here is an innate sense of adventure within all of us and it is that instinct that sends us to the internet in order to find a cheap flight somewhere beautiful, far away from home. We live for our vacations and special hotel reservations and we typically can’t wait to see the world. The majority of the planet is beautiful and there is nothing quite as magical as experiencing a foreign culture that appeals to you in an emotional and physical way. However, not all places should be visited by tourists for a variety of different reasons. As it turns out, there are many places in the world that appeal to tourists who don’t realize just how dangerous they are to visit. We decided to pick 14 different cities that should be known for how dangerous they are. Listed below are the 12 most dangerous cities to travel to in the world.
We are in South America now to look at the city of Barquisimeto which is located in Venezeulas. As far as cities to travel to in South America you might want to skip the cheap ticket and hotel reservation when it comes to this destination. Barquisimeto was founded in 1552 and for a long time the city grew in such a way that tourism was actually increasing. With over one million citizens and tons of architecture it makes sense for this to become a hot spot for visitors. As the fourth largest city in Venezuela, in terms of population, we were surprised to see that it actually has been in a tail spin in regards to the tourism industry. Daily murders and a high rate of other violent crimes have dimmed what could have been an inspiring tourist destination.
Rio de Janeiro is a thriving city located in Brazil and the city was recently put on full display for the Olympic Games and the World Cup. Still, this is not a city you want to make a point of visiting — not unless you like living life with the threat of danger surrounding you. Rio de Janeiro struggles mightily with crime of all kinds with most of the focus being on drug related activities. The threat of being mugged, attacked, and murdered has actually been escalating since the big media events have taken place. Right now estimates are at 35 murders per 100,000 people which is a number high enough that you would never feel at ease while taking a trip here. Make a hard pass on this destination and opt for somewhere safer, and cleaner.
Yemen is located in Western Asia and is located on the the south end of the Arabian Peninsula. Bordered by Saudi Arabia and Oman out to the East, the country has been struggling with political instability for far back as history will take you. The fact that Yemen is considered a developing country isn’t lost on us as the violence located in many of the biggest cities has been off the charts in recent years. Sana’a is a beautiful, old city that is filled with gorgeous architecture and vibrant culture. However there is an inherent danger in visiting the city, especially for tourists. If you do make it to Sana’a then you owe it to yourself to go to the Old City portion of the town to see the beautiful architecture.
Known by locals as Juaritos, Ciudad Jaurez is one of the most violent and corrupt cities in all of Mexico. Located south of El Paso, Texas and right off of the Rio Grande the city of Juaritos houses over 1.3 million people within its borders. Established in the 1650s by Spanish explorers, Ciudad Juarez has grown into one of the largest cities in Mexico. Due to intense drug trafficking and a corrupt government there has been no clear way for Mexico to reclaim one of their largest cities. Ciudad Juarez has, at several points in time, been ranked among the top two or three most violent cities on the planet.
We have to make mention of one of the most divisive cities in the United States of America so we decided to list St. Louis. St. Louis and its surrounding areas were heavily in the news for the Ferguson riots but even before that the city had been heavily suffering from violence and disparate poverty. Despite successful sports franchises and a nice midwestern seat, St. Louis is an easy enough destination to avoid traveling to.
The nation of Guatemala may have plenty of tourist friendly destinations but Guatemala City is definitely not one of those places. This Central American city is plagued by murder and various drug related crimes. Car jackings, bus jackings, and street robberies are considered the norm here and tourists would be better served opting to go visit a different place in the region.
If your first inclination to reading Acapulco on this list was a hearty ‘huh’ then you probably aren’t the only one. Acapulco used to be a trendy tourist spot for those seeking to steal some time in the sun and on the beautiful beaches. The deep blue water, tasty margaritas, and affordable food would be enough to bring anyone in for a weekend getaway. However, Acapulco has been getting more and more dangerous by the year with the violence peaking in requiring the Mexican military to show up and handle things. Tourism is on the downslide here.
Much like many of the South American countries on this list, Africa also suffers from violent cities beset in a beautiful location. Nairobi makes our list as a sprawling city that has suffered almost permanently from war and violence. Al Shabaab has left their mark on the city and these violent militants make this an unattractive destination for just about anyone to come visit. Locals are told not to go out after dark and tourists should listen to that suggestion doubly so.
For such a beautiful continent, South America is really racking up a ton of space on this list. Maceio, located in Brazil, is the next city that all tourists should consider avoiding. Maceio averages 135 murders per 100,000 residents and you’re going to need more than a gorgeous ocean view to make me consider taking a trip there. Maceio is competitive with Rio de Janeiro for the most violent city in the country.
If visiting Honduras isn’t scary enough then you can consider taking a trip to the tiny country of El Salvador. San Salvador isn’t known for much beyond their production of one of the most fierce gangs on Earth: MS 13. MS 13, along with the drug trade and explosive poverty, have led to San Salvador completely going off of the rails. There are safe places to visit in El Salvador, but this definitely isn’t one of them. Avoid the allure of the beautiful climate and opt for somewhere else.
While South African can be a beautiful place due to the diverse eco system, wonderful surfing, and brilliant beach towns there is more than enough trouble there than it is worth. Cape Town is one of the more popular tourist destinations in all of South Africa but recent violent numbers show that this might not stay that way. People blame the South African government for not doing anything to stop the burgeoning gang problems and questions of corrupt city officials have only exacerbated these claims. If you are going to South Africa and want to make your way to Cape Town then you should stick to the tourist areas.
Honduras is located in the a beautiful spit of land in Central America and it is bordered by Guatemala and Nicaragua while cushioned in by the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Honduras is a beautiful coastal country that is covered in a dense and vibrant array of natural formations, replete with diverse ecosystems. Yet, despite all of this beauty there is an innate sense of danger within the developing urban areas. San Pedro Sula in particular should be avoided by travelers at all cost. With a population of just over 1 million people, San Pedro Sula ranks in as one of the most dangerous cities on Earth. In fact it has been called the ‘Murder Capital of the World’ at many points in time. The reason for all of the violence can be laid at the feet of the various street gangs and drug traffickers that are fighting for turf control. In fact, things are so bad here that the city has been cited as one of the major reasons for Alien Minors trying to sneak into the United States.
Medellin used to be the most violent city on the face of the planet thanks in large part to the illicit work of Pablo Escobar — the former leader of the Medellin Cartel. Since the death of Escobar crime has been gradually falling though it is still not a city that tourists or visitors should take lightly. Right now the murder per capita rate is sitting at 20 deaths per 100,000 people and this is the lowest the rate has been in decades. Though the city is trending in the right direction there is still a ton of work to do.
Though you probably have never heard of it, Durban is the largest city in all of KwaZulu-Natul and the second largest city in all of South Africa, behind only Johannesburg. With such a large population and violence encircling the city it only seemed to be inevitable that the city would come under fire as well. Right now the primary cause of crime in the city is the drug trade which flows through Sub-Saharan Africa and the trade has been growing dramatically over the past two decades. The murder rate in 2015 was sitting at 35 murders per 100,000 people.