For many travelers, the world is a magnificent place full of wonder at every turn. With every adventure, we learn something new about ourselves, the human condition, and how we see ourselves through the lens of other cultures. However, for all the wonderful places around the world travelers can experience, there are also many very dangerous locations that target western visitors.
In some cities, armed gangs can be brazen in their attacks, targeting western travelers who look out of place. As a result, travelers can get assaulted, attacked, and injured in the name of terrorism, robbery, or other motives. Even with the best protection and preparation, many travelers don’t know where they need to watch out for danger the most.
Some locations are more dangerous than others – especially for travelers who like to go alone. Those who are planning a trip to these five cities should either reconsider their plans, or purchase a strong travel insurance policy.
1. Bogota, Colombia
The vibrant and historic capital of Colombia, Bogota remains an industrial city located in the heart of the nation. Known for producing some of the world’s finest coffee and beautiful flowers, thousands of Americans visit Bogota and rural Colombia every year for cultural studies, volunteer work, and even tourism. However, many who make plans to see this classic city don’t understand that it is also one of the most dangerous places for western travelers in the world.
Terrorist organizations, drug cartels, and armed street gangs all have a significant and visible presence across Colombia, especially in Bogota. According to the State Department, American travelers are often viewed as easy targets for crime. Officials warn that the threat of kidnapping remains high, even though the rate of kidnappings has decreased significantly over the last 15 years.
While traveling to Bogota can be a rewarding experience, it also comes with a high level of risk. Those planning to visit should make sure they have a safety plan in place, and make sure they keep a contingency kit in the event of an emergency.
2. Mexico City, Mexico
Every day, over 150,000 people legally cross the border between the United States and Mexico for a number of reasons. Whether seeking a vacation at one of the many coastal resort towns or visiting family and friends, Mexico is a popular and easily accessible destination for many travelers in North America. The capital, Mexico City, is no exception.
While much of the media focus surrounds the cities that border the United States, Mexico City is also a city that is known for high rates of violence, including mugging, assault, and even kidnapping under certain circumstances. Women traveling alone are advised not to utilize public transportation at night, due to the risks of gangs roving the streets. While many travel to Mexico City without any problems, those with plans to visit this city should make a safety plan ahead of their travels.
3. Lima, Peru
Considered one of the most historic cities in South America and the gateway to Machu Picchu, Lima is on the bucket list of many travelers who want to experience American history first hand. Because of the high number of tourists who visit the city every year, criminals are constantly vigilant in the city, waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists.
From illegal taxi services that have been known to take more than a fare to hijackings that take place on remote roads at night, Lima offers plenty of danger to the common traveler. Travelers who want to visit this classic city should plan on traveling during the day and taking taxis recommended by hotels or tour operators.
4. New Delhi, India
A budding commerce center of India, New Delhi attracts travelers on both business and pleasure. Like any developing city, New Delhi is discovering not only its identity, but also the dangers that come with expansive growth. One of those dangers comes in the threat of sexual assault, especially to women.
According to the British Foreign Ministry, sexual assaults of female visitors have been reported throughout 2014, with the latest reports coming from January of 2015. The assaults have not been isolated to just western travelers, either: travelers from Denmark, Germany, and even Japan have all been victims of sexual assault. Women with travel plans to New Delhi are encouraged to create a safety plan prior to their travels, and are strongly encouraged to travel in groups.
5. Jakarta, Indonesia
A popular layover destination for tourists seeking a tropical vacation, Jakarta offers travelers a healthy dose of adventure in a truly unique culture. However, what lurks just under the surface is a number of threats that can turn a dream holiday into a nightmare.
According to the British Foreign Ministry, threats of terrorism and kidnapping of foreigners are two main safety concerns that visitors need to be aware of. In addition, Jakarta also sits along a series of fault lines known as the “Ring of Fire.” This leaves the region susceptible to earthquakes and tsunamis without warning. Those planning to visit the area should consider purchasing travel insurance early, in order to take benefit of all benefits in the event a trip turns bad.
While the world can be a wonderful place, danger is always just around the corner. By understanding the different forms the danger takes and which locations are most susceptible, modern adventurers can make sure their travels go without danger as they boldly traverse the globe.