Leading travel booking firm Despegar has unveiled the list of most visited cities in Latin America in the year just gone by. Despegar says that in 2022, some of Latin America’s major cities ranked as travellers’ favorites worldwide. These destinations’ many draws include their rich history and culture, vibrant streets and entertainment, and the high quality of their hotels and restaurants, says the travel firm, that goes on to list the top five most visited cities in the region, with the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires leading the way.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Despite restrictions imposed by Argentine authorities last year, the city of Buenos Aires rebounded with a growth of 240 pc in terms of tourist visits. According to information from the city’s Tourism Data Observatory, Buenos Aires ended the year receiving 1.5 million international and 5.3 million domestic visitors. In addition, the recovery of hotel occupancy reached an average of 58 pc of international tourists and 101 pc of nationals.
In a press statement, Despegar says that tourists can enjoy significant historical buildings in Buenos Aires such as the Teatro Colón, El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Casa Rosada, National Museum of Fine Arts, Recoleta Cemetery, and the Caminito Museum. They are also sure to enjoy the symbolic bars of San Telmo, Palermo Soho, La Boca and Mataderos, it adds.
The Chilean capital was not among the favourite cities of travellers before the pandemic. However, in 2022, it became one of the hottest destinations on the continent, says the statement. As well as being a strategic point for connecting with other destinations in Latin America, Santiago offers visitors extraordinary places to enjoy unique experiences in streets and neighbourhoods of great historical, cultural, and gastronomic richness.
Despegar says that some of the neighbourhoods that no visitor should miss in the Chilean capital are Lastraria, Bellavista, and Centro Santa Lucía, in addition to emblematic green recreational areas for the whole family, such as San Cristóbal Park. Visitors can also look forward to tours in nearby vineyards and sites of cultural and historical importance such as the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, and Casa La Chascona, iconic site famous for the work of Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize in Literature. Santiago de Chile offers visitors extraordinary places to enjoy unique experiences.
Mexico City, Mexico
Despegar says that the capital of Mexico is an extraordinary experience for tourists keen on exploring a slew of historical sites such as churches, museums, archeological areas, and exceptional world-class hotels and restaurants. The most visited places by tourists are the archaeological area of the Great Temple, the Cathedral, the Palace of Fine Arts, the Angel of Independence, and the incredible Chapultepec Forest, which features lakes, gardens, museums, spaces for sports and picnics, as well as a large zoo with free entry for visitors.
The statement adds that nightlife lovers will find all kinds of places to have a great time, plus there are tours to the best health bars. For those looking for quieter areas, there are also many cafes in the street to enjoy light meals. Mexico City is so diverse that it is visited to enjoy various types of tourism, such as adventure, gastronomic, religious, business, archaeological, rural and ecological, to name a few.
The Colombian capital is one of the most-visited in Latin America, drawing those who seek to enjoy excellent gastronomy in first-class restaurants and accommodations of all kinds, from exclusive luxury hotels to rustic and cosy accommodations. Bogota also offers a wide range of activities that include cultural, social, sports, and architectural experiences. Its great heritage is on display in the beauty of the buildings in its historic centre, says Despegar.
Visiting Montesarrate Hill is one of the most exciting experiences for visitors who can climb to the top by cable car, enjoy the country’s most famous viewpoint, and admire the city and the beautiful Andean hills that surround it, it adds.
The statement says that visitors should not miss the historic centre of Bogota, where the iconic neighbourhood of La Candelaria, the Cathedral, and the neoclassical Capitol, are located. Through Bogota’s cosy streets, visitors find many craft shops and cultural sites, such as the Gold Museum, which houses thousands of pre-Columbian pieces. They can also visit the famous Botero Museum in a beautiful colonial mansion.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
According to Despegar, the Brazilian capital dynamic city, which lost much of its activity during the pandemic, was one of the most visited by national and Latin American tourists in 2022 due to its outstanding cultural, gastronomic, and nightlife offer. Visitors to this important financial center enjoy the modern city by walking through emblematic places such as Paulista Avenue, where countless bars, restaurants, banks, hospitals, parks, and extraordinary recreational parks are located.
Oscar Freire Street offers exclusive prestige stores, art galleries, green areas, gourmet food sites, free Wi-Fi, and even devices to recharge mobile phones. Another must-see is Ibirapuera Park, designed for entertainment and especially as a forum for artistic and cultural expression, where families can walk along gardens and lakes, observe more than 200 species of birds and enjoy areas for soccer, basketball, ping-pong and chess.
For lovers of history and culture, Sao Paulo boasts the Teatro Municipal, a beautiful construction of Baroque Renaissance art. In addition, at the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, tourists can admire works by classical artists from world cultures, such as the Roman Empire, China, Greece, and Egypt. Finally, for lovers of good food, this incredible city has great restaurant offerings with menus that highlight traditional Brazilian foods, such as Feijoada Paulista and Virado Paulista, a mixture of pork filet, rice, onions, bean cream, fried eggs and cabbage, says the statement.
‘‘2022 has been a great year for the tourism industry, and we see an interesting change in the preferences of Latin American tourists compared to last year, where the interest was more inclined towards beach destinations such as Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro, Cartagena. This year, cities dominated, showing that urban tourism is returning and has had a significant recovery throughout the region,’’ says a spokesperson of Despegar.