The safest places on the continent seem to be the stunning beaches of French Guiana, Uruguay, the volcano-filled nation of Chile, Suriname (the smallest in South America), Paraguay and Argentina. Wherever you go, leave your valuables at home and travel with great caution. However, a concern that often annoys people's minds when they choose to travel is whether it is safe to travel in South America. This continent has earned a rather worrying reputation over the years, but it is a broad and unfair generalization that does not reflect the realities of life and travel in the 13 diverse countries of South America.
Peaceful, safe and green, Uruguay is fast becoming an ideal getaway for tourists of all demographics. When traveling to Uruguay, the safety issues to be aware of are pickpockets, robberies and car thefts in large cities, but care should also be taken in smaller cities and resorts. It is advisable to avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry. It's usually best to avoid walking alone at night.
Uruguay has some impressive places to visit, including its capital, Montevideo, a place that we consider to be one of the best places to visit in South America. Another of Uruguay's most praised tourist attractions is Colonia del Sacramento, a city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and home to some of the best wineries and vineyards in the country. Another must-see destination is Punta del Este, an exclusive beach resort that has an impressive coastline in the Atlantic Ocean. A quieter alternative to Punta del Este is José Ignacio, an old fishing village turned into an idyllic beach getaway.
Salto, Uruguay's second largest city, is also worth a visit, with its lush walks, picturesque squares and relaxed atmosphere. Chile's fascinating landscapes range from desert plateaus to mountaineers dotted with glaciers, so it's fair to say that this stunning nation has something for everyone. Torres del Paine National Park is one of our favorite places to visit in Chile due to its incredible hikes and stunning views of Patagonia's wildest landscapes. The Chepu Valley, Chiloé, is another must-see for an up-close look at a unique wildlife.
Home to a wealth of spectacular and rare birds, this river valley is every birdwatcher's dream. Pucón is a destination that is often found on the itineraries of adventure hunters in Chile due to its incredible hiking trails and volcano ascents, as well as skiing in winter. For a complete change of terrain, the Atacama Desert is an otherworldly experience, home to huge volcanoes, salt lakes full of flamingos and geothermal springs that you shouldn't miss when visiting Chile. Easter Island (or Rapa Nui, as locals know it) is another truly unique Chilean destination that houses notable stone statues known as moai scattered around the island.
When visiting Argentina, there are a few safety considerations to keep in mind. The most common of these is distraction theft. If he approaches you on the street and something doesn't seem quite right to you, refuse to participate and leave; otherwise, a passerby in the wake up could steal your purse or purse while you're distracted. Bordering Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the planet and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Argentina's second city, Córdoba, also has exquisite 16th-century architecture and a large student population, making it an exciting destination for nightlife and culture. Safety precautions to be taken in Paraguay include making sure that mobile phones and money are out of sight; assaults and street crime can occur if valuables are displayed, especially in Asunción and Ciudad del Este, on the border with Brazil. It's also wise to avoid walking alone at night in these cities. Travelers often prefer to take taxis for convenience and safety rather than other forms of public transportation.
There are some incredible adventures to experience in Paraguay. Asunción, its capital, is a warm and welcoming city with 17th-century architecture, epic art galleries and some fantastic restaurants. The Holy Trinity of Paraná tells an important story about Paraguayan history and, more specifically, the Jesuit Missions and how indigenous communities were affected. This UNESCO World Heritage site is full of fascinating ancient ruins from the colonial era and is one of the most visited places in the country.
There is a wealth of culture and beauty to explore in Peru. The majestic Inca city of Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the most famous Peruvian destinations. Iquitos is another incredible place to visit in Peru; this spectacular Amazon city can be reached by boat or plane and it is one of the main gateways to the jungle. The White City, Arequipa, is full of charm and arguably the most beautiful in Peru thanks to its impressive architecture.
It's also an excellent stopping point on a trip to the Colca Canyon. Northern Peru has one of the highest waterfalls in the world at Gocta and Yumbilla Falls; the views are amazing and the surrounding jungle landscapes are full of flora and fauna. With snow-capped mountains and turquoise waters, Huaraz is also a paradise for hikers and climbers, especially those looking to make their first ascent to the mountain with more than 5,000. There are some safety precautions you should take when traveling in Ecuador.
Pickpockets and assaults are common, so the same advice as above applies for previous countries. Ecuador is abundantly blessed with experiences that are likely to be unique to visitors. The Galapagos Islands are unlike any other place on the planet thanks to endemic wildlife that can't be found anywhere else on the planet. Quito and Cuenca are also the perfect city trips for visitors to South America.
Both places have well-preserved historic architecture and plenty of places to sample delicious Ecuadorian food. Home to a huge expanse of pristine jungles and with great biodiversity and small-scale tourist outfits that allow you to get to know and learn from the local population, Guyana is a life-changing destination for adventurous travelers. Security concerns in Guyana are mainly focused on targeting tourists who are perceived as rich. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or clothing; don't carry more money than you need and always follow government travel advice for specific areas that foreign travelers are best avoided.
A trip around Guyana wouldn't be complete without visiting Rupununi, a savanna plain in southwestern Guyana, where you can find some of the country's most exciting wild animals, such as the giant anteater, the jaguar and the giant otter. Guyana also claims to produce the best rum in the world; you can try it yourself at Demerara Distillers in Georgetown. For history lovers, we highly recommend the Jesuit Missions of UNESCO. These historic sites contain the missions (churches) that were established by European colonizers in the 17th century with the aim of converting native peoples to Christianity and offer an intriguing mix of native and European architectural influences.
COVID-19 in South America remains a barrier to travel today. Many countries still remain on government no-travel lists, while others, such as Chile and Argentina, have just opened their borders to international travelers, with travel restrictions in place for many destinations in South America. Due to current restrictions, you may have difficulty obtaining travel insurance if you try to visit a country that your government does not consider safe at this time. Keep checking your government's travel advisories to keep up to date, and keep in mind that you may need a negative COVID-19 test and proof of vaccination to enter most countries in South America.
Learn more about the things you should consider traveling to South America in the COVID-19 era and find out what to pack for a trip to the continent after COVID-19.Four amazing itineraries in Bolivia from 10 days to a month of travel ArgentinaBoliviaChileColombiaGuatemalaguyanaPatagoniaPeruBlog. Of course, COVID-19 will have had an impact as long as these data were collected. The problem with trying to measure health safety in developing countries during a global pandemic is that testing is not universally affordable, neither for the government nor for the general population, and the lack of power and money of these countries on the global stage means that they often have a low hierarchical order to receive solutions once they are discovered. Once again, protests can occur, and filing for bankruptcy every 5 years or so is a trick that the Argentine government likes and that can make money difficult to value and obtain.
COVID-19 may have accelerated this pattern, so be aware of the economic situation before you travel. However, a key reason for Panama to be close to the center of the 10 safest countries in Latin America is that it suffered unrest in recent years because of the reforms that the government tried to promote and that were going to have a significant effect on marginalized groups. Costa Rica, long a safe haven for tourists who want to immerse themselves in Latin American travel without being too exposed to many of the dangers associated with this region, remains at the top of the safest countries in Latin America to travel. See my destination guides for Costa Rica here.
I lived in Mexico in the 90s. It's a little different, but she only felt really nervous once. I didn't get much due to work, but again, I felt super safe, thanks for the article. Costa Rica is generally considered to be the safest countries in Central America.
As if that weren't enough, Costa Rica is an absolutely stunning country with friendly people, unforgettable cloud forests and beautiful beaches. Despite the fact that it is one of the safest Central American countries to visit, it is advisable to consult these tips on traveling alone in Costa Rica. Check out the top 10 things to do in Panama. Belize is unique because it is an English-speaking country.
Perfect for the adventurous, Belize offers Mayan ruins and excellent diving and snorkeling. Guatemala is a favorite among backpackers, especially for the Lake Atitlán area, which means there are plenty of hostels, parties, and new friends to find. If you want to know more about this topic, see Is it safe to travel to Guatemala? Just off the coast of Honduras is a chain of islands known as the Bay Islands. The largest of these islands is Roatan, which is not only safe to visit, but it is also one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to dive.
Plan your trip with the best things to do in Honduras. However, in general terms, the security situation in the country is contradicting the trend in much of Latin America. Female travelers, in particular, should be careful to book accommodation that has been highly rated by other travelers and be aware of date rape drugs: serious sexual assaults have occurred. It is important to have knowledge of safety procedures in the event of a natural disaster.
Suriname is generally combined with Guyana and French Guiana for travelers, so visitors are likely to remain limited until their borders fully reopen. This is actually a rather blatant entry, since culturally Guyana is not considered part of Latin America (which consists of countries with Romance languages), but I have included it because of its regional location, since you are considering traveling to this corner of the world. But apart from having to plan trips to avoid roadblocks and the like, this shouldn't affect visitors too much. The United States should be one of the least safe countries to travel to due to corruption and political harassment by people who support the government.
If you're looking for a lively tourist city to see and be seen, head to Punta del Este, where the elite from all over Latin America gather to sunbathe as January hits the region. It would be a shame to miss everything that Central American countries have to offer, especially since the short answer is yes, it is safe to travel in Central America. Panama ranks second near Costa Rica in terms of being one of the safest countries in Central America. Keep in mind that no matter where you choose to travel in Latin America, you'll need to take the same common-sense precautions you would take anywhere else.
Before planning your trip, it's worth knowing how safe the country you visit is, as well as the common scams and issues you should be aware of before you arrive. These are places where you can travel safely, have unforgettable experiences and create lasting memories along the way. Uruguay, one of the safest countries in South America, is famous for its political stability and its relative lack of violent crime. .