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Favorite country in Latin America?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Favorite country in Latin America?

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1. Posted by hummingbird500 (Budding Member 24 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Greetings all,

I am planning a trip to Central/ South America for the summer, and really have no idea where to go yet. I was hoping to hear from some of you what your favorite places are in Latin America. I have heard the Dominican Republic is beautiful but... not so peaceful. I don't believe I will be able to go there. I think Colombia may be a nice place to visit, but I am unsure. Any suggestions?

... I know for certain I will go to Mexico first. Sometime early or mid summer. But after this, my plans are open. I am interested in beautiful architecture in the cities as well as natural landscapes. I like night life, but am more interested in getting to know the culture of different countries. I am pretty good in Spanish so this will not be a problem for me.

Any suggestions? ...I don't know what to do next.

Thanks,

Hummingbird

2. Posted by mary_costarica (First Time Poster 1 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

hi, in order to give you a very profesional answer I will need some details like amount of days, budget and period of the year that you will be traveling. Anyway I will comment some general info based on my own experience.
Mexico is a beautiful country , everything is cheap, Puebla and Taxco were my favorite cities.
countries in Central America: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador , Nicaragua , those countries have some insecure cities because of the " maras", but they also have beautiful places. I visited those countries getting in contact with travel agencies or staying in the house of a national person ( couchsurfing), instead of being a packpacker.
Costa Rica ,( where I live) , we are " pura vida" , we have a little bit of everything , mountains, beaches , rivers, museums, except snow. Depending on the time of the year that you come I colud even offer myself as a tourist guide. My only recommendation is skipping Limon.
The caribbean islands (Cuba, Aruba, Dominican Republic) are kind of expensive to visit

3. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

It is true .. Costa Rica has it all.

4. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 720 posts) 25w Star this if you like it!

Colombia is brilliant - I visited for the first time recently in Dec/Jan. Cartagena in particular - it's almost impossible to take a poor photograph there.

But I still think my favourite is Bolivia. Bolivia has it all - the mountains to the west with the salt flats to the south, La Paz - a wonderfully vibrant city in the mountains, the mining town of Potosi, the jungle at Rurrenabaque and then Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol. The people were so welcoming, helpful and happy and the cost of living is relatively very low - absolutely superb!:)

5. Posted by dwaisman (First Time Poster 1 posts) 23w Star this if you like it!

Hey there,
I'm a little Bias as to give an answer since I'm an Argentina national. I agree with fellow forum members that Colombia and Costa Rica are good options. Regarding Bolivia, I heard amazing thing but very poor infrastructure.
I did a photo expedition last year to the north of Argentina and I'm planning to organize a new one next December. Argentina has a very good variety of things to do and although far, it has good infrastructure. It depends what you're looking for.
est regards

6. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Respected Member 314 posts) 23w Star this if you like it!

The only place I've been in Mexico for any period of time is Cozumel and I went for the diving.

My favorite Spanish speaking countries in Central and South America are Costa Rica (for the rain forests) and Peru for the culture. If you go this summer, it will be winter in Peru.

I have also been to Ecuador, Columbia, Guatemala (to visit Tikal), Belize (for the diving), and Panama. But Peru was my favorite and I would go back in a heartbeat.

As for the Caribbean, Dominican Republic is very nice and relatively less expensive than places like Curacao but has poor infrastructure.

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3859 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

Colombia is my favourite out of the countries I have visited in that region, but I really enjoyed all of them. Colombia is beautiful - I'd highly recommend it!

I've just returned from Guatemala and Belize which I'd also recommend.

8. Posted by Tabithag (Budding Member 93 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

You say the summer in your question, which I'm taking to be the UK summertime, making it winter (to the degree that it is) in South America. That probably rules out somewhere like Patagonia.

I haven't been to Central America yet, but have spent a year in South America, and would recommend three countries for different reasons. Colombia is beautiful, is not as full of tourists/travellers as much of the 'gringo trail', and the thing that I most enjoyed was how friendly and welcoming the people were.

Bolivia has some really stunning scenery along the Altiplano and salt flats area, and La Paz is a great city. This is the country where you see more of the different culture, with more noticeable poverty, the ladies wearing traditional clothing, and the llama foetus in the witches market as offerings to Pacha Mama.

And Argentina has the steak and wine, to go along with some great places like Buenos Aires, San Antonio de Areca, Salta, and easy proximity for a day trip to Colonia in Uruguay.

9. Posted by mim95 (Budding Member 7 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

I haven't been to many countries south of Canada/US. But I found that every country has its charm.

In Cuba, staying in a casa particular is a nice way to learn from the locals. It is much easier now through Airbnb. Havana's architecture is definitely interesting and the vintage cars are nice to see. The country is changing a lot. 10 years ago there was hardly a newer foreign car on the road. When I went back to Havana last year, I spotted many more new cars - even a new Mercedes!

The Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico is very interesting to explore, with the beautiful beaches and Mayan sites.

And as said before, Costa Rica has everything. It is the most modern and relatively most expensive country in Central America. And there is so much you can do there if you love the great outdoors.

If you're going to the Carribean, be sure to check when the hurricane season is.

10. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2574 posts) 22w Star this if you like it!

For the Caribbean, hands down Cuba. For Central America, Nicaragua and Guatemala. For South America, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. If budget isn't a concern then throw Argentina onto the list.

In any case all these are suggestions are kinda pointless because they're personal preference. The entire region is super easy to research though so you should be able to narrow down choices without much effort.

Have fun with your research.

Cheers,
Terry

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