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Latin America is home to some pretty amazing cities — Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Cusco to name a few — so we can understand if you’re having trouble picking and choosing what to see and what to skip. That said, there are so many equally impressive destinations that get overlooked. Whether you’re a history buff or an outdoor adventurer or wine lover, here are five underrated Latin American cities worth exploring, no matter your interest.
When visiting South America’s Atacama Desert — considered to be the driest place on earth — you have little choice but to make the small village of San Pedro de Atacama your home base. Such isolation typically leads to high costs of living (and visiting), but San Pedro has an impressive range of lodging options, from hostels costing a few bucks a night to luxury resorts with thousand-dollar price tags. And with a surprising amount of competition among tour companies, there are affordable options for all budgets. With that in mind, here’s a look at how you might want to allocate your dollars.
For the second time in less than 15 years, Argentina has defaulted on its debt. It’s no doubt a black mark on the country as it attempts to rebuild trust on a global scale and rekindle investment from outside of its own borders, but the default of 2014 is very different than the default of 2001/2002. While the earlier default led to radical austerity measures, wage cuts, tax hikes, and a de-pegging of the Argentine Peso to the U.S. dollar, the 2014 default is more technicality and less catastrophe.
For those out of the loop, the 2001/2002 default eventually led to riots and protests from Argentine citizens who were outrages by the government’s decision to simultaneously increase the cost of living while driving wages down. That, as you can imagine, was a nightmare for travelers, but this time it’s a bit different. When a nation as large as Argentina defaults, it obviously makes waves, and we’ve rounded up a few notes for those who may be wondering how it’ll impact their travelers there.
Miami might be steamy right now but, with this bumper list of new hotels, now is the time to enjoy off-season and introductory rates at the newly opened properties– or to start planning a trip around those that will be opening later this year and next.
A big part of the travel experience is bringing a piece of it home, so you can remember where you’ve been long after you’ve returned. We recommend skipping the chintzy souvenir shops and loading up on genuine local goods instead. Here, four ways to find items that really represent the destination, wherever you are.
Ever wanted to see all – and we do mean all – of South America’s coastline? Holland America’s newest Grand Voyage for 2015 will let you do just that. The 68-day journey will make a complete loop around the continent from Fort Lauderdale, with a few additional ports of call in the Caribbean, Central America, and, weather permitting, Antarctica.
If you have always wanted to visit the colorful cities of South America but were deterred by high fares and long flight times, this deal might just the ticket. LAN Airlines and its affiliates, all part of LATAM Airlines Group, are having a Premium Business Class sale to destinations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
We all know that there’s something irresistible about a waddling penguin. But who knew that some species are facing extinction due to the changing climate and to commercial fishing practices? In honor of Penguin Awareness Day, we’ve rounded up three great spots that not only offer spectacular views of penguins, but also offer unique educational opportunities and do important preservation work.
For the ultimate up-close-and-personal encounter, visit the Magellenic penguins of Argentina’s Isla Marillo; they’re extremely friendly. They make up the bulk of the 10,000 penguins who nest on the island from October through early April…
Plenty of resorts promise to leave you feeling “relaxed and refreshed,” but none are as likely to recharge your batteries as thoroughly as a body-and-mind-centering yoga retreat. Against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, or the beach, or, heck, the Chicago skyline, gorgeous surroundings can help boost your inner calm. And plush accommodations and endless options for indoor and outdoor activities don’t hurt either. To help you sort through the pile, we’ve narrowed down the list into two categories, “splurge,” and “save.” Now, breathe in, and say “Ohm…”
Despite a volatile economy and steep inflation, Argentina has been a well-liked budget destination for the past decade, which is fortunate as flights from most North American cities go for around $1,000. When visiting its capital, Buenos Aires, you won’t have to skimp on luxury experiences to save some dollars. Here are a few tips for stretching your budget while enjoying the best of the Paris of the South.
Located in the center of Buenos Aires, the Hotel Pulitzer (a member of the Design Hotels collection) boasts hip modern design and reasonable rates – around $120 a night. Some rooms have balconies and hotel amenities include a 13th-floor open-air sky bar and an eighth-floor pool deck. Read more
From top tango shows to savory steaks, Buenos Aires offers plenty to keep travelers busy. But for those looking for a little outer-city adventure, there are plenty of exciting day trips set within just an hour or two of the big city. From learning to horseback ride out on the Pampas (the plains known for their cowboy culture), to cruising through the Tigre Delta, to playing polo (one of Argentina’s most beloved sports), these three day trips offer those without much time – or money – to spare, a unique taste of greater Argentina, set within easy reach of the capital. Read more
In life, being in the right place at the right time can come down to serendipity, but in travel, it is almost always the result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, we recommend the period between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, places are still open and happy to welcome travelers, and you can explore a destination at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 40 best places to go this fall and grouped them by region. Our editors have even included picks for our favorite fall festivals, ranging from the fun to the downright funky – time your visit accordingly, and add some oomph to an autumn escapade. Follow the links to right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots.
Buenos Aires is a city made for walking, but that doesn’t mean your ambling should be aimless. For visitors to BA on a budget, several local companies offer free walking tours in a number of neighborhoods, with guides working solely for tips. Read on for a vetted roundup of three of the city’s best, free, English-language walking tours… Read more
If you ever wished that walls could talk, Buenos Aires can make it happen. With a vibrant and ubiquitous street arts scene that transforms public spaces into a collective canvas, graffiti and street art here go far beyond quickly scribbled “tags.” You’ll see a rich mix of styles and mediums – “bombs,” stencils, “paste-ups,” “pieces,” murals, and more. (And you’ll know what all those terms mean if you take one of the tours mentioned below.) The art serves as both a soapbox and a showcase for the city’s historical complexities, political and social pulse, and contemporary culture. Far from galleries and museums, Buenos Aires’s buzzing arts scene is perhaps best explored by simply strolling through its many barrios. I recently set out to sample the tours from a trio of unique street art-focused companies based in the Argentinian capital, each offering budget-friendly outings that are sure to have you looking at graffiti in a brand-new light. Read more
For once, here’s a glacier that doesn’t herald the apocalypse. While Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier may appear to be just a big (97 square miles!) chunk of frozen water, it’s actually one of the world’s few ice masses that is still growing. Of the 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian ice field, Perito Moreno is one of three that has skirted the effects of global warming and continues to expand today.
The Perito Moreno Glacier draws travelers from all over the world to Los Glaciares National Park, in the southwest province of Santa Cruz. Tourists and adventure-seekers come to simply see the beautiful frozen wonderland, and some even dare to traverse the icy terrain. Read more
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