Latin America: The Latest Travel Hot Spot?

Other Latin American destinations to keep on the radar include Brazil, which is likely to invest heavily in new infrastructure in the coming years as it gears up for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and Chile, which has seen an uptick in hotel development due to new casino licenses. The country has also passed a new tourism law that aims to further promote visitation in the country, with a particular focus on smaller communities.

The timing couldn't be better, since Chile is trying to rebound from the series of earthquakes that have plagued the country the past couple of months. Recovery tourism has been a theme in South America as various other countries have had to contend with the wrath of nature. Earlier this year, for example, Machu Picchu was closed for a time due to flooding and mud slides, though it reopened on April 1. Despite these challenges, visitors are usually welcomed by the local communities, which rely heavily on tourism for income, as well as by travel providers that often promote deals to entice visitors in difficult times.

No matter when you visit, Latin America offers a world of opportunity to travelers who want to step off the tired tourist track and keep their bank accounts intact. While I've highlighted several countries, there are plenty of others, for example, Honduras, Ecuador, Argentina, and the list goes on … that are ripe—or just about ripe—for exploration.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.

Anne Banas is the executive editor of SmarterTravel, as well as a columnist, and a frequently quoted observer of travel trends and issues. Anne particularly enjoys helping travelers find great deals to both popular and up-and-coming destinations. SmarterTravel provides expert, unbiased information on timely travel deals, the best value destinations, and money-saving travel tips.

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