It wouldn’t be Latin America without over 30,000 miles of coastline, at least 5,500 miles of the Andes mountains, the beauty of the rain forest, and the cultural diversity of the people and places. Once home to some very advanced groups of indigenous peoples, such as the Maya, Inca, and the Aztec, Latin America is home to some incredible relics of history from long before the establishment of the United States of America. Breathtaking structures like Machu Picchu in Peru, and Tikal in Guatemala tell the story of these civilizations that no textbook ever could.
Traveling through Latin America is an endless adventure! From snorkeling in the Caribbean, to hiking in the Andes, to ziplining through the rainforest, Latin America is a key destination for the outdoor explorer in all of us.
Perhaps a wild jungle adventure is not your cup of tea, but Latin America has much more to offer! Get in touch with your faith; visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro and gaze up in awe at its incredible size and presence. Walk through 16th and 17th century colonial villages in Colombia and be transported into the world of magical realism. Go shopping at the market in Otavalo, Ecuador to find all kinds of hand-crafted garments and goods. Visit the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution was born. Enjoy a wine tasting in the vineyards of Argentina. No matter what you hope to get out of your trip, Latin America has the perfect destination waiting for you!
Latin America is a lush natural wonderland and represents many different climate zones. Anywhere you go, the natural beauty surrounds you! Hike the Inca Trail, climb in the Andes, or visit one of South America’s many volcanos or waterfalls. If you’re looking for some real excitement, the Sky Walk and Zipline through the Monteverde Rainforest in Costa Rica. See an incredible perspective of the rainforest from a collection of suspension bridges way up in the trees!
- With over 30,000 miles of coastline and the world’s largest river system, there is endless fun in the water to be had! Countless beaches, including such famous names as Copacabana and Ipanema offer endless surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. The diverse marine life makes Latin America a dream for fishermen. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, don’t fret! There are plenty of opportunities for white water rafting, kayaking, and other water sports, too!
- The remnants of civilizations past, intermixed with the everyday flow of modern society make Latin America a great destination for a seeker of past and present culture. Visit museums, ruins, or indigenous people to get a glimpse into the past of some incredible cultures. Go shopping in one of the shopping centers in Rio de Janeiro, Lima, or Limon. Travel to Argentina and find out what the Tango is really all about! Sports fan? Head to Brazil to find out about all the fuss over Football (soccer).
- Language: Varies by country; primarily Spanish, English, Portuguese and a plethora of indigenous languages.
- Currency: Varies by country.
- Latin America is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.
- The Amazon river is the largest river in the world.
- North and South America are connected by the Isthmus of Panama, a land bridge that is only 50 miles across in width at its thinnest point.
- The Andes Mountains are the second largest mountain range in the world with 5,500 miles of length, and summits reaching up to 20,000 feet!
- It is advisable to discuss potential health risks with a doctor before traveling internationally.
- Many Latin American nations recommend vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Malaria, and Cholera.
- Certain highly populated tourist areas (especially Rio) put travelers at a higher risk for crime; anything from pickpocketing to violent crime involving firearms. Never flash around money or expensive jewelry, and make use of hotel safes for valuables.
- In certain nations, such as Brazil, a hospital visit will most likely require an upfront cash payment. While this is the case, it is still wise to always have health insurance and travel insurance before leaving the country.
- Although many major cities have a plentiful supply of clean drinking water, it is usually best to stick to drinking bottled water to avoid health complications.
- The Zika virus is still active in Peru. Pregnant women should NOT travel to Peru.