The attractions industry in Latin America is growing and the region is home to many theme parks and amusement parks. The most popular of these is Six Flags Mexico in Mexico City (pictured, top). Overall, visitor numbers at the top 10 theme parks in this region totalled 15.7 million in 2019. So it is certainly a booming industry.
Three key factors play a particularly important role in the success of attractions in this area. These are politics, economics and safety.
In this list of the top amusement parks in Latin America, blooloop showcases the most popular attractions in the region. Narrowly missing out on a place in our top 15 are Hopi Hari in Brazil and Theme Park Xetulul in Guatemala, two parks that nonetheless enjoyed a successful season in 2019.
1 Six Flags Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Located in the Tlalpan forest and borough in Mexico City, the attraction is operated by Six Flags and is the top amusement park in Latin America by attendance.
Six Flags Mexico is now preparing to welcome guests in spring 2021. Visitors will get a chance to ride CraZanity, the world’s tallest pendulum ride. It features a record height of more than 50m and reaches speeds of more than 120km/h.
The latest additions to Six Flags Mexico include Supergirl Sky Flight and X-Flight, as well as Wonder Woman Coaster. Supergirl Sky Flight is a swing tower ride, while X-Flight is a wing coaster. Both opened in 2015. Wonder Woman Coaster is a 4D free spin coaster. It opened in 2018.
In 2019, Ride Entertainment and Six Flags successfully launched Skycoaster’s Sky Sled at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Six Flags Mexico.
“Last year, Six Flags had told us they wanted to be the first theme park to premiere the new Sky Sled,” said Lance Beatty, managing director of Skycoaster. “Today, to see a Skycoaster at nearly every Six Flags property is truly incredible.”
Attendance 2019 – 2,803,000
2 Beto Carrero World, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Beto Carrero World also had a successful season in 2019, thanks in part to more domestic visits and the positive economic recovery in Brazil that year.
Beto Carrero World can be found in Penha, a municipality in Santa Catarina. It is the biggest amusement park in Latin America, with nine themed areas and more than 100 attractions, including thrill rides, coasters, family-friendly offerings and live shows.
Highlights of the park include Castelo das Nações (Castle of Nations), a Disney-inspired castle. There’s also a zoo with more than 700 animals, a Ferris wheel, and character photo opportunities. In addition, Beto Carrero features a visitor train, cable railway, restaurants, cafés and shops.
Attendance 2019 – 2,241,000
3 Parque Xcaret, Cancun, Mexico
Parque Xcaret continues to attract more visitors, following the addition of another hotel in 2018, reaching number three on the list of top amusement parks in Latin America.
Owner Grupo Xcaret has a reputation for smart reinvestment. The company’s parks include Xplor, Xenotes, Xoximilco, Xenses, Xel-ha and Xavage. In 1984, Miguel Quintana Pali bought 12 acres in the Riviera Maya and transformed the land into Xcaret.
Xcaret, the original park, boasts more than 40 attractions in the jungle, caves and underground rivers of Mexico. These include an aquarium and four archaeological sites. Xel-ha, an eco-adventure water park, includes water slides, snorkelling, and rope swings.
As well as parks, the group has tours and activities to visit the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, Tulum and Cobá. Xcaret Parks and Tours, which fuses archaeology, culture and ecology with entertainment, welcomed its 50 millionth visitor in 2019.
“We are proud to be considered the first and most important ecologically and socially sustainable tourism company in Mexico,” said Pali. He added that Xcaret “connects travellers to the spectacular and unique nature of our surroundings, and that will ultimately result in a better understanding of our heritage and culture”.
Grupo Xcaret is investing $400 million over the next eight years. The tourism company plans to build five hotels and two new theme parks. Also in Xcaret’s portfolio is Xplor, which has zip lines, rafts, and stalactite river swimming, while innovative experiences are on offer at Xenses.
Attendance 2019 – 1,960,000
4 Thermas dos Laranjais, Olímpia, Brazil
Thermas dos Laranjais is the top water park in Latin America and boasts more than 55 attractions, including water slides, wave pools, thermal spring pools, and saunas. Thermas dos Laranjais is the most visited water park in Brazil and Latin America, as well as the fourth most-visited water park globally.
The park covers an area of 300,000 square metres and gets its water supplies from the Guarani Aquifer. Thermas dos Laranjais has the capacity for 20,000 visitors daily, and also includes an impressive 32 cafés, bars and restaurants.
Attendance 2019 – 1,845,000
5 Bahamas Aquaventure, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Aquaventure, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, is one of the largest water parks in the Eastern Hemisphere.
At number five on the list of top amusement parks in Latin America, Bahamas Aquaventure is a 141-acre water park in the Bahamas. It bills itself as an aquatic playground and boasts more than 20 million gallons of water. In addition, there are water slides, a river ride with rapids and wave surges, 20 swimming areas and 11 swimming pools.
Attendance 2019 – 1,813,000
6 Hot Park (Rio Quente), Caldas Novas, Brazil
Hot Park, at the Rio Quente Resort, bills itself as the most entertaining water park in Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil. It offers various water park experiences, including the surf school, kayak tours, a lazy river, beaches, slides and zip wires.
The water park is supplied with the region’s naturally warm waters and is located on 55,000 square metres. It also features an aviary with more than 200 birds of different species, while the resort offers other amenities, including F&B.
Attendance 2019 – 1,469,000
7 Parque Mundo Petapa, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mundo Petapa is number seven on the list of top amusement parks in Latin America. The park enjoyed a particularly successful season in 2019, thanks to positive market conditions and a new coaster called Relámpago.
Mundo Petapa was inaugurated in 1976. The park has a capacity for 12,500 daily visitors. Attractions include the theme park, swimming pool, a zoo called ‘La Jungla’ and a theatre. The central square features a castle, restaurants, kiosks, shops, and arcade games. Areas include Stars Plaza, Rainbow Plaza, and Fun Plaza.
Attendance 2019 – 1,330,000
8 La Feria Chapultepec, Mexico City, Mexico
La Feria Chapultepec was on track for a good year in 2019, however, the attraction was then forced to close following a fatal accident.
Now, La Prensa has reported that work will begin at the end of the year on Aztlán, an amusement park that will replace La Feria de Chapultepec. “Right now the company is preparing the different spaces, the studies and the financial analysis to be able to start the work in the last quarter of this year,” said environment secretary Marina Robles García.
Aztlán will receive an investment of $172m. The project is being developed by Mota-Engil México. Aztlán will boast extreme, moderate and children’s rides, as well as interactive attractions. There will also be exhibitions, entertainment and culture.
Attendance 2019 – 1,306,000
9 Parque Plaza Sésamo, Monterrey, Mexico
Parque Plaza Sésamo can be found in Fundidora Park, an urban park in the Mexican city of Monterrey. The Sesame Street-themed park is similar to Sesame Place in the US.
It was founded in 1995 and is split into three areas – Isla Aventura, Aquamundo and Villasésamo (via Fundidora Park). It includes water attractions, rides and shows, as well as characters such as Elmo and the Cookie Monster. Visitors can also explore the castle of Count von Count.
Attendance 2019 – 1,173,000
10 Parque Mundo Aventura, Bogotá, Colombia
Parque Mundo Aventura is number ten on the list of top amusement parks in Latin America. Located in the city of Bogotá, Parque Mundo Aventura first opened in 1998.
Thrill rides at the destination include Sky Coaster, Xtreme, Tropicana, Quantum, Crazy Jump, Ranger and Air Race. Family-friendly offerings include a carousel, arcades, an aquarium and bumper cars, and there are playgrounds and soft play for children.
Attendance 2019 – 1,151,000
11 Fantasilandia, Santiago, Chile
Fantasilandia has grown over the past few years, from humble beginnings. It opened with just eight attractions in 1978 in the O’Higgins Park in Santiago, Chile and is now number 11 on the list of the most popular parks in Latin America.
Roller coasters include Mining Train, Boomerang and Raptor, while family rides include Bumper Boats and Wild Mouse. Attractions for children include Dragon Mountain, Circus Train and Buggy Jump. Fantasilandia aims to be the leading entertainment company in Latin America.
Attendance 2019 – 1,100,000
12 Parque Nacional del Café, Quindio, Colombia
Parque Nacional del Café is located in Colombia’s Quindío. This popular park was founded by the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (La Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) and the Departmental Committee of Coffee Growers of Quindío (El Comité Departamental de Cafeteros del Quindío). It opened in 1995.
At number 12 on the list of top amusement parks in Latin America, this attraction is part museum, part theme park. Exhibitions explore the history and process of growing coffee in Colombia, while a theme park area offers rides and shows. There is also an ecological trail, as well as animatronics shows, a coffee garden, and food stalls.
Attendance 2019 – 1,043,000
13 Parque de la Costa, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Parque de la Costa enjoyed a successful 2019 season, due to good weather and a rise in domestic visitors.
The theme park is located on 14 hectares in Tigre, adjacent to the Paraná River Delta. It was developed by Santiago Soldati and Walter Álvarez. It was inaugurated in 1997 following an investment of $400 million.
One of Argentina’s leading amusement parks, Parque de la Costa has more than 50 rides and attractions, from thrill rides and coasters to carousels and family-friendly offerings. It can be found less than one hour from Buenos Aires.
Attendance 2019 – 968,000
14 Parque Acuático Xocomil, Retalhuleu, Guatemala
At number 14 on the list of the top amusement parks in Latin America, Parque Acuatico Xocomil is also the largest and most-visited water park in Guatemala.
Xocomil Water Park’s attractions and slide towers are inspired by Mayan heritage. The park boasts four swimming pools and two waves pools, as well as 14 water slides. These include El Caracol, El Regreson, El Samala, and the Xocomil Rapids, the largest slide in Central America.
Attendance 2019 – 894,000
15 Beach Park, Aquiraz, Brazil
The last entry on our list of the top amusement parks in Latin America is Beach Park, a popular water park and tourist resort located on the beach of Porto das Dunas in Brazil.
The resort, which is set across 170,000 square metres, includes restaurants, hotels, water attractions and an artificial river that transports visitors from the resort to the water park. Beach Park is comprised of the beach, water park and resort.
Attendance 2019 – 890,000