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An Introduction to Latin & South America

By Haider Ali

Posted: 28th January 2013 12:05

Latin and South America is bursting with life and natural beauty.  The magnificent colour of carnivals and festivals alike really make the region stand out compared to the rest to the world and rightly so.  Here you will meet the word “fiery” be it in regards to the people, food or the nightlife which has the locals showcasing their sizzling dance manoeuvres via samba and salsa.

Enjoy the Party Life

According to popular polls carried out by the United Nations, Mexico is ranked seventh on the current list of admired destinations for tourists to visit.  Mexico has 1,834 airports, which is the third highest in the world.  Catching a plane to and from there should not really be a problem.

Americans will occupy the Baja Peninsula that is home to modern resorts such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. They have become synonymous with “Spring break” where college students flock in their droves in lush sunshine getting their trunks out, drinking and partying wildly unburdening the stress of an enduring semester.

Smaller resort areas in towards the southern parts of Mexico are slightly more eloquent in taste and far more family orientated. The Playa del Carmen is a prime example of this and you will often find resorts offering fishing trips, deep sea dives into the Pacific and amenities of this nature. Acapulco is a watered down version of Cancun for a more mature crowd who will look to enjoy the night life but without endless debauchery and craziness that surrounds students in Cancun.  Cancun International Airport is 6 miles from the hotel strip and about 9 miles south-west from downtown. 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

One of the most intriguing places to see, Machu Picchu represents one of history’s great ancient cities epitomising the original occupants of the land the Incas through their complex architecture structures.  Recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the “Lost City of the Incas,” is an amazing opportunity to visit a civilisation that was advanced for its time.  The city contained temples, residencies and dry stoned walls. There’s even a trail that leads to the former capital city.  If you have time it is worth visiting.

Despite the negative media coverage that Colombia faces, it is still an amazing country for tourists to visit.  Colombia is swamped with World Heritage Sites approved by UNESCO, the most famous being Cartagena (pictured) where an old derelict defence system comprised of forts and cannons make for stellar viewing.

While you’re in the region head over to Brazil and witness one of the greatest spectacles in the world.  Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is home to one of the greatest gatherings on the planet in the street carnival which brings together two million people.  Be apart of it and relish a culture that thrives on dancing, partying and a wild night.

Ecotourism and Biodiversity

The state has natural beauty in abundance and one of its main tourist attractions are the volcanoes, especially Poas Volcano Crater. vSince the 1980’s Costa Rica has protected its national parks with Cahuita National Park having its own beach! Ecotourism has also given tourists the chance to enjoy something different.  An example of this is Cocos Island, which has been declared a World Heritage Site and is full of biodiversity and highly recommended to tourists who enjoy bird-watching and hobbies similar to this.

The distance from Costa Rica’s capital San Jose is 3122 miles to Santiago, Chile.  The journey is difficult as there aren’t many flights that go there but planning your itinerary will enable you to do this without any hardship.  Chile too has a great array of natural sites for tourists to see.  The Azata and Lluta Valleys are stunning to the point where tourists should not forget their cameras. 

Where to Start

You do not have to feel compelled to travel from country to country.  Tourists can happily explore one country until the cows come home and enjoy every aspect of a holiday within that country.  But after partying away in Mexico you can make your way South through the Central Americas where Costa Rica is and marvel at the lush eco-tourists sites that have been designed around nature has to offer.

For historical artefacts and the study of early civilisations within the region you’ll have to travel to Peru.  Learning about the Inca’s will quench your thirst for intrigue about these fascinating peoples.  If this isn’t enough make your way to Brazil which has everything you could possibly desire.  Wonderful wildlife, cosmopolitan cities and a vibrant night scene that will keep you dancing from night until the morning.

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