There are certain cities in South America that don’t have the best reputation as being the ¨safest¨ cities in America but are fantastically rich in culture, things to do and see, and will keep you scintillated from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. As with most cities in South America, it should be assumed that any woman who is traveling by herself should exercise a certain amount of caution. In the cities listed below, being on higher alert is recommended, but it doesn’t mean you should skip seeing them all together just because they have more crime. The following are considered by some reports the most dangerous cities in South America, but are also considered some of the top places to holiday, party and get your travel groove on.
Snuggled between the infamous Andean Peaks and with a vivacious metropolis heartbeat, Bogotá Columbia is an energetic Latin American city that should not be crossed off your To-See cities just because of its’ dangerous reputation. It enjoys a subtropical climate, making it pleasant to visit during any time of the year and has an eclectic array of international cuisine that will cater to the most refined taste-buds. Yes crime is high, especially in areas of mugging, cell phone thefts and burglary of all types. However, a 2013 report by the Department of State, “Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations like Cartagena and Bogotá, but violence by narco-terrorist groups continues to affect some rural areas and large cities.” If you are interested in visiting the city, stick to the La Candelaria, a bustling historic neighborhood in downtown Bogotá that is well-lit and safe to roam.
Oh Venezuela, how your big city of Caracas and steady slew of crime has kept you from being explored by timid travelers for way too long. Yes, it´s true, Venezuela has some of the highest petty crime rates in South America, especially on public transport, but it also is a haven for die-hard salsa dancers, late-night party-goers, and an international cuisine scene that will keep your mouth watering and tummy satiated. Check travel advisories before you go and stay in areas that are considered safe(r), according to wikitravel, ¨While the whole of the city is considered to be dangerous at night; it’s preferable to stay near Sabana Grande or farther east¨. Taxis at night are also a good idea, as the city after dark is considered not safe. If you can take all of these precautions into account, you shouldn’t have a problem experiencing the charms of this hip urban city.
São Luís, Brazil
With a charismatic cobblestone city center stamped as a historical site by the World Heritage Center, São Luís, Brazil is a city of just under a million people. With a lively Afro-Brazilian culture and a steady heart-beat of funky reggae bars and a tropical island feel that give you the feel-good-tingle from your head to your toes. Assaltos (assaults) are the bmost typical forms of crime that occur in larger cities in Brazil, especially in São Luís. Dark alleyways and ill-lit streets should be avoided at all costs. Always keep large amounts of money and your passport stowed away at home. The best time to explore the city is during daylight hours. Once you relax and get acclimated make sure you visit the city´s beaches that sprawls over 32km of coastline.
Have you visited a dangerous city in South America? What was your impression?