The world is extremely used to positivity when it comes to travelling abroad, with an exceptional number of articles and blog posts filling individuals with wanderlust. And, for many travellers, the world is a magnificent place full of magic at every turn and ignorance toward dangers can be rife.
There are some destinations in the world where crimes go beyond petty taxi cab scams and pickpocket theft. In some cities, armed gangs can be merciless in their attacks, often targeting western travellers in the name of terrorism, robbery, or other motives. Even with the correct preparation and protection, many travellers are not aware of where to be vigilant.
Understandably, some destinations are more dangerous than others, especially for travellers who like to experience the gifts of the world solo. Those who are planning to gallivant around the world on their own, and are considering one of the cities below as a stop on their journey, should either reconsider their plans or purchase an extensive travel insurance policy to cover all eventualities.
Mexico City, Mexico
Every day, over 150,00 people legally cross the border between the United States and Mexico. Whether visiting family and friends or settling at a coastal resort for a holiday, Mexico is a popular destination for many travellers and the capital, Mexico City, is no exception.
The media is inherently focused on violence or crime linked with illegal border crossing and, behind the portrayal, Mexico City is struggling under a violent streak of muggings, assaults and kidnappings. Sexual assaults on women are often gang related and utilising public transport, particularly at night, is best avoided.
Jakarta is often a layover destination for travellers flying on to tropical climes and, whilst offering a tapestry of unique culture, under the surface of the city lies a number of dangers that can transform a trip into a nightmare.
The British Foreign Ministry reports that threats of terrorism and kidnapping of foreigners are two of the main concerns visitors need to be aware of. However, it is not just criminals that travellers need to avoid. Jakarta sits along a series of fault lines called the ‘Ring of Fire’ which leaves the region at high risk of earthquakes and tsunamis without warning.
Those planning a visit to Jakarta should purchase travel insurance early in order to benefit from all the perks in the event of a trip turning bad.
The capital city of Colombia, Bogota, is an industrial city famous for producing some of the world’s finest coffee and beautiful flowers. Visitors stream into Bogota and rural Colombia daily to indulge in cultural studies, volunteer work and tourism. However, under its vibrant guise, the city remains one of the most dangerous destinations for foreigners to visit.
Drugs cartels are particularly significant, along with terrorist organisations and armed street gangs, not only in Bogota but all over Colombia. Furthermore, officials warn that the threat of kidnapping is still worryingly prevalent, despite a significant decrease over the past 15 years.
New Delhi, India
Hailing as one of the most rapidly expanding commercial sites in India, New Delhi is a centre for those travelling for business and pleasure. Whilst New Delhi has been discovering its international identity, it has also become aware that with expansive growth comes elevated crime levels. One of those dangers, particularly for women, is sexual assault.
The British Foreign Ministry has stated that sexual assault on female solo travellers in New Delhi has become a major cause for concern, with women from all corners of the globe reporting that they had been sexual harassed or assaulted whilst travelling in New Delhi. Women who are considering travelling alone are encouraged to create a safety plan in advance.
Lima in Peru is one of the most historic cities in the world and the gateway to Machu Picchu. Lima is a prime location for those interested in Inca history and because of the high number of tourists, criminals occupy the city, waiting to take advantage.
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 a range of potential dangers to travellers. Visitors who want to visit the city alone should consider limiting their plans to daylight hours, and to use taxis recommended by their hotel and tour operator only.