5 Valentine’s Day Ideas from Latin America

5 Valentine’s Day Ideas from Latin America

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these 5 unique Latin-American traditions!


By: Erin Raub

There are several myths surrounding Valentine’s Day – though no one can say which is true – but one thing is for sure: In Latin America, this is a day for romantic love, familial love, friendship and the appreciation of others.

Fun Fact: Valentine’s traditions aren’t reserved solely for February 14 in Latin America – they can be celebrated todos los días. So no matter what time of year, here are some of my favorite Valentine’s ideas:

Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean: El Día del Amor y la Amistad

In Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and several other countries, Valentine’s Day is known as el día del amor y la amistad – or “the day of love and friendship.” In other countries, including Guatemala, Valentine’s is called el día del cariño – or “the day of caring.” Regardless of the name, celebrants shower not only their romantic partners, but also family, friends and coworkers with special something’s, like candies, flowers or balloons.

Ecuador: Serenade Your Love

What could be more romantic than a moonlit serenade just for you? In Ecuador, it’s tradition for men to wait until nightfall, and then to serenade their lovers from outside their homes.

Tip: Be sure your smile is shining bright for your loved ones with Crest 3D White Whitestrips.

Peru: Orchids, not Roses

Peruvians take their Valentine’s flowers to another level, swapping out the traditional roses for a much more exotic bloom – orchids! It helps that Valentine’s Day sometimes coincides with Carnaval, a public holiday, which means that many couples can decide to celebrate with a festive trifecta: Valentine’s, Carnaval and group weddings.

Argentina, Brazil & Chile: El Día de los Enamorados

This trio of nations goes all-out with the romantic love, even dubbing their day el día de los enamorados or el día dos namorados in Brazil – the “day of lovers.” Gifts are similar to what we’re used to in the U.S. – flowers, chocolates and candles. (Did someone say Febreze?)

El Salvador, Colombia & Bolivia: Secret Cupid

El amigo secreto – or “secret friend” – is the Valentine’s Day version of a Secret Santa: Every year, friends and coworkers swap names and then gift each other something special on Valentine’s.

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions? Let us know in the comments below!

Erin Raub is a bilingual mom, writer and passionate reader, who makes her home in the cool mountains of Costa Rica (via Philadelphia). Together with her husband and young son, she explores the world through travel, books, cuisine, traditions and dance. Erin works as a writer, primarily as a blogger and travel copywriter, specializing in website copy and marketing materials for the tourism industry.