The Ultimate Family Adventure: 5 Travel Destinations in Latin America
Are you looking for the ultimate family adventure? These 5 must-visit travel destinations in Latin America must be on your bucket list!
Spending quality time with the people you love is extremely important if we have learned anything since COVID-19.
And sure, activities at home, going to the park, or going to a city nearby sounds like fun, but if you want something different, here are some ideas of the best vacation spots in Latin America.
Having a family adventure means the possibility of:
- Regaining your capacity of wonder: experiencing new sights, flavors, and activities.
- Strengthening your bonds and improving family relationships. This can even be therapeutic after conflict or distancing.
- You improve your communication skills as you get away from mundane distractions and ignore your phone due to lack of internet or signal—while doing ecotourism, for example. Engaging in conversations—even tough ones—in an environment of relaxation helps the flow of what needs to be said, discussed, or enjoyed together.
- Learning new things. Consider cooking or dancing lessons wherever you go or anything typical of the local culture. As we say in Mexico que no te lo cuenten: don’t let them tell you, live it yourself. Experience the community lifestyle and get involved. This will set you apart from other tourists and make your adventure worthwhile.
- Reducing stress. Everyone needs a break every once in a while. Go to a place that will make you feel renewed and centered.
- Get to know yourselves. To us, these life-changing travel experiences connect us with our true selves, pull all noise back and let us sink in who we are. Likewise, getting to know your family under fun, engaging circumstances will help you develop together as humans.
- Fostering independence. Children can develop independence and other core life tools while navigating new environments and situations. Take this opportunity to give them new responsibilities and form new life skills.
- Creating long-lasting memories. In the era of Instagram and TikTok, it’s challenging to have a screenless memory, especially during daily routines. So take this chance to make everyday activities more meaningful. But let’s not be hasty. You also need to take that one picture worthy of getting a frame in the living room. So you can pass by and get a splash of good feelings every once in a while. After all, remembering is living again!
Overall designing a family adventure will have a positive impact on your family, both collectively and individually.
After all this new knowledge, are you willing to pass on this unique opportunity?
We didn’t think so! So let’s look at the top 5 travel destinations in Latin America!
Read next: 10 Best Rated Airports in Latin America
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Travel Destinations in Latin America
Are you ready to become an active explorer of North, Central, and South America? What about the Caribbean? This Latin American vacation will be an experience of a lifetime!
Be sure to choose the one place that calls your name the most.
These are some of the best family vacations with teens, children, and family members. You can select one based on personal interests—extreme sports, for example—or holiday goals—like learning to cook Mexican food.
These countries and cities are the whole package and can offer wonders of nature, astonishing architecture, moments of relaxation, history, and culture.
But some of them are famous for one thing more than the rest of the travel destinations in Latin America. Therefore, we hope you gather all the information you need from this list curated by category.
Here we go!
Hand-picked for you: Spanish Travel Vocabulary Words for Latin America
1. Mexico: History
- Location: North America
- Primary language: Spanish
Mexico is the second most visited country in the world, with over 66 million people coming in 2022. It has one of the most exciting travel offers. Did you know that the meteorite that shattered the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs fell in Yucatán, Mexico?
Yes! And you can learn all about it at Merida’s top museums and experience the consequences of this happening, one of them being the hot, dry weather on the peninsula.
Stop by a cenote and eat Mayan-Lebanese fusion dishes while you’re there.
Not too far from there is Chichén Itzá, a Mayan pyramid built with mathematical perfection. Visit during the Spring equinox on the dot to see Kukulkan, the Mayan God descend the stairs of the construction in a play of lights and shadows.
Talk about top travel destinations in Latin America, huh?
Are you an architecture geek? Then, you can visit the states of Querétaro, Puebla, and Guanajuato to see the most impressive colonial buildings and cathedrals.
If you’re a foodie, the best choice is Oaxaca, considered “the most Mexican state.”
Besides the beautiful beaches of Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca has one of the best culinary experiences in Mexico. Try black mole, tasajo, tlayudas, tejate, and fried insects—filled with protein and flavor. Yum! —and Oaxacan tamales—the best ones yet.
The best meat is in Nuevo Léon, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila up north.
Mexico City is probably the most diverse city, though. Next to the Teotihuacan pyramids, with restaurants from all states and the highest number of museums in the world.
Go to the National Museum of Anthropology, the MUNAL, the Soumaya, and the one located at the Chapultepec Castle—the only castle of Latin America—in the heart of the Chapultepec Park, which is bigger than New York’s Central Park.
There is a good reason behind it being the 8th most visited city in the world. Whatever you do, don’t forget to try the local chocolate. After all, it was invented in Mexico.
Mexican weather is not too extreme at either time of the year. However, general precautions include not visiting the north during December if you’re not used to the cold and not visiting Yucatán during May, June, or July if you are not used to extremely hot weather.
The rainy season goes from July to October and a few weeks in February or March.
Mexico City and Monterrey, Nuevo León are two of the most expensive cities but still cheap if you live in Europe or the rest of North America.
Most travel destinations in Latin America have the same rules: tourist places are very safe, unlike what the tabloid media says.
Just don’t wander into sketchy neighborhoods, do proper research for accommodation, and don’t have your phone or wallet handy while using public transportation.
Learn Slang: 20 Mexican Slang Words You Need Before You Travel.
2. Argentina: Culture
- Location: South America
- Primary language: Spanish
One of the top cool places to go in South America is Argentina. The wine, beef, and tango culture is impregnated in all its cities.
One of your goals for family vacations should be to enjoy live music and urban art.
Did you know it has glaciers where you can go on a nautical safari on a boat trip? It’s called Perito Moreno, surrounded by ranches and ice treks.
Also, Argentinian Iguazú Falls are taller and wider than those in Niagara. They are at the exact frontier of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.
That point is called the Three Frontiers Milestone and has a national park.
It would be a crime to have a family adventure at one of the top travel destinations in Latin America, like Argentina, and not stop in Buenos Aires.
Known for the progressive culture of the local community, this city is one of the world’s spearheads of women’s rights.
Explore the historic neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca. Visit the iconic Recoleta Cemetery, Teatro Colón, and the Plaza de Mayo.
Get cooking and dancing lessons and see live tango.
Don’t miss the sights of the Andes mountains of the colonial architecture of Salta, hop on the Train to the Clouds—you won’t believe your eyes—and Salinas Grandes salt flats.
Tell your friends you step on the End of the World, literally. Ushuaia has stunning natural scenery and wildlife.
Argentina has a rich and diverse theater culture: famous and unique actors, playwrights, and directors have started here and made it worldwide. Most topics cover social and political issues used as activism tools, but there is something for everyone.
Learn more: All You Need to Know About Argentine Spanish
This can be one of the best family vacations with teens, as Argentina is known for its top-quality arts. Visit museums, theaters, and opera houses. Your kids may be interested in this scene.
Before your arrival, listen to Por una cabeza, the most iconic, unparalleled tango from playwright, director, songwriter, and singer Carlos Gardel.
Argentina is one of the cheapest travel destinations in Latin America, so you can even out the flight cost with the living cost.
Remember that the South Hemisphere has the opposite seasons as we do in the North. This means that spring in Argentina—the best time of the year to visit cities—is September to November, and summer—the best time to visit outdoor locations— is December to February.
Spring or fall is best to go to the central region or if your goal is to avoid crowds.
See also: Best Places in Latin America to Visit in December
3. Costa Rica: Nature
- Location: Central America
- Primary language: Spanish
This is the mecca of family adventures regarding travel destinations in Latin America.
Prepare to explore nature, wildlife, and the outdoors actively. You can switch from adventurous to relaxation at any point if you want to. This is an excellent way of detoxing yourself from the sounds of car traffic, pollution, and stress.
In Central America, Costa Rica offers one of the widest ranges of activities for all ages and conditions. For example, did you know Costa Rica has one of the most active volcanoes in the world?
You can visit it at Arenal Volcano National Park. Take a hike, dip in the hot springs, and enjoy the hard-to-match stunning landscape.
Animal watching is also a must in “The Switzerland of the Americas.” Go to Manuel Antonio National Park and experience beaches and wildlife like monkeys, sloths, and iguanas.
This is the perfect place to practice water sports like snorkeling and surfing.
Meet the 500 species of birds and the 120 kinds of amphibians and reptiles at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Don’t miss the canopy tours and zip-lining, and don’t forget to use sunscreen!
Your toddlers, kids, and teens can learn much from turtle nesting during the rainy season at Tortuguero National Park. It is a rounded-up experience about protecting and restoring the planet while feeling empathy for those more vulnerable than us.
You need to follow the rules and listen to the details the guides will tell while you and your kids enjoy this experience and how this activity impacts the world.
Meaningful travel destinations in Latin America can be a unique learning experience.
Go to tamarindo beach and learn how to surf, fish your dinner, and do a little horseback riding. It has a vibrant nightlife!
Costa Rica’s weather is hot and humid all year round, but if you prefer it a little dryer to do outdoor activities, you want to go from December to April, but it’s the busiest time of the year for tourists.
Sights are more lush, colorful, and vibrant during the rainy season from May to November. It rains in the afternoon, so you can enjoy being outside in the mornings with fewer crowds and paying lower prices.
4. Cuba: Time Travel
- Location: The Caribbean
- Primary language: Spanish
Cuba is one of Latin America’s most fascinating travel destinations with rich history and culture. Time-travel to a different decade by landing at José Martí Havana airport, close to the Old Havana district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ride an authentic, flawless classic car to see the city’s stunning colonial architecture. Then, stop at the iconic Revolution Museum to learn about Cuba’s long-standing revolutionary fight.
Go to the legendary Buena Vista Social Club to listen to traditional Cuban music after walking in the Malecon, a seaside promenade that reaches one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
People-watching is one of the local activities here and a fascinating one if you love to learn about other lifestyles and cultures.
Art studios belong to independent artists in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Velado. The general vibe here is relaxed and welcoming.
Sound like a native: 20 Cuban Slang Words That Will Make You Sound Native.
Time to do some white-sand resting and crystal-clear waters swimming at the Caribbean seaside in Varadero.
Snorkel and scuba dive to explore the colorful coral reefs and underwater wildlife in one of the best travel destinations in Latin America.
Go to the historic Bay of Pigs and Zapata Swamp in the Zapata Peninsula to experience diverse ecosystems and water sports like jet skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. You can contrast it by visiting the Varadero Golf Club course.
Cuba is very affordable. Dry and cooler weather comes with heavy crowds from December to May. Warm and humid weather comes with rain, fewer tourists, and money-saving—June to November.
Check this out: 9 Family-Friendly Spring Break Destinations in Latin America for 2022.
5. Paraguay: The Non-Mainstream
- Location: South America
- Primary language: Spanish
If you’re looking for cheap South American vacations in a non-mainstream place, look no more.
Paraguay is a lesser-known destination in the region but offers a lot to families who want to explore the unknown with a comfortable budget.
Find rich cultural heritage and many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, and more.
Travel destinations in Latin America like this one are perfect for truly getting to know the local culture and lifestyle since it’s the destination with fewer tourists on this list.
Visit the historic capital center in Asunción, don’t miss the Cabildo and the Heroes National Cemetery. Explore the Botanical Garden and the Loma San Jerónimo lookout.
In Encarnación city, find a top family-friendly destination: the Jesuit Missions of La Santísima Trinidad de Paraná and Jesús de Tavarangue. Then, get your relaxation on at Lake Ypacarai.
Go to Ciudad del Este to visit the Itaipu Dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric projects. Then, go shopping in the commercial district and explore the nearby Monday Falls.
Asado is a form of barbequing and is very famous among the locals. There’s no better social event in Latin America, as it happens from the north of Mexico through Argentina.
From June to August, temperatures are milder, and there’s a slight chance of rainfall, which is great if you’re into outdoor activities. But the best time to visit and go to social and cultural events like the Carnival is December to February.
Learn more from Paraguay here: The Colorful Expressions of Paraguay: Culture, Language, and Destinations.
Which Travel Destinations in Latin America Do You Like Best?
Which one of these 5 musts did you like better? As you can see, Latin America has too much to offer.
There is a destination suited for every interest, every kind of weather, and also multiple culinary experiences from you to choose from.
The best part of traveling through Latin America is that they all share the same language: Spanish.
Did you know there are around 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide? It’s the most spoken language after Mandarin and Hindi.
Learning a local language before visiting guarantees better experiences and more connection with the community.
Getting to understand their lifestyle and genuinely getting involved is what sets simple tourists apart from travelers. Learn a new language and potentialize all of the benefits that visiting to other countries brings to your family vacations.
If you plan to travel to destinations in Latin America, consider learning Spanish. The best and fastest way of doing this is through native, authentic Spanish instruction and real human connection.
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