Published on December 29th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut
What’s Hot: Top 10 Latin America Travel Topics of 2015 on LatinFlyer.com
Are you sick of end-of-year lists yet? Well it’s time to look at one more. But this one is, perhaps, a bit more focused than most (and doesn’t involve any celebrity scandal or political drama, either). I’ve scoured through all the boring stats for a year’s worth of visits to LatinFlyer.com to come up with the top 10 Latin America travel topics of 2015, based on number of clicks and likes and other good things that show what people are looking for when they travel.
This Top 10 end-of-year list might just provide you with some vacation inspiration too, as it highlights some of the coolest places to visit in Latin America for 2016, too.
- Panama: With Central America’s first Metro rail system, a massively expanding Panama Canal, an incredibly booming hotel scene and an incredibly hip historic heart, it’s no wonder that Panama was the top Latin America travel destination on LatinFlyer.com. Among the top Panama travel posts were a roundup of the Top 10 Things to Do in Panama and Panama City: A Guide to Central America’s Best Bars & Nightlife, which takes you on a tour of some of the hottest places to have a drink — from bustling casinos to hip venues in the historic Casco Antiguo. In LatinFlyer’s Panama travel section, you can also find a bunch of hotel reviews, as well as lots of photos and travel tips for visits to Contadora Island, Taboga Island, Portobelo and Colon (the fact that I contributed to the 2016 Fodor’s In Focus travel guide and also served as a consultant for Great Value Vacations to help them develop new Panama vacation packages also helped me to stay on top of Panama travel trends this year.)
- LGBT Pride in Latin America: As more countries approve same-sex marriage (Brazil and Argentina were among the first to do so in Latin America, although Mexico City was the first city in Latin America to do so), gay travel is more in the spotlight than ever before. LatinFlyer is a great source for Latin America LGBT travel tips, including the top gay travel destinations in Latin America, LGBT travel conferences in Latin America and LGBT destination wedding and honeymoon planning tips (check out LatinFlyer’s gay travel section), but for 2015, my coverage of “orgullo gay” — Mexico City’s annual gay pride parade and festival — was the top ranked post in the category.
- Puerto Rico: The Isla del Encanto is a long-time Latin America travel favorite (and it’s one of the easiest to visit from the United States, since you don’t even need a passport). Puerto Rico was the third most-popular topic on LatinFlyer.com this year, although the specific posts included classics like Condado vs. Isla Verde: Which San Juan Neighborhood is Best For a Puerto Rico Vacation? and a roundup of 7 Great Kid-Friendly Hotels in Puerto Rico — while the changing conditions about travel to Cuba had us ask the question: Should You Ditch Your Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic Vacation and Go to Cuba Instead? (Click to find out the answer!)
- Airline Reviews: People love to complain about airline service (and often rightfully so). We also sometimes get nervous when we’re flying an airline or airplane we haven’t before, or using an airport for the first time. Maybe that’s why LatinFlyer’s Airlines section continues to be a high-ranking favorite, as it gives the inside, first-person scoop on what to expect in various Latin America airports, and on various airlines flying in the region — from check-in to airline seating, from airline food (including when it’s free and when it’s not) to airport arrivals.
- Mexico: As the biggest Latin American destination for vacationers from the English-speaking world, it’s no wonder that Mexico always ranks high as a travel topic. But this year, the tip-top post covered something far removed from your typical all-inclusive resort review: The World Naked Bike Ride: Baring the Creative Soul of Mexico City. (If that sounds too racy, not to worry; we do lots of hotel reviews and Mexico travel tips as well.)
- Ecuador: This South American nation packs in a lot of amazing activities and attractions in a rather small space — from Amazon jungle to Andes mountain peaks to Pacific coast beaches to the amazing Galapagos Islands. Travelers’ taste buds were the focus for the two top-ranking Ecuador posts this year: A roundup of Must-Try Ecuadorean Food and also a Travel Guide to 6 Great Restaurants in Quito.
- Chile: Personal insider travel tips topped the ranking for Chile this year, with “My Santiago” — Chile Travel Tips from United Airlines’ Pilar Hoffman a popular post. An evergreen post, Diverse Traditions, Diverse Costumes in Chile also continued to attract people with its photos of traditional clothing from around the nation.
- Brazil: South America’s largest nation attracted a lot of attention thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and that enthusiasm spilled over into 2015 as well — especially for Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics in 2016. Maybe that’s why Carioca Culture: 6 Must-See Museums in Rio de Janeiro continues to attract lots of viewers.
- Peru: Following a recent visit, I published some insider Peru travel tips from Aaron Paiva Leyton of PeruTravelGuide, as well as a list of 15 Things To Do in Barranco, Lima’s Hippest ‘Hood. But classic posts like 5 Traditional Peruvian Food Ingredients You’ve Got to Taste continue to draw clicks as well.
- Latin American Spanish Vocabulary: This isn’t exactly a travel topic, but there is clearly a need for Latin America vocabulary tips for travelers. After all, every country in Latin America has its own unique words for some items. That’s why some of the perennial top clicks on LatinFlyer.com go to posts like How to Say “Drinking Straw” In Spanish (at least 12 ways to do it, and it all depends on what country you’re visiting), Popcorn: One Food, Many Ways to Say it in Spanish and also How to Say “Cool” in Spanish (at least 13 ways). No reason to get tongue tied at the movie theater or in a McDonald’s when you check out these posts!
So what will be the hottest Latin America travel topics and tips for 2016? What would you like to see and hear about? Let me know!