Is Latin America safe for holidaymakers?

Latin America has always been a popular destination for tourists, what with the sun, the beach, the culture - both stunningly ancient and vibrantly modern – what’s not to love? 

Unfortunately, some people are put off travelling to Latin America because it doesn't have the safest reputation, but here are some recommendations that may change your mind.

If you’re planning to simply stay in your resort and never venture outside, then Latin America, even in its most problem countries, is as safe as anywhere else – but where’s the fun in that?  Despite the presence of its drug-blighted black-spots, for savvy tourists Latin America is a safeplace to visit and explore, and in the urban centres in countries like Uruguay, Argentina or Chile it can seem no different to Europe.

Research the regions you want to visit and which to avoid:  

The international drugs trade has wreaked some damage on the region, and the countries in which drugs are produced and transported through are still some of the most dangerous for holidaymakers. In Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, and a number of Central American countries like Guatemala and Nicaragua, there are areas a tourist simply should not consider - these are usually depressed areas in larger cities and remote pockets, but even travelling through them can be dangerous so make sure you know where to avoid. 

Hire a local guide:

When you decide to explore lesser known areas yourself it's wise to hire a local guide. Their invaluable local knowledge will mean you are much safer, and also guarantee you visit all best places in the region.  

Be prepared:

Carry your embassy’s number to hand: Their number will be invaluable for all sorts of situations.

Get Travel Insurance that covers Medical care: If the worst does come to the worst then knowing you're covered to be transported home may give piece of mind.

Look after your valuables: Latin America still suffers from endemic street crime across almost the entire region, focussed particularly on areas where tourists are likely to congregate: airports, train and bus stations, markets, outside hotels and around famous tourist attractions. We’re talking about pickpockets, muggings and even extortion, so again, travel insurance is essential for covering any valuables you do have to take out onto the streets with you.


This article was written by Endsleigh Insurance, who offer several insurance options for Latin American travel.

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