These Are 7 Of The Safest Countries To Visit In Latin America For 2024

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With the state of the world today, where wars erupt left, right and center and crime is on the up, it’s only natural for you to have safety as your primary concern when traveling abroad.

This is noticeably true for Latin America, a subcontinent the media often portrays as being marred by violence and corruption.

Still, have you ever wondered to which extent those allegations are true? In other words, just how safe are Latin American countries in general? As it turns out, virtually all of the most popular tourist destinations South of the border pose relatively low risks.

Typical street scene with famous and nice 19th - century historic European building on november 29 2011 in Buenos Aires Argentina

More specifically, these seven countries are either tried-and-true sunny getaways or feature among 2024’s most promising destinations:

Argentina

Other than being the birthplace of tango and a well-reputed foodie hotspot, boasting an enviable selection of award-winning restaurants, Argentina is one of the safest Latin countries, having earned a Level 1 classification from the U.S. Department of State.

This means it is perfectly safe to visit, and American citizens can exercise ‘normal’ precautions while in the country, such as keeping an eye on personal belongings, and watching out for petty criminals, especially in crowded areas in large urban centers.

In fact, Argentina shares Level 1 status with several European countries traditionally perceived as low-risk destinations, including Iceland, Finland, and Ireland. This does not mean you should let your guard down, per se – pickpocketing is common – but violent crime in Argentina is not that common.

Traditional Architecture Of Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

Uruguay

One of Argentina’s closest neighbors, the lesser-known yet equally-charming Uruguay, is also on the safer side of things. A prosperous country with a rapidly developing economy, it has one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America.

In fact, Uruguay posted the ninth-lowest crime rate worldwide, according to the digital platform Wisevoter, and this is data most foreign governments would corroborate, including the United States, which does not exactly discourage its nationals from traveling to Uruguay.

On top of that, Uruguay has gorgeous colonial towns, including the picturesque, cobblestone-laden Colonia del Sacramento, a short ferry ride away from Argentina, the trendy Punta del Este, Miami’s South American double, and a vibrant capital city in Montevideo.

Whitewashed Villa Casapueblo In Punta Ballena, Close To Punta Del Este, Uruguay, South America

Chile

On the Pacific Coast, Chile is a typographically diverse, impossibly narrow, strip-like sovereign state that has, so far, been the only one South of the border to have achieved developed country status, as per the World Bank classification, and needless to say, it’s much safer than average.

Assault and armed robbery are rare occurrences across Chile, and even larger cities like Santiago, its skyscraper-dotted capital, and Vina del Mar, a casino destination, enjoy fairly low incidences of violent crime, making them perfect for overly-cautious visitors.

Safety levels aside, the majestic nature will make you wish you had taken that trip South much sooner. Stargaze deep into the Atacama Desert, hike across gorgeous, snow-capped Andean peaks, or marvel at the icy wastelands of Chilean Antarctica, and rest assured wonders will truly never cease.

Skyline Of Santiago Del Chile, Capital of Chile, South America

Peru

Peru hit a publicity crisis throughout 2023, following a wave of political upheavals and subsequent protests that led to the grounding of flights, and even the weeks-long closure of Machu Picchu, the famous 15th-century Incan citadel perched on the Andean range.

Fortunately, these problems have now subsided, as civil unrest has been contained, and the country has regained its Level 2 status, following a temporary demotion to Level 3. In other words, Washington no longer urges citizens to ‘reconsider travel’.

Instead, Americans can again visit Peru without worrying about violent clashes between the state police and protesters, but usual safety advice remains in place, such as maintaining a high level of situation awareness in big cities, and avoiding gang-dominated areas near the border with Colombia.

aerial view of macchu picchu, Peru

Costa Rica

Moving up the Central American isthmus, Costa Rica may be a tiny nation, but it certainly has no shortage of beautiful natural landmarks, being a volcano-dotted, Caribbean, and Pacific-bounded territory, and lucky for nature seekers, criminal occurrences are still within acceptable levels.

Similar to Peru, Costa Rica also appears in the Level 2 travel advisory, proving to be a democratic beacon of stability in a region plagued by political crises, trafficking, and, more commonly than not, authoritarian regimes.

Exploring the Costa Rican jungle and its many trail-traversed protected reserves or sojourning in a beach town facing the bright-blue Pacific, tourists know they are not under any particularly high risk of being targeted by corrupt police or falling victim to delinquent youths.

the thick jungle of Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

Off the American mainland, the Dominican Republic is a paradisaical island destination Americans are known to escape to as soon as temperatures begin dropping in winter, and considering how luxurious the resort zones are and how protected, we can’t say we’re exactly surprised.

Punta Cana is paradise on Earth for some, with its long miles of sandy coast, lapped by a turquoise ocean, and the state-of-the-art tourist facilities, and it remains a low-risk destination in spite of sporadic travel warnings that mostly apply to underdeveloped suburban zones or larger cities.

According to Washington, U.S. citizens should not feel discouraged from visiting the DR as long as they take some necessary precautionary steps, such as avoiding displaying unnecessary signs of wealth out in public and sticking to the well-delineated tourist path.

beach hut on a pier in punta cana dominican republic

Mexico

The number one destination in Latin America, Mexico is the proud home of Cancun, a bustling resort city bordering the Caribbean, ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, and fairytale colonial cities that rank among the most beautiful in the Americas.

It is a cultural hub you would need a lifetime of visits to do justice, and lucky for the Mexicophiles, only 13 Mexican states (out of 32) have been slapped with either a ‘Reconsider Travel’, or ‘Do Not Travel’ warning, as defined by the U.S. Department of State.

Nearly all of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico sit at Level 2, where general safety advice applies, including the aforementioned Cancun, Los Cabos, and Mexico City, while two lesser-known gems in particular, the states of Yucatan and Campeche, are at Level 1.

Zocalo, Mexico City, Mexico, Latin America

The capital of Yucatan, Merida has been described as the safest state capital in all of Mexico, thanks to its moderate-to-low levels of violent crime, robust policing, and lower rates of poverty compared to less developed parts of the historical peninsula.

In general, Americans have nothing to worry about when traveling to Mexico, and as long as they adhere to protocols outlined by U.S. authorities when traveling to higher-risk states, they can expect to be left undisturbed.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


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