The 9 most exotic foods in Latin America

latam exotic food

This post is also available in: Español

One of the most pleasant things in life is to eat, and that is that gastronomy is so varied and depends on each culture and country, that it would take a long time to taste all the foods that exist in the world.

In Latin America, each country has a very different gastronomic culture and in some regions, the traditional foods transcend the normal because they are considered exotic foods.

In culinary matters, not all people are able to venture and try the delicacies that at first sight seem to be taken from a horror story, although for some people these are the most delicious dishes they have ever tasted.

There is a Latin American proverb that says that the best condiment is hunger, so do you want to dare and try some of these rare foods? Then find out here which are the most served and Bon Appétit.

Cuy (Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia y perú)

cooked cuy

Cuy is a species of rodent better known worldwide as a guinea pig and its breeding are common in the Andean part of Latin America. There are many specimens of this rodent, you can see short or long hair and its color varies by region, every October in Peru celebrate the Day of the Guinea pig.

In fact, it is considered a food product of high nutritional value with omega 3 and high protein content. The best way to cook it is in a stew, on a stick, in the oven, or fried.

So if you travel to Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia or Peru, don’t forget to try this delicacy!

Ñachi (Chile)

Chilean Nachi

Ñachi or Ñache is a traditional Chilean food, although not very common, that was originally prepared by a tribe called Mapuche.

The animal can be a calf or lamb, this one is disgorged placing all its blood in a recipient when adding lemon the blood coagulates, several seasonings are used like the onion, the peppers, the garlic or the coriander. It is typical to serve it with bread and accompanied by white wine.

Would you like to try it if you travel to Chile?

Broth or Cardan Soup (Bolivia) (Bolivia)

The broth or Cardan Soup is prepared with the virile member of the bull and is popular in the regions of La Paz and Cochabamba, Bolivia. Some locals say it also works as an energy drink.

The cooking can last many hours since it is important that it is done slowly so that it remains concentrated. In addition, other parts of the bull are added such as the legs, lamb and chicken meat and some vegetables from the region.

And not only is it considered an exotic dish, but it is also considered the best aphrodisiac in the country, which is why consumer demand is high, as many say it is even better than Viagra.

Will you ask for it on your trip to Bolivia?

Chinchulin (Uruguay & Argentina)

Chinchulin Argentina
Chinchulines are the guts or intestines of cattle, and although they are typical in many Latin American countries, the biggest consumers are in Argentina and Uruguay.

They are very popular among barbecue lovers since they usually accompany the roast and are usually served as a starter since they need a lot of cooking time, although they can also be fried.

If you travel to Argentina you should not miss the opportunity to try their fantastic Asado with the chinchulines.

Maguey worms (Mexico)

There are many exotic foods in Mexico, but Maguey worms are the most popular. These worms are butterfly larvae and depending on the species they can be red or white.

They can be fried or roasted with butter or olive oil to eat them in cubes or they are also used to make traditional sauces. They are considered a delicacy and premium food, only suitable for a few due to their high price.

Do you think you would dare to try it on your trip to Mexico?

Hormiga Culona (Colombia)

Hormiga Culona

The hormiga Culona, a species of ant also known as Mayera, is consumed since the pre-Columbian era of the Guanes in Colombia. So if you find yourself visiting the country’s indigenous communities during excursions to Ciudad Perdida, it’s a good place to taste them!

These ants the size of cockroaches are usually served roasted, fried or as part of a sauce, although it should be noted that only the ant queen is edible. According to the peasants of the Andean areas, this dish can be considered as a sexual energizer.

Chontacuro (Ecuador)

The Chontaduro dish is one of the most typical dishes of Ecuador, specifically of the Ecuadorian Amazon and it is made of worms of an average of 6 cm that can be consumed raw, cooked, grilled and even fried.

They are said to have healing properties that relieve cough, asthma and stomach pain, besides being an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Llama tongue and brains (Bolivia)

The llama is a domestic animal of the Bolivian Andes that is part of the country’s tradition, and is also eaten! Because the llama’s tongue and brains are one of the most well known traditional dishes in Bolivia.

On the one hand, the tongue is cooked under pressure in order to soften it, while the brains, which have a more viscous texture, are served fried or roasted. Both are usually eaten in street stalls, so if you are travelling in Bolivia try them!

Sarapatera de Tortuga (Peru)


If you are visiting the Peruvian Amazon, you must know one of its most typical dishes as well as curious. This is the Zarapatera de Tortuga, an asopado made of turtle.

Its preparation is complicated since the soup is cooked inside the shell of the animal and with firewood. The turtle is cut into small pieces and seasonings, salt and grated banana are added to give it a sweeter flavour.

After getting to know some of the most exotic dishes in Latin America, we know that you will not have been indifferent… That’s why from Howlanders we encourage you to try some of these very different foods that are sure to be a pleasant surprise for your palate. Did you know any of these dishes?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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