South And Central American Destinations For Couples
South And Central American Destinations For Couples
Catharine Hamm (Travel Editor, LA Times) gives expert video advice on: What are some safety tips for couples traveling through South and Central America? and more...
When is the best time for couples to travel to South and Central America?
The best times for couples to travel to Central and South America actually differ depending on the destination. Remember that part of South America is in the Southern Hemisphere and so their seasons are the reverse of ours. In the winter they have their summer and in the summer they have their winter. Those are things that you need to know if you're planning a ski vacation, for example. Things like that are really important. In Central America, the climate tends to be more temperate. There are rainy seasons. Panama, for instance, has an extended rainy season that you would want to avoid. It's a tropical climate, but there are times when it is relatively drier than others. You really need to be aware of what the weather is and make sure that you avoid those times when the weather is going to be difficult or pose challenges or safety concerns.
What are popular Argentina destinations for couples?
Couples can find tremendous vacation opportunities in Argentina, particularly Buenos Aires, which has amazing cultural opportunities. It is great for shopping, great cuisine and incredible culture. There's an opportunity to branch out visit wineries throughout Argentina, where there is a burgeoning wine industry that may be of particular interest to couples.
What are popular Peruvian destinations for couples?
Peru is blessed with a variety of destinations that are both naturally and historically exciting, and can be great for couples. You can hike the Inca Trail, for example, as a couple, which I think is a pretty romantic thing to do. Seeing the sun rise at Machu Picchu is like nothing else you will ever experience. Even something as simple as taking the backpacker train or the regular train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, which is the jumping off point for Machu Picchu, can be an amazing experience. You can also see within Peru's capital city, Lima, other Incan ruins that are being excavated. You can go a little bit further North and go to see the mysterious Nazca Lines. Peru just has a variety of things that are amazing and mysterious, and really make the hair on the back of your neck stand up in a great way.
What are popular Mexican beach destinations for couples?
The east coast and the west coast of Mexico have great destinations. On the west coast of Mexico, there's obviously, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, which at the moment is considered somewhat off-limits simply because of the crime problem, but you should check with travel.state.gov to see what the situation is. Masatlan on the west coast also considered a great beach destination. On the east coast of Mexico, of course, you have Cancun, you have Isla Mujeres, you have the whole emerging Riviera Maya along that eastern coast which is a little bit less developed, but a really incredible place. Continuing south along that coast, Belize has some amazing snorkeling and scuba-diving opportunities, especially out in the Keys. Costa Rica has some amazing beaches on that eastern side, as does Panama. On the west as well, Nicaragua has a variety of amazing beaches. Central America is really blessed with a lot of great beach towns and some great beach culture, and the price can be pretty reasonable.
What are some safety tips for couples traveling through South and Central America?
I think the best safety tips for couples travelling in Central and South America have to do with being aware of your surroundings. South America and Central America generally are safe, but you need to be aware of your surroundings, just as you would be in any other place that you travel. You should also check the State Department website to make sure that there is nothing going on that you are not aware of. If there is any political unrest, for example, you want to be aware of that, and then assess your risks before you make the final decision about whether you want to go there.
What are some lesser known South and Central American destinations for couples?
One of the lesser known destinations in South America that I think gets short shrift is Ecuador. Everybody talks about the Galapagos, and certainly that's a terrific place to go. But Quito is a really charming, colonial city and the opportunities to see some of the indigenous cultures up in the Andes are really amazing. I think Ecuador is a place that, if it's not on your travel radar, definitely should be.
What South and Central American cites should couples avoid?
I don't think there are really any South American or Central American cities that couple should avoid, but I do think that they should go in with the same awareness with which they would go in to any other destination. That involves knowing what their costs are going to be, what the safety concerns might be, and really factoring those things into their decision on where to travel. Make sure that you do your research, and that you consult travel guides and the state department website before you ultimately make the decision to travel to South or Central America.