Latin America is inundated with art, unique cuisine, native music, religious traditions, and festivals. Maintaining such strong ties to their heritage, these countries afford an authentic glimpse into the local culture. Each country in Central and South America offers experiences that are distinctly their own. Travelers interested in immersing themselves into another culture, gaining understanding of a country, and interacting with locals should consider Latin America as their next destination!
Here are our “Top 10” tours that will provide genuine cultural experiences in Latin America:
Huaorani Amazon Lodge
Connect personally with this unique people group native to the Amazonian Region of Ecuador. You will track jungle wildlife, observe hunting techniques, and learn rainforest survival skills with your Huaorani guides. Evenings bring the opportunity to visit villages and interact with the locals, granting direct and accurate insight into Huaorani history, culture, and everyday life. Listen to your guide's stories while canoeing along the Shiripuno River, camp in the Nenquepare community, and enjoy traditional meals. Conform to Huaorani life for a week of experiences to remember!
Buenos Aires Tango Festival, Argentina Trips
The melodic music starts, two dancers join in a close embrace, rhythmic footwork ensues, and expressive faces act as silent storytellers. Discover yourself in Buenos Aires immersed in this creative facet of the Argentine culture. Take lessons at the Dandi Tango Academy, visit dance halls, and explore the city-wide festival celebrating this deeply rooted art form. The tango-centric week imparts a deeper understanding of how this dance is an authentic expression of Argentina.
Haciendas of Ecuador Tour
Observe one historical side of Ecuador most visitors miss by living the life of a gaucho among grazing cattle and llamas. Time seemingly reverses during your residency on various highland ranches. Horseback riding, exploring the famous Otavalo market, observing artisans, hiking near surrounding volcanoes, acting as a farmhand, and wildlife sightings are only some of the experiences you will have! Settle down each evening with a home-cooked meal and a curious sense of never wanting to leave.
Peru Tours: Manco Multisport
There is no better way to learn about a place than to stay with locals. Families on Amantani Island graciously open their homes to give travelers a glimpse into life on Lake Titicaca. This is just one highlight, however, of this 12-day tour. Kayaking, hiking, camping, river rafting, and mountain biking will grant an extremely active experience in Peru. After all of this exertion, your reward is a beautifully scenic train ride to Machu Picchu and a full day to explore the ruins!
Mexico Adventures: Oaxaca Traditions
Your companions during this journey will be Zapotec pottery artisans, gourmet cooking instructors, wool weavers, the ancient Tree of Tule, local market vendors, and the stone structures of Mitla. Rich in tradition and history, Oaxaca affords endless opportunities to have an authentic cultural experience. From mastering the art of making the perfect tortilla to archaeological exploring of Monte Alban, your experiences will span the spectrum! Settle into your “home” in the Oaxaca valley for taste of life as a native.
Guatemala Easter Festival Tour
Words simply cannot describe the vibrant, intricate “carpets” gorgeously blanketing the processional route during Semana Santa. During this “Holy Week”, sober mystery envelopes the city of Antigua while an underlying celebratory spirit can still be felt. Join the festivities as well as bask in the beautiful surroundings of Antigua. Coffee plantations, macadamia nut farms, Lake Atitlan, local markets, and three impressive volcanoes are all at your disposal to enjoy as well. What a unique way to spend this holiday!
Belize Packages: Living Maya Experience
Travel, not only to Belize, but on a tour that takes you back in time. Discover yourself experiencing the Mayan culture of thousands of years past. Despite British dominance, centuries departed, and modernization, many aspects of this ancient civilization persist and continue to be practiced. Observe craftwork during a day with a local artisan family, hear different dialects of the living Mayan language, create your own rhythms at the Warasa Garifuna Drum School, prepare a traditional meal in the home of a Belizean, and walk upon historic sites to learn more about this resilient people group.
Nicaragua Tours: Revolutionary Nicaragua
A determining period of revolution in Nicaragua occurred only a few decades ago. Former guerillas and civilians contribute their personal accounts of these recent uprisings, regime changes, and other monumental events. Gain insight in how lives were impacted, how this unrelenting nation endured, and how Nicaragua has progressed from that time. This tour, however, is not without opportunities to view wildlife, sip a cupful at a coffee plantation, hike through a cloudforest, stroll leisurely through charming towns, and climb the Masaya Volcano!
Falkland Island Life Tour
What to expect on this tour probably perplexes most people. The mention of the archipelago located off the eastern coast of Argentina evokes a sense of mystery. However, this island chain offers a multitude of interesting activities and experiences to be had! Travelers will learn about the ongoing conflict over which country actually discovered the Falklands, tour some of the major battlefields, visit working sheep farms, gather among King & Gentoo penguins on the beach, and watch for elephant seals. Be prepared to get a fresh perspective of what defines the “island life”.
Candelaria Festival in Puno with Homestay
Situated on the beautiful shore of Lake Titicaca and surrounded by mountains, Puno is the perfect setting for a festival! Journey through the “floating islands” of the Uros people before settling in with your homestay family. Agriculture being essential of Puno's livelihood, the locals celebrate the Virgin of Candelaria as well as harvest time with parades of music, dance, embellished costumes, and ornate masks. Immerse yourself into the local jubilation with the flavors, sights, and sounds of a festival inundated with tradition.