MERIDEN – Latino countries are diverse in culture and attractions.
With some help from Pino Parisi, owner of Pino Travel at 1237 E. Main Street, we gathered a list of tips when traveling to Caribbean and Latino destinations.
In Puerto Rico, Parisi recommends going around the island – because each area is unique – including the west coast, which offers a variety of seafood restaurants, beaches and surfing. The area is also home to La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay, located in Lajas. He also recommends exploring Old San Juan because it is loaded with history, architecture, museums and restaurants.
“San Juan is beautiful,” he said.
Use common sense when visiting unknown areas, especially at night, Parisi said. El Yunque and the east coast, la Ruta Panorámica, Porta Caribe and Porta del Sol are some of the areas featured on the tourism website www.roughguides.com.
In Mexico, Parisi recommends visiting Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum if you are looking to relax. In Playa del Carmen, you can walk Fifth Avenue, enjoying restaurants and mariachi performances.
If you are looking for nightlife, Parisi recommends a trip to Cancun.
Ecotravelmexico.com offers tips for tourists, including paying with Mexican pesos and getting insurance before traveling.
According to Parisi, the Dominican Republic is the country in the Caribbean he recommends most to clients. He steers people toward the beaches in La Romana or Bayahibe. La Romana is quiet compared to other tourist destinations in the country, he said.
Godominicanrepublic.com is a Dominican website that offers travel tips for tourists. Tap water in the country is not safe to drink, according to the website. The site also leads visitors to a form required to enter and leave the Dominican Republic.
In Central America, Parisi recommends Costa Rica because many vacation packages offer a combined experience of forests and beaches. Visitcostarica.com offers a variety of tips for tourists. Bank transactions in the country require a passport, according to the website.
Parisi said he has never been to Brazil. Although he thinks it is a nice spot to visit, some of his clients have told him that around Rio Carnival time safety is a concern. Rio Carnival starts Feb. 17 in 2023 and it runs for about a week. Travel tips to Brazil can be found at www.roughguides.com. Tourist offices can be found in popular destinations such as Rio, according to the website.
Travel.State.Gov advises those traveling outside the U.S. to learn about the country they are visiting including laws, requirements, medical care and travel advisories. The website also suggests carrying a list of emergency contacts. Travelers staying at a hotel should ask staff for information about the emergency plan and evacuation instructions, the website says. Travelers no longer need proof of a negative COVID-19 test for U.S. entry.