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Problems with Beach Cities in Latin America...
Paradise isn't always perfect
Your own village by the sea.
Open ocean swims, stunning beach sunsets, and plentiful bunda walking around in barely any clothing at all hours of the day.
Overwhelmingly hot weather, rains all the time, and drunken white women yelling about shots and cocks from dusk to dawn.
Maybe thrown in a seaweed-covered beach while you’re at it.
Yeah, paradise isn’t always perfect.
Problems with Beach Cities in Latin America
Many a bro starts making some cash on the interwebs or picks up a nice remote work gig and instantly starts thinking about one thing…
Moving to the beach in Latin America
The white sand beaches.
The smooth surf.
The warm, wonderful weather.
The tropical vibes.
The bulbous latinas.
Not to mention, if you’re from the USA or Canada, LatAm provides similar timezones for remote work.
It seems like a perfect plan.
So these digital bromads get on the web and instantly go to Google. Type in “Best beach towns in Latin America” or something to that affect.
Places like Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Cartagena, or maybe Punta Cana come up.
The bro digs a little deeper and decides the Mayan Rivera looks ideal. Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum look like a killer combo.
Flights booked. Bro arrives, but shit isn’t what it seemed…
There’s seaweed covering the beaches. It’s raining every afternoon. The bugs rape your ankles every time you walk on the beach. And the bulbous latinas got replaced by drunken white women on holiday.
NO VILLAGE BY THE SEA VIBES, SER
See what had happened was…
There’s a lot of problems when going to beach towns in Latin America. A lot.
Here’s a few of the main ones:
Overrun with Tourists
When you’re going to places like:
Playa del Carmen, MX
Puerto Vallarta, MX
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Any beach town in Costa Rica
Any beach town in Belize
There’s nothing authentic or local about the place. These places are all overrun with tourists on vacation.
Sure, they’re beautiful spots. The beaches and tourism can be amazing.
But you’ll also be one of thousands of western tourists arriving each and every day. Looking to soak up the sun, party, and do some cool shit.
Which ruins the vibe.
The actual locals view you as dollar signs in a near subhuman manner.
You walk to the local coffee shop overhearing conversations of white women talking about how many shots and cocks they took last night.
Every local you speak to knows enough English to get you to buy something.
Hustlers All Around
And the locals…
They’re actually pretty sharp.
They moved to one of the few places in their country where they can earn a middle class western salary simply by preying on tourists.
You walk down the street in many of these spots and you’ll be asked to buy: tours, drugs, women, or all three at once — at least a handful of times every hour.
Scams are all around. Throw a guy $100 bucks for a tour and he never shows up the next day.
I remember the last time I was in Cartagena, Colombia — a true hustler’s paradise.
I was at the beach sunmaxxing with a couple homies. A obese black lady walked up to us and asked us if we wanted a massage.
“No thanks, we’re just relaxing.”
She’s persistent, “I give the best massages in Cartagena. Are you sure?”
“Ummm, no thanks. We do not want a massage.”
Her still being persistent: “I give you free sample, you no like, you no pay.”
She then proceeds to squirt massage oil on my back.
I stand up, “I said no. Leave us alone.”
Her, “Fine, pay me for my oils and I leave.”
She’s huffing and puffing, yelling in Spanish. Me and my buddies get up for swim to get away from her.
So we’re frolicking around in the water. Just chilling for about ten minutes after the massage lady situation.
Dude comes by with a jetski, “You want ride jetski? I give you good price.”
“No bro, just swimming, Thanks.”
Him, “You sure, my friend. I give you best price in Cartagena.”
Dude then proceeds to turn the jetski and go full throttle as he leaves, spraying us all in the face with water.
FUCK THE PEOPLE IN CARTAGENA.
But this type of low-class, scammy, hustler’s mentality is prevalent all throughout these overrun beach towns in Latin America.
When people think of LatAm beach towns, they think of crystal clear waters, sun all day, and perfect temperatures for swimming.
These “tropical” spots all have rainy seasons. Rainy seasons where it often rains every damn day for half the month.
Places that get 60-80 inches of rain each year.
You book a week or two vacation, not checking the weather, only to arrive to overcast clouds and daily rain in the afternoons.
Tropical = Rainy
Welcome to my TED Talk.
Oh, and there’s other factors too…
You go to Cabo San Lucas in the summertime and it’s gonna be 100+ degrees from noon until the sun starts setting everyday.
Not to mention…
Places like Playa del Carmen and many other spots fall to seaweed at least a month or two a year.
The beaches are all covered in seaweed and the water is full of it. As such, the whole beach and ocean smells rotten.
You don’t want to go near the beach, much less swim in the ocean.
Lack of Local Vibes
Due to all the tourist and hustlers, you are not getting an “authentic” travel experience.
You’re getting a pre-planning, pre-packaged tour trip.
Cool for IG pics and shit.
Not remotely adventurous.
Furthermore, with all the tourists around, you get to see, experience, or learn nothing about the actual culture of a country.
The locals here speak English, interact with gringos more than with their fellow countrymen, and see you a dollar signs.
Not my vibe.
It’s starting to get better, but beach towns in Latin America are notorious for having horrible infrastructure.
Electricity goes out at least a few times a week.
The AC not working in your hotel or Airbnb is commonplace.
The list could go on and on, but generally, local business don’t invest much into making sure everything works perfectly — because they don’t have to.
Hordes of foreigners are arriving by the thousands every single day. They’re at capacity whether they give you an amazing experience or a truly horrific one.
AC is out at night? Ok, sorry. We will have a repairman stop by tomorrow afternoon. Enjoy sleeping in 85 degree heat tonight.
This is getting better, especially if you stay at international hotel chains in these tourist hotspots. Still a problem though.
Any Good Beach Cities?
While this article has been overwhelmingly negative, there are dozens of great beach cities and towns in Latin America.
Places where shit works well, the locals are cool as fuck, and you don’t have to listen to Americans talk about getting wasted the night before every time you go to a cafe for your morning coffee.
Where can you find them?
Generally, the best beach cities and town in Latin America can be found in Brazil.
Rio de Janiero is amazing.
There’s dozens of beach cities over a million people on the Brazilian coast.
Not to mention the dozens of stunning small beach towns Brazilians flock to each and every summer.
However, do remember, speaking Portuguese is pretty much a requirement to spending time in Brazil.
Outside of Brazil, options get limited.
Mexico has some amazing beach cities and towns, but more than half of them have become tourist traps.
Central America has a couple dope small beach towns that have great waves and even better vibes.
Here’s a few of my favorites throughout the region:
Of course, this advice is for bros looking to spend more than a week or two on vacation.
If you gotta week vacation and wanna hit the all-inclusive in Mexico and party, I get that.
But for a broski looking for a true “Village by the Sea” in this day and age, you must avoid the common problems with beach towns in Latin America.
Te lo juro,