Although we can't travel yet, there are still plenty of ways we can fill our time and be inspired for future trips. From books and films to cuisine and music, the influence of Latin America has really taken off across the world, including the UK. Maybe you'd like to reminisce on a Latin American country you've already visited, or perhaps you're dreaming about your next adventure and want to get in the mood. Either way, read our blog for some inspiration.
There’s no better way for preparing for a holiday than with a good list of reading material. Despite being left off many major lists, Latin America has produced some highly acclaimed authors. Here are a few classics that are worth a read.
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia)
- The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara (Argentina)
- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (Chile)
- Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)
- Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Mexico)
- The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)
- Twenty Love Poems and Songs of Despair by Pablo Neruda (Chile)
As well as exploring South American themes through fictional literature, you can also learn a bit more about the history, geography and culture of Latin America, and then see it come alive. Many countries in South America have had a tumultuous past, with political and cultural differences provoking huge divides and wars. To brush up on your South American history and understand what each nation has been through, we recommend the following books.
- Brazil by Michael Palin
- Viva South America! A Journey Through a Surging Continent by Oliver Balch
- Short Walks from Bogotá by Tom Feiling
- Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
- Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
- The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming
- The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
The history and culture sections of most guide books also provide great reading material if you want to have an overview of a place without going into too much detail. We have found the following brands to be useful: Footprints, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide and Bradt Travel Guide.
Films & Documentaries
Latin America is a diverse continent made up of many different cultures, and there are some great documentaries that look at various aspects of the region – including the wildlife, history, indigenous communities and political change. Here are some of our favourites.
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- City of God
- Seven Worlds, One Planet
- War on Democracy
- Earth’s Great Rivers
- The Galapagos Affair
- My Family and the Galapagos
Latin American music encompasses a wide variety of styles and genres such as cumbia, bachata, bossa nova, merengue, rumba, salsa, samba, reggaeton and tango. Start to learn the rhythms by downloading Latin American music, reading up about the different genres’ history or you can even find online tutorials to brush up on your tango and salsa skills!