Who says that business and leisure don’t mix? In recent years, a new traveler profile has emerged within the travel industry — someone who arrives at a destination for work but is equally enthusiastic about exploring the cultural, natural and culinary wonders the place has to offer.
A business trip is usually overloaded with meetings, dinners, presentations and commitments, so there is generally no time to unwind or explore the surroundings.
However, the tide is turning as more and more companies and employees recognize the potential of merging business and leisure travel. Hence the concept of bleisure.
So, what is bleisure? It’s a trend in the travel world for those who initially travel for work but decide to prolong their stay to experience other aspects that the destination has to offer.
This trend also extends to digital nomads and entrepreneurs who embrace longer periods of time away from home, allowing them to work from anywhere in the world and, at the same time, immerse themselves in the local scene.
Here are five destinations in Latin America where bleisure travelers will feel especially at ease. These destinations have it all: good flight connections, world-class hotels and conference facilities, a thriving culture, nature in proximity and fantastic food.
As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
With so many stunning natural attractions in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll be compelled to discover them all after a few days of intensive work. Why not take a trip to the Marietas Islands to embark on a snorkeling adventure and then relax on the idyllic beaches?
Alternatively, you can go on a mountain tour to get your adrenaline pumping by ziplining through lush vegetation.
Hotels like The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta have everything bleisure travelers need: reliable Wi-Fi, conference and meeting rooms, spa, pool, beachfront location and top-notch cuisine. The city center’s colonial architecture, the Malecon boardwalk and the local food scene (including tequila tours) make this destination one of the best in Mexico for bleisure travel.
Buenos Aires City, Argentina
The capital of Argentina, known as Latin America’s “city that never sleeps”, caters to bleisure travelers who enjoy music and cultural events, theater, fairs and exhibitions seven days a week.
The colonial heritage of the city provides numerous opportunities for historical tourism, including a visit to iconic neighborhoods such as La Boca and its soccer folklore. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to go on a food tour to indulge in authentic barbecues, alfajores (milk caramel pastries), pizzas, or empanadas.
Given that bleisure travelers tend to prefer hotels in close proximity to the city’s highlights, Buenos Aires is an ideal destination, with most of its upscale hotels, like the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center or the Park Tower, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Buenos Aires, located in the historic center between the Puerto Madero and Northern Recoleta neighborhoods.
Panama City, Panama
Panama City flaunts a commercial and financial district with a skyline rivaling other global metropolises. It’s home to world-class hotels like the AC Hotel Panama City, fully equipped to host business meetings and events.
Additionally, the city offers the possibility to visit the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most remarkable works of civil engineering, and to take a one or multi-day trip to the gorgeous archipelago of San Blas to meet the local Kuna Yala community.
After days of business meetings, there’s nothing better than unwinding amidst swaying palm trees, white sand and shimmering turquoise water. Alternatively, you can recharge by going snorkeling, taking a break from the maelstrom of Wi-Fi.
The Colombian capital has modernized its airport offering more national and international connections. It also offers a diverse selection of venues suitable for conventions and trade fairs, as well as upscale hotels where travelers can kick back after a hard day’s activities.
Among the city’s cultural attractions are the Gold Museum, with the world’s largest collection of gold and silver works, the La Candelaria neighborhood and the Museo Botero, with artwork by one of Colombia’s most famous artists, Fernando Botero.
Day trips from the city include a visit to the Zipaquirá Salt Cathedral— a remarkable temple nestled inside a salt mine.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
The city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, is an ideal Caribbean destination for bleisure travel. The city combines exceptional hotel and business facilities with pristine beaches, exuberant nature, a rich colonial heritage and vibrant Caribbean flair.
The city has a picturesque boardwalk, perfect for sunset strolls, where the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino is located. Not only can travelers hold business meetings here, but they can also unwind at the spa, take a refreshing dip in the pool and sample traditional dishes in its restaurants.