What makes Latvia Unique

Latvia offers a unique travel experience shaped by its history, culture, and natural beauty:

  • Riga, the Capital: Riga is the largest city in the Baltic states and is known for its stunning architecture, particularly its well-preserved Art Nouveau buildings. The historic Old Town of Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Baltic Sea Coastline: Latvia's coastline along the Baltic Sea features beautiful sandy beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and opportunities for water activities. The coastal area is a popular destination for relaxation, beach sports, and fresh seafood.
  • Ethnic and Cultural Diversity: Latvia has a rich ethnic and cultural diversity influenced by various historical events and neighbouring countries. This is reflected in its language, traditions, and festivals.
  • Gauja National Park: This national park offers a diverse range of landscapes, including forests, rivers, caves, and medieval castles. The Gauja River Valley is known for its striking beauty and outdoor activities like hiking and canoeing.
  • Traditional Festivals: Latvia celebrates traditional festivals like Midsummer (Jāņi), where locals gather to mark the summer solstice with bonfires, songs, and dancing. These celebrations provide a unique insight into Latvian culture.
  • Art and Craftsmanship: Latvia has a strong tradition of crafts, including weaving, pottery, and woodwork. Visitors can explore local artisan shops and markets to purchase handmade goods.
  • Rural Landscapes: Beyond the cities, Latvia's countryside is characterised by rolling hills, meadows, and pristine forests. This offers opportunities for peaceful retreats and outdoor activities like hiking and birdwatching.
  • Sigulda and Turaida: These towns are located within Gauja National Park and are famous for their medieval castles, including the Turaida Castle, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Rundāle Palace: This magnificent Baroque palace is a true gem, often referred to as the Versailles of the Baltics. Its impressive architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens make it a must-visit.
  • Līgatne Nature Trails: These trails lead visitors through a scenic landscape where one can observe local wildlife, including deer and wild boars, in their natural habitat.
  • Latvian Song and Dance Celebration: Similar to Estonia, Latvia also has a tradition of song and dance festivals. The Latvian Song and Dance Celebration is a significant cultural event that gathers thousands of participants.
  • Open-Air Ethnographic Museum: The Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum near Riga offers insights into traditional rural life with reconstructed historical buildings and exhibitions.

Latvia's mix of history, culture, natural beauty, and unique traditions make it an intriguing and diverse travel destination in the Baltic region. Whether you're interested in exploring medieval towns, enjoying outdoor activities, or experiencing local customs and festivals, Latvia has something distinctive to offer.

Top Highlights in Latvia

Latvian Museum of Art

If you're interested in art, visit the Latvian Museum of Art in Riga, which houses a collection of Latvian and international artworks.

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Līgatne Nature Trails

Explore the beautiful trails of Līgatne Nature Trails to observe local wildlife and enjoy the serene surroundings.

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Kemeri National Park

Experience the pristine landscapes of Kemeri National Park, known for its diverse ecosystems, including forests, marshes, and lakes.

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Cape Kolka

Head to Cape Kolka to witness the meeting point of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. The area is known for its unique landscapes and coastal beauty.

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Bauska Castle

Explore Bauska Castle, a complex featuring two castles: a medieval fortress and a Renaissance-style palace.

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Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum

Located near Riga, this open-air museum showcases traditional Latvian rural architecture, crafts, and way of life.

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Visit the town of Kuldīga to see the Venta Rapid waterfall, which is one of the widest waterfalls in Europe. Explore the historic centre and the charming Alekšupīte district.

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Relax on the sandy beaches of Jūrmala, a popular seaside resort town. The town is also known for its unique wooden architecture.

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Explore the medieval town of Cesis, known for its well-preserved castle ruins, cobblestone streets, and a charming town centre.

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This picturesque town is known for its historical sites, including Sigulda Castle and the ruins of Krimulda Castle. The cable car ride over the Gauja River offers breathtaking vistas.

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Gauja National Park

Discover the natural beauty of Gauja National Park. Explore hiking trails, visit medieval castles like Turaida Castle, and take in the stunning views of the Gauja River Valley.

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Rundāle Palace

Visit the exquisite Rundāle Palace, often called the Baltic Versailles. Explore the lavish interiors, stroll through the manicured gardens, and learn about the history of the palace.

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Art Nouveau District

Riga is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture. Take a stroll through the Art Nouveau district to admire the ornate facades and intricate details of these buildings.

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Riga Old Town

Explore the charming cobblestone streets and medieval architecture of Riga's Old Town. Visit landmarks like Riga Cathedral, St. Peter's Church, and the House of the Blackheads.

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Travel Ideas for Latvia

Classic Baltic Tour

Experience the unspoilt scenery and capital cities of the Baltic States on this Classic Baltic tour through Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. From UNESCO old towns to quirky neighbourhoods, hidden delights await. Visit colourful markets, get immersed in local culture and traditions, and take part in authentic experiences. Join us to discover the rich history and fascinating customs of this region on our journey from Vilnius to Tallinn.

This Classic Baltic Tour itinerary was created by a local expert to give you the best chance to see the highlights of the Baltic States.  It is ready to be customised to suit your budget, interests and tastes so you can make the most of your trip on your own terms, departing whenever you choose.


  • Explore the UNESCO old town of Vilnius, Riga & Tallinn
  • Admire medieval Trakai castle
  • Wander around Rundale Palace and Park
  • Visit the UNESCO listed Hill of Crosses
  • Visit Romantic Kuldiga
  • Get active in a bog on bogshoes
  • Discover the pristine nature, culture and food of the Baltics
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Active Baltic Adventure

Embrace the thrill of our Active Baltic Adventure Package! This journey is tailor-made for those seeking an active holiday amidst the stunning natural landscapes of the Baltic States. Discover UNESCO old towns and immerse yourself in the national parks of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Glide on bikes, paddle kayaks, don bogshoes, or trek through breathtaking paths. Your adventure starts here – join us on a voyage from Vilnius to Tallinn, discovering history and nature alike.

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Complete Baltic Holiday

Discover the Baltic States and Southern Finland like never before with our Complete Baltic Holiday. From UNESCO treasures to hidden gems, this 16-day adventure takes you through winding streets, sandy beaches, and enchanting villages. Immerse yourself in local culture, explore medieval castles, and savour the pristine nature of the region. Crafted by a local expert, this itinerary blends highlights and off-the-beaten-path wonders for an unforgettable journey from Vilnius to Helsinki.

Your journey begins in Vilnius and winds through Klaipeda, Riga, Pärnu, Tallinn, and ends in Helsinki. This isn't just a trip; it's an experience. Book from May to September and embark on your Baltic adventure.

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Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Latvia largely depends on your preferences for weather, outdoor activities, and cultural events. Latvia experiences distinct seasons, each offering a different experience for travellers. A breakdown of the seasons and the best times to visit:

  • Spring (April to June): Spring in Latvia is a time of renewal, with blooming flowers and trees. May and June offer pleasant temperatures, making it a good time for outdoor activities and exploring cities. The countryside is particularly beautiful during this time, with lush green landscapes.
  • Summer (June to August): Summer is the peak tourist season in Latvia, especially July and August. The weather is warm, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F). It's a great time for beach visits, outdoor festivals, and enjoying the long daylight hours. The Jāņi Midsummer Festival in late June is a unique cultural experience.
  • Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings colourful foliage to Latvia's landscapes, making it a picturesque time to visit. September and early October have mild temperatures and fewer crowds. The Līgo Festival in September celebrates the autumn equinox with traditional customs and bonfires.
  • Winter (December to February): Winter is a magical time in Latvia, especially if you enjoy winter sports and holiday festivities. December is festive with Christmas markets and decorations. If you're a fan of winter sports, head to Sigulda for skiing or ice sledding.

Keep in mind a few additional factors:

  • Tourist Crowds: The summer months of July and August are the busiest, especially in tourist hotspots like Riga and Jūrmala. If you prefer fewer crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.
  • Weather: Latvia's weather can be unpredictable, even in the warmer months. Be prepared for rain, and pack accordingly with layered clothing.
  • Cultural Events: Consider timing your visit to coincide with local festivals and events, such as the Song and Dance Celebration or the various solstice festivals.

In conclusion, the best time to visit Latvia depends on your interests and what kind of experience you're seeking. Whether you're attracted to the lively summer festivals, the colourful autumn landscapes, or the charm of a winter wonderland, Latvia has something to offer in every season.

Important Information for Your Travel Plans

Special Travel Tips from our Experts

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Where to Stay

Latvia offers a selection of high-end accommodation options for travellers seeking luxury, exceptional service, and unique experiences. Whether you're exploring historic Riga, enjoying the beach in Jūrmala, or immersing yourself in Latvia's culture, these hotels offer a refined travel experience:

Grand Hotel Kempinski (Riga):

  • A luxurious 5-star hotel located in the heart of Riga's Old Town.
  • Offers elegantly designed rooms and suites with modern amenities.
  • Features a spa, fitness centre, fine dining restaurants, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views.

Hotel Bergs (Riga):

  • A boutique 5-star hotel known for its stylish design and personalised service.
  • Offers spacious suites and apartments with high-end furnishings.
  • Features an upscale restaurant, spa facilities, and a picturesque courtyard.

The Baltic Beach Hotel & SPA (Jūrmala):

  • A beachfront 5-star resort located in the resort town of Jūrmala.
  • Offers luxurious rooms and suites with views of the Baltic Sea.
  • Features an extensive spa complex, multiple restaurants, and direct access to the beach.

Villa Joma Hotel (Jūrmala):

  • A boutique hotel situated in the heart of Jūrmala's lively Jomas Street.
  • Offers individually designed rooms and suites with a blend of classic and modern styles.
  • Features a cosy courtyard, a restaurant serving gourmet cuisine, and a spa area.

Hotel Neiburgs (Riga):

  • A 4-star boutique hotel located near Riga's Old Town and landmarks.
  • Offers spacious and well-appointed suites with a mix of contemporary and Art Nouveau styles.
  • Features an elegant restaurant, a fitness centre, and a library lounge.

Hotel Palace Riga (Riga):

  • A historic 5-star hotel with a prime location near Riga's cultural attractions.
  • Offers luxurious rooms and suites featuring a blend of classic and modern design.
  • Features a fine dining restaurant, a spa, and meeting facilities.

Promenade Hotel (Liepāja):

  • A stylish 5-star hotel situated on the beachfront of Liepāja.
  • Offers spacious rooms and suites with views of the sea or the city.
  • Features a restaurant with panoramic views, a spa, and direct access to the beach.

Hotel Jurmala Spa & Conference Center (Jūrmala):

  • A modern 4-star spa hotel located in Jūrmala.
  • Offers comfortable rooms and suites, some with private balconies.
  • Features a spa complex with various treatments, restaurants, and conference facilities.

Getting Around

Getting around in Latvia is relatively easy, thanks to its well-developed transportation infrastructure. Whether you're exploring cities or travelling between regions, you have various options for getting around:

Public Transportation:

  • Buses: Buses are a common and affordable mode of transportation in Latvia. They connect major cities, towns, and even remote areas. Express and intercity buses provide comfortable options for longer journeys.
  • Trains: While Latvia's rail network is not as extensive as its bus network, trains are available for travelling between major cities like Riga, Jelgava, and Liepāja. Trains are generally comfortable and offer scenic views of the countryside.
  • Trams and Trolleybuses: In cities like Riga, trams and trolleybuses are convenient for getting around within the city. They provide an efficient way to explore key attractions and neighbourhoods.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing:

  • Taxis are widely available in cities and major towns. Make sure to use licensed taxi services and ask about fares before starting the journey.
  • Ride-sharing services like Bolt are also operational in cities like Riga, offering a convenient and reliable alternative.

Car Rentals:

  • Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore Latvia at your own pace. Major cities and airports have car rental agencies. Roads are generally well-maintained, making road trips an enjoyable option.


  • Latvia has a growing network of cycling paths, especially in urban areas and along the coastline. Cycling is a great way to explore cities and the countryside, especially during the warmer months.


  • Ferries connect the mainland with some of Latvia's islands, such as Saaremaa. These ferries provide transportation for both passengers and vehicles.


  • Exploring cities like Riga on foot is a great way to discover hidden gems, historic sites, and local cafes. Riga's Old Town, in particular, is very walkable.

Language and Navigation:

  • Latvian is the official language, but many locals, especially in urban areas, understand English, Russian, or other languages.
  • Using navigation apps or maps can be helpful for navigating roads and public transportation.

Overall, the combination of buses, trains, trams, taxis, and rental cars allows you to easily explore Latvia's cities and countryside. Choose the mode of transportation that best suits your travel style and itinerary.

Travel Themes Most Common for Latvia

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Local Cuisine

Latvian cuisine is influenced by its history, geography, and seasonal availability of ingredients. Traditional Latvian dishes often highlight locally sourced meats, fish, dairy products, grains, and seasonal vegetables. Here are some dishes you should try:

  • Grey Peas with Bacon (Pelēkie zirņi ar speķi): A classic Latvian dish made from dried grey peas cooked until tender and served with diced fried bacon. It's a staple of Latvian cuisine.
  • Potato Dishes: Potatoes are a fundamental part of Latvian meals. Dishes like "kāpostu pīrāgi" (cabbage-stuffed pastries) and "kugelis" (potato pudding) are popular.
  • Rye Bread (Rupjmaize): Rye bread is a staple in Latvian households. It's often dark and dense, with a distinct flavour. It's typically served with butter or various toppings.
  • Smoked and Salted Fish: Latvia's proximity to the Baltic Sea means that fish is a significant part of the cuisine. Smoked and salted fish, such as herring and sprats, are common ingredients in many dishes.
  • Pīrāgi: These small, savoury pastries are often filled with minced meat, mushrooms, cabbage, or potatoes. They're a popular snack or appetiser.
  • Biezpiena Plātsmaize: A type of cheesecake made from cottage cheese (biezpiens) and often flavoured with raisins or fruit. It's a popular dessert.
  • Silķe un Biezpiena Sacepums: A layered dish made from herring and cottage cheese. It's usually served as a cold appetiser.
  • Cepumi: These are Latvian biscuits or cookies, often enjoyed with tea or coffee. Varieties include gingerbread-like "piparkūkas" and buttery "sklandu rauši."
  • Kvass: A fermented beverage made from bread, sugar, and water. It has a slightly tangy flavour and is often enjoyed in the summer.
  • Karbonāde: A breaded and fried pork cutlet, similar to a schnitzel. It's a popular main dish often served with potatoes or vegetables.
  • Latvian Cheese (Siers): Various types of local cheeses, including smoked cheese, caraway cheese, and cottage cheese, are enjoyed in Latvia.
  • Seasonal Ingredients: Latvian cuisine takes advantage of seasonal ingredients. For example, in summer, fresh berries and mushrooms are often incorporated into dishes.

Latvian cuisine reflects the country's rural heritage and close connection to nature. When visiting Latvia, trying traditional dishes is a great way to experience its culture and culinary traditions.

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Festivals & Public Holidays

Latvia celebrates a variety of festivals and holidays, both traditional and modern, that reflect its culture, history, and traditions. Some noteworthy festivals and holidays in Latvia are:

  • Jāņi (Midsummer): Celebrated on June 23-24, Jāņi is one of Latvia's most important traditional festivals. It marks the summer solstice with bonfires, singing, dancing, and traditional foods like cheese, beer, and caraway seed buns.
  • Līgo Diena (Līgo Day): On June 23, Līgo Day is part of the Jāņi celebrations. It's a time for joyful gatherings, dancing, and wearing wreaths of flowers.
  • Janu Day: Celebrated on January 6-7, Janu Day is a winter solstice festival with traditions like singing and visiting neighbours' homes to share greetings.
  • Independence Day (Latvijas Republikas proklamēšanas diena): Celebrated on November 18, this holiday marks the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia in 1918. Festivities include parades, concerts, and cultural events.
  • Martins Day (Mārtiņi): Celebrated on November 10-11, Martins Day is associated with autumn traditions. People enjoy special meals and children go door-to-door, singing songs and receiving treats.
  • Christmas (Ziemassvētki): Celebrated on December 24-25, Christmas in Latvia is a family-oriented holiday with festive meals, gifts, and decorations. Traditional foods include roast pork, gingerbread, and special sauerkraut dishes.
  • New Year's Eve (Jaungada vakars): New Year's Eve is celebrated with parties, fireworks, and gatherings. Many Latvians mark the occasion with festive meals.
  • Easter (Lieldienas): Easter is celebrated with religious services and traditional foods like boiled eggs, paska (Easter bread), and a dish called "pirādziņi," similar to pīrāgi.
  • Latvian Song and Dance Celebration (Vispārējie latviešu Dziesmu un Deju svētki): Held every five years, this massive cultural event brings together thousands of performers for a celebration of Latvian song, dance, and culture.
  • Riga City Festival (Rīgas svētki): A modern festival celebrating Riga's birthday in August. It features various cultural events, concerts, and entertainment.
  • Latvian Film Festival (Latvijas Nacionālais Kino festivāls): An annual event showcasing Latvian cinema, including feature films, documentaries, and shorts.
  • Latvian Design Week (Latvijas Dizaina nedēļa): A celebration of design, creativity, and innovation, featuring exhibitions, workshops, and discussions.

These festivals and holidays provide insights into Latvia's traditions, culture, and community spirit. Participating in these events can offer a deeper understanding of the country's heritage and its modern expressions.

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Currency & Payment

The currency of Latvia is the Euro (€). Here's some information about currency and payment methods in Latvia:

  • Currency Exchange: If you're coming from a country that doesn't use the Euro, you might need to exchange your currency for Euros upon arrival. Currency exchange services can be found at airports, banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. Exchange rates can vary, so it's advisable to check rates at banks or currency exchange offices before exchanging money. Additionally, some ATMs allow you to withdraw Euros directly, but there might be associated fees.
  • Cash Usage: While credit and debit cards are widely accepted, it's a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases, especially in rural areas or at markets. ATMs (cash machines) are readily available in cities and towns.
  • Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards are commonly used for payments in Latvia. Major international cards like Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, shops, and most businesses. Contactless payments are also becoming more popular.
  • Payment Apps and Mobile Wallets: In addition to traditional cards, mobile payment apps and digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and local options may be accepted in some places.
  • Tipping: Tipping is appreciated but not mandatory in Latvia. It's customary to round up the bill or leave a small tip, especially in restaurants, cafes, and for good service.
  • Service Charges: Some restaurants may include a service charge on the bill. Always check the bill to see if a service charge has been added before deciding on an additional tip.
  • Receipts: It's common practice to ask for a receipt (kvīts) for your purchase, especially for larger transactions. This can be helpful for record-keeping and in case you need to return an item.


Latvia is generally a safe travel destination with a low crime rate. However, like any other place, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety and security. Here are some tips for staying safe in Latvia:

Personal Belongings:

  • Keep your personal belongings, including passports, wallets, and electronics, secure and within sight at all times.
  • Use anti-theft bags or pouches to deter pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and public transportation.

Scams and Fraud:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited offers, especially from strangers. Avoid sharing personal information or financial details with unknown individuals.
  • Be wary of "tourist traps" that might overcharge tourists for goods and services.

Transportation Safety:

  • Use licensed and reputable transportation services, especially taxis. If possible, ask your accommodation to arrange transportation for you.
  • Be cautious when crossing streets and using public transportation. Follow traffic rules and pedestrian signals.

Emergency Numbers:

  • In case of emergencies, dial 112, the universal emergency number in Latvia.

Natural Environment:

  • If you plan on exploring Latvia's nature or engaging in outdoor activities, be aware of local guidelines and safety recommendations.
  • When swimming, be cautious of water currents and follow lifeguard instructions at beaches.

Local Laws and Customs:

  • Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs to avoid unintentionally breaking any rules. Respect cultural norms and sensitivities.

Travel Advisory Information:

  • Before your trip, check travel advisories and safety information provided by your country's government, relevant authorities or your Tripedeo travel expert.

Visa & Immigration Rules

Latvia is a member of the European Union (EU) and part of the Schengen Area. This means that if you are an EU citizen travelling to Latvia for short stays (up to 90 days within a 180-day period), you generally do not need a visa. Here are the general rules for EU tourists visiting Latvia:

  • Passport or National ID Card: EU citizens can enter Latvia with either a valid passport or a national ID card issued by an EU/EEA country.
  • Duration of Stay: EU citizens can stay in Latvia for up to 90 days within any 180-day period for tourism, business, or family visits without needing a visa.
  • Purpose of Visit: Keep in mind that your visit should be for purposes such as tourism, visiting family and friends, attending business meetings, or participating in cultural or sports events. If you plan to work, study, or stay longer than 90 days, additional requirements may apply.
  • Border Control: While there are no systematic border controls within the Schengen Area, occasional spot checks can still occur. Make sure to carry your identification documents at all times.

Health & Hygiene

Maintaining good health and hygiene practices while travelling is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some health and hygiene tips to consider when visiting Latvia:

Healthcare Facilities:

  • Latvia has well-equipped healthcare facilities, especially in major cities. European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) or appropriate travel insurance will help ensure you receive necessary medical care.

Travel Insurance:

  • Obtain comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, hospitalisation, and repatriation.

Food and Water Safety:

  • Tap water in Latvia is generally safe to drink. If you're unsure, bottled water is widely available.
  • When dining out, choose reputable establishments and ensure that food is properly cooked and prepared.


  • Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol for times when soap and water are not available.

Prescription Medications:

  • If you take prescription medications, ensure you have enough for the duration of your stay. Carry them in their original packaging with a copy of the prescription.

Emergency Services:

  • Familiarise yourself with the emergency number in Latvia, which is 112. This number can be dialled for medical, police, and fire emergencies.

Insect Protection:

  • If you plan to spend time outdoors, especially in rural areas, use insect repellent to protect against ticks and mosquitoes.

Sun Protection:

  • If you're visiting during the warmer months, use sunscreen and wear protective clothing to guard against sunburn.

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