Spanish-speaking travel destinations vary from the extreme to the exquisite, the famous to the infamous. Perhaps you want to scale a mountain, enjoy star treatment at a luxury resort, spot celebrities on the Riviera, or just enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Think about your dream vacation and then check out these Spanish-speaking destinations suited to match your travel personality.
- The Archaeologist
- The Fine Arts Lover
- The Cosmopolitan
- The Celebrity Gawker
- The Recluse
- The Outdoorsman
- The Party Animal
The Archaeologist: Chichen Itza, Mexico
You were the kid that anxiously awaited the ancient civilization section in social studies class. You still love to find “treasures” in nature even if it means finding some earphones on the grass at your local park. You can pretend all you want but wouldn’t it be far more scientific if you were to actually discover something at the ruins of an ancient civilization? You can! In Chichen Itza, México, you can explore Mayan civilization grounds like the Cenote Sagrado, a large sinkhole that measures 198 feet in diameter. Archaeologists just like you have found jade, gold rings, necklaces and even ancient human bones ‒ the remains of young girls sacrificed to the Mayan rain god Chaac! If you can, you should schedule your trip during the next Spring Equinox. At the Pyramid of Kukulcan, or El Castillo, a natural phenomenon occurs where the sunlight creates a shadow image of a serpent descending down the pyramid’s stairs!
The Fine Arts Lover: Madrid, Spain
Pouring over your college art history books and hanging reprints of Diego Velazquez may pacify your desire to see the original but sometimes, you just have to go see it for yourself. Just a hop, skip, and an airplane-fueled-jump away is Madrid, Españain all its fine-arts glory. The Golden Triangle of Art refers to the three great art museums of this city: Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Museo Reina Sofía. Walk the sprawling space of the grand Museo del Prado and see Diego Velazquez’s "Las Meninas" and Francisco de Goya’s "La Maja Vestida". Then over at Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, walk through eight centuries of European paintings, including Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Murillo, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals. Finally at the Museo Reina Sofía, one can discover art exclusively by Spanish artists including two of 20th century’s greatest artists: Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Good thing these museums all have stores so that you can buy all the reprints you can carry on the airplane!
The Cosmopolitan: Buenos Aires, Argentina
You are the child of the world and you like to soak in every aspect of a culture. Welcome to Buenos Aires, Argentina– a city so unique, you’ll want to move here. Buenos Aires is known for steak, the tango, and leather goods so go ahead, dive right in! The steaks are grilled in the traditional Argentinian manner that propelled it to worldwide popularity. The steak is grilled on a parrilla, an Argentinian traditional barbecue and coal grill. As famous as the steaks, but perhaps a bit more lean, is the tango. Tourists and locals alike congregate in tango clubs to dance the night away. Plenty of locales offer tango lessons and have a tango ballroom so don't fret about not finding a venue. The shopping in Buenos Aires, along its cobblestone streets, is among the best in the world.
The Celebrity Gawker: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
You check Perez and The Superficial compulsively. You have no clue what is happening in the world right now but you do know where Angelina and her brood are right this moment. Your streaming queue is filled with celeb-reality shows and you can’t wait until you can binge on them the moment you leave work. If these statements apply to you, you are destined for Cabo San Lucas, Méxicowhere celebrities vacation (its proximity to L.A. is unheard of!) and where you can gawk at them in person! The beaches are exclusive, pristine, and so sunny that you will need to bring those Nicole Richie sunglasses that block out half your face. Other than gawking at the genetically gifted celebrities, you can book yourself in world-class spas, swim laps in an infinity pool, and dine at five-star restaurants.
The Recluse: Placencia, Belize
Although Belize is not technically a Spanish-speaking country, Spanish is a dominant language in Placencia, Belice. Placencia is a true tropical getaway destination. The sixteen miles of pristine beaches, the various areas to snorkel around the barrier reef and the relatively low tourist traffic makes you feel like you're alone on a beautiful island that also happens to have modern amenities and great cuisine, of course! The coral reef that surrounds the island is a great place to snorkel. There are a slew of different snorkeling spots to fit any experience level. Fishing and sailing are another great aspect of Placencia. The calm, warm waters lend themselves to some big fish, and if you are lucky enough to catch one, a personal chef will cook your catch according to your instructions! The various keys around the island make Placencia even more beautiful. Divers often dive off these keys into the marine abyss.
The Outdoorsperson: Puebla, Mexico
If nature is your best friend, then Puebla, Méxicowill become your family. Indulge yourself by visiting the many national parks including the Izta-Popo National Park, La Malinche National Park, and the Valle de Tehuacan Biosphere Reserve (which is the largest reserve in the world). You can go hiking, biking, and see animals in their natural habitat! Back in the town, you can roam around the market and find artisans selling handmade crafts, Talavera pottery, el árbol de la vida(the tree of life) figurines, and one-of-a-kind onyx and marble sculptures.
The Party Animal: Barcelona, Spain
After a day of strolling around historic Barcelona, looking at Gaudi architecture and feigning happiness in touristy pictures, all you want to do is go out. You’re in luck because Barcelonain España is one of the greatest nightlife cities in all of Europe. The nightlife doesn’t start until after 12AM so make sure to start your night at the myriad of bars and cafes before hitting the clubs. Keep away from the touristy Barri Gòtic and Las Ramblas and head over to The Village People or Barrio Alto neighborhood. If you partied too hard the other night and just want to listen to music and lounge, there are so many places for you to go! The music club scene is eclectic in this city, offering daily shows in all music styles including jazz, blues, classical and, of course, flamenco.