Entertainment

21 Places To Visit In Latin America Before You Turn 30

It’s 2019, which means that its time to start dreaming up Instagram-worthy destinations to add to your bucket list. Whether you want to explore charming cliffside towns, wander throughout mysterious archeological sites, or learn to rappel down a waterfall, you’ll find something to love when you visit these destinations. With so many incredible places to choose from in Latin America, it’s hard to decide where to go. We have cut down the list to 21 fabulous places to visit before you turn 30. Get your suitcase ready. After reading this, you’ll be ready to start packing for your next trip.

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1. Tulum, Mexico

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Tulum is one of the hottest travel destinations anywhere. This eco-friendly hotspot has it all — Mayan ruins, lush jungles, and fabulous shopping. What else could you ask for in a vacation spot?

2. Santiago, Chile

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Santiago is one of the most vibrant and unique cities in South America. Enjoy a coffee in one of the picturesque cafés. If you like local art, then check out one of the many museums. Santiago is also an excellent destination for anyone who loves adventure. It is a gateway to Patagonia, which is full of wild and breathtaking scenery.

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico

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San Juan is a colorful, historic city. The best part about traveling to San Juan is that you don’t need a passport. Because it is part of the U.S., all you need is a driver’s license or photo ID to visit. While in San Juan, make sure you walk down the cute cobblestone streets and check out the colorful pastel buildings. If you want to stay active, take a hike through the El Yunque rainforest.

4. Lima, Peru

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Lima offers an unforgettable adventure. The city is full of unique flavors and lively experiences. Plus, it is close to some of the best backpacking locations in South America like Lake Titicaca, which is the highest accessible lake in the world.

5. Quito, Ecuador

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Quito is another South American must-see capital city. There are plenty of spots to watch the sunset thanks to Quito’s location high in the Andes mountains. Quito has a relaxed vibe. It is a peaceful, yet sophisticated city. You’ll find lots of nightlife and food options to sample. Take Quito’s main bus service to the Amazon basin and try whitewater rafting or mountaineering for the first time.

6. Mexico City, Mexico

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Mexico City is a colorful, bright city that is quickly becoming a travel hotspot. It has a hopping art scene, lots of great restaurants and impressive architecture. On a trip to Mexico City, you’ll find lots of great shopping, historical buildings and interesting museums to check out.

7. Ambergris Caye, Belize

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Belize is located right between Guatemala and Mexico. This Central American country has a laid-back atmosphere, beautiful coastline, and friendly locals. Ambergris Caye is the largest island and the most popular destination in Belize. The island has a fun, vibe. It is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to swim, windsurf or scuba dive.

8. Cartagena, Colombia

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The ancient city of Cartegena is filled with tradition and color. If you visit, plan to spend a couple of days at least. You’ll need it to explore all of the sights, history, and sounds of this fashionable seaside town. Wander through the maze of cobbled alleys of Old Town, which is a Unesco World Heritage site. Soak up the local culture and sensual atmosphere in one of the city’s nightclubs.

9. Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

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Bayahibe is a small, sleepy fishing village that is located just east of La Romana. This tranquil village is the perfect spot for anyone looking for a relaxed vacation. Relax on one of the white-sand beaches. Take a short taxi ride to the nearby town of Dominicus Americanus, a cute village that has several hotels, resorts and lots of shopping.

10. Machu Picchu, Peru

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Machu Picchu is a bucket-list destination that should be on everyone’s list. This far-flung destination is one that is perfect to see in your 20s. The hike to Manchu Pichu is truly amazing. Along the way, you’ll pass lots of natural beauty. Once you arrive at Manchu Picchu, you’ll be rewarded with a view of one of the most impressive archeological sites ever constructed.

11. Easter Island, Chile

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Easter Island is another place that every 20-something should visit. Easter Island is not your typical travel experience. It is one of the most remote islands in the world. This mysterious island is ideal for travelers who want to satisfy a sense of adventure. Easter Island is well-known for its numerous giant statues that dot the island. You have to see these statues in person to understand the intrigue that surrounds them.

12. Punta Arenas, Chile

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Punta Arenas, located in the Patagonia region of Chile, is a sprawling oil-rich city that is a gateway to Antarctica. Most people who visit spend a day at Torres del Paine National Park. There you will find spectacular scenery and exciting animal life. Enjoy views of snow-capped mountains as you hike through the park. Take in the mirrored lakes, glaciers and waterfalls along the way.

13. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

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Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is one of the largest salt flats in the world. It offers a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience that should be experienced in your 20s. The salt flat contains one of the most sought-after metals, lithium, which powers cell phones. As the demand for lithium grows, Bolivia’s salt flats may soon be no more. So, visit now while you have the chance.

14. Isla Holbox, Mexico

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Isla Holbox is a small fishing village located just north of Cancun. On Isla Holbox, you’ll find crystal blue waters, street art, white powdery sand. Stay at one of the cute boutique hotels on the island. Make sure you check out the pink flamingoes and brightly-colored homes. And, take plenty of colorful Snaps to share with your followers.

15. San Blas Islands, Panama

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Have you ever dreamed of exploring a deserted island? If so, then visiting the San Blas Islands is definitely something you must do. These islands are so remote that they are not even on Google Maps. It is surprisingly easy and cheap to get to them. Two-day tours from Panama are just $120 and up.

16. Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Monteverde, Costa Rica is one of the most exciting places in South America to visit for nature-lovers.  You can hike through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, which is a unique biological reserve. Because of its high level of humidity, there are more than 2,500 different kinds of plants and birds in the cloud forest. If you want to see the forest from a different perspective, you can zip line above it.

17. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is the ultimate destination for adventure seekers. The scenery is spectacular, and you’ll have the opportunity to make lots of epic memories. Make sure you dive into the deep blue waters on your visit. The marine life in the Galapagos is like nowhere else on Earth.

18. Havana, Cuba

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If you like warmth, beautiful beaches and new cultures, then Cuba might be a good destination for you to visit before you turn 30. Check out the many cute cafes and cool bars in Havana. Or spend a day at Cuba’s famous Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

19. Rio De Janiero, Brazil

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Rio de Janiero is a city that everyone should visit at least once. A delicious food scene, hot nightlife, and modern architecture make Rio a popular destination. Check out a spectacular fútbol match or learn the Samba. Make sure you get a close-up look at the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

20. Lake Atitlan Region, Guatemala

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The Lake Atitlan region is made up of more than a dozen different towns and villages. This area is a great place to spend a couple of weeks backpacking. Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in Latin America. It is surrounded by volcanoes and mountains. The weather is always nearly perfect, which makes it perfect for hiking.

21. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Buenos Aires is a large cosmopolitan city. It is known for its theater, fashion, and art and is sometimes called the “Paris” of Latin America. Nicknamed “the Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city known for its art, theater, and fashion.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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