Top 5 Activities in Latin America for the Adventurist

July 05, 2012
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When you consider some of Latin America's greatest landmarks, it's no surprise that it's such a playground for the adventure seeker. Arenal Volcano, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef are just a few of the most notable landmarks. If there's an outdoor activity you love or have always wanted to try, then you can find it in Latin America. Below we showcase the top five activities in Latin America for the adventurist.

  1. Scuba diving. While destinations like the South Pacific and the Caribbean islands are often considered the top diving destinations in the world, don't be so quick to overlook Latin America. Maybe you've heard of a little group of islands called the Galapagos, which are located due south from Central America and west of Ecuador. Here's your chance to swim alongside the famous Galapagos penguins. Further north is Central America's Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. One of the most notable dives here is the famous Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize.
  2. Hiking. This is a no brainer. There is no shortage of epic hikes in Latin America, whether it's hiking the dramatic landscapes in South America, exploring waterfalls, or trekking to the top of volcanoes in Central America. While it requires some planning and training beforehand, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu has long been one of the best hikes in Latin America. But you might also consider the Salkantay Trail. A less-touristy alternative to the Inca Trail, Salkantay passes through stunning Andean scenery before ending at Machu Picchu. Although the excitement and surroundings are reminiscent of rugged mountain climbs, the accommodations are anything but rustic. After a day of guided hiking along the trail, IE guests spend their evenings at boutique mountain lodges, where warm showers and cold drinks greet them at day’s end.
  3. Caving. Surprising to many are the caves of Latin America. While it may not exactly be "out"doors, it's still one of Latin America's most unique activities for the adventure seeker. Many of Latin America's caves are in Central America, although there are also some in South America, including Cueva del Fantasma in Venezuela, which was only recently discovered. Belize is the best destination in Latin America for caving, featuring an extensive network of caves, including Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is one of the country's most well-known caves because of some of the artifacts that you can in it.
  4. Surfing. With multiple oceans hugging the edges of Latin America, there are plenty of water sports available, including surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, just to name a few. While Mexico and Costa Rica are establishing themselves as top destinations for surf vacations, there are other notable surfing destinations in South America. This includes Brazil and Peru, which may be a surprise to many, but has one of the largest point breaks in Máncora.
  5. Rafting. While the miles and miles of coastline are endless in Latin America, there are also plenty of raging rivers inland that cater to the outdoor enthusiast. Mendoza River in Argentina is one of the best rivers for whitewater rafting, but it's not for the faint of heart, as it's a challenging river for even the experienced river runner. Just as adrenaline pumping is rafting Iguazú Falls, one of the largest falls in the world, which forms a boundary between Brazil and Argentina.
     

 

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