Sure, it’s still pandemic. But who says you can’t make travel plans for when this COVID-19 mess is over? And who says that you need a U.S. or Schengen visa? Nonsense. You can still enjoy the world by traveling to countries in South and Central America where visas are not required. A future travel to one of them is a perfect opportunity to brush up your Spanish conversational skills with the locals.

Here’s a list of visa-free countries in Latin America for Filipinos visit in 2021 and beyond:

Bolivia

You can stay in Bolivia up to 90 days without a visa. The country is landlocked, but there’s still a lot of majestic places to visit; one of them is the Salar de Uyuni or Uyuni Salt Flat.

You can take a virtual tour below:

Salar de Uyuni

Brazil

You can stay up to 90 days in this stunning country. Though they don’t speak Spanish in Brazil—they speak Portuguese instead—you can still practice your conversational skills as the two languages almost sound alike. Portuguese is not jokingly dubbed as “drunk Spanish” for nothing, after all!

One of the places you can visit here is the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

Take a virtual tour below and be amazed:

La estatua del Cristo Redentor

Colombia

You can stay up to 90 days in Colombia, and you can even extend your visit for another 90 days.

If you want to improve your Spanish, you would be in the right country as Colombian Spanish accent is considered “neutral” just like the accent of Mexicans. You don’t need to worry about striking up a conversation with the locals.

As for travel recommendations, the top three places you should visit are Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena.

Take a virtual tour of Cartagena below:

Cartagena

Costa Rica

You can stay for up to 90 days in this biodiversity hotspot. Though it’s small, it boasts plenty of tropical rainforests.

If you plan to be here to learn Spanish, you’re in for a surprise. Costa Rican Spanish is the easiest variety there is to learn. As a gringo, you don’t have to trill your “r” as Costa Ricans themselves pronounce it the way an American would.

Here’s a sample:

San Jose, Costa Rica

And here’s a virtual tour of San Jose, its capital:

Peru

You can stay for up to 183 days in this historically-rich country.

One of the places you shouldn’t miss if you’re planning a trip to Peru is Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a virtual tour below and see the stunning work of the Incas:

Machu Picchu

Nicaragua

You can stay for up to 90 days in this Central American country, but you have to apply for a visa upon arriving at the airport.

One of the places you can visit here is the Masaya Volcano, a popular tourist destination located at the south of capital Managua.

Volcán Masaya

Here’s a virtual tour:

Ecuador

Per the guideline announced in March, Filipino passport holders are now required to apply for a visa before entering Ecuador.

Before the distressing announcement, you can enter the country without a visa that allows you to stay for up to 90 days.

Backpacking

If you’re a bit adventurous, you can try backpacking across America. There are a lot of visa restrictions, but it’s worth it once you see America’s scenic spots.

Among the countries that require a visa before entry are Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Panama and Uruguay among others.


The Latin American countries aforementioned are definitely wise alternatives if you’re tired of country-hopping in Asia. Because of their shared cultural connection to the Philippines, you would feel at home once you visit them.

¡Vámonos!


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Arvyn Cerézo
Arvyn Cerézo is the editor of La Jornada Filipina, an English- and Spanish-language news magazine in the Philippines. His work has appeared in South China Morning Post, Publishers Weekly, AudioFile Magazine, PhilSTAR Life and Book Riot. You can find him on arvyncerezo.com.

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