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The best 15 telenovelas of all time

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If you are a fan of telenovelas, you surely have a favorite that reminds you of a specific time in your life. After all, this genre is one of the most successful in the world, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. Here is a list of the 15 most succesful telenovelas in recent decades. They illustrate that stories are capable of transcending time and space to conquer the hearts of the public. These are the best ones!


The telenovela Teresa, like many others, has been brought to the screen on different occasions. However, one of the most remembered versions is the one that aired in 2010, and starred Angelique Boyer, who gave life to Teresa Chávez, a young woman with limited resources who wants to have a better life. Teresa’s ambition leads her to take increasingly dangerous actions, deceiving the people around her on the way, all in order to obtain material possessions.

La Usurpadora is one of the best telenovelas in the world

An actress made up of a soap opera

In 1998, La Usurpadora became the most watched telenovela on Mexican television. It captured the attention of viewers at night when they tuned in to see the adventures of Paulina and Paola, twins who were separated at birth and took opposite paths in life. One day, Paola meets Paulina and realizes that they are identical, which leads to them switching places. One living with the other’s husband and son. This ultimately leads to a story of love and deception that was full of suspense.

Rebelde is the most successful telenovela among young people

Rebelde is the Mexican adaptation of the successful Argentine telenovela Rebelde Way, an international success that was extremely popular in several countries. It tells the story of a group of high school students, each of whom has a particular story of love, betrayal, family problems and longings that lead to the formation of a musical group: RBD. Without a doubt, a fan favorite.

Cuna de lobos has the most iconic villain in telenovelas

A woman with an eye patch impersonating a soap opera villain

Another telenovela that marked an era was Cuna de Lobos, a Televisa network production starring Diana Bracho, Gonzalo Vega and María Rubio, who to this day is recognized for her portrayal of Catalina Creel. The story revolves mainly around the life of Catalina Creel, who is the matriarch of a powerful family, and who becomes a serial killer, killing eight people and finally committing suicide.

Corazón Salvaje

Wild Heart was a period telenovela starring Edith González and Eduardo Palomo, both now deceased. They are widely remembered for their portrayals of Countess Mónica de Altamira and Juan “Del diablo” Alcázar. This love story between the protagonists goes through a series of misadventures, confusions and bad moments, although finally love triumphs and they set aside their difference.

La fea más bella

An actress playing a soap opera character

This adaptation of the successful Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty, la fea”, was a great success on the small screen. It starred Angélica Vale and Jaime Camil, who portrayed Leticia Padilla Solís and Fernando Mendiola. La fea mas bella amassed a large audience, and had the most watched ending in the entire history of Mexican telenovelas. Due to this, it had an epic finale at the Azteca stadium in Mexico, which was broadcast live.

Maria Mercedes

«Maria Mercedes, to serve you.» This is the beginning of María Mercedes, the first installment of the “Marías” saga, starring Mexican actress and singer Thalía. It tells the story of a young lottery ticket seller who one day meets Jorge Luis del Olmo, a resentful young widower who, during the first part of the novel, rejects María Mereces, although he eventually falls in love with her.

María la del Barrio is one of the most important telenovelas in history


The third installment of the «Marías» trilogy was María la del Barrio, which came out in 1995 and starred Thalía and Fernando Colunga, two of the most important stars on Mexican television. In this story, María la del Barrio gives life to a young beggar who shows up at the home of the De La Vega family, where she meets young Luis Fernando. She ultimately falls in love with him and has a family, but not without first going through great hardships.

La Mentira

The lie is a story of revenge and hatred, but also of love, which was broadcast in 1998. It starred Kate del Castillo and Guy Ecker as the main couple. Karla Álvarez played the telenovela’s villian. In this story, the character of Guy Ecker decides to avenge the death of his brother, thinking that the woman who caused him so much pain was Verónica Fernández-Negrete, played by Kate del Castillo. Finally, he discovers that both had been deceived, losing the trust between them. However, love finally triumphs.

El Privilegio de Amar

A couple hugging while filming them for a telenovela

“The privilege of loving” was the most watched telenovela of the decade in Mexico. It starred Adela Noriega, René Strickler, Helena Rojo and Andrés García. It tells the story of a mother who had to abandon her daughter so she could become a successful businesswoman. Adela Noriega played Cristina Miranda, the unrecognized daughter of Luciana Hernández de Duval, who wishes to work as a model in Luciana’s fashion house, without knowing that she is her mother.

Pasión de Gavilanes

The story of the Reyes brothers was broadcast in 2004, and the plot is based on three brothers taking revenge against an older, married man, who had an affair with their sister, Libia Reyes. Along the way, each of them falls in love with the sisters Sara, Jimena and Norma. Initially they planned to seduce them as part of their revenge plot. However, as time goes by, the siblings make a fortune and discover that children don’t always have to pay for their parents’ mistakes.

The best-known telenovela in the world is Yo soy Betty, la fea


Yo soy Betty, la fea, is one of the most successful telenovelas of all time, not only in Colombia, but throughout the world. It tells the story of a physically unattractive woman who goes through multiple difficulties to get a job. Then she meets Armando Mendoza, the president of Ecomoda. Along the way, Betty and Armando enter into a secret love affair, and although at the beginning «Don Armando» only wanted to take advantage of Betty’s knowledge to help the company financially, he finally ends up falling in love with her.

Café con aroma de mujer

Another Colombian telenovela that is loved around the world, and of which several versions have been made, is Café con aroma de mujer, starring Margarita Rosa de Francisco and Guy Ecker. The story is a series of love affairs and misunderstandings between the two protagonists, who despite their difficulties give in to their feelings and live happily ever after.

Pedro el flamoso


In 2001, Pedro el flamoso became a Colombian television phenomenon, thanks to the talent and charisma of its protagonist, Miguel Varoni, who played Pedro Coral Talavera. He was a man with a unique style and a deep infatuation. In the story, the chatty protagonist, befriends Paula Dávila and eventually becomes her driver. With the passage of time, both establish a friendship that leads to a love story capable of conquering anyone.

Juana, la virgen

Juana, la virgen, is one of the most successful Venezuelan telenovelas. This telenovela was adapted, in 2015, to become a successful US series called Jane the virgin. The plot centers on Juana, a young woman who has never had sex and who, due to an error, receives an artificial insemination and, to her surprise, it results in pregnancy.

The post The 15 best 15 telenovelas of all time appeared first on MundoHispanico.

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