5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Visit Latin America
As social networks become global and ease of travel to far-flung destinations grows easier, the world seems to grow ever smaller. One of the regions that has seen an uptick in travelers from the United States is Latin America -- and with good reason. It seems all signs point to now being the perfect time to plan a trip to the region.
But why is travel to the area is hitting such a crescendo? According to Diana Plazas, Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Digital for Marriott International, Caribbean and Latin America, the answer is expansive.
"We have incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a huge diversity of cultures and cuisines, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes," Plazas explains. "For people seeking meaningful, resonating travel, this is the region to go to, and with the current strength of the US dollar, now is the time to do it."
Before you plan your 2017 travels, check out our top five reasons why a trip to Latin America is a must.
1. Save With a Strong Dollar
If you've been itching to travel to South America but hesitate to plan an overseas trip and face the subsequent costs, it's time to reconsider your position. The dollar gained substantial strength over a number of Latin American currencies in the last few years, making travel to the region more affordable than ever. For instance, travelers to Argentina will save upwards of 20 percent compared to prices from two years ago. That translates to a whole lotta steak and Malbec.
2. Experiential Travel & Access to Ancient Heritage
Blazing the way of travel trends, experiential travel has become increasingly important to today's travelers, especially millennials. The wealth of heritage and culture found throughout Latin America is staggering and the hands-on cultural experiences available to travelers seem endless.
"From wine tasting in Santiago de Chile to museum hopping in Bogota, Colombia to lounging on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, this is a region that offers fascinating experiences for every kind of traveler," says Plazas.
On your Latin American vacation, it's even possible to visit local weaving cooperatives in Peru, tour the favelas of Brazil, or climb ancient pyramids in Mexico -- wherever your interests lie.
3. It's a Foodie Paradise
If dining on local cuisine and experiencing cutting-edge international food trends is a priority when you travel, Latin America won't leave you disappointed. Some of the most interesting grub on the planet is found in cities across South and Central America.
Cut into a juicy steak and polish off a glass of malbec in Buenos Aires, or explore the city's trendy Villa Crespo neighborhood where design and food go hand-in-hand. Looking to experience the traditional flavors of Peru along with fare from some of the world's most acclaimed chefs? Look no further than Lima. And thanks to its proximity to the Amazon, Andes and both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, Bogota, Colombia chefs are creating otherworldly dishes in the midst of a flourishing dining scene.
4. Winter is Coming (in the Northern Hemisphere)
When temperatures dip in the Northern Hemisphere, they rise in the Southern, making South America a prime destination for travelers escaping a chilly winter. Of course, temperatures in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean typically remain temperate, but if you're pondering a warm escape South of the Equator, this is the season to travel.
5. Discount Airlines Abound
Thanks to the recent decision of low-cost airlines, like Spirit and Jetblue, to expand their offering of flights throughout South America, travel to Latin America has grown increasingly more affordable. Plus, once you find yourself in a region like South America, local discount air carriers, like Aerolineas Argentina and Brazil's TAM offer cheap fares within their respective countries.