Travel Tips for Latin America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Travel Tips for Latin America

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1. Posted by caguide (Budding Member 15 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

If this is your first time....

Since the advice below was published the "Internet Cafe" (called "cibercafes" in L.A.)has proliferated all throughout Latin America from cities to including the smallest towns, as well there are millions of cell phone users as land lines are difficult to obtain (in fact if staying in one country more than 3 months I would recommend you obtaining your own cellphone there, usually under $60)). In Mexico through Central America then through South America interconnected a/c First Class and Luxury Buses now ply International Routes making overland travel easier. "Chicken Buses" still ply local routes, an experience not to be missed.

Cultural Considerations - Things to Keep in Mind

Whenever you travel abroad, you experience some degree of cultural adjustment. AmeriSpan Unlimited Inc. wrote the following tips to help their language immersion students prepare for their programs abroad. The tips are relevant to all travelers to Latin America. The four golden rules of an immersion program are as follows:

The following tips are reprinted with the permission of AmeriSpan Unlimited Inc.

Cultural Adjustment

Standards of Living Vary: Most of you are coming from a country with a higher standard of living and where modern day conveniences are taken for granted.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic: The number one reason for unsatisfactory experiences is unrealistic expectations. If you are unsure of something or have a special request, check with us. We will give you a straight yes or no answer.

Respect Your Hosts: If you are going to miss a meal, inform your Señora before she has cooked the meal. If you will be out late, tell your family so that they don't worry.

Take The Differences In Stride: If everything were exactly the same as what you are used to, where would the fun be? A few weeks or months with some inconvenience makes you appreciate your own life in a different way. More important, think of all the great stories you'll have!

Here is a quick synopsis of some of the most common cultural differences in Latin America versus the United States and Canada:

Never say "I don't know" mentality: In general people in Latin America try to be as helpful as possible. They don't like to say they don't know. The most common example is when you are asking for directions and get pointed in the wrong one. This is not intentional, the person is only trying to be helpful.

Quiet and Peaceful Households, a rarity: Whether it is dogs barking, roosters crowing, street noise, neighbors or relatives visiting or a señora banging around the kitchen making a meal, much of Latin America is just plain noisy. Get used to it, and if you are a light sleeper bring earplugs.

Reality Check - Things Don't Always Work: Telephones are still a rarity in much of Latin America and reliable telephones are practically unheard of. Don't throw toilet paper in the toilet because it will get clogged. Be patient because, "hey", you are on vacation.!

Family that stays together, lives together: It is common for three generations of families to be living together under the same roof. It is a way to increase the household income and to help one another. Can you imagine living with all of your relatives every day?

Macho, Macho Man....: Most men in Latin America are proud of their machismo and view whistling at womenas a compliment. Ladies, take it in stride or see above... about earplugs.

Different Schedules & Routines: In much of Latin America, lunch is the big meal of the day which causes business to close for an hour or two each afternoon. In some countries like Argentina, dinner is eaten at 10:30 or 11:00 at night. When in Rome do as the Romans do.

Cash Is King, What's Plastic?: Sure, credit cards are accepted in Latin America, but not everywhere and usually with a 5-10% sur-charge. If you want to live off plastic, use your credit card to get cash advances at the bank or at the ATM machines popping up everywhere.

Certain Topics Are Taboo: Although nosiness is common, certain subjects are taboo e.g. abortion, casual sex, social politics, etc. Listen first to get the norms.

And don't forget . . . Time Takes Time, Lots of Time: Punctuality may be a concept of the future. "Hora Latina" is different, enjoy it, don't take it personally.:)

2. Posted by milla (Full Member 18 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

thought a bit exagerated it is really good !!!
But there is room to say we have other things that are worth mentioning.
we are warm friendly people who give a lot of time and dedication helping others.