Entertainment

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

RIO DE JANEIRO / Facebook

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

Jardín Japonés / Facebook

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

Cartagena de Indias Colombia / Facebook

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

Our Homepage: Travel and Lifestyle / Facebook

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

Adventure Puerto Rico / Facebook

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

luisangel11 / Instagram

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

f3elshark_ / Instagram

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

soypaceno / Instagram

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

Bogota, Colombia / Facebook

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

Mendoza Vineyards / Facebook

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

Cerro San Cristobal / Facebook

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

visitpanama / Instagram

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

Zona colonial / Facebook

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

panchoascencioe / Instagram

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

Destination360 / Facebook

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

beckontheroadbrazil / Instagram

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

Nordestinos / Facebook

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

Beautiful Destinations / Facebook

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

Porto Alegre – Rio Grande do Sul / Facebook

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

esmiguayacuil / Instagram

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

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping the little share button below!

Anti-Mask Tourists Are Traveling To Puerto Rico And The Island’s Residents Have Had Enough

Things That Matter

Anti-Mask Tourists Are Traveling To Puerto Rico And The Island’s Residents Have Had Enough

Ricardo Arduengo / Getty Images

Despite the pandemic that began impacting travel as far back as February, tourists never stopped coming to Puerto Rico. The island’s government has never restricted travel to/from the island and that has come at the cost of local health care systems and the safety and health of local residents.

This means that delusional anti-maskers from the mainland have been able to visit the island, disregard local rules regarding social distancing and face coverings, and put locals at risk. Now, as the island grapples with an explosion of Covid-19 cases, many locals are demanding the island shut down to nonessential travel.

Protesters in Puerto Rico are calling for an end to irresponsible tourism from the mainland.

In Puerto Rico, protesters have been calling for San Juan’s International Airport to shut down all nonessential travel, as tourists continue to vacation on the island despite rising Covid-19 cases and are often seen not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Ricardo Santos, who organized a protest and is a member of the Socialist Workers Movement, told Democracy Now: “We’re not backing down. We’re going to continue this caravan and this struggle, because this is a life-or-death situation, and this governor has not been addressing this issue. So, as we’ve done in the past, the people are going to take matters into their own hands.”

The move comes as many locals say that tourists come to the island with certain attitudes and disrespect local rules.

Whether it’s because they believe in silly conspiracy theories or complain that it’s ‘too hot’ to wear a mask, tourists without masks have arrived in droves to the island – where many locals see them as an extension of a long history of brutal colonialism. Many tourists to the island have little to no regard for the health or well-being of those who call the island home and they’re even less conscious of the fact that the island’s health care system is still in shambles since Hurricane Maria.

Although face masks are technically required in all public areas, few tourists seem to follow the guidelines. In fact, a fine of up to $5,000 can be slapped on anyone who isn’t wearing a covering on their mouth and nose. Not only are many tourists ignoring the rule, it’s often leading to violent confrontations.

A few weeks ago, a group of women visiting San Juan’s biggest mall allegedly retaliated against a Zara employee’s request that they wear masks by damaging at least $2,000 in merchandise.

Later in July, a man – a resident of the island but from the mainland – spat in the face of a grocery store worker who asked him to put on a mask.  In a video circulating online, the man said a security guard retaliated by hitting him with a golf club. The following day, a woman was reportedly physically struck after refusing to wear a mask in La Perla, the historic neighborhood that runs alongside Old San Juan, which has become a tourist destination since the 2017 video for Justin Bieber’s remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s runaway hit “Despacito” was filmed there.

Many local workers who serve the tourist economy said that visitors are irritated by the mandatory touchless temperature scan and hand sanitation policy. 

“They have attitudes when they get here,” one worker told the Daily Beast. “One said she was going to ‘die of retardation’ for taking her temperature. Another complained about the sanitizer: They said, ‘Ew, what is that?’” 

Tourism is big business for Puerto Rico – but many say now is not the time.

Credit: Jose Jimenez / Getty Images

Tourism in Puerto Rico is a $1.8 billion industry annually, and though the island never closed its borders, officials had announced a formal “reopening” date of July 15, when visitors were welcome to return. But thanks to rising cases of Covid-19, that ‘reopening’ date has since been pushed back a month to August 15.

To help facilitate the reopening, a new order will require all visitors show a negative Covid-19 test at the airport in order to enter the island, or be tested voluntarily at the airport by a National Guard team. The curfew, which was previously set to end on June 22, is still in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night. 

But for residents, none of this makes sense. Police have threatened Puerto Ricans with exorbitant fines and even arrest for being out past curfew. Alleyways that would usually be teeming with people dancing to live salsa were barren. Yet locals continue to see tourists step out the door of their Airbnb, hand in hand, no mask, to take in a sunset or grab something to eat. Locals feel like they’re on lockdown while visitors are on a worry free vacation.

Like many places across the U.S., Puerto Rico has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Credit: Ricardo Arduengo / Getty Images

As of July 29, the island has seen more than 16,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 211 people have died of the virus. These numbers have been rising in recent weeks as

Puerto Rico was initially praised for being one of the first U.S. jurisdictions to put drastic measures in place, such as implementing an islandwide curfew and banning cruise ships, as well as closing schools and all nonessential businesses, to avoid overwhelming the island’s fragile health care system in March.

But a recent surge in COVID-19 cases has coincided with Puerto Rico’s efforts to reopen nonessential businesses and tourist attractions. Over the past week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped by more than 1,000, while the number of probable cases increased by almost 1,300.

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food