South American Cuisine, Uncategorized

Foods You Have to Take a Bite or Two in South America

Spoiler Alert: A Bite Won’t Be Enough

A country’s culinary specialties not only satisfy a travelers hunger but also speak to its soul. If you are one who enjoys eating sit-down dinners on fancy restaurants, or you are one of those people who love munching on-the-go treats from street vendors more, South America has both things to offer on each side of the spectrum.

If you are planning to go on a holiday on this beautiful country, or you already booked one, and you are scared of getting hungry on your trip, here are some dishes to try in South America that will surely make you want more.

Empanadas of Argentina

Every province of Argentina has a signature flavor of its own. Eating all of them may be considered a long shot, but it is not impossible. Just imagine a crispy, half-moon pastry with hot savory fillings of meat, cheese, and vegetables.

Pastel of Brazil

Pastel is usually a savory treat, but there are twists added to its ingredients to come up with sweet varieties. Its appearance looks like that of an empanada, but thinner. Just imagine these delicious fried pies with small shrimps, hearts of palm, ground meat and melted cheese.

Now, take a bite.

Arepas of Venezuela

There are some arepa varieties on a single menu. Some are eaten as a main course whiles other small portions serve as snacks. Just imagine a flatbread sandwich made from ground maize dough, filled with anything from cheese to meat to eggs. It can be hearty, it can be healthy, but it is always perfect for you and me.

Ceviche of Peru

If you are a Sashimi lover, you will definitely twitch for this delicacy. Just imagine a fresh, raw seafood cure with lemon or lime citrus juice, spiked with chili peppers and garnished with cilantro and onion.

Pisco Sour of Chile & Peru

It will not be considered as a national drink for Chile and Peru for no reason. It is a popular cocktail throughout South America that is said to be the perfect pair to a ceviche. Just imagine a brandy made with pisco, mixed with Angostura bitters, egg whites, lime juice, syrup, and ice. Adding some fruit juice may also enhance its flavors.

Dulce de Leche of Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil

This dish may be hard to find outside South America, but it is offered in almost most of its countries. This lusciously sweet dessert has already made its place in the hearts of tourists and locals alike. Just imagine a milky caramel in simmering vanilla, sugar, and milk served with donuts, muffins, and toasts.


Platanos Fritos of South America

This incredibly delish treat can be found all throughout South America and is already considered a quintessential delight. Just imagine a delicious dessert of slowly-fried plantains, with a light caramel coating scooped from sizzling pots of vegetable oil, topped with condensed milk.



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South American Travel Destinations, Uncategorized

What Does South America Have to Offer You Travel-Wise

South America is a region home to many of life’s extraordinary wonders. Before you come to experience its hidden treasures, knowing some extra facts and information about this blooming continent will surely help you enjoy and make the most out of your most awaited sojourn.

It is widely believed that the south pales in comparison to the progress of the north. Both continents may be names America, but their differences are deeply rooted and pulsating to this day. While the United States may be more industrialized, the south is more untamed and natural, each country bearing a strong native identity.

A Quick Glimpse on the History of South America will give you an overview of the continent’s origins and how it came up to be what it is today. Some Fascinating Facts and Figures about South America gives you the numbers and some of the country’s hidden secrets known only by their locals.

A quick read of What You Need to Know before Travelling to South America may just give you an edge over first-time tourists and travelers. You’re sure to pick up a few useful tips that usually slip the occasional traveler’s mind. The continent may be vibrant in culture, people, and heritage, but there are certain experiences that you need to prepare for to properly enjoy.

Going over Famed Personalities from South America will point you to some global celebrities you probably already know and love. Take a look at each of these individuals, and you can certainly tell that they bring a certain spice to the world. Imagine how it would feel to be surrounded by the very culture that molded such vibrant personalities. You’re sure to get overwhelmed.

Foods You Have to Take a Bite or Two in South America takes your palate on a journey and readily itemizes the must-eats to go hunting for.

The Bitchin’ Beaches of South America points you to where the shoreline fun is. Coastal parties are a natural sight however unnatural they may seem. Gear up for certain enjoyment that you’re sure to have never experienced elsewhere.

Knowing all of these may become too overwhelming, but don’t stress yourself out! There is also Blending in Fashion Tips for Tourists in South America for those who worry about being stared at with their out-of-place garb. It teaches you how to dress to blend in and attract less attention.

If you want to make the most out of your visit, looking through the Things You Can Actually Do in South America can help you plan your trip. It gives you a realistic overview of what and what not to spend your time on.

History, people, and culture are just some of The Major Resources of South America. By knowing a little about all of these while planning your dream visit, I bet you can now dream about The Coolest Things You Can Experience in South America. I say stop dreaming and let us just travel South America.

If you want to check out even more about the 12 individual countries of South America, check out National Geographic’s South America Travel Guide.

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South American Travel Destinations

The Bitchin’ Beaches of South America

Imagine feeling the warm sea breeze on your cheeks. Feel the powdery sand on your feet. Look at the calm waves of the ocean. Indeed, there is no better to way to reconnect with nature and claim your time of peace and quiet. However, when the sun starts to set, and the lights start to illuminate these coasts, you rather know what happens next.

Life is a party. So drink, dance, and scream at the top of your lungs. Here comes a list of party beaches in South America that will give you the craziest, and the wildest moments of your life.

El Agua, Venezuela

Just a short distance from the coast of Venezuela is the Margarita Island where El Agua is situated. It is one of the country’s most extraordinary beaches that features golden sands and palm trees. Vendors offer cocktails and other products during the day, and everything becomes loud and lively at night. A chain of clubs and bars offer good music and drinks, and if you are looking for a real party atmosphere, you had better go to El Agua during Spring Break.

Montanita, Ecuador

Montanita is one of the most famous stops of backpackers in Ecuador. Its relaxed and laid-back vibe caught the attention of the surfing community and made the place more interesting. Now, there are local party scenes with a vast selection of local drinks, spirits, and fruity cocktails the beach offers. Stalls sell drinks during the day, and a series of bars and clubs run the place at night.

La Barra, Uruguay

Because of the number of its famous and rich visitors that visit the place every year, La Barra has often been referred to as South America’s St. Tropez. It is located in Punta Del Este resort and known to throw wild parties that last until dawn, especially in the months of December and January.

Copacabana and Ipanema, Brazil

These are the twin gems of Rio de Janeiro. Beautiful golden stretches of sand houses bars and clubs facing onto the beach, and away from its bustling city. Thousands of people go to Copacabana during New Year’s Eve to party while enjoying its amazing fireworks. While Ipanema, on the other hand, is considered as an alternative side of Rio highlighting beach life. Vendors sell beers and cachaca, as they get the party started.

Mancora, Peru

Mancora is the place to be if you are looking to enjoy sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife. Beaches are relaxed and calm during the day, so you might want to consider diving in and munching on its excellent seafood that matches its special Peruvian drinks. While at night, especially on wild full moon parties, the town will turn into a long stretch of party place that will continue all night long.

So here is a taste of five bitchin’ party beaches in South America. Each offers travelers and tourists an experience different from one another but is sure to wake and shake the party animal in you.


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South American Celebrities

Famed Personalities from South America

South America is not only rich in culture, tradition, and natural resources. It is also home to some beautiful and talented people who are widely known in most countries. You might have seen most of them in popular Hollywood movies, while the others appear on famed television shows. Whatever the case is, they all serve as an inspiration and pride to the people of South America.

So let’s get to know some of them, shall we?

Andy Garcia

Sounds familiar? He’s just one of the few Hispanic actors who managed to break through casting stereotypes and became one of the Latino community’s most beloved leading men. He was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for his impeccable performance as Vincent Mancini in “The Godfather Part III” and influenced a new generation of Latino actors. He knows his way on dramatic and comedic roles and is also a director and producer capable of attracting popular stars.

Sofia Vergara

She’s a star on the hit television series “Modern Family” and famous for his role “Gloria” which is a full-pledged Colombian. Aside from being a successful actress, she’s also a business savvy who has an empire of followers on social media that admired her authenticity.

Selena Gomez

After succeeding on her huge leap from a child star to an adult celebrity, Selena has proven her talent in the music scene and on the big screen. She exhibited a great deal of independence and sense of control over her career and image as a role model for her Latina fans.

Michelle Rodriguez

Her rigid, tough girl image appeals to both fans and filmmakers alike. She’s known for giving life to action-packed roles on Hollywood movies such as the “Fast and the Furious” franchise and is admired for staying true to her roles, ideals, and philosophies in life.

Michael Pena

He’s one of the few rare breed actors who can work in both English and Spanish and can also make audiences cry helplessly one minute, and laugh hard the next. He has co-starred in some of the great movies in the past like “Million Dollar Baby,” “Crash,” “American Hustle” and the Marvel movie “Ant-Man.”

Zoe Saldana

The actress exhibits strength, confidence, and toughness on most of her roles in Hollywood films. She’s an inspiration to adult Latinas who appreciates her unwillingness to conform to Hollywood standards. Directors and producers also admired her for being simultaneously feminine and strong.

Jennifer Lopez

We all know JLo, but many fans admired her more for a successful self-reinvention after dismantling her reputation as a diva, to someone who’s an advocate of good will. She’s now a part owner of a TV network that focuses on multicultural millennials and diversity.

Penelope Cruz

Her beauty and talents inspired not only the general audience but also some older, cultured, and more educated Latina women. The Oscar-winner chose to be an inspiration and a model to younger generations when she decided to live a more private life, far from tabloid sagas and excessive social media sharing, and closer to the things she loved most.

Antonio Banderas

His Latino good looks, charming personality, and surprising comedic timing made him one of the most iconic actors in Hollywood. He rose to Stardom on his role as Zorro and is loved by Latino families in his voicing as the charming and adventurous animated character “Puss in Boots.”


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Blending In Fashion Tips for Tourists in South America

As tourists, I know we all want to be as comfortable as we can on our skin to enjoy our travels.

People tend to think that because you are in a place where no one knows you, you already have the right to do what you want, be what you want, and wear what you want. Although this statement is true in its sense, there will still be limitations in it, which are bounded by culture, people, and the place where you are visiting. As much as possible, we need to be mindful of how we present and express ourselves to the locals. Although fashion is one form of self-expression, there are still restrictions we need to observe and follow—especially when we are in foreign land.

So here is the thing: normal people dress formally in South America than elsewhere and dressing down has never been their option. As an extremely class-conscious society, no one wants to be ever mistaken for the lowest lower class in Latin America. And as tourists, we don’t want to be treated and looked at differently, right?

So to make the most out of your South American trip, here are some fashion tips to blend in well:

One Word: Layers

In Latin America, people don’t usually wear t-shirts when they go out. But don’t worry because you can still wear your favorite shirts inside the house, or perhaps when doing some gardening in your backyard. But when you’re going out to see tourist spots and to explore the place, considering adding layers to your good old shirt is a wise decision. So you’ll do fine wearing that simple button-up shirt.

Ask Yourself: Are You Hitting the Gym?

People in South America don’t naturally wear sneakers, tracksuit, exercise shorts and pants except when they’re actually at the gym and about to do jumping jacks or some pushups. They hit the gym wearing some fine clothes, and bring with them their workout wardrobe. Once they’re done, they keep it on their bags and wear some nice clothing again on their way home. This is how they do gym sessions. So you might consider packing other shoes than your sneakers.

Is It Your Birthday?

When going to birthday parties and clubs women in Latin America will do extreme measures to showcase their “features.” And I must say most of them have what it takes. But if you’re a tourist, you might skip on wearing too skimpy clothes. Pieces of clothing such as super short shorts, a micro top, and an itsy bitsy skirt where your body parts are practically showing itself to the world is not something nice to wear there, especially on churches.

Let’s Just Go To the Beach

If beach mode is your default setting as a person, then you might want to consider shaking things up a little for once. Flip-flops, sandals, and shorts for men are considered too casual as an everyday outfit in South America. For them, you only wear these items when walking around the house, working out, or going to a beach. So let’s just go to the beach, shall we?

Your Smile Is Your Best Piece of Clothing

If you’re now too stressed thinking of what to pack for your trip, then this might make you feel better. South Americans are known to be very gracious hosts, and a smile is something they consider as an all-time key fashion accessory. You might not know how to speak Spanish, but wearing a simple smile can help save your day.

It’s something they understand and appreciate. So I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun on your holidays.


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A Quick Glimpse on the History of South America

Between 12,500 and 70,000 years ago, people migrated from Asia to Alaska using a land bridge across the Bering Strait and wandered towards the south. Between 5000 BC and 2500 BC, agriculture was developed in South America and emerging societies turned into major civilizations. One of which is considered the most sophisticated of them all, the Inca Empire.

In the early 16th century, the Spanish invasion came, ruling over people from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina. They arrived in the continent in 1492 when Christopher Columbus, who found an alternative route to the spice islands of Asia, saw the Caribbean Islands. A Portuguese by the name Vasco de Gama also founded the new sea route to Asia, brewing the rivalry of Spain and Portugal in claiming newly discovered lands.

Representatives from Spain and Portugal met in 1494 and drew a line about 48-degrees west of Greenwich, giving Asia and Africa to Portugal and the New World to Spain. This treaty put Brazil’s coast to the Portuguese giving them access to this new continent.

The explorations made by Spain intensified in 1496 and 1526 because of rumors of a golden kingdom in Southern Panama, convincing authorities from Spain to finance a 200-men expedition. This expedition was headed by Francisco Pizarro, who saw the Inca Empire. His small force of Spaniard soldiers terrorized the place and used his deadliest weapon that killed the empire’s ruler Huayna Capac. This weapon is an infectious disease known today as smallpox.

The seat of power in Spanish South America founded by Lima in 1535 became the base for their explorations and conquests. Spaniards defeated two Inca rulers Manco Inca and Tupac Amaru in 1572 and strengthened Spain’s claim over the continent.

In the 18th century, Spanish colonies began a movement for independence. Spaniards brought its troops to the war against France and lost control of its colonies. By the end of the war in 1814, Argentina and Venezuela declared independence from Spain. Other Spanish colonies followed suit in the next seven years. In 1807, Brazil became autonomous and already declared independence in 1822.

Over the last twenty years, a stronger force was used towards regional integration with the support of South American institutions like the Andean CommunityMercosur, and Unasur. With Hugo Chávez’s 1998 election in Venezuela, the region experienced what has been referred to as the pink tide, with several leftist and center-left administrations being elected to most countries except for the Guianas and Colombia.

As of today, South America’s tourism is booming and considered a significant income source for most of its countries. Its historical relics, natural wonders, colorful tastes of food and culture, vibrant cities and picturesque landscapes and sceneries attract millions of travelers yearly.

Some of the places worth noting and visiting include the Iguazu FallsMachu Picchu, Amazon rainforestRio de JaneiroSão LuísBuenos Aires Angel Falls Nazca Lines Belo HorizonteLake TiticacaSalar de UyuniJesuit Missions of ChiquitosLos Roques archipelagoGran SabanaPatagoniaTayrona National Natural ParkSanta Marta CartagenaPerito Moreno Glacier, and the Galápagos Islands.


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