Sexynripped saidI'm thinking about going to Central or South America for vacation this year. First time in that part of the world. I've heard good things about Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, but maybe Panama or Costa Rica would be safer bets. Any suggestions?
Think about climate and the time of year you want to go. Obviously, it will vary greatly.
I can highly recommend Costa Rica - if you like the outdoors and nature. Has incredible diversity of climatic areas, but fall and winter are pretty much dry on the Pacific side, and when the rains start there, the mornings are always clear. A paradise for nature and wildlife, with also great beaches, and even upscale resorts in the west. The only urban life is in San Jose, and not much of that. People are friendly and educated, and the country hasn't had an army for decades.
Nearby Nicaragua is a lot less developed (for the moment) and now peaceful. Laid back.
I think people should boycott Peru, since Peru is cutting down its rainforest as fast as they can- climate change and conservation be damned.
Argentina and Chile have both city life and nature, and are generally safe everywhere.
Brazil is immense, with both rainforest and very dry areas, and big cities. Great beaches, but one has to exercise caution in Rio or at many nearby beaches - lots of crime.
All of these countries (except maybe Nicaragua) have "eco-resorts" one can go to.
Ecuador is the gateway to the Galopagos islands.