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These Latin American Cities Should Be On Everyone’s List Of Vacation Destinations

Over the years, tourism in Latin America has boomed exponentially as more and more global visitors start to discover the amazing scope of culture, nature, and history sewn into the fabric of these lands.

If you are looking for a few inspirations for your next adventure, here are 20 of the coolest cities in Latin America that is worth your visit.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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The second largest city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro is well-known for its spectacular landscape and laid back beach culture. If you’re a first-timer in Rio, you can’t pass up people-watching and relaxing along the shoreline of Ipanema or Copacabana. Rio is also home to one of the world’s Seven Wonders, the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Dubbed as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is regarded as the second most sought-after city to visit after Florence, Italy. You can find elegant architecture, fashionable shopping, and delectable cuisine, and legendary nightlife. You can also find the world’s biggest Japanese garden outside of Japan, the Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens.

Cartagena, Colombia

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In 1533, the Old Town of Cartegena de Indias was founded as a Spanish port. This UNESCO world heritage site still remains intact up to these days, with beautiful high stone walls peering out over the breathtaking Caribbean. Apart from the beaches, the city is also known for its rich culture and history, and fabulous theaters and arts.

Cusco, Peru

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Cusco was once a capital of an empire across half of South America. This prancing-Jaguar-shaped city which was once called Inca, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. Cusco is home to Peru’s most popular Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu. With more than two million tourists a year, the number alone tells you that the city indeed is one place you should visit.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

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This capital and largest city in Puerto Rico is home to the Isla Verde resort strip, popular for its nightclubs, bars, and casinos. In Old San Juan, you can find cobblestoned architectures that feature 16th century landmarks like the La Fortaleza and El Morro, and colorful Spanish colonial buildings.

Mexico City, Mexico

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The densely populated capital of Mexico is popular for its 13th century Aztec Temple, the Templo Mayor, as well as the Palacio Nacional where historic murals of Diego Rivera are found. The Mexican neighborhood is flooded with art deco, and its historic center in Zocalo is a UNESCO-declared World Heritage site.

Antigua, Guatemala

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Apart from its colonial architecture, Antigua is the birthplace of chocolate. While you can find a lot of coffee plantations in the city, thanks to its volcanic landscape that makes coffee growing ideal, there’s nowhere in the country that you can get your sugar fix than in Antigua.

La Paz, Bolivia

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Bolivia is increasingly attracting tourists during the past years. Its administrative capital, La Paz, is a major tourism center and in 2014 was declared as one of the Seven Urban Wonder cities of the world. From there, its popularity has rocketed. From its stunning natural sceneries to indigenous culture, coupled with different outdoor attractions, La Paz is one South American city worth visiting indeed.

Bogota, Colombia

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Bogota is Colombia’s capital city and is rich in colonial-era landmarks like Teatro Colon, a neoclassical performance hall. This city is also home to well-known museums like Museo Botero that showcases Fernando Botero’s art. The city also has a lot to offer in terms of history, cuisine, sports, and culture.

Mendoza, Argentina

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You can enjoy Mendoza all year round: from its vastness of mountains to its natural beauties, as well as its fine wineries, this city really has a lot to offer. If you are into wines, their Grape Harvest Festival every March is a must. Here, wineries open their doors to tourists and visitors and offer interesting wine tours.

Santiago, Chile

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This versatile city is home to numerous events that showcase only the best of Chilean culture. International festivals of flavor, sound, and color also make the city more captivating to their tourists. It also prides itself of their design shops, art galleries, bars, and cafes. To get the best panoramic city views, the San Cristobal Hill is a must-see.

Panama City, Panama

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This city is framed by the man-made Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean. Its cobblestoned historic area, the Casco Viejo, is known for its colonial-era landmarks such as the Palacio Presidencial. To get the best views of ships traversing the Panama Canal, visit the Miraflores Locks.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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This interesting capital of the Dominican Republic is a collage of neighborhoods and cultures. At the city’s main district, you can find Zona Colonial where the oldest churches can be found. From living museums to seaside resorts, one can truly enjoy a laid-back atmosphere at this capital city.

Quito, Ecuador

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Quito is the world’s second tallest capital and is home to the biggest and best preserved historic center in Latin America. Also known as Carita de Dios, this 1978 UNESCO-declared site as the first Cultural Heritage of Humanity has countless places to discover. The city is surrounded by amazing volcanoes and mountains and prides itself of its bohemian air, its internal treasures, and its spectacular views.

San Jose, Costa Rica

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San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica. To its south is the Talamanca Mountains, and volcanoes are found to its north. The city is known for its Spanish colonial buildings like the National Theatre of Costa Rica that overlooks the popular Plaza de la Cultura. Gleaming artifacts can also be seen on their Pre-Columbian Gold museum displays.

Montevideo, Uruguay

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Montevideo is Uruguay’s capital city and stretches along Montevideo Bay. The city revolves around what was once the home of the Spanish citadel, the Plaza de la Independencia. As you walk through the plaza, you will be lead to Ciudad Vieja (the old town) where you can find colonial homes, art deco buildings, the popular Palacio Salve. You can also indulge your taste palettes in Mercado del Puerto where you can find a lot of steakhouses.

Recife, Brazil

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Recife is the capital of Pernambuco, Brazil’s northeastern state, and is notable by its many peninsulas, bridges, islets, and rivers; thus, it’s dubbed as the Venice of Brazil. The city is popular for its crazy carnival parades, thumping nightlife, and pristine beaches.

Cancun, Mexico

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This Mexican city located on the Yucatan Peninsula that borders the Caribbean Sea is known for its nightlife, numerous resorts, and beaches. It is divided into two areas: El Centro, the downtown area, the Zona Hotelera, a long strip of beachfront with nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and high-rise hotels. This is the city famed for its being the top destination of college students during spring break.

Porto Alegre, Brazil

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This multicultural city is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul and was colonized by a number of European nations. This colonization is the reason behind its rich culture and history with secular traditions and unique foods. Visiting the city is worth the time because it has more than 50 museums, 13 cultural centers, and more than thirty theatrical spaces.

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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This city is situated along the south coast of the Pacific and is known to host a lot of attractions. It is dubbed as the gateway to the Galapagos Island and the Pacific beaches. One popular attraction is the Las Penas neighborhood where you can see colorful houses. Cafes and art galleries line the stairs leading up the Santa Ana Hill, the place where you can have the perfect view of the city.


READ: Here Are Some Hikers Of Color Who Will Inspire You To Travel The World And Explore Nature

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Imagine Having Machu Picchu All To Yourself – That’s What One Man Got After Being Stuck In Peru For Seven Months

Things That Matter

Imagine Having Machu Picchu All To Yourself – That’s What One Man Got After Being Stuck In Peru For Seven Months

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One of the most dreaded side effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic, is that it took with it our travel plans. Whether we were simply set to have weekends at the beach, visit our abuelos in Mexico, or go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip across the world, so many of us have seen our travel plans taken away.

Well, one traveler made it across the world to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing Machu Picchu but as soon as he arrived, so too did the pandemic. He became stuck in foreign country and couldn’t travel or see the sights he had hoped to visit.

As Peru has slowly reopened, this now world-famous traveler is being known as the first person to see Machu Picchu post-lockdown and he got to do so all by himself.

One lucky traveler got to experience the city of Machu Picchu all by himself.

Peru’s famous Machu Picchu ruins, closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened on Monday for one lucky Japanese tourist after he spent months stranded in the country due to global travel restrictions.

In a video first reported by The Guardian, Jesse Takayama shared his immense gratitude for being allowed to visit the ancient Incan city – which had long been one of his dreams. Months ago he had arrived in a small town near the Incan city, where he has remained ever since because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Peru’s Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, said at a press conference that “He [Takayama] had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter. The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.” Talk about a once in a lifetime experience.

Neyra went on to add that this really was a rare moment and that Takayama only received access after submitting a special request to the local tourism authority.

In an Instagram post about his special access, Takayama said that “Machu Picchu is so incredible! I thought I couldn’t go but many people asked the government. I’m the first one to visit Machu Picchu after lockdown!”

Takayama had been stuck in Peru since March when the country shut down its borders because of the pandemic.

Takayama arrived to Peru in March and promptly bought his pass to the ancient city but little did he know the world (and his plans) would come to a screeching halt. Peru was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic (and continues to struggle) and was forced to close its borders and institute a strict lockdown.

Peru was forced to implement drastic COVID-19 restrictions on travel including an end to all incoming international flights earlier this year, which only relaxed this month after the nation’s rate of new COVID-19 cases began declining in August.

The last statement posted on the Machu Picchu website, dated from July, says that “the Ministries of Culture and Foreign Trade and Tourism are coordinating the prompt reopening of Machu Picchu”.

Peru’s Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions.

The country’s Minister of Culture, Neyra, stressed that “the reopening of Machu Picchu is important for Peruvians, as a symbol of national pride and also as a budget issue, because it is one of the places that generates the most income for the culture sector.”

The BBC reports that the Inca stronghold, a Unesco world heritage site since 1983, is expected to reopen at reduced capacity next month. 

More than 1.5 million people make the pilgrimage to the Inca city annually. In 2017, Unesco threatened to place the famous ruins on its list of endangered heritage sites because of fears about overcrowding; Peruvian authorities subsequently brought in measures to control the flow of tourists and visitor numbers were capped at around 2,240 per day.

Peru is still experiencing one of the region’s worst outbreaks of Coronavirus.

After beginning a phased reopening, Peru has started to see its contagion rate increase in recent days. The country still faces one of the worst outbreaks in South America, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Neyra added. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”

Peru has recorded just over 849,000 total cases of COVID-19, and 33,305 deaths since the pandemic began.

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Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

Culture

Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

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Covid-19 has ended a lot of stuff for a lot of people. The most obvious change has been to international travel, especially for Americans. As the virus has spread widely across the U.S. countries have put a halt to allowing American tourist within their border, but not Mexico.

Covid-19 has severly depreciated the American passport.

Once capable of unlocking so many countries, the U.S. passport is no longer helping Americans travel abroad. Instead, the American passport has now become a hindrance for global travelers. Most countries have placed restrictions on American tourists making the U.S. passport one of the weakest.

The countries banning the U.S. are doing so because of the state of the virus in the country.

There have been more than 7 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 200,000 deaths from the virus. The U.S. remains the worst hit country and the global epicenter of the deadly virus. Many blame the lack of a national strategy to properly close down, test citizens, and contact trace those who have been exposed as the reason the virus has been so devastating in the U.S.

The various travel bans have kept families apart.

Other nations went into mush stricter lockdowns that the U.S. and got a handle of the virus. European countries have gotten the virus under control after months and the U.S. continues to see a large number of new cases daily.

One of the countries allowing Americans to visit is Mexico.

Mexico is heavily reliant on the money made from the tourism industry. According to official statistics, the tourism industry is the third-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Major tourist destinations like Cabo and Cancún saw dramatic dips in tourism leading to national and local figures to sound the alarm. According to The Washington Post, the questions was posed about when to allow the tourists from the U.S. back, not should they.

Los Cabos is one of the hardest-hit tourist destinations.

The tourist destination saw a severe decline in tourists during one of the busiest times of the year. According to The Washington Post, the resort city has lost 80 percent of its revenue because of Covid-19. The virus has brought financial devastation to people across the world and the cities they live in aren’t immune to failing themselves.

“It’s life or death for us,” Rodrigo Esponda, the head of the Los Cabos tourism board, told The Washington Post. “There’s nothing else here. No industrial production. No farming or commercial fishing. It’s tourism or nothing.”

Yet, Los Cabos should be a warning sign to the rest of Mexico.

Cases in Baja California, the state where Los Cabos is located, saw new Covid case numbers triple from 50 a day to 150. The increase in infections is to be expected as the state rolled out the welcome mat for Americans coming to visit the resort town.

“There are some residents who say, ‘Why put my family’s life in danger by inviting more visitors, restarting more flights?’” Luis Humberto Araiza López, tourism minister of Baja California Sur, told The Washington Post. “It’s a delicate line between trying to support public health and economic growth.”

Despite this, there are some countries that Americans can travel to.

The countries Americans can travel to without Covid restrictions are Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Zambia. As the world continues to open up, Americans who travel abroad are waiting for the U.S. government to get the virus under control. Until then, the U.S. passport is not the same it used to be.

READ: The U.S. Passport Was Once The World’s Strongest, It’s Fallen To 25th Place Thanks To Failed Leadership Amid Coronavirus

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