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Which is a good intro country for central and south america? Looking to go somewhere for 4-7 days from US.

I've only been to tourist port places on carnival cruises. One day I want to do more intensive trips there but I want to check out a starter place first. Mainly to check out beautiful and historic places also want to smoke weed and drink. Maybe practice Spanish a bit. Anywhere with good local cuisine would be great.
With only 4-7 days just stay at home.
If you go to Latin America maybe it would be a good idea to visit an orphanage or projects in the slums to see the results of Americans and Europeans being degenerate hedonists and consuming drugs.
I mean a week is a pretty good portion of time. I would spend longer if I went somewhere further. It's not like I'll jet lagged I don't live in Maine or anything
>spending money at inflated rates putting money into their economy.
>the reason kids are in orphanages.
If I were you, Machu Picchu would be my choice
Dont you understand? Only 6+month sabbaticals are worthwhile travel experiences.
Colombia's cool. With just a week I would stay in Cartagena. It's got a beautiful historic center, and is just a nice place to relax and drink in general.
The thing is I want to do something like that next year maybe I just want to do a small trip first to get familiar with it before traveling through for 3 months.
Costa Rica is the best place for a first time backpacker. Fly in to Liberia (western Costa Rica) and start in Tamarindo. In a week you could do Tamarindo, Monteverde Cloud Forest, and Manuel Antonio Nature reservee


T.just came back from la fortuna
I agree that Costa Rica is sort of easy mode for Latin America... excellent tourist infrastructure, minimal hazards (apart from small parts of San Jose, but there's almost nothing worth doing or seeing in San Jose unless you're a sex tourist). But it's better for natural beauty and outdoor/eco-tourist stuff than for history and culture, although there are a few nice old bits of Cartago.

A trip to Antigua and Lake Atitlán in Guatemala offer a little more bang for your cultural buck, if you were specifically interested in Central America. But Guatemala is noticeably sketchier than Costa Rica, although neither Antigua nor greater Atitlán are anything to worry about.

Colombia is another good option for a short trip, as noted above.

There's also a great deal available in Mexico, although that's not in Central or South America.
Ecuador is compact but has lots to do and it's relatively stable, safe and has good transport infrastructure, you can do the Pacific coast, the Andes and the Amazon in one go if you really want to.

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