Latin America is perhaps the trendiest destination this year.
With its boundless wealth of gorgeous natural sites and biodiversity, comprising around sixty percent of terrestrial life, attractive prices, and friendliness towards foreigners, it’s no surprise it’s overtaking Europe as a leader in solo travel trends.
Now that fall is approaching and the summer crowds are dissipating, you may be thinking of jetting off to the Global South for an off-season getaway between September and November, but where exactly should you go?
In this article, we bring you the top 6 most incredible countries in Latin America for a trip this fall:
Boasting Latin America’s most developed and stable economy, high levels of safety, and over 4,000 miles of a Pacific coastline extending from the hotter tropics all the way down to Antarctica, Chile is one of the most fascinating countries in the Global South.
Its capital, Santiago de Chile, is a vast metropolis sitting on the slopes of the snow-capped Andes Mountains, and a vibrant city break renowned for its world-class restaurants, stately museums, impossibly tall skyscrapers – including Sky Costanera, the tallest building in South America – and riotous nightlife.
Other trendy spots include Valparaiso, a resort town famous for its European-inspired Plaza Sotomayor and colorful murals, steep funicular hills, and sweeping views of the Pacific; San Pedro de Atacama, a traditional Andean town in the heart of the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth, where stunning geological formation can be seen, and Viña del Mar.
Viña del Mar is Chile’s high-end coastal city, with a high concentration of regal five-star hotels, which line a sandy beachfront and a plethora of casinos.
Chile can be a lot colder than its Latin American counterparts, and its long miles of sandy beaches, however gorgeous, may still be off-limits due to weather conditions, but it still makes for an incredible fall destination, what with its amber fall foliage and cozy weather.
A country that prides itself in being the birthplace of tango and the world capital of football, Argentina is resurging in popularity this year due to the excellent conversion rate tourists enjoy when changing their dollars into Argentine pesos.
Argentina is, without a doubt, one of the most affordable countries in the Global South despite its soaring inflation, with BudgetYourTrip estimating travelers will need on average $26 a day during their stay, or around AR$9,129.
Its affordability is not its only strength as a destination. It may have been through a rough patch lately, especially when it comes to the state of the national economy, but Argentina has consistently remained one of the safest countries in LatAm.
Prices may be fluctuating and unemployment soaring, but unlike what conventional social indicators would lead us to believe, this has not fueled a considerable increase in crime, civil unrest, or urban violence. Argentina remains stable, perhaps even more so than its closest neighbors.
It is one of a handful of Southern countries to have been added to the United States’ Level 1 Travel Advisory listing, meaning it is as safe as can be, on a par with European oases like Iceland and Finland. In fact, the only city where Americans should exercise increased caution is Rosario.
Other than being cheap and very safe, Argentina will not be too hot nor too cold to visit this season, with temperatures stagnant at 64.4 degrees in Buenos Aires, and increasing gradually as we approach the winter season (or summer, for the Southern Henisphere).
Often forgotten among its famous counterparts, being sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is perhaps Latin America’s most underrated and least-visited destination and one that looks set to increase further in popularity in the near future.
Considering it is the second smallest country in South America, you may be wondering what exactly Uruguay has got to offer. Well, quite a lot: it has two of the best preserved colonial-era historic centers in the Americas, namely in Montevideo, its capital, and the aptly named Colonia.
Now that U.S. travelers are actively seeking more cultural immersions when going abroad, exploring Uruguay’s rich colonial past, which dates back to the Spanish colonization of the Americas, is certain to feature on their bucket list.
If it’s a beach getaway you’re after, Uruguay’s may not be as famous as Brazil’s, but that’s not to say they’re inferior in terms of natural beauty, particularly the sandy stretch lining Punta del Este, a resort city on the shores of the Atlantic, known internationally for its casinos and luxury resorts.
The most visited country in the Central American isthmus, Costa Rica has time and again been featured on travel lists as one of the most naturally beautiful and safest countries in the Southern Hemisphere, with rich biodiversity and coastlines on both the Pacific and Caribbean Seas.
Located close to the tropics, it does not have well-marked seasons as we know them in America, with the year being essentially split into rainy and not-so-rainy seasons due to the build-up of humidity. That’s not to say it does not make for an incredible destination.
Costa Rica is warm year-round and mostly sunny, and it’s precisely this amazing weather that results in nature so abundant and verdant. The country’s biggest assets are its protected parks and reserves, including vast swathes of jungle, as well as a volcanic inland.
When coming to Costa Rica, tourists are mainly in search of a peaceful one or two-week break, exploring the great outdoors and reconnecting with nature, and there is certainly no shortage of wellness retreats and beachfront stays to pick from.
Additionally, the country is one of the safest in Central America, featuring on the State Department’s Level 2 listings. This means Americans are not discouraged from visiting and are instead advised to exercise ‘greater caution’ due to higher crime in specific provinces.
A tropical nation sharing a Caribbean island with another sovereign state, the Dominican Republic – commonly shortened to DR – is the second most-visited beach resort in the wider region, behind only Cancun in Mexico, and a one-of-a-kind getaway.
Unlike other dozens of islands, where the main and usually sole attractions are beaches and their adjacent entertainment zones, the DR is surprisingly diverse, offering tourists both the relaxing Caribbean vacation they so crave with a much-needed infusion of culture.
As verified by OnePoll in recent research, over 40% of Americans are more open to adding some culture to their yearly sunny breaks, be it pairing a beach holiday with some sightseeing or historical tours.
The DR surely does not disappoint in either category, with places like Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and La Romana enlisted as one of the most luxurious and well-equipped resort zones in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the capital, Santo Domingo, laying claim to being the oldest colonial settlement in the continent.
Here, guests can swim in the crystal-clear waters of the warm basin, as well as visit 16th-century ruins, including a European fortress in Santo Domingo and the DR’s countless historical Spanish-era towns dotting the azure coast.
At number one, there is Mexico, America’s favorite and the undisputable leader among all Latin American destinations.
Out of all the countries listed, Mexico has perhaps the best tourist infrastructure, with airports that offer links to numerous departure points in the U.S. and Canada (and beyond), luxurious resorts with well-trained staff and incredible amenities, a plethora of visitor-friendly attractions, and accessibility.
Whether it’s the bustling Hotel Zone in Cancun, Los Cabos’ fast-growing wellness scene, the cultural melting pot that is Mexico City, the Old World charm of the country’s 132+ Pueblos Magicos, or the idyllic, car-free islands off the Caribbean coast, there is no beating Mexico.
This year, the country is set to reassert its lead over the competition by launching two further major infrastructure projects: the Tulum International Airport, which will host flights from selected airports in the States and Canada, and the Maya Train, a scenic train linking the tourist hotspots of the Mayan Riviera.
As it gears up for what’s bound to be the busiest peak season in years, Mexico is also investing heavily in security, deploying more police to beaches and reinforcing surveillance in downtown areas.
Though we may differ from other travel outlets and their respective rankings, one thing we can collectively agree on is that Mexico is Latin America’s strongest offer.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com