At any time of the year, a holiday is always welcomed. If you enjoy traveling and you want something different than European sights, here are ten holiday destinations in Latin America, filled of history, glamor, exoticism and splendor.
1. Peten Region, Guatemala
Located in the northern part of Guatemala, Peten houses an impressive number of archaeological sites belonging to the Mayan ruins. Tourists can visit the regional capital of Flores, an ancient Mayan city which, originally, was named Nojpeten. The old town is situated on an island connected to land by a dam. Other points of interest are Lake Peten Itza or the caves of Kan Ak’tun. If you go through these exotic places, do not forget to taste the habanero chili salsa, a sauce made from extremely hot habanero pepper, one of the hottest species of chili peppers in the world.
2. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni is literally a salt plain. Spread over an area of 12,000 m2, the extent of salt provides one of the most unique landscapes in the world. The uniqueness of the place is the layer of salt over 10 meters thick, which creates a tundra effect of salt. In summer, the surface is perfectly flat and dry and during the dry season, the salt is covered with a thin film of water.
3. Bocas del Toro, Panama
Romantics, advocates of peaceful and deserted places or waves lovers can visit Bocas del Toro in Panama. It is an excellent alternative to similar destinations like Costa Rica, which are very crowded. Access to the islands is by plane and on with private boats yachts and water taxis. Do not miss the Red Frog Beach and do not hesitate to dive in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, including coral reefs.
4. Jalisco, Mexico
Jalisco is one of the 31 federal states of Mexico, located in the western part of the country. Those who come to spend their vacations here do it specifically for the outstanding beaches of Puerto Vallarta, but also for the very pleasant climate and beautiful scenery. You can also visit the historic center of Guadalajara, museums in the city, or enjoy traditional Mexican food. Jalisco offers tourists less crowded beaches such as Barra de Navidad, La Manzanilla or San Patrici.
5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The beauty Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro is already famous worldwide. Rio is a holiday destination famous for its carnival and the city itself, founded in the sixteenth century. Originally Rio was a fortification built against pirate invasions. Nowaday , it has become one of the largest cities of Brazil and is among the most popular vacation destinations in the world. Tourists who come here are impressed by the exotic energy, the sensuality of the surroundings, Brazilian and Latin rhythms and the most beautiful beaches of Copacabana and Impanema. Unfortunately, the beautiful scenery contrasts sharply with the high level of crime in the city. Tourists are advised not to venture on the outskirts of the city.
6. Torres del Paine, Chile
Torres del Paine National Park gives visitors the impression that they came, literally, to the end of the world and one single step will make them fall in an endless abyss. The park includes mountains, a glacier, a lake and vast areas crossed by rivers.
The park is one of the popular holiday destinations in Chile. Tourists can take full advantage of breathtaking views, hiking trips and retreats that offer minimal shelter and utilities. It is recommended not to wonder from the marked paths. The best time to visit Torres del Paine is December until February when the climate is pleasant, days are long and weather is friendly.
7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
The tourist potential of the Argentine capital increased thundering since 2002. City ranks second after Florence, Italy, among the most sought after holiday destinations, according to the survey conducted by the magazine Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2008.
When you say Argentina and especially Buenos Aires, you mean tango, asado (traditional food like roast or barbecue) and Eva Peron. Do not miss the city neighborhoods (La Boca, Belgrano, Palermo, Puerto Madera, Retiro), dominated by well kept buildings in various architectural styles, museums, trendy restaurants, nightclubs and cafes.
8. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The archipelago of volcanic islands located west of Ecuador hides a wonderful natural park and a protected marine reserve for endemic species that live there. Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, albatrosses and many other rare species inhabit this small chain of islands.
Galapagos Islands have been among the candidates on the list of the 7 Wonders of Nature, but failed to be classified.
9. Jau National Park, Brazil
Jau National Park is positioned in the Amazon region of Brazil and is part of the UNESCO world heritage. It is the largest forest reserve in South America and home to protected species of animals such as dolphins of the Amazon and tropical plants. Exploring the Amazon forest is done either by boat or on foot, but access is regulated by the Brazilian government, requiring special permits to enter the reserve spread over an area of 23,000 km2.
10. Machu Picchu, Peru
Mountainous area of Peru was once dominated by the Inca empire. Evidence lies in the remaining stone buildings and roads that are still practiced even today. To reach on foot the famous Camino del Inca, all you need is a guide that will take you on a journey full of four days, from Cuzco to Machu Picchu.
Be aware though that the rules of access to the area are pretty tough. The new regulation allows access of up to 2,500 tourists per day in Machu Picchu citadel, a measure meant to reduce the negative impact of tourism practiced extensively in the area.