Last year, I gave you a list of all the places you need to visit in the US. But there is so much more to be seen outside our own borders. Canada + Mexico are filled with all kinds of adventures as are Central and South America. I’ve chatted with some of my favorite world travelers to compile a list of where to visit in the Americas. Pull out your swimsuits + hiking boots – you’ll need them to complete this list!
Where to Travel in North America
I’m by no means discounting all the cool places to visit in the US (see more on that here), but there are so many places to visit just outside our borders. Let’s start with our friendly neighbors to the north. One of THE trendiest places to visit right now is Banff National Park. The views are absolutely breathtaking + its a short drive from Calgary. If you’re trying not to drive to deep into Canada, visit Vancouver or Toronto. Vancouver is a short drive from Seattle + is a popular tourist destination due in part to its rich culture + diversity. Located across Lake Ontario, Toronto is a bustling city with some of the best Canada has to offer. Pinterest is full of travel guides for this city. Other must-visit Canadian spots include Old Quebec, Montreal, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Looking south of our border, Mexico is a sun-filled haven for vacation spots. Name-sake isn’t the only reason you should visit Mexico City. Mexico city is made up of unique neighborhoods + beautiful cultural sites. You can’t talk Mexico without mentioning Cancun. This beach town is a hotbed for tourism + relaxation. It may not be the most authentic experience of the country, but you’ll have an amazing trip, nonetheless. If you want great beaches but less party, check out Tulum. When you get tired of the beautiful beaches, check out the ruins of a Mayan port city. If you need more of a ruin fix, Chichen Itza is for you! On the other side of these landmarks, you’ll find Merida, which if Pinterest is to be believed, is a photographers dream. Other spots worth visiting in Mexico are Cabo, Cozumel, Baja, Oaxaco and Puerto Vallarta.
Where to Travel in Central America
Though not technically a continent on its own, Central America is made up of five countries with very distinct cultures + sites. When thinking about where to visit in the Americas, Costa Rica is sure to come to mind. This nation is an adventurers paradise with zip lining, rafting, and snorkeling. Guatemala is also full of amazing places to visit. You’ll want to be sure to hit up Antigua + the Pacaya volcano. On top of my list in Central America is Panama City. Historical significance aside, this city is the perfect balance of old, new, and tropical. Take a trip to the San Blas islands while you’re there!
Where to Travel in South America
South America is full of so many breathtaking spots, I won’t be able to list them all. When I think where to visit in the Americas, my mind goes straight to Brazil. This vast + gorgeous country could take you years to explore, but some highlights to see: Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio, and Sao Paulo. For some rich South American history + architecture, head to Cartagena. While in Columbia, go see Santuario de las Lajas if you have the time.
Peru is the perfect spot to visit if you’re a lover of the outdoors. Not only can you get a crystal clear view of the Milky Way, but you can also visit Machu Picchu. Other outdoorsy places to hit up, Angel Falls in Venezuela, the World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia, Snorkel in the Galapagos, Swing at the End of the Word in Ecuador, the Amazon River, and Patagonia. Patagonia touches both Chile + Argentina, countries that require further exploration. Buenos Aires is a great spot to visit for those who are *not* so into the adventure aspects of South America (aka me). In Chile, Easter Island + Torres del Paine will both stun you with their sights. Head on down to the Falkland Islands to spend a little time with the penguins!
No matter what you’re looking to get into, from trekking through a museum to trekking up a glacier, the Americas has something for you. There are so many amazing sites to see + cultures to experience, you’re going to have trouble choosing where to visit in the Americas. If you’re looking to explore the world a little more, check out my travel suggestions for Europe + Asia, too!