For years, traveling has been a form of de-stressing for both the weary and the wanderlust. We want to get the most out of very trip that we have that is why we plan it even to the minutest detail weeks or months before. Travelers usually take into consideration the location, hotel reviews, costs, and other things.
However you wish to visit all nooks and crannies in this vast planet, there are just some places that are best to avoid because of the possible dangers they bring. Or at least, you should be more wary if should you insist of seeing these places for yourself.
1. Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
This border city is connected to Laredo, Texas, by three international bridges and a rail bridge. The city sits in the largest inland port in Mexico and sits right across the Rio Grande River. Its geographical location makes it the perfect place for drug cartels compete of the drug trade into the United States through large trucks passing through its multiple exploitable ports of entry.
Since 2006, there have been a recorded number of 60,000 people who were killed in drug-related violence. Aside from smuggling drugs, carjacking, kidnapping, and robbery are rampant; thus a major threat to tourists. Authorities advise tourists to avoid this city. Should you go, do not go alone and be alert at all times.
2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As Brazil’s primary tourist attraction and resort, Rio de Janeiro receives the most visitors every year compared to any city in South America. The city offers its almost three million international tourists world-class hotels, long stretches of beaches, and the famous Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains. The Carnival in February also brings more millions flocking to the city for some merry-making and red meat consumption before the 40 days of Lent that follows.
However, the fun that the carnival brings can also lead to a high rate of street crimes such as robbery and carjacking. For safety reasons, it is best that you make reservations on some resorts online. Some resorts serve as safe houses for tourists during the festivity.
3. Tegusigalpa, Honduras
Tegucigalpa is a hilly city situated in a valley and surrounded by mountain ranges. Here you can find popular religious landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Basilica of the Virgin of Suyapa, and La Merced Church. The colonial city has a rich history that spans for more than 400 years, and there are 14 museums in the city ready to prove that to its visitors. Yet do not be deceived as Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate.
In 2009, there were 246 motor vehicle–related deaths with pedestrians and bicyclists as the common victims. In 2010, the homicide rate in Francisco was 83.2 percent. Extreme poverty has also led many citizens to commit violence. The presence of corruption and mafia has worsened the situation. People could also be inhospitable toward tourists, thus making it all the more dangerous.
4. Detroit, USA
Detroit is definitely not a good choice if your planning day instate day trips. For one, Detroit has the sixth highest total rate of violent crimes; and among the 25 largest cities, the city held the highest per capita rate of violent crime in 2007. Almost two-third of all murders in Michigan in 2011 occurred in Detroit.
Crime is unevenly distributed throughout the city, with much of them stemming from selected neighborhoods in the upper east and central west. Although the rate of violent crimes has gone down to 11 percent in 2008, Detroit still remains to have one of the highest crime rates in the United States. Extreme caution is advised to those who plan to visit the city.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Next to Johannesburg as the most populous city in South Africa, Cape Town has gained fame as a popular international destination not only in South Africa but in the entire African continent. The city is endowed with a good climate, natural setting, and well-developed infrastructure. Most noted tourist attraction in the city is Table Mountain, which forms a large part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The provincial capital however has a high rate of crime in South Africa, which becomes a major concern for its tourists and expats. Assault, rape, and murder are some of the cases occurring in the city. Poverty and social unrest also contribute to the high crime rate. It is therefore best to leave this beautiful place with natural beauty and resorts out of your bucket lists of places to visit.
6. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Yes, it’s Honduras again. The city, which is located in the northwest corner of the country, is about 37 miles south of Puerto Cortés on the Caribbean Sea. With its lovely, tropical climate and high temperatures all year round, plus the great sights the city has to offer, the place feels like it is the perfect summer getaway. It has the Central Park with a little gazebo marking a place where the city was founded and Avenida Circunvalación (The Ring Avenue), a popular area of hotels, malls, banks, and fastfood chains.
Despite all these, San Pedro Sula is one of the most dangerous places in the world. In 2011, the city has 159 homicides per 100,000 residents, surpassing the previous most dangerous place on Earth for three consecutive years, Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico. In short, San Pedro Sula is the murder capital of the world with approximately 3 murders a day. Another thing to worry in the city are the gang activities that have taken over the businesses of illegal drug trade and arms trafficking.
7. Guatemala City, Guatemala
Guatemala City is the capital of Republic of Guatemala, a Central American state. Rates of crime are very high, with an average of 25 murders per week as reported in 2009. It is one of the highest crime rates in Latin America, which is duefully blamed on a highly powerful criminal cartel. The murder of Catholic Bishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera is said to be the work of high-profile cartels.
Guatemala’s location makes it a link between Honduras and Mexico and along many common drug routes between Central America and the United States. Moreover, the city is also a hot spot for exploitation of women and children for sex trafficking from other Latin American counties. Its people, regardless of sex and age, also suffer from systems of forced labor. Though located in the Caribbean, it is highly recommended that tourists and travelers avoid this Central American city.
8. Caracas, Venezuela
When it comes to altitude temperatures, tropical Caracas is generally not as high as other tropical locations at sea level. It is not even as popular as Acapulco, but it has beautiful places that could make it a desirable place to go on vacation. Religious people would find the city as it has many religious buildings; one of which is the historical The Iglesia de San Francisco. Caracas is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Caracas. The Mosque of Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim, the second largest mosque in Latin America, can also be found here.
Unfortunately though, their religious status has been of no help to boost the morality of its citizens. The city and the country Venezuela as a whole are reported to have recorded one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world, with murder cases and other violent crimes remaining unsolved. Tourists are reminded not to go alone, especially during the night as street fighting and armed robberies are widespread.
9. Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev is the eighth largest city in Europe; it is the largest city and the capital of Ukraine. As an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural center of Eastern Europe, it is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, and world-famous historical landmarks. The city also boasts of its extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport.
In 2005, the country introduced a visa-free regime for EU member states and Switzerland and since then the number of tourist visits to the country have been gradually building up. But before they could even peak in tourism, it has already been listed as one of the dangerous places in the world.
The growing unrest of the citizens in the past year has disinterested tourists from visiting the country. Violence is ever present on the city streets as the Ukrainian president wants ties with Russia. The trip going their may fit your minimal budget, but because it cost less money, it may cost you your life.
10. Maceio, Brazil
Maceio is the capital and the largest city of the Brazilian coastal state Alagoas. With its tropical climate, warm to hot temperatures and high relative humidity all throughout the year and its sandy beaches with clear emerald green to blue waters, the city sounds perfect for your next vacation. But beware for Brazil is home of the 14 most violent cities in the world, Maceio being one of them. Per 100,000 residents are 135 murders, even topping that of Rio de Janeiro.
11. Sukhumi, Georgia
Sukhumi, a city in western Georgia and the capital of Abkhazia, is described as having an untouched landscape, blessed by snow-capped mountains and is known for its beaches, mineral-water spas, and semitropical climate. Almost perfect, right? But then there’s the war.
Since its independence in the early 1990s, threats of military action has been looming around. The city has been notoriously known for the massacre that happened on September 27, 1993, where a large number of people were burned to death, dismembered while still alive, and were victims of sadistic rape. Only its blissful nature acts as its saving grace.
12. Acapulco, Mexico
If you’re a party-goer and a night owl rolled into one, you would most likely be attracted to Acapulco’s nightlife. For decades, it has been the main source of fun and tourism activity of the municipality. Poolside cocktail bars that offer live entertainment and the beach bar zone are located along the Costera road. These places tend to open early and have a more informal dress code. Thrill-seekers can even try bungee jumping.
Acapulco used to be the favorite coastal destination of Hollywood stars and millionaires. Nowadays, however, tourists are scared off by the corrupt local police who steal money by extortion and intimidate visitors with threats of jail. Acapulco is also known for its drug cartels. Dead bodies have been reported everywhere, and if you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, chances are that you will end up the same.
13. Cairo, Egypt
Situated in the north part of the African continent, Egypt is mostly desert. It has been a desirable destination for vacation, especially in the winter, since the temperatures remain high all year round. Tourists can also enjoy the beaches and the warm sunlight in the ocean nearby. There are also guided excursions to the Pyramids for those who want to see both the outside and the inside of these historical structures.
But with its internal unrest during the past year, Cairo has been listed as one of the most dangerous cities in the world to go to. In fact, some countries have even blacklisted Cairo, which means that no safety is guaranteed. The trouble in the capital has affected travel throughout the country as protests has become a usual thing. Governmental issues are making things harder and terrorist bombings had already killed several tourists.
14. Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Port-au-Prince is the capital and largest city of the Caribbean country of Haiti. Crime is commonly high in earthquake survivor camps, although the illegal trade has encouraged violent crime. Haitians generally commit crimes against Haitians although occasionally foreigners have been victims. The root of this problem is the police force that is understaffed, poorly equipped, and unable to respond to most calls for assistance. It is even believed that the police interfere in some criminal activities. Because of the nonexistent and doubtful capabilities of the Haitian national police and the weak judicial system of the country, it can be concluded that if the police do not care about their people, the lesser they will care about some foreigners who come on vacation.
Lack of water and electricity is a daily problem as poverty becomes more of a heated issue in the country. Haitians are discontented, resulting to violent outbreaks and demonstrations. Although a beautiful place in its own right, it is best to be careful when going there for a vacation . . . or avoid it at all.
15. Havana, Cuba
Havana is the capital city of Cuba and is the largest city in the area, the most populous, and the third largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region. The city is the center of the Cuban Government, and it is where various ministries, business headquarters, and diplomatic offices can be found. Havana can be essentially described as three cities in one—Old Havana and the newer suburban districts. More than a million tourists visit the country from all over the world yearly.
Yet crime is a constant in Cuba. The government does not release official crime statistics, but crime reports have been heard of, with police intervention on below-average. Drug trafficking is also rampant throughout the country, with United States being the destination of the illegal drugs.
Cuba has never gotten past its former socialists status, causing the whole state to be stricken by poverty. Bribery is widespread. Musicians regularly pay bribes just to be allowed to perform in tourist areas, where they can earn convertible currency. As tourism increased, so did prostitution. All in all, Cuba is not so dangerous compared to the places in this list as long as you stay in the advised areas for tourists.