordering the river is the Talamanca mountain range with a beautiful sight of wild animals such as monkeys, birds, sloths, and more. Get down there before the plan of building a hydroelectric plant in the vicinity becomes a reality.

Kayaking, Trinidad and Tobago

Credit: Instagram @canoekayakmagFor the modern enthusiast of kayaking, it would be great to engage in the sport while enjoying the unique azure of waters and bays sheltered by freshwater. 

Credit: Instagram @kayaktrinidad

Trinidad and Tobago is the ideal destination for saltwater and freshwater kayaking. Key scenes to note are the Godineau River and Bon Accord Lagoon that allows you to enjoy the tropical warmth while you take on your favorite spot.

Wakeboarding, Bahamas

Credit: Instagram @wakeboarding

Getting the chance to enjoy waterskiing and wakeboarding 12 months in a year coupled with good weather is extremely breathtaking.

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Remove featured imageThink of the stunning stretches of water that allows you to ride your motorboat at super speed, try a few tricks, and later bask on the beautiful beaches. The Bahamas offers it all in one package.

Sandboarding, Huacachina, Peru

Credit: Instagram @ overlandtourOnce you have experienced the all-sand version, you will have a hard time going back to the original. It’s among the world’s most famous adventure sports. In the small desert town of Huacachina, sandboarding is the main adrenaline sport to try.

Credit: Instagram @ joelbeteta

Get your board and begin the rough ride on a mission to reach the highest dunes. The residents use candlesticks at the bottom of their boards as a way to increase speed before tearing down the sandbanks. It’s an exciting experience.

21 Things You Didn't Know About El Chapo

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21 Things You Didn’t Know About El Chapo

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has been part of the popular imagination in Mexico and all over the world for decades. The supposed leader of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has become a celebrity due to his extravagant prison brakes, the network of tunnels he allegedly built to smuggle drugs to the United States.

El Chapo is currently undergoing a highly publicized trial in Brooklyn, as he was extradited to the United States. With this trial, as well as the release of the highly anticipated Netflix show Narcos: Mexico, where his character is expected to make a cameo, El Chapo is as relevant as ever. Here are some facts and possible facts about this elusive and mythical figure.

1. First things first, Chapo means “Shorty”

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Wonder where the famous moniker came from? Guzmán stands 5 ‘6″ tall. El Chapo is quite short, so his nickname is basically Sinaloa slang for “shorty”. El Chapo is a small but commanding figure, sort of a Napoleon of the criminal underbelly.

2. He is considered by some to be a modern Robin Hood

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo has always been vocal about his humble origin and his despise of government corruption. He has built roads and schools in his native state of Sinaloa, which is why some consider him a working-class hero.

3. According to some sources, he began selling marihuana as a minor

Credit: Giphy. @homeofhiphop

He lived in a rural area and by 15 he was supporting his family by selling oranges, cheese and, some claim, pot. Very early on he started understanding the mechanisms of illegal narcotic trade. A self-made dealer who became one of the richest people in the planet.

4. You can buy El Chapo piñatas in Mexico

Credit: pinata. Digital image. New York Post.

Yes, you read that right. El Chapo has become a mythical figure in his home country, and popular culture manifestations like piñatas often depict political figures. After his second escape from a maximum security prison numerous piñata makers made a killing. When he was finally captured for good the piñatas were quickly updated.

5. He had a girlfriend while in prison

Credit: zulemahernandez. Digital image. Proceso.

When he was first in prison before escaping in 2001, Chapo had a girlfriend. Her name was Zulema and she was a former police officer. She was murdered upon her release from jail, possibly because of her relationship with the kingpin.

6. Chapo masks are now common for Halloween and Día de Muertos

Credit: 9d8c1960e867aa18ebf8d1237a2ea7ce57f09597. Digital image. Digital Journal.

Just like some scare kids wearing Trump masks on Halloween, Mexicans wear masks of hated politicians and other public figures. El Chapo masks are a common feature at Halloween parties and other events.

7. He once lined the road leading to his house with human bodies

Credit: Apocalypse Now. Zoetrope Studios.

According to the documentary TV show Drug Lords: El Chapo (Netflix), El Chapo liked to make quite a statement when anyone visited his property. He lined up cadavers in his driveway just to show who is boss. Sounds very Apocalypse Now to us to be honest.

8. His current wife is an Instagram celebrity

Credit: Instagram. @emmacoronela

Emma Coronel is a famous Instagramer and former beauty queen. She often posts snapshots of her daily life, messages to her imprisoned husband and even photos of her twin daughter’s lavish Barbie-themed party.

9. He expanded his cartel globally

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

The Sinaloa Cartel has been described as the biggest and most complex criminal organization in the planet. Part of El Chapo’s success is due to directly enter faraway markets like Australia without paying intermediaries.

10. He allegedly loves golden and diamond-incrusted guns

Credit: Pinterest. @chicana602

Guns that are custom made by skilled jewelers are a common sight in narco culture. El Chapo is said to have ordered a gun to mark his mention in the Forbes richest people in the planet list.

11. He has been married 3 times and has 9 kids

Credit: african_narco_news__cocaine_joaquín_guzmánLoera_2. Digital image. African Narco News.

He has a big heart, at least according to his turbulent love life. He has 9 kids. He first married in 1977 with Alejandrina María Salazar Hernández, and had César, Iván Archivaldo and  Jesús Alfredo. With his second wife he had Joaquín, Edgar, Ovidio and Griselda Guadalupe.  With his current wife, Emma Coronel, he has twins María Joaquina and Emali Guadalupe.

12. He bought all the red roses available in Culiacán for his son’s funeral

Credit: Giphy. @hackmylife

May 10 is Mother’s Day in Mexico and sons and daughters rush to flower shops to buy a bouquet for su jefecita. 2008 was different though, as the funeral for El Chapo’s son Edgar Guzmán was being held and his father bought all the roses available in the city. Lupillo Rivera wrote a song about the funeral:  “50 mil rosas rojas”.

13. He plans to sue Netflix and Univision over El Chapo TV show

Credit: El Chapo. Netflix/Univision.

Upon the release of the popular Univision/Netflix show, his lawyer claimed during a radio interview that: “Things are happening (in the series) that do not correspond to reality, despite the fact that there is no conviction confirming those events. That represents a grave violation of (Guzman’s) right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty”. For him, the TV show defames El Chapo and sends the wrong message prior to his trial.

14. He lined the US/Mexico border with underground tunnels

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

Besides having escaped prison through a complex tunnel, El Chapo hired expert engineers to move his product across the border through a network of tunnels across the border. He escaped the authorities for years.

15. Forbes considered him the 63rd most powerful person in the world

Credit: Giphy. @netflixlat

Chapo’s power was not only due to his immense wealth, but also to the international reach of his operations and the alleged influence he had on local and international politics.

16. He is an internet celebrity in his own right

Credit: Heavy. Anonymous meme.

His last escape became fodder for meme creativity. The collective mind power of the web came together to create some pretty cool viral content.

17. He used multiple false names to escape the authorities

Credit: memes-fuga-chapo-guzman-004. Digital image. NYC Cafe.

Ge got quite creative. Joel Sánchez, Jorge Ramos Pérez or Sánchez, Raúl Guzmán Ruiz and Francisco Villaseñor were just some of them.

18. He is a religious man

Credit: unnamed. Digital file. El Camion.

According to a bishop, El Chapo is a believer. He professes his love to the Virgin of Guadalupe, like most Mexican Catholics, and to Malverde, an unofficial patron saint of drug traffickers. He has built multiple churches in his home state.

19. He built a fancy mausoleum for himself

Credit: mausoleo-arturo-guzman-pollo. Digital image. Union Jalisco.

Like many drug dealers in Sinaloa, El Chapo has prepared his last resting place. It is a huge mausoleum with air conditioning, TVs, beds and all the facilities so his loved ones can pay their respects when he passes away. Pictured: the 1.2 million dollar mausoleum where El Chapo’s brother Arturo was buried.

20. He was extradited just as Trump had his inauguration

Credit: el-chapo-02-as-gty-180615_hpMain_16x9_1600. Digital image. ABC News.

El Chapo made numerous social media threats to candidate Donald Trump, particularly after his controversial speeches attacking Mexican migrants. In what was seen as an inauguration gift from the Mexican government, Guzmán was handed over to US authorities a day before Trump came into power.

21. According to his lawyer, he paid off two Mexican presidents

Credit: Drug Lords: El Chapo. Netflix.

El Chapo’s trial in a US court has produced a couple of bombshell declarations. The biggest one is an accusation of corruption to presidents Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, who have publicly denounced the cartels. According to these accounts, their campaigns were partly financed by the drug lord.

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