For the past 2 years, Internship Peru has helped international students find the best internships in Peru. Thanks to the testimonies of its students, Internship Peru is pleased to present you with 5 reasons why you should travel to Latin America!
- The people are honest and passionate
It’s no secret that people from all over Latin America are very welcoming. If you are ever lost in a city, they will never hesitate to help you and give you some advice.
Latin American culture is trademarked by the friendliness and openness of the people. You can experience this at their large cultural events, especially the Rio Carnival, the largest carnival in the world.
If you like to move your body and find your rhythm, Latin America is the place for you! There are many popular dances in South and Central America, including Salsa, Bacchata and Merengue.
You can dance and listen to Salsa music in every Latin country, but the most authentic place to dance is in Cali. This city of Colombia is the unofficial capital of Salsa, which is a major part of the local culture.
If you go to Cuba you will also see the people living along with music, which generates a very positive atmosphere. Caribbean music and songs come from different influences: Europe, Africa, and native people.
Along with the cultural importance of music and dance, football is treated as a religion in Latin America. Football events are always a great excuse to party with friends and family. Every 2 years, the “Copa America” brings a friendly atmosphere in all these countries during this month-long major football tournament.
2. Diverse and beautiful landscapes
If you are looking for geographic diversity, Latin America is exactly what you need to see. You can find all different types of landscapes in just this one region.
In the extreme south, you will find glaciers and little islands that just a few people reach each year such as Torres del Paine in Chile, El Glacier Perito Moreno and el Cerro Fitz Roy in Argentina.
Deserts are part of the local geography, especially in the Western part of the continent. The Atacama desert in Chile is the world’s driest non-polar desert, and the Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. Here you will discover breathtaking landscapes.
If you prefer high snowy peaks and vast mountain chains, the Andes Cordillera, 7000 km from South to North, is the longest mountain chain in the world. The highest point is the Mount Aconcagua, in Argentina, which peaks at 6,961 meters. The Andes cover parts of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
If you feel in your element in the water, you’ll find the largest waterfalls system in the world (Iguazu) in Latin America and the highest one in Venezuela (Angel Falls).
Do you love heavenly beaches? South America is home to the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, where you will find beautiful remote, sandy beaches.
The Amazon River (divided between Brazil and Peru) is the longest in the world and crosses the great Amazon rainforest! The biodiversity is just amazing over there; for example, there are more than 2.5 million insect species!
3. A very rich gastronomy
Do you like to eat delicious, local food wherever you stay? Don’t worry! In Latin America you will discover an outstanding range of typical food, in literally every corner of the continent.
The Mexican gastronomy was registered on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010. It is a mix between indigenous Mesoamerican and European cuisine, which produces unique flavors and tastes fantastic! The basic elements of this gastronomy are native ingredients like tomatoes (or jitomate), avocado, chili peppers, yellow and blue corn, etc.
Peruvian gastronomy has also been recently recognized as one of the best in the world.
The second World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism was held in Lima in 2016 and welcomed famous chefs and gastronomy specialists from all around the world. This gastronomy has many different and unique ingredients, according to the region of the country. There is an infinite variety of fishes, which is the base of the famous CEVICHE: some sea-fresh fish or seafood, marinated in lime juice and chili pepper, served with boiled corn, sweet potatoes and cured onions. Other native ingredients are potatoes (more than 2,000 different varieties of potatoes in Peru), quinoa, and Amazon fruits such as aguaje or cocona. Finally, you can find some very tasty exotic meats like alpaca, wild boar (jabalí) and Guinea pig (cuy)! Chinese influence is also very present in Peruvian cuisine, hence why so many Chifa restaurants (mix between Chinese and Peruvian cuisine) fill the streets of every city in Peru.
Apart from those two leaders, each Latin country has its amazing specialties. Don’t forget to try a real “Asado” with its matching Mendoza red wine from Argentina, the “Bandeja Paisa” from Colombia, or the “feijoada” from Brazil.
4. A puzzle of ancient cultures
Much before the “discovering” of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the local culture was already extremely developed with a long history.
The Inca culture was the largest pre-columbian civilization (1430 – 1572). Its empire spread over Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru!
There are still beautiful remains to visit, like the famous Machu Picchu in Peru and an Inca Citadel based next to Cuzco. It is one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. Don’t miss it!
Tenochititlan, the capital of the Aztec empire (between 1345 and 1521) in Mexico, is the largest city in the Pre-Columbian Americas. It was located in the same location as the current capital, Mexico City. At the ruins of the great pyramid Templo Mayor you can also visit the Templo Mayor Museum. The museum boasts thousands of artifacts that were found buried at the site.
The last very important culture of Latin America is the Mayan culture. It is the only pre-Columbian civilization with a fully developed writing system. It is also famous for its calendars, (a civil calendar and a sacred calendar) art, architecture and astronomical system. One of the major constructions of this period is the Chichen Itza, a great archaeological site in the Yucatán State.
5. The finest and wildest sports and adventure field on Earth
With all the different landscapes, terrains and climates, there are opportunities to try many adventure sports and thrilling experiences.
Thanks to the infinite seacoast along the continent, there are many renowned surf spots. You can go to Mancora (Peru), La Paloma (Uruguay) and Arica (Chile) to surf the best waves. You can also try kite surfing or paragliding.
The Andes provide many trekking and rock climbing activities with breathtaking views. There are many National Parks to hike. Our recommendations are:
- The “W” route- A serious hike of 5 days in the National Park of Torres del Paine (Patagonia Chile)
- The Inca trail- 3 days walking up and down the Andes, from Cuzco to Machu Picchu (Peru)
- La Ciudad Perdida- 3 days of adventure to reach the Lost City in northern Colombia.
- Mountain Biking down the “Death Road”, Bolivia
- Sandboarding in the Atacama Desert, Chile
- Snowboarding in Bariloche, Argentina