Life in Latin America
By Nicolas Aguero
Why Should You Consider Living in Latin America?
In a complex and changing world, Latin America is an ideal destination, which offers an endless number of possibilities. The economics and the sustainable growth the whole region has experienced over the last few years, show us again a region full of commercial opportunities for productive activities, as well as commerce and services. Sustained growth, stable democracies and a growing investor-friendly atmosphere and low-prices are the main options for many expats how decide to buy real estate to retire, live a life-time experience and make a profitable investment.
Latin America is an unusual blend of pacific coexistence of different communities that live there, unusual when compared in contrast with the often turbulent international scene. Latin America has always been a home for European migratory flows (especially Italian, Spanish, English, Welsh and Polish) as well as Asian immigrants (mainly Japanese, but also Koreans). It is also home to the numerous indigenous and native towns that still preserve their languages and customs (such as Kollas, Mapuches and Guaranies, just to name a few). The entire continent offers a huge cultural diversity, where cosmopolitan cities such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro or Santiago de Chile, coexist with the charming rural interior of the more isolated areas. And, of course, we must not forget the amazing landscapes.
The options are endless: from the woods, lakes and glaciers of the Patagonia area, with their exclusive skiing centers, to the isolated and beautiful white sand beaches of Brazil surrounded by forests, jungles, rivers and mountains. Given the huge variety of choice, tourists often need more than just one trip to have enough time to explore all the beauty and wonders nature has to offer.
Argentina is favoured by ample and varied natural wonders (made possible by its geographical extension), by its cultural offer, and (since the devaluation of the Argentine peso after the 2001 crash) by its high exchange rate to foreign currencies.
* Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, once considered by travellers the "Paris of the Southern Hemisphere",
offers a broad range of cultural activities. Visitors may choose to visit a tango show, or an estancia in the Province of Buenos Aires, or to enjoy traditional asado. Lately new tourist circuits have evolved, devoted to famous Argentineans such as Carlos Gardel, Eva Peron or Jorge Luis Borges. Due to the favourable exchange rate, its shopping centres, such as Alto Palermo, Paseo Alcorta, Patio Bullrich, Abasto de Buenos Aires and Galerias Pacifico, are frequently visited by foreigners.
Read more Information about Life in Argentina
An adventurer's paradise: Belize is a peaceful, English-speaking country just two hours away from 3 major U.S. Gateways. With a diversity of adventure opportunities unmatched by any other country, the Belizean people have protected over 40% of the country as parks and natural reserves.
Belize is on the Caribbean coast, nestled between Mexico and Guatemala and offers an intriguing mix of tropical forests rich with wildlife, majestic mountains, mysterious Maya temples, and diving and fishing experiences beyond comparison. In a single day, one can go from tropical forest to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.
And the people are as warm and friendly as the climate.
Read more Information about Life in Belize
Bolivia is rich in natural resources, and has been called a "donkey sitting on a gold mine
" because of this. Apart from famous mines, which were known by the Incas and later exploited by the Spaniards, Bolivia owns the second largest natural gas field of South America after Venezuela. Furthermore, El Mutún in the Santa Cruz department represents 70% of the world's iron and magnesium.
Read more Information about Life in Bolivia
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America. It spreads across almost half (47.3%) of South America, and occupies a total area of 8,547,403.5 km2. It is the fifth largest country in the world after Canada, the Russian Federation, China and the United States. Except for a small number of islands, Brazil is a single and continuous landmass. The Equator crosses through the Northern region, near Macapa, and the Tropic of Capricorn cuts through the South of the country, near São Paulo.
Brazil's east to west extension (4,319.4 km) is almost equivalent to the distance from north to south (4,394.7 km). The country borders French Guiana, Suriname, Guiana, Venezuela and Colombia, to the north; Uruguay and Argentina, to the south; and Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru, to the west. Ecuador and Chile are the only two countries on the South American continent that do not border Brazil. The Atlantic Ocean extends along the country's entire eastern coast, providing 7,367 km of coastline.
Brazil - "a country which greets visitors with a huge smile"
The mixture of races has made Brazil a culturally rich and at the same time unique country. This miscegenation began with the Indian, the African and the Portuguese, but soon after, immigrants from around the world began to arrive: Europeans, Asians, Jews and Arabs. The result is a happy people, open to everything new, a people one can only find in Brazil. Because of this massive diversity, Brazil is one of the last places on Earth where no one is a foreigner, where one can change one's destiny without losing one's identity and where each and every Brazilian has a little of the entire world in his or her blood. This may be the reason why Brazilian's welcome people from another land so openly. According to surveys carried out with foreign tourists who visited the country, 97.2% intend to return soon; 56.5% had their expectations completely satisfied; and, for 31.7%, it exceeded their expectations in every way. As you can see, those who go to Brazil become fans on their first visit.
Read more Information about Life in Brazil
Chile, officially the Republic of Chile (Spanish: República de Chile), is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow coastal strip wedged between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific forms the country's entire western border, with Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage at the country's southernmost tip. Chile claims 1,250,000 km² of territory in Antarctica. Lake, Fjord and Glacier Cruises are not only the most comfortable way to visit southern Chile, they are also, in many regions, the only way. With trans-Andean lakes, the mystical Chiloé archipelago, and some 27 million acres of protected fjords, glaciers, and temperate rainforests to discover, the problem is not in deciding whether to go, but where. Silence reigns in these forgotten landscapes, home of dolphins, sea lions and penguins, where the modern world is still but a rumor.
Read more Information about Life in Chile
Colombia, formally the Republic of Colombia (Spanish: República de Colombia), is a country located in the northwestern region of South America. Colombia is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the North by the Atlantic Ocean, through the Caribbean Sea; and to the west by Panama and the Pacific Ocean. Colombia is the only country in South America that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Colombia is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America (after Brazil, Argentina, and Peru), with an area seven times greater than that of New England and more than twice that of France. Its vast territory is made up of diverse
physical contrasts ranging from the towering snowcapped peaks of the Andes to the hot and humid plains of the Amazon River Basin, to a vast tropical coastal plain in the north. Since President Uribe took office in 2002, he has notably increased Colombia's stability and security by significantly boosting its military strength and police presence throughout the country. This apparently has achieved fruitful results for the country's economy, particularly international tourism. In 2006, tourism officials are expecting approximately 1.5 million international visitors to visit Colombia, an astonishing increase of about 50% from the previous year. Even Lonely Planet, a world travel publisher, has picked Colombia as one of their top 10 world destinations for 2006. The World Tourism Organization reported in 2004 that Colombia achieved the third highest percentage increase of tourist arrivals in South America between 2000 and 2004 (9.2%).
Read more Information about Life in Colombia
. * Costa Rica
Costa Rica (literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south-southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica was the first country in the world to constitutionally abolish its army. It is also the only country in which both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen from the same point.Costa Rica has avoided the violence that has plagued Central America; it is seen as an example of political stability in the region.
Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Over 25% of Costa Rica is composed of protected forests and reserves.
The Costa Rican ideal is that of a very friendly, helpful, laid back, unhurried, educated and environmentally aware people. Visitors from the United States are often referred to as gringos, which is virtually always congenial in nature. The phrase "Pura Vida
" (literally "Pure Life
") is a ubiquitous motto in Costa Rica. It encapsulates the pervading ideology of living in peace in a calm, unclustered manner, appreciating a life surrounded by nature and family and friends.
Read more Information about Life in Costa Rica
An investor enjoying life in Rio de Janeiro
More Articles by Nicolas Aguero
More Travel Articles
Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.