National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed by Americans every Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, is a time to reflect on and appreciate Hispanic culture and its contributions to our country.

The dates are significant, as Sept. 15 marks the independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence during the monthlong celebration.

To appreciate this culture, why not go straight to the source? Here are just a few of the many worthwhile destinations in the Spanish-speaking world. (Two world-class destination — Mexico City and its environs, which were hit recently by a devastating earthquake, and Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria — are also worth keeping an eye on as they make their comebacks.)

The canopy of the rain forest in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.CreditScott Matthews for The New York Times

Drake Bay, Costa Rica

“In the Central American wilderness, it’s easy to lose yourself: Gamboling through European capitals is always fine and worthwhile, but you never really forget about the emails, voice mail messages and bills that await you at home. In Drake Bay, on the richly biodiverse southwestern coast of Costa Rica, it’s possible to truly disconnect. Better yet, I was able to relish this thoroughly enjoyable tropical getaway, full of hiking, snorkeling and wildlife encounters, for a very reasonable sum.” — Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler

On the Costa Rican Coast, Finding Pura Vida on a Budget

The restaurant Boulevard Saenz Peña in Buenos Aires.CreditHoracio Paone for The New York Times

Buenos Aires

“Argentina’s capital never loses its charm. The city’s nonstop spawning of new restaurants and arts spaces is a testament to the endless creativity of Porteños, as its residents are called. Its century-old cafes and gorgeous tree-lined streets have always been a draw.” — Nell McShane Wulfhart

36 Hours in Buenos Aires

Leading the restaurant pack is the retro-chic and market-driven Jacinto, headed by Lucía Soria, an alumna of the famed Argentine chef Francis Mallmann.CreditTali Kimelman for The New York Times

Montevideo, Uruguay

“Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is almost invariably described as old-fashioned, nostalgia-tinged and slow-paced. But in the past few years, an energetic cadre of entrepreneurs with social media proficiency and a keen awareness of global trends has begun to breathe fresh life into this traditionally sleepy South American city. Most are design- and trend-savvy millennials who are opening up restaurants and boutiques, organizing street festivals and supper clubs, and daring to stand out in a society that has typically rewarded modesty.” — Paola Singer

Millennial Entrepreneurs Give Sleepy Montevideo a Fresh Jolt

View of Santiago, a dynamic city in the shadow of the Andes.CreditVictor Ruiz Caballero for The New York Times

Santiago, Chile

“Until recently, Chile’s capital has been mostly off the radar for visitors to South America — its innovative culinary scene outshone by Lima’s, and its art venues considered less cutting edge than Bogotá’s. But Santiago is a destination that can hold its own. The metropolitan area of nearly seven million is home to a dynamic cultural landscape and is bursting with energy.” — Nell McShane Wulfhart

36 Hours in Santiago, Chile

Boating in the Plaza de España in Seville, Spain.CreditDaniel Rodrigues for The New York Times

Seville, Spain

“An afternoon in Seville might include strolling down its sunbaked streets and alleyways, walking among bougainvillea and admiring its intricate, Moorish-inspired mudéjar architecture, or taking in an impromptu street show in one of its beautiful plazas. And it will definitely involve tapas or montaditos — small bites and sandwiches consumed throughout the day, usually with an inexpensive glass of wine or beer.” — Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler

Vibrant and Seductive Seville, Easy on the Wallet

Five Places to Shop in Seville

Medellín is set in the Aburrá Valley.CreditChris Carmichael for The New York Times

Medellín, Colombia

“With infrastructure projects that are bringing architecturally exciting libraries and parks to impoverished neighborhoods, and creative methods of transportation, Medellín is one of the most progressive cities in Latin America. Its situation — set in the Aburrá Valley, surrounded by green mountains — is ideal, its weather springlike year-round, and its people outgoing and proud of their city.” — Nell McShane Wulfhart

36 Hours in Medellín, Colombia

The Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru.CreditGuillermo Gutierrez Carrascal for The New York Times

Lima, Peru

“This ciudad de los reyes, or city of kings, as it’s sometimes called, traces its history to long before Pizarro arrived to conquer the Incas. Today, it’s truly an international city, with a wealth of sights, tastes and activities that connect the present with its ancient past (all on a relatively inexpensive budget, of course).” —Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler

In Lima, Peru, History and Culture Run Deep


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