Traveling abroad can be dangerous, especially when you visit a country that is known for violence or aggression, especially against foreigners. In this article, we present to you a list of the top 5 dangerous countries for solo travelers. Take into consideration that some countries are more dangerous to women than to men, this article does not differentiate between the genders, but we add a note to state whether the country is more dangerous for women.
1. Caracas, Venezuela
Venezuela has a US State department warning level 4. This means “Do Not Travel”. The reason for this is due to the corrupt and volatile nature of the country, especially in Caracas. Due to the depth of the dangers encountered in Venezuela, some airlines have canceled their flight lines to the country. In fact, it is best not to travel there alone, or with others, it’s that dangerous.
One of the most common occurrences directed at foreigners is kidnapping, where gangs drive around in vans aiming to swipe foreigners for either money or body parts; other non-mobile gangs target foreigners for their money, so solo travelers are prone to muggings even in broad daylight.
Another aspect of Venezuela is its poor health care, and for this reason, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued their level 3 warning, which means “Avoid Nonessential Travel”. This translates into two warnings: if you are ill, don’t go there; and if you do go there and get ill, you’d better get out fast.
Venezuela is equally dangerous for both genders.
2. Bogota, Colombia
Colombia is well known for its drug cartels and coffee. The capital Bogota is a major tourist attraction with its beautiful architecture, unique culture and colorful flowers. However, behind this beautiful mask, it lies a very dangerous face.
The country is riddled with drug cartels, terrorist organizations, and street gangs that are armed to the teeth. Bogota and the rest of Colombia have been deemed a level 2 destination by the US State Department, which means you need to “Exercise Increased Caution” before traveling to Colombia.
Foreigners are targets of criminal organizations, specifically for their perceived intrinsic value. Another aspect is the demobilization of armed groups or the lack of which means travelers can get caught up in a violent skirmish. Colombia is equally dangerous for both genders.
3. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful country rich in culture and archaeological heritage, and the food is divine. However, when considering Mexico, with great beauty comes great danger. Apart from the border situation with the USA and the drug-infested townships that dot the US Mexican border, danger lurks in every location, especially in Mexico City. In fact, Mexico is notorious for being dangerous to solo travelers, especially for women.
Solo travelers will be targeted for muggings, kidnappings, and rape. Women should never use public transports during night hours as these modes of transport are susceptible to gang assault. The US Department of State classifies Mexico as a level 2 category of risk, which means you need to “Exercise Increased Caution” before traveling.
With this in mind, consider that thousands of tourists visit Mexico year-round. If you plan your solo travel properly and follow basic precautions, you will enjoy a beautiful holiday.
4. New Delhi, India
New Delhi is a pearl of commerce and industry in India. It is a vibrant city with a lot to offer solo travelers; however, since it is in India, women are specifically in danger when traveling alone. To be succinct, all Western countries warn their female travelers from visiting India alone, and specifically from visiting New Delhi alone, where sexual assault is common towards all women, especially international visitors.
5. Jakarta, Indonesia
While everyone knows about Bali, Jakarta is not as popular but is the capital city of Indonesia. It is a modern sprawling city but is also a Muslim one where law and traditions add to the potential risk. Both the UK and the US warn their citizens from traveling alone to the Jakarta. It is not uncommon to read about kidnappings and assault as well as arrests made due to religious ignorance of the visitor.
Another aspect is the geological location of Indonesia, it is parked inside the “ring of fire” which is a volcanic and tectonic plate sensitive area prone to eruptions, earthquakes, and tidal waves.
Traveling is a risk for anyone, a group or a solo traveler. Solo traveling women are more prone to assault than men. It is imperative that you plan your trip properly and do not take on any “last minute” deals just to save on travel costs. Plan your destination, read news and official notices. If in doubt, go somewhere else, the world is full of safe locations with adrenaline rush spots, you don’t need to play your survival for excitement.