The practice of geotechnical engineering in tropical climate regions must consider the use of unsaturated soil concepts. However, these concepts must also take into account the specific behavior traits of tropical soils, particularly those related to soil aggregation, pore structure, and mineralogy. This paper will initially present considerations on the typical properties of unsaturated tropical soils as well as fundamental concepts. Throughout the article, several engineering problems will be presented alongside reflections on the complex interaction between the numerous variables involved in the modeling and engineering practice of tropical unsaturated soil behavior. The paper addresses issues related to soil formation, chemical and mineral composition, physical properties, tropical soil classification, and structural characteristics of soils. Issues related to compaction and the influence of weathering, geomorphology and bioengineering are also addressed.