Food and Drink in Latin America

Typical Latin food is based on local produce currently in season with many dishes translating across the different countries of Latin America.

Most people would agree that the food snacks available on the street corners throughout Latin America are some of the cheapest and most delicious.

They will also warn you that hygiene standards are not always similar and sometimes your stomach needs a few days to prepare itself for local delicacies of different Latin foods and drinks. So be careful not to overdo it, particularly as soon as you arrive, or you may find yourself with an upset stomach.

Latin America

Typical throughout the Region

Many foods and drinks are typically found throughout Latin America, with regional variations subject to local availability. Other options are distinctive to that particular country.

Bottled water should be drunk in Latin America and care should be taken with iced drinks to check the origin of the water used for the ice. However, in Costa Rica, Chile (except for San Pedro de Atacama) and most of Argentina (excluding rural areas) the tap water is safe to drink. If in any doubt you should request bottled water.

Foreign bacteria found in overseas water can include Salmonella, E.Coli, Hepititus A and a variety of chemical pollutants.

Drinking bad water can cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can require hospitalization.

Boiling water for a minimum of one minute kills most parasites when bottled water is not an option. Be alert to tampered water bottles which have been filled with tap water and don't forget to use bottled water when brushing your teeth too.

Click on the following Latin America country links to learn more about the typical Latin food and drink of that country: