Latinoamérica All-Stars

The year-end edition of in magazine is showcasing Latin America: the best of our people, ideas, rhythms, natural wonders, food, entertainment and cityscapes. These are the top hits of 2015.

Text: The in magazine team
Natural treasures



PHOTO: Francisco pardo

Slice of life

This curious archipelago is made up of hundreds of islands, islets and rock formations jutting out of the ocean. It’s a unique corner of the world that bewitched the English naturalist Charles Darwin in 1835 and helped inspire him to write On the Origin of Species. When you arrive in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, the second largest of the Galápagos Islands, the postcard-worthy visuals are overwhelming. Turtles, sea lions and native reptile and bird species of all shapes, sizes and colors co-exist in a town that serves as a gateway to discovering Ecuador’s most famous national park and UNESCO heritage site. Beaches? Don’t miss out on Tortuga Bay, the best the archipelago has to offer according to TripAdvisor. To get there, you’ll have to walk for a half an hour along a path through protected areas that are home to the famous giant tortoises as well as crabs and marine iguanas. Another good idea is to take daylong excursions from Puerto Ayora to the other islands, where you can dive with hammerhead sharks, check out lava tunnels in North Seymour, swim with sea lions in Floreana or hang out with Galapagos penguins on the island of Bartolomé.


“The best island in the world,” that’s how the specialty publication Travel + Leisure described the Galapagos in 2015.



Patricia Jaramillo

A senior researcher at the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands, this Ecuadorian botanist is one of the most important scientists in her country. She is currently in charge of Galápagos Verde 2050, a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary initiative that aims to restore the archipelago’s native flora and to preserve the islands’ natural resources in a sustainable fashion. The project is scheduled for completion by 2050. “It’s a daily learning experience, and very enriching to work with a variety of institutions and the community,” says Jaramillo. One of the initiatives entails replanting native species in special incubators called Groasis Waterboxx, created in Holland and named “Innovation of the Year” by Popular Science in 2010.





  • Mercado de Surquillo

PHOTOS: roberto cáceres

Pure Flavor

Go to market like a local

When you have a land as fertile and rich in contrasts as Peru, it’s only logical that its capital should be a wondrous mix of cultures and ingredients. The best example of this abundance of flavor can be found at the local markets. The Mercado de Surquillo is the epicenter of Peruvian cuisine as we know it, where the original product is presented in its purest form, with fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables tempting shoppers with their colors and aromas.

World-famous cebiche

The star of Peruvian cuisine is undoubtedly cebiche: this delicious mix of seafood, lemon and chili peppers has quietly overtaken the continent. Today, this world-class delicacy is available everywhere from specialized restaurants in Paris to food trucks in Brooklyn. One of the greatest masters of the dish lives in Lima: Pedro Solari is the king of modern cebiche. His restaurant – which bears his name – is tiny, with just five tables. But there’s no shortage of contenders for his title: Javier Wong’s Chez Wong was described by the British newspaper The Guardian as essential.

The world, their oyster

The San Pellegrino list of the best restaurant in Latin America ranked Central number one in the region and #4 in the world. Astrid & Gastón (#3) and Maido (#5) also figure in the continent’s dining pantheon. In all, nine Peruvian restaurants number among the region’s 50 best, including La Mar (#12), Malabar (#20), Fiesta (#31), Osso (#34), La Picantería (#36) and Rafael (#50). Worthy of special mention are the highly original Osso – a combination butcher shop/restaurants – and the tribute to home-style food at La Picantería.




Pedro Solari
Jr. Cahuide 945, Jesús María

Santa Isabel 376 Miraflores

Astrid & Gastón
Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro

San Martin 399, Miraflores

La Mar
Av Mariscal La Mar 770, Miraflores

Av. Camino Real 101, San Isidro

Calle Tahiti 175, La Molina

Av. Reducto 1278, Miraflores

La Picantería
Sta Rosa 388, Surquillo

San Martín 300, Miraflores


Héctor Solís

With a genuine passion for cuisine from the north of Peru, Solís has given his restaurants a unique touch: Fiesta offers haute cuisine, and La Picantería represents a return to his roots. In fact, the latter is his most compelling endeavor yet, with long, shared tables and large servings of hearty fare, traditional cuisine is the main attraction..

Why is Lima the culinary capital of Latin America?
“It’s a title given by the international press, one that we accept with honor but mostly with humility. It’s impossible to say that one country’s cuisine is better than another; everyone loves their own food. Maybe they’re saying this because Lima has a very strong identity when it comes to ingredients and Peruvian cooking has given life to many unique and distinctive concepts. For the people of Lima, food is one of the most intense passions. All of this makes Lima very original and attractive in the eyes of the world.”

Tell us about Fiesta: what dishes do you recommend?
Fiesta specializes in Peruvian cuisine inspired by tradition that we try to update, to make contemporary, reclaiming and using techniques from all over the country. For example, we source fish from six important ports on the Peruvian coast. But most of the products we generally handle ourselves. We have a ranch in northern Peru where we raise mochata ducks, baby goats, chickens and pigs. We also grow rice and vegetables.”



Shopping & Fashion


phOTOS: thom sánchez


Creativity on the plate

In 2005, Argentina’s capital was declared a UNESCO Creative City, the first in the world to receive this distinction. It’s no coincidence in a country where creativity makes a noteworthy contribution to the economy. In fact, the so-called “creative industries” – including the fashion industry – represent 1.5 percent of total national exports, according to the Observatorio de Industrias Creativas. “Made in Argentina” rules the day, and Buenos Aires is home for much of this talent.

Artisan Fashion

In defiance of Asian competitors, the fashion industry of Argentina values more “artisanal” creations, emphasizing products from national designers. The trend took hold back in 2001, and today, the fashion industry is responsible for nearly US$730 million in annual sales, according to the most recent data from the National Designer Survey by the Center for Textile Research and Development at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Industrial. Valeria Pesqueira is an excellent example: 14 years ago, she started out in the world of young designers, creating fashionable patterns and styles with a sweet, vintage aesthetic and a focus on basic silhouettes. Her shop, Pesqueira, is full of animals, landscapes and simple objects serving as the motifs for the creations she now executes with a team of designers and illustrators. This shop on the corner of Gurruchaga and Pasaje Russel in Palermo is the headquarters for a brand now making waves in the U.S. and Japan, and her clothing is featured at world-renowned multi-brand retail outlets like Opening Ceremony and United Arrows, among others.

Local Essence

As the Website for the Monoblock Industry of Imagineering says, “We believe that the imagination, seen in the works of our designers, belongs to the world. And it’s time that it came to your home, into your life.” The online store delivers all over the world: practical and artistic products (notebooks, socks, books and more) created by Argentina’s brightest young artists and illustrators, along with a number of international contributors. Enseres Bazar features a carefully chosen variety of simple and unique products for everyday life. The store is filled with little details that will make you feel right at home.


“The new generations are very conscious of the importance of creating a unique personal identity.”




Av. Santa Fe 2729, Local 8,
Galería Patio del Liceo
El Salvador 4833, Palermo Soho

Enseres Bazar
El Salvador 5986, Palermo

Gurruchaga 1750, Palermo


Sol Pardo

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Sol Pardo studied Wardrobe Design at the Universidad de Palermo, where she combined a love of fashion with more than ten years of classes in the fine arts, which she started at a very young age. This designer, a protégée of Laura Noetinger – the milliner whose creations have adorned the royal head of Queen Maxima of the Netherlands – remembers how it all started some three years ago, when one of her pieces was selected for a production for Argentina’s version of Harper’s Bazaar. And she hasn’t stopped since. Her two capsule collections incorporate wood, acrylic, felt, screws, textiles and leather. Her pieces have appeared in various fashion campaigns, radiating an elegant air reminiscent of Helmut Newton, with a clean but striking design that is simply impossible to ignore.

Her business – Pardo Hats – focuses on creating unique luxury products, with hard work and considerable care invested in the creation of each piece. “Even though I’m doing small collections and taking more orders, I continue to receive clients in my studio at home, where they can see the process and realize how exclusive, personalized and cutting-edge this little business is; this is where it all started,” says the Pardo, who was named accessory designer of the year for 2015 by Harper’s Bazaar, the same publication that catapulted her to fame. Soon she’ll release a short fashion film, currently very popular among haute couture brands. At 26, Pardo’s youth is reflected in the way she works in relation to fashion and art: “The new generations are very conscious of the importance of creating a unique personal identity.”

Which new designers do you recommend?

“Lena Martorello (Talcahuano 1287), Tupã (Laminar 3132) and Urenko (El Salvador 4753, 2do. K).”



Quality of Life


A Friendly City

If you find comparisons useful, we could tell you that Uruguay is like a European country, but with a decidedly Latin America soul. It’s small and compact, with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Until recently, it was home to the world’s most popular president. And the capital city of 1.5 million inhabitants boasts a great location on the banks of the River Plate, where its people enjoy life on a 13-mile seafront avenue called La Rambla.

A human scale


PHOTO: corbis
In Montevideo, buildings and parks harmoniously co-exist, the stimulating bitter infusion of mate is the national pastime, and it’s easy to take life as it comes. Rush hour pales in comparison to other capital cities, and cultural expression reigns supreme: Montevideo’s carnaval – held in February – is the longest of its kind. The city is also a wonderful place to raise children in a tranquil and, above all, cultured atmosphere: Montevideo is home to an impressive number of café/bookstores, where people of all ages hang out with friends while enjoying books and newspapers. This year, Montevideo ranked #78 on a list of 230 world cities in a survey about quality of life from the prestigious Mercer consulting firm, and more recently, it was recognized as the city with the Best Quality of Life in Latin America.


“To the south, to the south, perfectly still, Montevideo awaits.”






  • Bar Apache, en el Hotel Click Clack, imperdible de la noche bogotana.

phOTOs: victoria holguín (BAR APACHE ) / queen victoria

Hot Times

Colombia is synonymous with rumba. It’s a favorite destination for those seeking the perfect combination of relaxing days on the beach and top-shelf entertainment. When it comes to painting the town red, the capital city of Bogotá can’t be beat for first-rate options, and things really heat up when it’s time to make plans for the evening. Start with a stupendous dinner at a restaurant like Pajare Salinas or Matiz, followed by high-end cocktails on a fashionable rooftop bar. Essentials include Céntrico, the highest in town, and the recently opened Queen Victoria, which really has people talking.




Pajares Salinas
Carrera 10 N° 96-08

Calle 95 N° 11 a – 17


Carrera 7 N° 32 -16

Queen Victoria
Calle 93 N° 11 A – 31 Piso 6

Carrera 11 N° 93-77


Juan Valderrama

Twenty-four-year-old Juan Valderrama is rated as the best bartender in Colombia, and he rules the Queen Victoria, one of the hottest bars in town. His specialties include Victorian-style cocktails, which feature several varieties of punch and plenty of gin. Recommended: The Kent Duke. 

Why do you think Bogotá has become one of the best places on the continent to have fun?
“Because it’s a city that has something for everyone, with a wide range of cultural offerings. The theaters and performance spaces are sold out almost every weekend. Plus, it’s located in the center of Colombia so it’s an ideal base for visiting other cities throughout the country.”

Name some essential dishes when going out for drinks in Bogotá.
“The ajiaco santafereño is one of the city’s most traditional dishes. Don’t miss it. The great thing is that this city has people from all over Colombia, which makes the food diverse, with fusion dishes from every part of the country. Personally, I love the empanadas for their variety and quality.”






In Nueva Las Condes, skyscrapers fill the neighborhood, and their windows reflect the city’s business ambiance on Santiago’s east side.

PHOTO: macarena achurra


Business Class

Chilecon Valley

Lots of people are already talking about a sort of “Chilecon Valley,” and one of the most attractive initiatives is Start-Up Chile, a program that aims to attract young entrepreneurs with great potential to develop concepts based in Chile. The initiative offers work visas, financial support (nearly US$35,000) and an extensive network of global contacts. The idea is to make the country a focal point for innovation and entrepreneurship within the region. Of the start-ups created since 2010, 79 percent are still in operation, with 32 percent of the businesses remaining in Chile.

SCL Takes Off

Santiago’s International Airport will soon be on par with the world’s very best. Early this year, a bidding process was outlined for the renovation, with an estimated investment of nearly US$580 million for a new international terminal, plus parking and infrastructure to accommodate roughly 30 million passengers per year.

Executive Lodging

The wave of new hotels is the Chilean capital continues unabated. The country is expected to see some 200,000 new rooms, with 63 percent of them in Santiago. Most of these new accommodations have a clear focus: business guests opting for midscale or four-star offerings. The city is dotted with new or coming-soon lodging, the Santiago-Vitacura DoubleTree (from Hilton, with 18 floors and 226 rooms), Diego de Almagro, Cumbres, Hyatt Place and NH. Many of these developments are located near shopping centers, financial districts and major streets with plenty of transportation options.


A few weeks ago, the New York magazine Saveur named Santiago the “next culinary hot spot.”



Rocío Fonseca

A biotechnologist with double master’s degrees – one in Science in Management from MIT and another in Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María – Fonseca did a stint at Fundación Chile, where she worked on environmental projects. Today, she heads the Start-Up Chile initiative.

What sets Santiago apart as an attraction for entrepreneurs?
“Different public and private institutions have been promoting innovation and entrepreneurship over the past five years. As a result, we’re seeing more incubators, coworking spaces, grants for entrepreneurs, etc. Also, businesses are starting to create innovation departments and ensure that their policies include meetings with entrepreneurs. The universities have also adjusted their curricula to feature tools for creating and expanding high-yield enterprises.”

What do young people moving to Santiago value most about the city?
“From my experience with Start-Up Chile, I would say that it has to do with the program’s multicultural aspects, which you can see on the streets of Santiago. The entrepreneurs also value the fact that it’s not difficult to meet with high-ranking executives. Another factor is that there still aren’t so many products or services on the market compared to more developed countries, which creates a diverse range of opportunities.”



Arts & Culture





Art Forever

Enormous to the point of being overwhelming, Mexico City hypnotizes visitors with its remarkable past and glowing future, and art and culture are essential to both. Spanning nearly 500,000 square feet, the Zócalo serves as the city’s focal point.

The pedestrian street Peatonal Madero takes you to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a magnificent building that offers the best of Mexico’s dance, painting, sculpture, music and literature.

The city has nearly 400 neighborhoods that showcase a wide range of cultural and architectural diversity. Some of the best areas to explore the soul of the Federal District – or “el D.F.” for short – include Coyocán (nightlife), Santa María La Ribera (architecture), Garibaldi (mariachis) and La Merced (shopping).

The local universities also have plenty of culture to offer. For example, the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma (UNAM) – the largest on the continent – is peppered with significant works, including murals by Diego Rivera and the astonishing pre-Columbian cosmology on display at the university’s central library.

Along with its rich history, the city has been flooded with new artistic voices that find expression in a growing number of galleries. Kurimanzutto, LTBART, Hilario Galguera and Yautepec are just a few of the more fascinating art spaces.

Museums and architecture come together in thoroughly impressive ways in Mexico City, with highlights like the Museo Soumaya, but the old “Ciudad de los Palacios” is set to become a city of skyscrapers. The city is growing upward with stratospheric projects like Punto Chapultepec (781 feet), the Torre Reforma (800 feet) and Torre Mitikah (876 feet).


“Country people are cultured even if they’re illiterate.”






Palacio de Bellas Artes
Avenida Juárez & Eje Central, Centro Histórico

Museo Soumaya (Plaza Carso)
Blvd. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 303, Col. Ampliación Granada

Museo Nacional de Antropología
Avenida Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi s/n


Galería LTBART
Emilio Castelar 230, Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo

Galería Kurimanzutto
Gob. Rafael Rebollar 94


Biblioteca Central Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Ciudad Universitaria



He grew up in a culture known for its warmth, color and tradition, the same Mexico that produced muralists the caliber of Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. In today’s world, Edgar “Saner” Flores (b. Mexico City, 1982) could be considered a new generation of muralist, and although the idea appeals to him, he knows that the inspirations of the great masters from yesteryear are very different from today’s street artists. “The muralist movement sought to educate and express the history of Mexico through public art. In my case, I talk about everything that surrounds me, so it can be a social message or something highly personal. It all depends on the need to express and say something,” he explains.

The world is his canvas. Flores’s works grace galleries and buildings alike. Street art has earned an important place in the cultural scene the world round, and his influence is gaining increased recognition.

What makes Mexico City such an important center for art and culture?
“In general, Mexico has always been a major contributor in terms of art and culture. This city simply doesn’t stop. Everything that surrounds us, from our wealth of traditions, colors and natural wonders, to the contrast of social inequality, political problems and safety issues. Ultimately, all this has resulted in a creative environment that encourages different voices to share what our lives are like as Mexicans.”

Where can we see some of your work in Mexico City?
“On Av. Reforma, at the Hotel Reforma Avenue. This is one of my largest murals and most representative of my work. Another is at the Museo de Culturas Populares in Coyocán on Calle Hidalgo. This mural, done in collaboration with Sego, is very important, because a cultural institution protects it as a part of the museum’s heritage; it has been one of our most internationally recognized pieces. There’s also the mural in Parque Luis Cabrera in Colonia Roma.”

Which other Mexican graffiti artists do you admire?
“Sego, Jesús Benitez, Smithe, Curiot, Seher, News, Cix, among many other gifted painters.”



Beaches & tradition


Tamandaré y Carneiros, situadas unos 40 kilómetros más al sur, son las playas más desiertas del litoral sur de Pernambuco y poseen todos los elementos que asociamos a la postal paradisíaca: cocoteros, agua tibia, cerveza gelada, finas arenas, pescado y camarones frescos.

Twenty-five miles further south, Tamandaré and Carneiros are the most pristine beaches on Pernambuco’s southern coast, with all the elements of paradise: warm waters, coconut trees, ice-cold beer, fine sands and fresh fish and shrimp.

PHOTO: Francisco pardo


A State of Happiness

Where can you find perfect beaches plus great food, nightlife and culture? In northeastern Brazil, the state of Pernambuco has all the answers. A three-hour flight from São Paulo, Recife is the state capital and home to 1.5 million people who enjoy the dazzling blue-green waters of the Atlantic as their playground. Take your first snapshots on the Praça Rio Branco at the Marco Zero, the origin for distances throughout the region. Next, with an ice cream cone in hand, head out to discover the architecture of Recife Antigo, the old quarter where the city was born in the 16th century, thanks to its seaside location. Still hungry? Pay a visit to Na Cozinha (Rua Matriz & Barros 328) and try their variation on the traditional feijoada, served here as a fritter.


Una de las pocas iglesias junto al mar en Brasil, la Capela de São Benedito que data del S. XVIII, es preferida por parejas que desean casarse con los pies en la arena.

One of the few seaside churches in Brazil, the Capela de São Benedito dates back to the 18th century and is a favorite for couples who want to be married with their feet in the sand.

PHOTO: Francisco pardo

Next, head to Olinda, a small colonial city four miles from Recife. Shop in artisans’ studios and stroll along narrow cobblestone streets past centuries-old churches, bohemian bars and restaurants. These colorful façades earned the town World Heritage Site status. From Europe to Africa, contributions from other parts of the world have made this region a fertile breeding ground for artists, poets, writers and musicians. No wonder this is the birthplace of frevo – you can learn all about this musical genre that gets the crowds dancing in Recife at the Paço de Frevo museum on Rua da Guia. Frevo takes center stage during the carnaval in Recife and Olinda, the third largest celebration in the country after Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. While Pernambuco has a relatively modest coastline, its beaches rank among Brazil’s best. Visit Boa Viagem, where the 1980s-style buildings built right on the beach look out over Recife’s most famous sands. Porto de Galinhas, a resort town less than 40 miles south of Recife, is famous for miles of beaches with beautiful sand, graceful palm trees and a coral reef that creates sheltered pools all along the coast. Next to the town of the same name, kids and adults can spend the day feeding colorful fish in these natural aquariums, which you can visit aboard a small boat called a jangada for just a few reaisin

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