Latin America


Colorful Chichicastengo cemetery

Chichicastenango’s Cemetery

CHICHICASTENANGO, Guatemala — Chichicastengo’s colorful cemetery is well worth a visit if you’re in town for the famous market day.

Templo de la Ensenanza Main Altar and Nave

Templo de la Enseñanza

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — It might be small, but the Templo de la Enseñanza packs in an incredibly ornate Mexican Baroque interior.

Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico Atrium

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – The Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico is an Art Nouveau gem in the heart of Mexico City’s historic district. It sits right on the Zocalo.

Streets of Historic Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

Panama City’s Casco Viejo

PANAMA CITY, Panama — Casco Viejo is up-and-coming part of Panama City. Which might sound like an odd thing to say about some of the oldest parts of the oldest city on the Pacific coast of the Americas.

Stained Glass Windows of Greek Goddesses at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City

Chapultepec Castle (Mexico’s National Museum of History)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Sitting high above one of Mexico City’s best green spaces is Chapultepec Castle. It sits on top of a hill that has been a sacred place for Aztecs and housed a military academy, imperial residence, and presidential home. Now, it’s a museum.

Stone of the Sun (Aztec Calendar Stone) at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Mexico’s Cultural Treasures

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Mexico City’s impressive National Museum of Anthropology showcases the region’s endlessly rich and diverse pre-Columbian cultural heritage.

Sacristy in Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Dominating the northern side of the Zocalo in the historic quarter of Mexico City, the Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic Cathedral in the Americas.

Iglesia de San Bernardo, Mexico City, Mexico

Templo de San Bernardo

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Dedicated to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Templo de San Bernardo dates to 1680 and was once part of a larger convent complex. Now only the church remains.

Mary and Child Statue at Iglesia de Santa Ines, Mexico City, Mexico

Iglesia de Santa Ines

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — It’s not the most lavish of the many churches in Mexico City’s Centro Historico district, but this church dedicated to Saint Agnes of Rome is one of the more tastefully decorated.

Statue Preservation at Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad in Mexico City, Mexico

Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — While it’s not as opulent as some of the other churches nearby, Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad has a charm of its own as a quiet sanctuary from the bustle in the busy streets around it.

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis Casco Viejo Panama

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis

PANAMA CITY, Panama — The bell tower of Iglesia San Francisco de Asis stands tall above the rest of Casco Viejo, on the waterfront of the historic heart of Panama City, Panama.

Iglesia San Jose Casco Viejo Panama City Panama

Iglesia San Jose

PANAMA CITY, Panama — Iglesia San Jose, in Casco Viejo and dating to 1673, is most famous for its massive Golden Altar (Altar de Oro) that survived pirate raids in 1671.

Ancon Hill Panama City Tourists with Skyline

The View from Ancon Hill

PANAMA CITY, Panama – You can spot Ancon Hill from all over Panama City. It makes for wonderful views out over Panama City and the entrance to the Panama Canal. It also has historical significance.

La Iglesia de la Merced Casco Viejo Panama City Statue of María de Cervello

La Iglesia de la Merced

PANAMA CITY, Panama — Dating back to 1680, La Iglesia de la Merced sits in the heart of Casco Viejo, just a couple of blocks from Independence Square.

Arco Chato at Iglesia Santo Domingo in Casco Viejo

Iglesia Santo Domingo and the Arco Chato

PANAMA CITY, Panama – The Iglesia Santo Domingo in Casco Viejo is mostly crumbling ruins but is best known for its Flat Arch spanning the interior that stood without supports for centuries.

Biomuseo Theater

Panama City’s Biomuseo

PANAMA CITY, Panama — Opened in late-2014, the Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo focuses on Panama’s biodiversity and how the isthmus of Panama has changed the world.

Streets of Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

GRANADA, Nicaragua — With its colorfully painted buildings, cobblestone streets, and Spanish colonial architecture, Granada is a picturesque town that wears its history on its streets.

Parque Central at Dusk, Granada, Nicaragua

Granada’s Parque Central

GRANADA, Nicaragua — Parque Central is a hustling, bustling center of town. As in so many Spanish colonial towns, the park forms the heart of a grid that radiates out through the city’s streets.

Iglesia de la Merced, Granada, Nicaragua

Iglesia de la Merced | Granada

GRANADA, Nicaragua — Behind the run-down facade of Iglesia de la Merced is one of the most important churches in Granada. And its clock tower offers the best view of the city.

Nave of La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora, Granada, Nicaragua

La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora

GRANADA, Nicaragua — La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora isn’t the grandest or most famous of Granada’s churches. But it makes a credible claim to be the most beautiful.

Altar Piece in Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua

Catedral de Granada

GRANADA, Nicaragua — The distinctive yellow and white Granada Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline and is Granada’s most important of the city’s several churches.

Yuca Root at Granada's Market (Mercado Municipal)

Granada’s Market

GRANADA, Nicaragua — Granada’s market is especially good. It’s large and colorful, pungent and bustling. And it’s the only show in town, so everything is concentrated here.

Facade of Centro Cultural Convento San Francisco, Granada, Nicaragua

Granada’s San Francisco Convent & Museum

GRANADA, Nicaragua — Behind that impressive facade, standing above most of the city of Granada, is the city’s main museum. Its exhibits are rather eclectic, but many of them relate in some way to the history of Granada and the nearby region.

Granada Municipal Cemetery

Granada Cemetery

GRANADA, Nicaragua — Granada’s city cemetery is Nicaragua’s oldest. And because of Granada’s historical significance, the cemetery is unusually beautiful and ornate.

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica in Buenos Aires Agentina

La Recoleta Cemetery

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — La Recoleta Cemetery’s most famous resident is Eva Peron. But her plain burial site might just be the least ostentatious in the whole cemetery.

Statue in Mercado Central de Santiago

Santiago’s Mercado Central

SANTIAGO, Chile — Santiago’s Mercado Central is a mecca for fresh seafood. And a series of restaurants in the center of the market serve up delicious market-fresh meals.

Monte Olivia Ushuaia with Clouds

Ushuaia, The World’s Most Southern City

USHUAIA, Argentina — Ushuaia claims the title of the world’s southernmost city. These days its main industry is tourism, serving as a gateway to Antarctica. But the town also has charms of its own.

Maritime Monument in Punta Arenas Chile

The Waterfront of Punta Arenas

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile – Punta Arenas, in southern Chile, reveres 16th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan. A massive new sculpture on the waterfront helps celebrate him and the ocean.

Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago Statue

Santiago’s Metropolitan Cathedral

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Metropolitan Cathedral has pride on place on a corner of Plaza de Armas, a the historic and cultural heart of Santiago.

Historic Prison at the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia Argentina

Ushuaia’s Maritime Museum

USHUAIA, Argentina – It’s the jail at the end of the world. It would have been very cold, very drafty, and, even compared to the low bar set by late-19th-century prisons, altogether rather unpleasant. But if you could sneak to a window, what a view!

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica in Buenos Aires Agentina

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Despite a checkered history, Our Lady of Pilar Basilica in Buenos Aires has survived as the second oldest church in Buenos Aires and looking none the worse for wear.

Students at Mayan Ruins of Coba

Coba’s Mayan Ruins on the Maya Riviera

COBA, Mexico – You’d never know it today, but Coba, on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, was once an important and powerful Mayan city. But it has long been in ruins.

Tikal Mayan Ruins and Morning Mist

The Mighty Maya City of Tikal

TIKAL, Guatemala —Tikal, in northern Guatemala, was once one the largest and most powerful of the Maya cities. Today it has been most taken over by jungle.

Chicken Buses Antigua Guatemala Painted

The Chicken Buses of Central America

GUATEMALA — Central America is where American school buses go to retire. In the balmy tropical climes of places like Guatemala and Honduras, they’re given a new, colorful lease on life.

Flores Guatemala Boys Fishing From Canoe on Lake

A Caribbean Island 100 Miles from the Sea

FLORES, Gutemala — I’m on a real Caribbean island. But it’s 100 miles from the sea. Flores is a tiny island village in Guatemala’s Lake Peten Itza. It makes for a convenient jumping off point for visiting the nearby Maya ruins of Tikal.

Pacaya Volcano Tour Group at Summit

Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala

ANTIGUA, Guatemala — Just outside Antigua, Pacaya is one of several active volcanos that make up the Central American Volcanic Arc.

Photo of Tulum Beach at Mayan Ruins on Mexico's Mayan Riviera

Tulum, The Original Maya Riviera

TULUM, Mexico — There are many Maya civilization sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, but none has a more beautiful location than Tulum, not far from Cancun.

Chichicastengo market fruit and vegetables wide-angle

Market Day in Chichicastenango

CHICHICASTENANGO, Guatemala – Chichicastenango is a town where buying and selling is everything. Its markets are reputed to be the largest in Central America; the range of wares on offer is truly impressive. And the indigenous Maya culture adds a distinct local flavor to the town.

Children playing in Antigua, Guatemala

The Town that Defied God and the Government

ANTIGUA, Guatemala — If God and the government had their way, Antigua wouldn’t exist. But it’s a good thing it does. With charming Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and a vibrant cultural life, it’s a wonderful place to visit.

Fireworks in Chichicastenango Guatemala Fire Wheel

Fireworks in Chichicastenango

CHICHICASTENANGO, Guatemala — Guatemalans sure love their fireworks. And Chichicastenango, in the Guatemalan highlands, is not a place that considers fireworks only night-time entertainment.

Catedral Metropolitana on Parque Central in Guatemala City

Guatemala City’s Zona 1

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Guatemala City isn’t a popular tourist destination, in large part because of the scourge of violent crime, but there are some things worth seeing in this otherwise crowded and poverty-stricken city.

Sunset at Zihuatanejo panorama

Zihuatanejo, a Gem on Mexico’s Pacific Coast

ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico – Zihuatanejo is a small fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast that’s just bursting with local flavor. From the beautiful scenery, laid-back and welcoming locals, and ultra-fresh seafood, it’s a great place to be.

Ek' Balam Tomb of Ukit Kan Le'k Tok'

Ek’ Balam, Maya City of the Jaguar

EK’BALAM, Mexico – It might not be for the vertigo-challenged, but getting to the top of the Acropolis at Ek’ Balam is definitely worth the effort. It is, quite literally, a view fit for a king.

Zihuatanejo Fish Market

Zihuatanejo’s Fish Market

ZIHUATANEJO, Mexico — There’s much to love about Zihuatanejo on Mexico’s Pacific coast, and the beach fish market is one of the town’s gems.

Valladolid's Cathedral of San Gervasio and Main Square at night

A Colonial Town in the Heart of Maya Yucatan

VALLADOLID, Mexico — Valladolid is a place to stop and savor. A charming Spanish colonial town in the center of the Yucatán Peninsula, it’s within easy striking distance of Cancun and Merida.

El Castillo at Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza’s Maya Ruins

CHICHEN ITZA, Mexico – Chichen Itza is one of the most famous, most impressive, and most visited of the Mayan ruins sites on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.