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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Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

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Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

Things That Matter

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Dangerous: Cartels Are Using TikTok To Lure Young People

If you’ve ever wondered what someone with a bulletproof vest and an AR-15 would look like flossing — the dance, not the method of dental hygiene — apparently the answer to that question can be found on TikTok.

Unfortunately, it’s not as a part of some absurdist sketch comedy or surreal video art installation. Instead, it’s part of a growing trend of drug cartels in Mexico using TikTok as a marketing tool. Nevermind the fact that Mexico broke grim records last year for the number of homicides and cartel violence, the cartels have found an audience on TikTok and that’s a serious cause for concern.

Mexican cartels are using TikTok to gain power and new recruits.

Just a couple of months ago, a TikTok video showing a legit high-speed chase between police and drug traffickers went viral. Although it looked like a scene from Netflix’s Narcos series, this was a very real chase in the drug cartel wars and it was viewed by more than a million people.

Typing #CartelTikTok in the social media search bar brings up thousands of videos, most of them from people promoting a “cartel culture” – videos with narcocorridos, and presumed members bragging about money, fancy cars and a luxury lifestyle.

Viewers no longer see bodies hanging from bridges, disembodied heads on display, or highly produced videos with messages to their enemies. At least not on TikTok. The platform is being used mainly to promote a lifestyle and to generate a picture of luxury and glamour, to show the ‘benefits’ of joining the criminal activities.

According to security officials, the promotion of these videos is to entice young men who might be interested in joining the cartel with images of endless cash, parties, military-grade weapons and exotic pets like tiger cubs.

Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies.

And using social media to promote themselves has long been an effective strategy. But with Mexico yet again shattering murder records, experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.

“It’s narco-marketing,” said Alejandra León Olvera, an anthropologist at Spain’s University of Murcia, in a statement to the New York Times. The cartels “use these kinds of platforms for publicity, but of course it’s hedonistic publicity.”

Mexico used to be ground zero for this kind of activity, where researchers created a new discipline out of studying these narco posts. Now, gangs in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and the United States are also involved.

A search of the #CartelTikTok community and its related accounts shows people are responding. Public comments from users such as “Y’all hiring?” “Yall let gringos join?” “I need an application,” or “can I be a mule? My kids need Christmas presents,” are on some of the videos.

One of the accounts related to this cartel community publicly answered: “Of course, hay trabajo para todos,” “I’ll send the application ASAP.” “How much is the pound in your city?” “Follow me on Instagram to talk.” The post, showing two men with $100 bills and alcohol, had more than a hundred comments.

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