Things That Matter

22 Amazing Airbnb Listings For Your Next Trip to Latin America

Thinking of traveling to Latin America soon? That’s definitely a great idea, but you might not be sure where to start. There’s so many great cities and locations to visit, and so many countries to choose from, that you aren’t sure if you should go to the most Instagram-worthy locations or simply go to the best party destinations. But if you’re really looking for a unique experience, then you might want to first decide where to stay… And stay at one of these out-of-this-world Airbnb places instead.

Whether you’re thinking of traveling to Havana, Cuba, or want to stay in a world-famous seashell house in Mexico, these are the 22 amazing Airbnb listings for your next trip to Latin America. There is so much for you to experience, from tree house stays to hotels that are near the beach to being deep in the jungle. You can explore or simply stay in, and nobody will fault you for spending a whole week just relaxing in one of these great apartments or houses. They’ll help you have a wonderful vacation, and you’ll definitely not be sorry once you book one of these places to stay in.

1. Colonial Style B & B By the Sea in Havana, Cuba

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

If you’re thinking of visiting Cuba, then you simply must stay in an Airbnb. It’s the best way to experience the island, and this Cuban house offers its guest a special environment in the oldest part of the Malecon Habanero. You’ll have access to the seafront as well as be within walking distance of downtown so that you can see all that La Habana has to offer. 

2. Geodesic Dome Near World Biosphere Reserve in Quebrada de Alvarado, Chile

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Want to camp underneath the stars and have a powerful experience surrounded by a pristine forest and gorgeous nature? Then look no further than this space on the slopes of a national park that is cozy but also will provide you with a perfect place to wind down and relax. 

3. Safe Penthouse with Huge Terrace in Mexico City, Mexico

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Visiting Mexico City may be a dream of yours, and you can certainly explore the center and the whole city when you stay in this adorable Airbnb penthouse. It is large, clean, located in the center, and also private. You can even enjoy the large terrace, which is fully of plants and flowers but also covered from the rain and sun.

4. Cabana Floripa in Florianopolis, Brazil

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

You might feel like you are levitating in the middle of the mountains thanks to the glass wall of this adorable house, which provide you with a 360 degree view. The house was designed to be eco-friendly by being built with reusable materials. Beyond that, you’ll have a great time relaxing here and exploring a little bit of Brazil in style and comfort.

5. The Rancho @ Cielo Vanilla in Atenas, Costa Rica

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

You’ll be living in a dream in Costa Rica when you visit this one-of-a-kind wooden house. It’s a perfect example of tropical living that’s also eco-friendly and conveniently only 30 minutes to the airport. The place is surrounded by 4 acres of private property, so you have plenty of space to R&R too. 

6. Casa Arbol- Treehouse Life in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Ever wanted to stay in a tree house as an adult? Well, your wish can now come true with the unparalleled beauty of this one situated in Nicaragua. It’s two stories and actually a treehouse and villa that sleeps up to four guests. Plus, it overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has a shared pool, modern amenities, WiFi, and basically anything else you need to make this the vacation house of your dreams.

7. Villa Stunning Views of the Ocean in Las Terranas, Dominican Republic

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

If you’re looking for a little piece of paradise in the Caribbean, then you’ve come to the right place. This house is full of positive energy but also a peaceful place to enjoy the sunshine in the DR. The best part is that, if you’re up for a night of fun, you’re also not that far from the nightlife in Las Terrenas.

8. Eagle’s Nest · The Little Prince’s Pad in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

You’ll be set to enjoy an amazing vacation when you visit this Airbnb cozy studio apartment, which is perched just above the tranquil Mayan village of San Marcos. Overseeing the Lake Atitlan, you can cozy up in location to enjoy all of the comforts of home… but with incredible views.

9. The Best Place To Live in Buenos Aires, Argentina

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

There’s a ton to do in Buenos Aires, so it’s not surprising that there are also tons of great apartments to rent in all kinds of neighborhoods. Of course, you can have a great time in this one, which is not only located in one of the best neighborhoods in the city, but also provides you with a unique view and gorgeous balcony.

10. Romantic Cabana with View in Armenia, Colombia

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

If you’re a coffee lover, then you and your sweetie might especially enjoy a stay in this romantic locale. It’s the coffee region of the Andean mountains of Colombia, and this charming cabana provides you with an incredible view of the bamboo forest and a 5 acre organic farm. It’s the perfect place to relax in nature.

11. All Solar Palapa • Shipwrecks Break in San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Talk about a unique setting! This rustic home overlooks a beautiful beach, where you can relax, swim and surf. It’s where the desert meets the sea and you can have many hours of watching the wildlife and exploring in this area. Despite the seclusion, you’ll still have WiFi and all the comforts of home.

12. Three Bedroom Apartment with Ocean View in Salinas, Ecuador

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Want to explore the beach and more? Then this is the Airbnb that you should stay in. The apartment is right across the beach and really close to restaurants, which is lovely. You’ll have gorgeous ocean views and can explore the Malecon of Salinas for a walk or even cycling.

13. IpaChic! 2BD + View, Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Why stay in some hotel when you can stay in a gorgeous, remodeled two bedroom apartment that is on a high floor and features spectacular views of the famed Brazilian beach? Located in the heart of Ipanema on a quiet street and very close to the beach, you can enjoy all that this city has to offer… and more.

14. Romantic Suite in Family Home in Valparaiso, Chile

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Valparaiso is a UNESCO Heritage City and you can enjoy so much in this romantic city, especialyl if you stay in this Airbnb that offers views of the Pacific Ocean and more. You’ll be close to the city center and some of the best tourist sites, plus easy access to local transportation. 

15. Magical Home, Gardens, Waterfall in El Roble de Santa Barbara, Costa Rica

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Costa Rica has some truly amazing Airbnb places, and this is one of the top ones. You’ll be surrounded by gorgeous gardens and nature, but also be able to walk to a 40 foot waterfall nearby. I mean, talk about a magical way to spend your vacatioN! THere’s also a beautiful kitchen and you won’t be too far from local restaurants either.

16. Casa Florencia Suite in Rincon, Puerto Rico

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Head to Puerto Rico ASAP and experience the island in post-Hurricane Maria. You can volunteer or simply relax, and all of that can be done in Rincon. If you stay here, you will be in the hillside of Rincon and have a glorious mountain view. You might even see some of the ocean from the pool and terraces, which is amazing. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll be a short drive from the main beaches? Score!

17. La Villa de Soledad Boutique B&B in La Ceiba, Honduras

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Want to be in a completely remote location? Then you’ve come to the right place. This Spanish Hacienda style architecture allows you to enjoy many large, open spaces that blend perfectly with the outdoors but also offer comfortable private rooms. Located in the Cangrejal River Valley, you’ll have a peaceful time indeed.

18. Casa na Árvore nas Montanhas in Monte Verde, Brazil

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

You can have a wonderful time at this Brazilian house, which is located in a wonderful part of the country. The only caveat with this listing is that there are no English speakers available to help… But if you know Portuguese or are willing to learn a few key phrases, then this treehouse is definitely for you. I mean, how gorgeous, amirite?

19. La Pepita de Marañon Glass Cottage in Las Lajas, Panama

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

This perfect little bungalow, which is the first of its kind build with glass bottles in Panama, is a truly unique experience for you to have. You might not have even considered to come to this Central American country before, but you should definitely cozy up in the room and experience the wonderful views of the mountains all around. You might even get to have a relaxing vacation.

20. Cabaña Frente al Mar in Tomé, Chile

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

What a great location (and a 5-star rating from most of the guests that stay here), this quiet location is surrounded by excellent views and great privacy. You might be looking for the beach, which is great since you won’t be far from it either. It’s seriously a magical place.

21. The World Famous Seashell House in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Have you ever seen something so beautiful? This Seashell house is world famous for a reason and has appeared on many “must stay here” lists for Airbnb properties. With this one, you’ll have a private pool, two king beds, a kitchenette, and the entire property. You’ll surely be able to relax when you’re in paradise, amirite?

22. Cabaña Encantada en Bosque in Cariló, Argentina

CREDIT: Airbnb.com

Do you want to stay in a little Snow White cottage in the middle of the forest, but in South America? Then here you go! It’s situated in a cul de sac that is perfectly tranquil, and is a great place for you to experience all that nature has to offer. It’s also close to the sea, so you’ll be able to relax in the sunshine too.

Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

Culture

Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

Jorge Rivera-Pineda / Mexico Broadcasters

It is no secret that Mexican society is often affected by displays of homophobia. Even though there have been great advances such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in some states, the largely Catholic country is home of opinion leaders who are conservative and whose masculinity seems to be constantly threatened by anything that doesn’t spell out “straight.”

Added to this, Mexican political discourse is anchored in a solemn approach to institutions and the myths of the wars of Independence and Revolution, the two historical moments that have defined Mexican political life and foundational narratives for the past 200 years. So a recent painting hosted at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, perhaps the most iconic building dedicated to the arts in the Latin American country, made conservatives poner el grito en el cielo, as it dares to reimagine one of Mexico’s revolutionary leaders as a queer character.

For many, Zapata is akin to a deity and the image of heroic masculinity. The painting is, however, incendiary for exactly that reason, because it challenges notions of sex and gender in a day and age were some parts of Mexico are progressive while others remain under the dark clouds of discrimination and segregation of LGBTQ communities.

So this is the 2014 painting “The Revolution” by Fabian Chairez. 

The painting depicts a male figure who resembles the revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata, a cornerstone of Mexico’s Revolutionary War. Zapata was beloved by indigenous populations and gente de campo who believed that other revolutionaries were forgetting the most marginalised sectors of society.

But there is a twist: here, Zapata is naked, wearing heels and being totally gender-non-conforming as he rides a voluptuous horse. Chairez told Reuters: “I use these elements like the sombrero and horse and create a proposal that shows other realities, other ways of representing masculinity.”

Definitely not your usual depiction of the times, but surely a piece that is confronting in the best possible way. The painting was chosen as part of an exhibition on the revolutionary hero, but things got nasty. 

Zapata’s grandchildren have spoken out against the painting in the most homophic way, and things got bloody.

Zapata’s family demanded that the painting be taken off the exhibition because it allegedly “tainted” the public image of their grandfather. Let’s take a minute here and think about this: it is actually the worst possible kind of homophobia, as it implies that being queer is wrong and that it would be a blemish on Zapata’s legacy.

There were protests inside Bellas Artes and university students defending the work and freedom of expression actually got into a fistfight with farmers who stormed Bellas Artes chanting homophobic slurs and threatening to burn the painting in a gross display of toxic masculinity and an Inquisitorial outlook on life and art.

As reported by CE Noticias Financieras, Federico Ovalle, leader of the Independent Central Of Agricultural and Peasant Workers, said: “The picture denigrates the personality and trajectory of the general and it seems to us that presenting this figure is grotesque, of contempt and contempt of the peasants of the country.”

Luis Vargas Santiago, curator of the exhibit ‘Emiliano Zapata after Zapata’, told Reuters: “Of course it’s fine if they don’t like the painting, they can criticize the exhibition, but to seek to censor freedom of expression, that’s different.” 

The painting can stay, but it is being censored anyway.

As reported by Agence France Presse, the authorities decided that the painting can stay, but with a caveat: “But the Mexican Revolutionary hero’s family will be allowed to place a text beside it stating their strong objections to the work, which shows Zapata draped suggestively over a white horse with a giant erection.”

And the image will also be sort of hidden from public view (which, to be honest, might only increase the influx of visitors to the exhibition).

As AFP continues: “Under the deal, brokered by the Mexican culture ministry, the painting by artist Fabian Chairez will also be removed from promotional materials for the exhibition, “Emiliano. Zapata After Zapata,” which opened last month at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.”

Even Mexican president AMLO, who has declared his admiration for the revolutionary hero, got involved, ordering his culture minister to get involved. 

So was Emiliano Zapata a queer revolutionary hero? Perhaps, but that is not the point!

For years, historians have tried to get a glimpse into the man who was Emiliano Zapata. Some claim that his overt displays of macho masculinity were perhaps a way to silence any rumors regarding his sexuality. But the point is that it does not matter, or it should not matter, for any other reason that historical accuracy. And it isn’t anyone’s business, is it?

One Of Mexico’s Most Important Former Officials Was Just Arrested For Allegedly Taking Bribes From El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel

Things That Matter

One Of Mexico’s Most Important Former Officials Was Just Arrested For Allegedly Taking Bribes From El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel

Celia Lucero

For years, conservative minded people in Mexico have defended the full frontal war that then president Felipe Calderón Hinojosa waged against the drug cartels from 2006 to 2012. This war continues today and has seen almost half a million people killed, countless abuses, displacement of whole populations and a diminished image of Mexico locally and abroad. Those who align with the supposedly incorruptible stance that Calderón took against organized crime claim that he was just doing a job that previous presidents had failed to do.

During this period government forces fought mainly Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, as well as new organizations in the state of Michoacan such as La Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios. Strangely, the Sinaloa Cartel was left largely untouched and even expanded its operations during the Calderón presidency.

A recent high profile arrest could shed some light on why the war against the cartels has developed in a way that up until recently seemed to benefit the powerful organization built by Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán and his compadre Mayo Zambada. As The Guardian reports: “A 2010 analysis of crime figures by NPR found that only 12% of people arrested, prosecuted or sentenced for drug, organised crime and weapons offences had ties to the Sinaloa cartel”. This is peculiar, to say the least. 

Genaro García Luna, Calderón’s security chief, was arrested in the United States.

The charges emanated from the recent trial in which El Chapo Guzmán was sentenced to life in prison. The authority  claims that García Luna, who was infamous for the many human rights abuses that the State’s forces committed under his command, received generous bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel to warranty that their operations would not be threatened.

If true, this would be corruption at the highest levels of government and would justify fears that Mexico has become a Narco-State in which global trafficking networks are the de facto decision makers. He led Mexico’s federal investigation agency from 2001 to 2005. From 2006 to 2012 he served under Calderón as secretary of public security. So yes, cannot get more powerful than that! 

García Luna was the architect of the federal police, a force which coordinated with the Army and the Navy to fight the cartels.

If the allegations are true, it could mean that the whole State apparatus was created with a hidden agenda in mind, which would put the legitimacy of the institutional framework of Mexico during the FCH presidency on serious scrutiny. After the former security chief was arrested,  US attorney Richard P Donoghue said: “García Luna stands accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s Sinaloa cartel while he controlled Mexico’s federal police force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico. Today’s arrest demonstrates our resolve to bring to justice those who help cartels inflict devastating harm on the United States and Mexico, regardless of the positions they held while committing their crimes.”

Of course, Calderón was quick to say he wasn’t aware of this happening

Former president Calderón, who is attempting to create his own political party alongside his wife Margarita Zavala, took to Twitter to say he was unaware of García Luna’s dishonest ways.

If this is the case then it would amount to the worst kind of incompetence on Calderón’s part. If he was indeed aware, however, well it would spell political and possibly legal disaster for him. Either way, this arrest could probably mean the end of Calderón’s political life.

By the way, he once said that nothing happens without the president knowing about it. The accusations are damning.

As summarized by The Guardian: “According to the indictment, cartel bagmen twice delivered briefcases containing millions of dollars to García Luna. In 2018, former cartel member Jesús Zambada testified at the trial of the Sinaloa kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán that he personally made at least $6m in hidden payments to García Luna, on behalf of his older brother, cartel boss Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. In exchange for the bribes, the Sinaloa cartel obtained safe passage for its drug shipments, inside details of police investigations, and information about rival drug cartels, the indictment said.”

We wonder how many heads will fall as the ugly truths revealed during El Chapo’s trial keep resurfacing. 

Remember the Netflix show El Chapo? Well, it sort of showed these acts of corruption in an eerily similar way.

Credit: Netflix

As more information surfaces after the now legendary El Chapo trial, we stand in awe at how accurate the Netflix-Telemundo show was. In it, Calderón’s government strikes a deal with the Sinaloa Cartel through a shady political operative who had García Luna’s exact same job? Coincidence or was it un secreto a voces?