Five Destinations for Sport Tourism in Latin America
BY: MAYLIN GUERRERO OCAÑA, M.D. IN COMMUNICATION AT THE UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTÓNOMA DE MÉXICO PHOTOS: EXCELENCIAS ARCHIVES
Five Destinations for Sport Tourism in Latin America PENCILED IN AS ONE OF THE MOST LONGSTANDING VARIANTS, SPORT TOURISM EMBRACES EITHER THOES WHO VISIT MUSEUMS AND HOFS OUT OF NOSTALGIA TO DIEHARD SPORTS FANS WHO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD HUNTING MAJOR EVENTS AND TOURNAMENTS There's an increasingly larger number of travelers that are choosing a travel destination in the Americas region for sporting purposes, whether to practice a sporting discipline, enjoy its practice in events and/ or mass spectacles, or simply visit major landmarks. This type of tourism is churning out millions of dollars in revenues worldwide in the sector and has great growth potential, according to the World Tourism Organization. Hiking, tennis, diving, golf, skiing, cycling, surfing and motor sports are some of the sports activities chosen by tourists when they decide to escape from the daily routine and stress. Mega sporting events such as the Olympic Games or soccer championships are already major tourist attractions. In Latin America and the Caribbean, you can practice or appreciate different sports modalities in some of the following tourist destinations. Trekking in Machu Picchu, Perú One of the most famous trekking routes in the world is the Inca Trail, which leads to the majestic Machu Picchu, in Peru. Thousands of travelers choose it because of its natural beauty, although it takes about four days to hike. Other routes that also lead to the sacred city are the Salkantay Trek, the Lares Trek and the Inca Jungle. Walking along these seemingly endless ancestral routes allows one to contemplate incredible landscapes with turquoise lagoons, lush forests, archeological sites and the customs of the Andean peoples that inhabit them. Machupicchu obtained the distinction of World's Leading Tourist Attraction 2021 in the global edition of the World Travel Awards. F1 Racing in Mexico In addition to being a tourist destination recognized worldwide for its culture, exquisite gastronomy and beautiful natural landscapes, Mexico also seeks to stand out in the field of sports tourism. In this sense, its efforts to keep alive the Mexico City Grand Prix, a Formula 1 automobile race, valid for the Formula 1 World Championship, stand out. The event takes place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez of the country's capital, and in recent years has been reporting record attendance of nationals and tourists who come to enjoy this great spectacle. Surfing in El Salvador Several beaches in El Salvador invite sportsmen and tourists to practice surfing, thanks to their challenging waves. Punta Roca beach, located in the department of La Libertad, is one of the most famous in Latin America because its waves are powerful, hollow and high. Although surfers and fans of this sport also recommend going to Punta Mango, Las Flores, El Sunzal and El Tunco, which are other beaches that overlook the Salvadoran Pacific. Those who are not so fanatical about this sport can enjoy the incredible spectacle of "riding waves", as well as a relaxing sunset and beautiful seascapes. Soccer in Argentina Many soccer-loving tourists choose Argentina as their vacation destination because of the South American country's strong ties to the sport. Fans mainly visit the museums and stadiums of the most famous clubs: Boca Juniors and River Plate. However, the icing on the cake is being able to enjoy the live superclassic soccer match between the two rival teams, which takes place in the capital Buenos Aires, and makes the city explode with the number of domestic and foreign visitors who flock to the stadiums to witness the great duel. Statues of famous soccer players, such as Diego Armando Maradona, are also attractions for travelers looking to photograph this and other moments in Argentina. Cycling in Colombia Cycling is becoming an economic activity for families in many tourist destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, as is the case of Colombia. With more than 400 kilometers of bicycle paths, its capital city has become the best place to take pedal-powered tours. The Bogota Bike Tour allows tourists to tour the downtown area for about two hours, and see places like Bolivar Square, the Capitol, the Cathedral, the Plaza de Toros, the National Museum or the neighborhoods of Candelaria. The good climate of the city provides comfort for this activity, which can also be done in the city of Medellin, one of the most innovative in the region.