When you're traveling solo or are visiting a new location, it can be easy to put your safety at risk due to an unfamiliarity with the area. This can easily lead to getting pickpocketed or being the victim of a crime. To ensure that you're prepared for the worst, it's important to be aware of the most dangerous cities to travel to in the world.
1. Caracas, Venezuela
As the capital of Venezuela, Caracas is known for the high number of drug gangs that are in the area. This causes many tourists to become victim to theft, muggings, and murders that occur. Venezuela is now known as the most murderous city in the world with 120 deaths per 100,000 residents. Many people believe that this is due to an authoritarian government and prolonged economic woes.
2. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Drug traffickers are abundant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico where there's a high level of violence due to police who are often paid off by criminals. This causes the crime rate to increase with an average of eight murders per day. Other crimes that are common include carjacking and robbery with children and women often targeted. Those who are visiting the area are encouraged to travel in groups and avoid exploring the city at night.
3. Cape Town, South Africa
Although Cape Town is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world, it's also one of the most dangerous locations due to the poverty and social unrest that is present. Tourists who still want to visit the city can take certain safety precautions by avoiding certain sections of Cape Town and by traveling in groups at night. Although it's common to witness gang fighting in Cape Town, the crime is usually subdued in tourist areas that are safer. It's also important to avoid stopping at red lights at night, avoid using a phone outside, keep the windows closed at all times, avoid using a map outside, and not wearing anything of value. You can also carry a fake bag around if you happen to get mugged. Those who are traveling by car should also check the front and back seats to look for people who may be hiding inside while using transportation.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro has one of the highest crime rates in the world with pickpocketing and muggings extremely common. Although police protection has slightly increased in recent years, it's still a place where tourists should use caution while visiting. Criminals in the city are known to focus more on high-value targets, which can include someone who is wearing a lot of jewelry or is more vulnerable to an attack. Experts recommend avoiding carrying a lot of cash and distributing your money in different pockets. It's also important to avoid the slum areas where criminal gangs often control the location.
5. Pereira, Colombia
With 32 homicides per 100,000 residents, Pereira, Colombia is one of the most dangerous locations to visit in the world. Drugs, gangs, cartels, and murder are all commonplace in the city. It's recommended that tourists travel in large groups and avoid drawing attention to themselves with valuables or fancy jewelry. It's also important to rely on taxis to get around instead of walking or riding a bike.
6. Karachi, Pakistan
As the largest city in Pakistan, Karachi is a common place to find local attacks and violent events for the last several years. It's known for having high levels of gang shootings, political violence, and suicide bombings. There are also a number of motorbike riding assassinations that involve the murders of the police, political figures, and protesters.
Female travelers who visit the city can protect themselves by fully covering themselves up and dressing modestly. It's important to travel with males and avoid staying in areas where there are strikes occurring.
7. Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya is a common place where terrorism threats occur on a consistent basis and is most dangerous in low-income areas. Tourists should avoid traveling at night in the city due to muggings and looting that occur. It's also important to rely on taking a taxi for transportation and avoid walking at night. Many tourists are often robbed and the police are corrupt due to bribes that they take from criminals in the local area.
8. Guatemala City, Guatemala
This city is known as the most populous location in Central America and is a common place where robbery, theft, gang violence, carjacking, and various acts of crime all occur. Carretera Salvador is a common place for carjacking, which is the main road that many people take from Guatemala City to El Salvador. Tourists should stay clear of Zone 1 of Guatemala City, which is an inexpensive place to find lodging, but is also targeted by criminals for the vulnerable travelers who are often staying in the area throughout the year.
When exploring the area, it's important to travel in big groups and take cabs to avoid dangerous situations. Get back to your room early and avoid becoming intoxicated while traveling to protect yourself. Avoid carrying valuables to prevent drawing attention to yourself and becoming a target. You can also use a money belt or divide your cash into different places when transporting it. Backpacks should also be worn across the chest when going into crowded areas to avoid pickpocketing.
9. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
San Pedro Sula has a high murder rate and is known for the drug trafficking and gun running that occurs by local gangs. There are currently an average of 82 murders per 100,000 residents each year in the city. Street thugs are also known to charge homes and local businesses to pay a protection tax, which ends in people leaving or getting murdered.
Tourists are recommended to avoid long stays in the city and to stick to populated areas while limiting activities after dark. Travel in groups of at least two people and be alert for two men who may be nearby on motorcycles. Be wary of men who have facial tattoos, which is often a sign that they're a gang member.
10. Detroit, Michigan, USA
Detroit is a common place for shootings and a high homicide rate that is related to drug trafficking. The low economic state of the city is also due to the danger that has continued to increase over the years due to a manufacturing industry that has begun to decline.