With the new year approaching, most of us likely have “travel,” on our New Year’s Resolutions list. There are so many wonderful places to visit, but Latin America is full of underrated and unforgettable travel destinations. Not only are many Latin American cities affordable, but are filled with breathtaking sites. This list covers the top 10 best cities in Latin America to visit this upcoming year.
Antigua has been a weekend getaway favorite for many locals in Guatemala, but it is finally beginning to gain global recognition. With a plethora of historic buildings dating back to the 1600’s, visitors can get a taste of wonderfully classic architecture.
To experience life as a local, visiting a mercado, or market, is a must. Walking through the narrow passageways covered with stalls will give you access to goods you didn’t even know you needed. Most visitors love to visit the mercado to see the beautiful textiles and handmade goods. Guatemala is full of colorful, traditional textiles, so definitely look into buying some while here.
For those who are more into heartracing adventures, Antigua is also home to the Pacaya Volcano. This active volcano has a surprisingly easy hike for such a massive volcano. It will not only provide stunning views of the town below, but once you reach the top of Pacaya you can actually see the lava in the volcano! It is definitely an interesting experience.
Antigua has a bit of everything for every kind of traveler, it is on its way to being one of the best cities to visit in Latin America, so make sure to visit while it’s still unchanged by tourism!
Many travelers view Cusco as a “start” to their hike towards more well-known sites like Uros Floating Islands or Lake Titicaca. However, Cusco is an incredible city full of historical significance that deserves just as much love. Most of the ruins here were used as the foundation for the buildings you see now. The town has stone walls spread throughout that were built by the Incas and have been left mostly untouched.
Cusco, Peru is definitely one of the best cities in Latin America to visit for lovers of unique, mysterious architecture. One of the most relevant ruins in Cusco is Sacsayhuaman, a collection of defense stone walls that make a zigzag pattern. The city of Cusco was originally shaped like a puma, and Sacsayhuaman was the head of the puma with the jagged walls being its teeth. To this day, engineers have not figured out just how the Inca fit these giant, misshapen stones together so smoothly. Take a trip to Sacsayhuaman and see if you can figure out the mystery.
Working from home has many positives, but it has led to many people to overwork and burn out. Montevideo is the perfect Latin American city to unwind from all the daily stress. It is famous for its laid-back vibes and well-maintained beaches. The city is split into two main parts: old town and downtown. Wherever you go, you are bound to find gorgeous, old-style architecture.
A local favorite place to visit while in Montevideo has to be the Mercado del Puerto. Although it is no longer a port market, it is still a large space filled with delicious restaurants serving local cuisine. Uruguay is becoming a culinary hotspot, so take the time to visit the local eateries here.
If you want a more upscale night while in Uruguay, try watching a show at the Teatro Solis. This beautiful 20th century building features spectacular décor and hosts some of the top performances in Uruguay. Even if you can’t catch a show here, you can take a variety of tours to explore the wonderful architecture and furnishings of Teatro Solis.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Nestled in the Andes Mountains in northeastern Chile, you can find some of the most spectacular views of deserts, geysers, salt flats, and so much more. It feels like you’ve been transported to a whole different planet! One of the most popular places to visit while here is Los Flamencos National Reserve. Created in 1990, this reserve protects many of the wildlife animals and plants in the region from endangerment and extinction.
Los Flamencos covers around 173,000 acres and is split into several sections, each with their own claim to fame. Balle de Luna hosts enormous sand dunes and pink tinted mountains. The Cejar Lagoon and Hidden Lagoons of Baltinache are ponds and lagoons that are so high in salt content, that you can float in them with no issue. The emerald-green waters are perfect for anyone trying to get that perfect shot for Instagram.
Known as the city of eternal Spring, Medellin has seen a boost in tourism over the past few years. This bustling city is filled with friendly locals, rich culture, delicious food, and a fun nightlife scene. Medellin’s temperature stays at around 76F, so all of these things can be enjoyed at any time making it one of the best cities to visit in Latin America during any season!
Depending on when you visit Medellin, you can see the Feria de Las Flores (Flower Festival) which is one of the most important festivals in the country. Colombia is rich with flowers, so each year thousands gather to see the Desfile de Silleteros. This is a parade where local flower farmers create massive themed flower displays, and carry them on their back to show off to an ecstatic crowd. These displays can feature images of coffee farms or even faces made from the flowers that they grow.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Being in Buenos Aires feels like you’re in Europe despite being in Latin America. Not only can you dine on some of the world’s best steak and wine, you can discover some incredible sights in Buenos Aires. For visitors on a budget, Bocas is a local favorite to walk down its small streets and view the colorful buildings. While walking around Bueno Aires, make sure to check out the little side streets that are hidden in the city. In these hidden corners, you can find some of the best cafes and restaurants in Argentina. Be adventurous and walk down these little paths!
The Museum of Latin American Art is a wonderful spot for the art-loving tourist. It holds artworks from artists like Frida Kahlo, Antonio Bern, and Diego Rivera. The structure itself is just as incredible as the artwork inside. Its contemporary and chic design are well loved by locals and tourists alike.
The town of Salvador stands out from most other cities in Brazil due to its large African influence. The cobblestone streets and colorful, old buildings are filled with food stands selling traditional and delicious local delicacies. After a good meal, there are some amazing beaches nearby to spend some time in the hot Brazilian sun.
One of the famous attractions in Salvador is Casa do Rio Vermelho. This museum was created in honor of the works of Jorge Amado. The house itself is gorgeous, and the interactive stylings of the museum bring his works back to life. Here you can see Amado’s personal writing space and watch short films that describe Amado’s life and writings. Even if you aren’t a huge literature buff, it is interesting to learn about one of Brazil’s most beloved authors.
La Paz, Bolivia
Traveling to La Paz is not for the faint of heart. Standing at around 11,795 feet above sea level, this city towers over any other. Despite its immense height, the city itself is quite peaceful. With its cobblestone pathways and plazas, there are many great places to sit, relax, and people watch.
A trip to La Paz would not be complete without a ride on the cable car system. The cable cars connect the highest parts of the city, so you can get an incredible panoramic view while riding public transportation. Just know that the cable cars take you quite high up, so it is best to wait a few days at the bottom of La Paz and acclimate to the altitude before riding the cable cars. If you go before being fully ready, you could end up suffering from altitude sickness. La Paz is an amazing city, so getting sick and not being able to explore it would not be fun.
The town of Quito is one of the most well-preserved cities in the Americas, earning it the title as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito has amazing classical architecture to see, and also is home to one of the oldest breweries in the world. Similar to La Paz, Quito is a high up city, and riding the sky tram here is a must-do activity. During the 10-minute ride, passengers get to witness the spectacular mountain scenery and pass the Volcano Pichincha.
Another important site to visit while in Quito is the Capilla del Hombre painted by Oswaldo Guayasamín. This gorgeous painting is in honor of the indigenous community and to those that continue to have hope for a better future. It is a giant art piece that leaves a lasting impression. Quito continues to grow in its art and food culture scene, and is becoming one of the best destinations in Latin America to visit.
When people think of popular cities in Mexico, most think of Cancun or Mexico City. But the town of Guanajuato is one of the best cities to visit in Latin America this new year. The climate is perfectly warm year-round, the colonial architecture lends for that perfect Instagram shot, and the local cuisine is just out of this world.
When you’re not busy taking pictures and eating, visitors can try cave hopping. Hidden in these caves are natural hot springs where visitors can soak, and have all their stresses melt away.
For a unique experience in Guanajuato and Latin America, visit the Callejon del Beso. This street is a must-go spot for couples while visiting. The street is famous for the lore that surrounds it, as it is quite similar to “Romeo and Juliet.” Long ago in Guanajuato, there was a young woman who fell in love with a young man that her parents did not approve of. The young man would rent the room across from hers, so they could meet in secret each night on their balconies. When the young woman’s father found out he murdered his daughter in a fit of rage. And the young man jumped from the balcony in sadness and died as well.
Although this is quite the tragic story, couples now come to this street to share a kiss saying that it will promise them 15 years of happiness. Even if you are single, it is an interesting street to visit to see where Guanajuato’s “Romeo and Juliet,” took place.
Guanajuato is filled with culture and history making it one of the top Latin American cities to visit this upcoming year. Make a trip here and discover all the wonder that is in this wonderful city.
Latin America is full of popular tourist destinations, but there are also many hidden gems that are up and coming. These cities are just a few of the best cities to visit in Latin America in 2022, but there are many more hidden gems to visit. Many of the cities are still quite underrated, so take a visit before they become overrun by tourists.