What does TROPICAL mean?

What do you imagine when you plan a tropical vacation?

When hearing the word “tropical,” most people have three concepts in mind: white sand, turquoise ocean, and palm trees. It’s not bad at all to find these luxuries in your vacation, but if they are the only three things that come to your mind when you’re going on a tropical destination, you are missing a lot of other enriching experiences you might not get in any other part of the world.

In Hamaca Tropical Tours we want to show you all of what the tropics have to offer. Don’t worry, we are still taking you to your dreamy beach in the Caribbean, but we also want to expand your mind and show you that when traveling with us, you are in for a treat!

What does TROPICAL mean?

The tropical zone of the world encompasses every place south of the Tropic of Cancer and north to the Tropic of Capricorn. Because this region surrounds the Equator, it is also the zone of the globe that gets more sunlight throughout the year. Despite this last fact, the tropics have different sub-climates that vary according to the location’s altitude. This creates ecosystems that you might not be aware existed in these regions. So, when you are going on a tropical vacation, you might find yourself sun tanning in a sandy beach of Costa Rica, hiking in the alpine tundra in the Ecuadorian Andes, or sandboarding in the San Pedro de Atacama desert of Chile.

San Pedro de Atacama desert, Chile

What makes this zone unique?

The tropics represent 36% of the global landmass and contain roughly 40% of the world’s population, making it home to hundreds of different traditions, towns, and cities. Just by walking through the border of one country to another, you might be speaking in a different language, eating dishes made of unfamiliar food, and making friends that can trace their heritage to the opposite side of the world.

Because of the Earth’s position towards the Sun, the Equator receives the most substantial amount of sunlight throughout the whole year, and there’s never a season of complete darkness or full daylight. As a result, the soil is more fertile in the tropical zone, making it the holder of 70% of Earth’s biodiversity.
Tropical islands are the best places to find unique animals and plants, as their isolation has made it impossible to interbreed with species from the continents. The Galapagos alone holds 600 plant types and more than 100 animal species endemic to the islands.

Pelican, Galapagos island

What’s in Tropical Latin America?

Contrary to the common belief, not all Latin American countries speak Spanish. Other Latin-derived languages you can find in this region are Portuguese and French, not to mention the dozens of native tongues unique to each country.

In the Americas, the Tropic of Cancer passes through Mexico, the Bahamas, and Hawaii, while the Tropic of Capricorn passes by Paraguay, Brazil, and the north of Argentina and Chile. See it for yourself: open up a map and see if you can name the more than 30 countries that extend north and south the Equator!


By Mariana Arámburu

Twitter & Instagram: @m_buru
Born and raised in Mexico City, Mariana graduated from Universidad Iberoamericana with a degree in Communication and Film. Later, she moved to Vancouver, BC, where she currently resides, and studied Creative Writing at Capilano University. Mariana loves photography and to visit new places. She also loves animals and aims to one day focus her work on conservation issues.

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