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Discover the Top Destinations in Central and South America in 2024



As we step into 2024, Central and South America continue to beckon travelers with a vibrant tapestry of culture, history, and natural wonders. Here's a curated list of must-visit destinations that promise unforgettable experiences.


 


Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Buenos Aires, often hailed as the "Paris of South America," continues to evolve as a gastronomic and cultural hub. Beyond its famed grass-fed beef, the Chacarita neighborhood has emerged as a casual-dining darling, boasting a diverse array of recently opened spots. Michelin's first guide to Argentina, unveiled in November 2023, attests to the city's culinary prowess. Embrace the spontaneous approach to eating and drinking that Porteños cherish, especially in the ever-cool Palermo district.



 


Guatemala:

In 2024, Guatemala is set to capture the hearts of travelers with its rich Indigenous and colonial history, breathtaking natural beauty, and expanding infrastructure. The jungle-shrouded Mayan ruins of Tikal are a highlight, and the charming city of Antigua offers a blend of tradition and modernity. Keep an eye out for the La Valiente project by Luna Zorro, transforming a historic property into a boutique haven with a coffee-and-wine bar, set to open in October 2024. With increased air connectivity, including new routes from Alaska and Delta, Guatemala is poised for a tourism surge.


 


Ciudad de Panama:

Panama City, once a mere stopover destination, is now a compelling destination in its own right. Beyond the iconic canal, the city boasts mind-bending skyscrapers, a unique blend of American influence and Central American culture, and the lush Metropolitan Natural Park. Explore UNESCO-designated Casco Viejo, where boutique hotels like Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo offer a glimpse into Panama's history. Embark on Truly Panama's Flavors of Panama tour to savor traditional delights like chicheme and ceviche. Panama City also serves as a launching point for broader Panamanian adventures, from jungle hikes to luxury beachfront stays.


 


Costa Rica:

Costa Rica, long known for its adventurous appeal, unveils a more luxurious side on the Guanacaste peninsula. Sleek resorts from renowned brands like Four Seasons, Andaz, and Hyatt-owned Secrets cater to beach lovers with discerning tastes. The upcoming Nekajui, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, promises an ultra-lavish experience overlooking Pochote's bay. The recently renovated Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo adds to the allure with a Mediterranean-inspired beach club and sustainability initiatives. Costa Rica's exclusive enclave is set to expand further with the arrival of Waldorf Astoria Residences Guanacaste in 2025.


 


Quito, Ecuador:

Quito, a city with a mile-high skyline, is undergoing a transformation led by architects like Bjarke Ingels Group. The recently completed IQON tower stands as a testament to the city's commitment to contemporary architecture. Inaugurated in late 2023, Quito's new metro system enhances connectivity across the city. Affordable yet chic accommodations like the 151-room Go Quito Hotel offer panoramic views of the city. The burgeoning dining scene, with restaurants like Cardó and Aura, propels Quito into culinary prominence.


 


Cusco, Peru:

Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, stands as one of the premier destinations to explore in 2024. Beyond its title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco boasts a thriving culinary scene, stunning architecture, and old-world charm. Serving as a gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, Cusco is the perfect starting point for adventurous souls embarking on the Peru for Solo Travelers: Lima, Cuzco & Machu Picchu tour.


At an altitude of over 10,000 feet, Cusco enchants visitors with local artisans selling fresh fruits in bustling markets and unveils ancient citadels, Spanish Renaissance cathedrals, and UNESCO-recognized historic sites. Stroll through the narrow streets of the San Blas District, where you can savor a coffee, explore local clothing shops, and indulge in authentic Peruvian cuisine. During your visit, don't miss the opportunity to explore the Sacsayhuaman citadel, once adorned entirely in gold, and acclimate to the elevation by enjoying a cup of coca tea provided by local hotels.


 


Curitiba, Brazil

As the capital of the Paraná region, Curitiba beckons travelers with its green spaces and cultural treasures. Boasting a population of 1.7 million residents, the city is a haven for those seeking a blend of urban sophistication and natural beauty. Explore the breathtaking Botanical Garden of Curitiba, marvel at the architecture of the Oscar Niemeyer Art Museum, or take a leisurely stroll through Tangua Park.

Known for its safety and high standards of living, Curitiba stands out among Brazilian cities. With lower crime rates, it provides a secure and welcoming environment for visitors. Immerse yourself in the city's vibrant cultural scene, where greenery meets art and urban living harmoniously.


 


Barranquilla, Colombia

Barranquilla, a vibrant city on the Colombian Caribbean Coast, captivates visitors with its lively music scene and rich cultural tapestry. Here, the beats of El vallenato, a music style unique to the region, echo through the streets, infusing every corner of daily life with rhythm and energy.

Experience the warmth of Barranquilla's people as they embrace music as an integral part of their day. From mechanics to supermarket staff, everyone finds a moment to sing, dance, and revel in the infectious melodies. While European norms may find it unusual, in Barranquilla, music is an expression of joy and community spirit. Dive into this unique atmosphere, where the love for dance and song transcends boundaries and permeates every aspect of life.


 


San Salvador, El Salvador

Amidst the challenges of a tumultuous history, San Salvador emerges as a city on the brink of rediscovery. El Salvador, the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, has weathered internal strife but is gradually revitalizing itself. While stark cultural differences may be less pronounced, the country's natural beauty remains a captivating force.


San Salvador's majestic hills, lush green terrain, and meandering rivers paint a picturesque landscape. Despite grappling with environmental challenges, including pollution and deforestation, the allure of El Salvador's natural bounty is undeniable. As the country treads towards renewal, travelers can witness the phoenix rising—a resilient spirit intertwined with breathtaking landscapes. Explore the untamed beauty and cultural resilience that define San Salvador in 2024.

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