Traveling the world is exciting. But, however glamorous, beautiful and cultural international travel may be, there are still a few cities and countries that might be best avoided. Better safe than sorry, right? Trouble can come in a variety of forms like gangs, drugs, random street violence or corrupt policemen. So, if you want to have a nice vacation, keep your eyes open, make good decisions, and don’t trust anyone. Also, check out this list of the 10 most tough cities out there.
10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When you think Rio de Janerio, you don’t really think crime; however, high crime rates are extremely common in many Brazilian cities. Which is why the glamorous places hide danger for travelers. Rio is the most popular destination city in Brazil, with numerous tourists flying in, especially during Carnivale. As a result, the place is safer than it once was, but street crime is extremely problematic. Watch out for your purse!
9. Cape Town, South Africa
Johannesburg and Cape Town have seen significant increase in crime rates in recent years. The beautiful scenery will draw anyone in, but you should be advised to stay to the popular tourist areas, not to travel alone, and to avoid the poor neighborhoods. Crimes such as kidnapping, murder and robbery are extremely commonplace. Rape is also something to worry about.
8. Guatemala City, Guatemala
Somewhere in Central America, Guatemala City has a drug trafficking problem, due to the massive influx of drugs, weapons, money and lots of violence. Murder rates, carjackings, robberies and assaults happen daily, with tourists often caught in the crossfire. One particular situation to think about is bus robberies, where armed robbers stop buses full of tourists or travelers and rob them blind. Poor infrastructure, corrupt police and armed drug runners makes Guatemala City one place to avoid, if possible.
7. Baghdad, Iraq
It probably shouldn’t come as a shock that this place is on our list. It’s ill-advised for Americans to travel to Iraq, and I guess that stands for anyone else. It would seem decades of warfare have created a hostile environment and a city in transition – who could have foreseen that? Most of the violence comes in the form of gunfire or explosions, while the constant fight between government, armed organizations and the military isn’t what I’d consider entertainment. Stay clear!
6. Acapulco, Mexico
This might surprise some that Acapulco is on this list, as it’s been advertised as a luxurious destination for years.However, an increase in drug activity has created a volatile and hostile environment and a city in transition; Acapulco now sports one of the highest murder rates in the world. Supposedly, tourist destinations remain relatively safe; but I wouldn’t put money on that.
5. Caracas, Venezuela
The streets of Caracas are rife with gangs and a constant battle over drugs. Homicide rates are extraordinarily high, and it’s expected to reach higher stats. I’m not sure about he sights and views down there, but I’m reluctant to buy a ticket right now – if you know what I mean.
4. Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul has been one of the most dangerous cities in the world for nearly a decade. Violence, bombings, shootings and terrorist attacks make foreign travel possibly a suicidal act; the desperate struggle between the local government, power-hungry militant groups, terrorists and American forces have created a hostile environment. Anything can happen, but I doubt it will be a positive event.
3. Karachi, Pakistan
Like many cities in the Middle East and in a war zone, Karachi is a place Americans could run into problems. Suicide attacks, assassinations, murders, robberies, assaults and car jacking are problematic. The human trafficking is also worth thinking about. I guess I might as well go for a walk in the backyard.
2. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Just south of the American border, Ciudad Juarez is one of the most dangerous places in the world. Corrupt police, drug cartels and unsolved crimes are not really something enjoyable. Drug and crime violence is so bad that in 2009 over 2,600 people were killed in the drug wars. It’s like a scene from the Expendables, without the heroes.
1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
San Pedro Sula has frequently appeared on lists featuring the world’s most dangerous cities, for several years now. An economic divide, problems with drug cartels, and weapon trafficking will do that to a place. Furthermore, San Pedro Sula is believed to have the highest murder rate in the world. I think you could find a better place to visit, right?