Things That Matter

Quench Your Wanderlust With These 14 Magical Airbnbs Throughout Latin America

If, like most young people out there, you want to experience traveling independently before you settle down into adulthood, you’re in luck. Latin America is the perfect place to quench your wanderlust. Latin America has become the go-to destination for young travelers because of its affordability as well as for the famous hospitality of Latin Americans. From Mexico to Peru, Latin America is full of locations and adventures right within your grasp.

Luckily, lodging during travel has become easier than ever thanks to lodging startup Airbnb. Airbnb has made finding a place to stay while traveling as easy as a few clicks of a button. So, if you’re not exactly a roughing-it, hostel-hopping kind of person, there’s no need to worry. 

We’ve compiled a list of magical Airbnb places to stay in during your next trip south of the border. 

1.  Mexico City Penthouse, Mexico

Credit: Airbnb

According to Airbnb user Tom “The flat was amazing – superb location with great restaurants and bars nearby. From here you can walk a lot of central DF…It’s a fantastic base to explore the city”.

2. Cabana Floripa, Florianopolis, Brazil

Credit: Airbnb

According to Airbnb User Jessicka, this Cabana is the pinnacle of peaceful living: “Honestly, if was the coolest and most peaceful place I have ever stayed and I’ve stayed in a lot of cool places…The animals, the connection to nature, the beauty… waking up here every day was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced”.

3. Cottage In Governador Celso Ramos, Brazil.

Credit: Airbnb

According to Airbnb user Aubert, this beach-front cottage is “highly recommended for couples, those looking for seclusion, nature lovers – for those wanting to go out in Camboriu”

4.Skylodge Adventure Suites, Urubamba, Peru

Credit: Airbnb

According to Airbnb user Summer, staying in a Skylodge was “one of the coolest experiences of [her] life. “You aren’t just paying for a place to sleep but a full adventure”.

5. Seashell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Credit: Airbnb

According to Airbnb-er Mary, the Shellhouse was “as beautiful as described”. “When you walk up the driveway, you will be awe struck at the sight before you,” she said in her review. “Everything is perfect and clean and so inviting”.

6. Ilhabela Loft, São Paulo, Brazil.

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Daniel said that this loft was a “great place to relax and get away from it all”. He went on to rave: “If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Ilhabela at an incredible price, look no further!”. 

7. Cabaña in San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina.

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Natalie had nothing but great things to say about this Argentinean cabin: ” This cabin is beautiful inside and out…The view from the bedroom is amazing to wake up to as is the view from the deck and the grill…Definitely a highlight and best value we’ve come across in a month of being in Argentina”

8. Sunset Rooftop, Havana,Cuba

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Maggie said this this apartment was “amazing” with a “wonderful chef and manager and staff!”. She went on to recommend that other guests “take them up on their dinner – delicious and filling home cooking, the best Cuban food we had in Havana!”. Noted!

9. Ocean Front Apartment, Aguada, Puerto Rico

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Shelby raved about the location of this ocean-front apartment: “Great area, close to plenty of restaurants, AMAZING BEACH VIEW…So clean & a beautiful place”.

10. Villa del Peñon Suites, Cali, Colombia

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb-er Veronica said that this penthouse was “very clean and well kept”. Also that “the neighborhood makes you feel like you’re in Europe with all the shops nearby”.

11. Villa Drago Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Sylvia said that “this place exceeded our expectations in so many ways”. “Not only is it one of the coolest houses we’ve seen, but the hospitality,” she continued, but “the location and the amenities were 1st class. Truly a wonderful experience”.

12. Beach Front House, La Libertad, El Salvador

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb user Staci had nothing but kind things to say about this beach-front house: “The home is stunning. No rocks in sand walking done to the beach and the water was warm”.

13. Sacred Geome Tree House, Montezuma, Costa Rica

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnb-er Lilly said that this treehouse “was far more than what I could have expected”. “It was also on a farm!” she continued. “We saw all there vegetables and plants. There was also a yoga house that we were able to see”.

14. Domo Cajon del Maipo, San José de Maipo, Chile

Credit: Airbnb

Airbnr user Corrina said this this dome was an “absolutely gorgeous accommodation”. “Words can’t describe the feeling of having clouds sway by beneath you”, she said. “The dome is gorgeous, and everything that you need is there”.

This Bomb Cyclone Is Plastering The West Coast And Making It Tough To Travel

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This Bomb Cyclone Is Plastering The West Coast And Making It Tough To Travel

You may not have planned to stay home for the holidays—but our country’s current weather situation might keep you there. Two powerful storms have been forming on both coasts, which means that traveling for Thanksgiving may be a little rough (or even impossible) this year. As the severe weather culminates in blizzard conditions and hurricane-force winds, weather forecasters are warning people to exercise caution and brace for major delays. So instead of trying to venture too far out into the snow, it may be best to cancel everything and cozy up with some Netflix and hot cocoa. Or, better yet, some Netflix and coquito.

Those on the West Coast are at the mercy of a “bomb cyclone,” a rare weather phenomenon that has already happened several times this year.

Credit: NOAA

These storms form when the air near the surface of the earth rises rapidly through the atmosphere, causing an abrupt drop in barometric pressure. As the air continues to rise, currents are generated at the base of the storm, sucking wind into its spin and causing the pressure to keep dropping. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. Really, a bomb cyclone is just a storm that intensifies at an alarmingly high rate, and the results can be catastrophic. Last month, a storm of this nature descended on the Northeast and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of homes.

This particular bomb cyclone is expected to plaster California—from Crescent City to Bakersfield—with several feet of snow. If that song “White Christmas” is any indication, white Christmases don’t usually happen in Beverly Hills, so this forecast is obviously unusual. Many meteorologists have also described it as unprecedented. Some experts say that that’s the true danger of bomb cyclones: they can (and often do) sneak up on us.

Bomb cyclones are kind of like cold-weather hurricanes, with strong winds, heavy precipitation, and eye-like features at their center. Definitely not the kind of weather you want to fly through.

“Fundamentally, the impacts of a bomb cyclone are not necessarily different from other strong storm systems, except that the fast strengthening is usually a signature of a very powerful storm system,” said Daniel Swain, Climate Scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.

So what exactly should people in the West expect from this cyclone? The National Weather Service office in Las Vegas has a storm warning posted from 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday until 4 a.m. PT on Friday and some places in Colorado reported as much as 30 inches in just 20 hours. As the storm develops, forecasters predict that at least a foot of snow can be expected across the plains by Thursday. This means that the central part of the country will probably experience the most flight delays, as airports in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul have already experienced widespread cancellations (as of Tuesday morning, nearly 500 flights out of Denver International Airport have been canceled).

As for the East Coast? There is no “bomb cyclone” predicted. Instead, wet and windy weather is in the forecast, paired with heavy snow. It doesn’t take long to realize that plunging temperatures and abundant showers are a recipe for ice, ice, baby – but so far, there are no severe weather warnings encouraging people to prepare for icy conditions. In fact, it’s expected that rain will clear the coast by noon on Thanksgiving, though wind gusts might grow to more than 30 or 40 mph in some places. All the more reason to sip a warm beverage and cuddle up on the couch.

If you’re bummed about the weather ruining your holiday plans, look at it this way: you’re bearing witness to some serious meteorological history.

Well, maybe—that’s yet to be confirmed. Still, isn’t it cool that California may experience its lowest-ever air pressure reading? No? What about the fact that temperatures throughout the state will be 15 degrees lower than the average? Not doing it for ya? Okay. Perhaps the real silver lining to all this climate chaos is that it’s forcing some of us to stay put and relax. The holidays can be a stressful time, and sometimes we just need a powerful winter tempest to make us kick back and chill. Regardless of what your plans are, stay safe out there!

READ: Get Ready For Some Much Needed Couch Time: 10 Latinx Movies To Binge-Watch This Thanksgiving Weekend

A Hospital In Mexico Was Keeping A Couple From Leaving Until They Paid Their Bill In Full And Tyler Perry Helped Them Out

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A Hospital In Mexico Was Keeping A Couple From Leaving Until They Paid Their Bill In Full And Tyler Perry Helped Them Out

Tori Austin / Facebook

Imagine: you and your boo are on your dream vacation, kicking back and sipping chelas on a Mexican cruise. Suddenly, one of you gets sick—like, really sick, and you’re rushed to a hospital in Mexico in critical condition. It sounds like a nightmare, right? Well, this happened to an American couple about a week ago. When they were faced with a $14,000 medical bill, film mogul Tyler Perry took immediate action to help them out.

Tori Austin’s fiancé, Stephen Johnson, suffered a sudden medical emergency while on a Carnival Dream cruise ship. He was diagnosed on board with diabetes, pancreatitis, and a kidney infection that required urgent dialysis. He was rushed to Centro Médico Americano, a private Mexican hospital in the city of Progreso.

A health administrator told NBC News that Johnson was “near death” when he finally made it to the medical center on November 14.

Credit: Unsplash

“He suffered kidney failure and is currently undergoing dialysis,” the administrator said. Johnson received three days of intensive care, which included an endoscopy and dialysis. After everything was said and done, the hospital bill totaled $14,000 and the hospital, Centro Médico Americano, prevented the couple from leaving until the bill was paid in full. Austin even claimed that hospital staffers locked the windows to ensure that they could not leave, and threatened to call the police if the couple tried to take off.

Whether or not those steps were actually taken by hospital staff, preventing patients from leaving before paying their bills in full is not unusual for private hospitals in Mexico. Many of these hospitals require patients, especially international patients, to pay their fees upfront, because they don’t have an effective way of billing patients after they have been discharged. If they don’t have travel insurance, Centro Médico Americano does try to help patients find a way to pay through credit cards or money transfers, but what if you just don’t have the means to cover the cost?

Well, you hope that Tyler Perry gets word of your situation.

After seeing a news report on the couple’s dilemma, Tyler Perry contacted Austin and sent a payment to cover the bill, which by that time amounted to more than $16,000.

Credit: tylerperry / Instagram

Perry also offered to pay the couple’s travel expenses back to Atlanta once they were permitted to leave the hospital. According to NBC News, Centro Médico Americano said on Saturday that they had not yet received Perry’s payment. However, the hospital did note that international transfers typically take several days to process, and conceded that the couple would be free to go on Monday if Johnson was healthy enough to travel. In the meantime, Austin expressed her gratitude for Perry’s support.

“Today I am thankful for and will always be thankful for Tyler Perry,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. She also shared positive feelings about Carnival Dream, affirming that the company “has been great” and that she will continue to “only cruise with them.” Additionally, in spite of this chaotic experience, Austin wrote that she would definitely continue to travel to Mexico in the future.

“What is going on with Stephen has nothing to do with the entire country, it has to do with this particular hospital,” she wrote. “We were unaware that this particular hospital and administration staff have been known to take American passports and hold them for payment.”

“I love MEXICO and the Culture,” she added. “I’ll be back again but will leave on my own terms. We have no ill feelings for the country or the people, just this hospital.”

Credit: Tori Austin / Facebook

The website of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico informs U.S. citizens that unexpected hospitalizations in Mexico can be “a difficult experience.” They recommend that if a traveler ends up in a Mexican hospital, they should “obtain the estimated cost of proposed treatments, request an itemized bill every day, and, if uncomfortable with costs, change hospitals if medically possible.” The Embassy states that hospital quality in Mexico varies, and there are different types of hospitals with a range of protocols.  

The Embassy also confirms that the couple’s experience is not unique, warning that “while most U.S. citizens have acceptable hospitalization experiences in Mexico, some have reported hospitals failing to provide an itemized list of charges, withholding U.S. passports, and delaying medical evacuations.” The Embassy reiterates that “the U.S. government does not pay for medical care overseas,” but some private insurance companies do. So, if you have insurance, make sure to check with your insurance company before leaving the country, to know what services are covered in case of an emergency.

If you don’t have insurance, don’t let that hold you back from setting out to see the world — just do your best to stay safe, and cross your fingers that a good Samaritan steps in if something unexpected happens.

READ: Atlanta Will Be The Site Of The First Latino-Owned And Operated Production Studio