Published on December 29th, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut
Top 10 Latin America Travel Topics of 2016 on LatinFlyer
The end of the year means that it’s time to take stock of what’s happened over the past 12 months, and look forward to what may happen in the coming year. One of the best ways to do that is by ranking the most popular destinations and topics in Latin America, and celebrate the results with this annual Top 10 list. Based on the number of clicks, likes and shares, we can see what was important to travelers over the past year, and what will likely shape the way they travel in 2017.
This Top 10 end-of-year travel list just might provide you with some vacation inspiration too, as it highlights some of the coolest places to visit in Latin America, and the hottest things to do.
Top Latin America Travel Topics
1. Nude Beaches in Latin America: Some people love to get naked, and so it’s no surprise that those very same clothing-averse folks are interested in finding out about travel options (of course, some people are voyeurs and are just interested in the topic of nudism). This helped propel one specific article, the best nude beaches & naked vacation spots in Latin America, to the top of the individual posts for the year.
2. Weird Airline Requirements: Some travelers love to get naked, but even more love to complain about how bad airline travel is. Maybe that’s why LatinFlyer’s Airline Reviews are among the top posts on the site year after year — and why one specific post, “You Won’t Believe What This Colombia Airline Demands to See Before You Fly,” ranked so high this year.
3. Cool Neighborhoods for Travelers: We all get bored with run-of-the-mill travel experiences. Today’s traveler wants authenticity and, perhaps, a certain amount of hipness. That’s why LatinFlyer always tries to provide insider info about cool neighborhoods and things to do in a variety of Latin American cities. The top-ranking insider’s guide this year was about the 4 coolest barrios in Santiago de Chile.
4. LGBT Pride Events: It’s not always easy for English speakers to find detailed information about gay pride parades and events in Latin America, so it’s no surprise that those posts tend to score high on LatinFlyer.com. This year’s report about how LGBT pride in Mexico City is a colorful celebration of gay visibility attracted an especially large number of clicks.
5. Airbnb in Latin America: Hoteliers are not fond of Airbnb (and some people who live in neighborhoods or buildings where apartments rent out via Airbnb aren’t either). But the proliferation of Airbnb around the world is indisputable, and this relatively new way of travel has become a favorite for many travelers. That’s why I started including reviews of Airbnb apartments in Latin America, and they’ve risen to the top in terms of travel topics on the site. The top review this year: Here’s what $55 buys you on Airbnb in Bogota, Colombia.
Top 5 Latin America Travel Destinations
1. Mexico: Considering that the majority of LatinFlyer’s readers come from the USA, Canada and Mexico, it’s no surprise that Mexico was the top Latin American destination on the site this year. In addition to lots of Mexico travel tips, hotel reviews and recommendations about things to do, see and eat in Mexico, one of the more interesting (and popular) posts was an interview with a Mexican lucha libra wrestling star: From Mini Charly Manson to Tiago: Lucha Libre Star Talks Truth About Mexican Wrestling.
2. Colombia: Economic growth, increased stability and security have pushed Colombia onto the list of “must-visit” Latin American vacation destinations for many travelers. This year alone, LatinFlyer has highlighted what Airbnb can buy you in Bogota, how a legendary prison now serves as Bogota’s biggest and oldest museum and what happened when Bogota allowed graffiti and street art to flourish. You can also discover 6 artsy, creative & cool things to do in Bogota.
3. Panama: This Central American nation’s capital, Panama City, has become something of a boom town in recent years, as the Panama Canal expands, the historic Casco Viejo neighborhood becomes increasingly hip and an astonishing number of big hotels continue to open (driving down prices). I wrote two chapters in the most recent edition of the Fodor’s In Focus: Panama guide, and provided some insight and travel advice, based on 5 things I learned about Panama travel while writing for Fodor’s.
4. Brazil: South America’s biggest country is naturally a favorite for many travelers, and recent events like the World Cup and the Olympics helped draw more attention. LatinFlyer has provided travel tips on how to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Brazil, how to take 5 great side trips from Rio de Janeiro and a list of the 10 most amazing things to see in São Paulo.
5. Puerto Rico: This sun-soaked Caribbean paradise is the most popular in the region with LatinFlyer’s readers — and, in case a certain other island may have made you reconsider that next trip, we even addressed an important question: Should you ditch your Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic vacation and go to Cuba instead?
Top Instagram Travel Photos
It’s interesting to see which photos attracted the most attention this year on my Instagram account (@mundera). Unlike LatinFlyer.com, which draws visitors to a wide variety of posts about topics ranging from travel tips about specific Latin America destinations to airline travel, Airbnb and nude beaches, my Instagram seems to be very focused on people — and especially shirtless guys.
I post tons of travel photos highlighting the most beautiful architecture, vacation attractions and activities, but this year, it was almost all about people — including three photos from the Mexico City gay pride parade, one photo of Mexican Lucha Libre wrestling star Tiago and one of handsome Panamanian male model Samir. There were also a couple top-ranking photos of my husband’s vacation fun in Fort Lauderdale and a random shot of me about to board a JetBlue flight. The only top-ranking photo that doesn’t fit into the people category, interestingly, is a photo of the hip Hotel Demetria in Guadalajara, Mexico.