Best Latin America Travel Spots!!!
In the near future, my Spanish Study Group and I plan on visiting a Spanish speaking country to hone our language skills. Does anyone have any places or countries that they recommend, or don't recommend visiting? Please feel free (let's keep it PG people ) to share some of your awesome experiences in the Latin/Central/South Americas.
Many people travel to the city of Antigua, Guatemala to learn / improve their Spanish and to enjoy some wonderful sight-seeing and cultural experiences. The problem I have with Guatemalan Spanish (Guatemala is where I presently live) is that it has more English influence than Spanish that is spoken further away from the North American English-speaking nations. Just a couple of examples: for a pick-up truck, here in Guatemala people say picop, whereas the more generally used Spanish word is camioneta. For the verb to park (as in to park a vehicle), here the verb parquear is used, rather than the more general (for Latin America) estacionar.
One suggestion that I would have for your study group would be to visit Cuzco, Perú. This is another place where you can enjoy great cultural and sight-seeing experiences while you work at improving your Spanish language skills.
I have been traveling in Bolivia and Peru (and Mexico for a little while) for the past 2 months and Cusco is a great suggestion (and a plus is that you can go to Machu Picchu from Cusco) but I'd also recommend Sucre, Bolivia. It is amazingly beautiful like Cusco but a little less touristy. Cusco was difficult to stay in for more than a few days because literally every time you walk down the street near the center of the city you have dozens of people hawking their products, tours...whatever, and it gets quite annoying fast. The other positive about Peru and Bolivia is that they are very cheap in comparison to the US, although Cusco is about twice as expensive as Bolivia.
I've been in Guatemala a little over 2 months, but we are shortly heading back to Canada for a spell.
Sucre is also a beautiful city to visit - and definitely more pleasant to stroll around in. The "hawkers" referred to by Luke are a serious down-side to Cuzco.
From Sucre one can also visit the old Spanish city of Potosí - a lot of interesting history there and a great museum called La Casa de la Moneda.
I had thought about recommending Sucre in my first post, but didn't for 2 reasons. Firstly, Bolivia is my home country so I thought I might be a little biased towards it - so I was happy that someone else mentioned it first. Secondly, Sucre is the one city in Bolivia where I have been robbed - by a pair of professional robbers. So, if you do go to Sucre, and you are out for a lovely day-time walk, here is my advice: if some dirty, black, greasy liquid is dumped on one or more members of your group, grab on to your valuables and walk straight towards your hotel. When some one approaches you and offers to help clean up the mess, simply say No, gracias and keep on walking!! Don't accept their help and keep a close eye on any valuables that are on your person!
Ahhh...thanks for the advice guys. I appreciate you talking about the pros and cons of these countries, whereas others would just focus on the positive only. Good stuff, and keep it coming!!!
Oh, cool, I'm definitely taking notes.How long have you been in Guatemala for?