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In this article we will take a look at the 20 Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit . You can also go directly to the 10 Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit .

Recently, the U.S. Department of State issued travel advisories to provide guidance to American citizens regarding the safety and security situation in foreign countries. These advisories are based on various factors, including crime rates, political instability, terrorism threats, natural disasters, and public health concerns. When issuing travel advisories, the Department assesses information from multiple sources, including U.S. embassies and consulates, host governments, intelligence reports, and international organizations.

As per news , The State Department also suggested that U.S. travelers steer clear of activities like boat tours with commercial recreational watercraft because they are not consistently regulated. But mainly, this warning was issued because 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024.

However, recent news reports indicate that Jamaican and Bahamian officials are challenging the statement made by U.S. authorities regarding the safety of their countries for tourists. The pushback comes in response to travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department, which raised concerns about crime rates and access to medical services in Jamaica and the Bahamas. The Jamaican Tourism Minister has refuted these claims, emphasizing that the country has implemented various measures to enhance visitor safety, including the deployment of additional security forces in tourist areas.

Additionally, Bahamian officials have contested the portrayal of their nation, citing improvements in law enforcement efforts and investments in infrastructure to address safety concerns. These assertions align with efforts by both countries to promote tourism and assure travelers of their commitment to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

It is too soon to say what implications this may have on the countries that have been on the warning list but immediate impact of travel advisories on hotel stocks may vary depending on the timing and severity of the advisories, historical trends and industry analyses can provide insights into potential effects. Publicly traded hotel stocks with exposure to countries under travel advisories may experience declines in their stock prices following the issuance of advisories or negative news coverage regarding safety concerns. Stock price movements can reflect investor perceptions of heightened risk and uncertainty surrounding the affected markets.

Hotel companies typically report financial data in their quarterly and annual financial statements, including revenue, occupancy rates, and Revenue Per Available Room for properties in various locations. Analysts and investors may scrutinize these financial statements for any indications of adverse impacts from travel advisories on the company's performance in affected markets.

AMResorts (Owned by Apple Leisure Group), a subsidiary of Apple Leisure Group, operates several luxury resort brands, including Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. It operates properties in Jamaica, such as Secrets St. James Montego Bay and Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay. A decline in bookings and occupancy rates due to travel advisories can directly impact AMResorts' financial performance. Lower occupancy levels may lead to decreased revenue per available room (RevPAR), impacting the company's top-line growth and profitability. This could, in turn, affect the company's stock performance and investor sentiment.

Methodology

To compile the list of the 20 Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit, we shortlisted the top countries that American tourists usually visit from sources like Travel Advisory , Business Insider , U.S. News , Deseret News , and CBS News . And then we opted for a consensus approach relying on opinion threads from popular platforms Quora . A score point was given each time a country was mentioned as dangerous to travel to for American tourists and then all the points were added to give a total score to each country. Then the list of the 20 Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit was ranked in ascending order (from least to more dangerous countries).

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years. Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders – check details here .

Aruba is known for its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, and is a popular Caribbean destination with a relatively low crime rate of 27.5 per 100,000 people.

19. Saint Kitts and Nevis

This dual-island nation offers lush rainforests, historic sites, and beautiful beaches. With a crime rate of 300.5 per 100,000 people, according to UNODC, travellers should exercise caution, especially in secluded areas.

18. Grenada

Famous for its spice plantations and welcoming locals, Grenada is a picturesque island with a crime rate of 57.8 per 100,000 people. Visitors enjoy exploring historic forts, diving in clear waters, and sampling local cuisine.

17. Saint Lucia

This country is known for its dramatic Pitons, lush landscapes, and luxury resorts. It has a crime rate of 29.6 per 100,000 people. Tourists indulge in outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and romantic getaways, however tourists must be careful when visiting Saint Lucia.

16. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island chain that offers secluded beaches, sailing adventures, and vibrant marine life. With a crime rate of 36.7 per 100,000 people, visitors should remain vigilant, especially in tourist areas.

15. Bahamas

Travelers enjoy water sports, shopping, and exploring historic sites in the Bahamas. It is famous for its pink-sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and luxurious resorts, the Bahamas has a crime rate of 31.7 per 100,000 people.

14. Barbados

Barbados offers people to savor rum cocktails, local cuisine, and cultural events. However,  with its British colonial architecture, lively festivals, and pristine beaches, Barbados has a crime rate of 35.6 per 100,000 people. Therefore, caution is recommended, when visiting such places.

13. Jamaica

Jamaica, situated in the Caribbean Sea, is renowned for its reggae music, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. The crime rate  here is higher - 46.2 per 100,000 people, which is why tourists are advised to be cautious of traveling here, despite the glory it has to offer. Tourists flock to Jamaica's sandy beaches, including Seven Mile Beach in Negril and Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, for sunbathing and water sports. They can explore the lush rainforests of the Blue Mountains, visit historic plantations such as Rose Hall, and indulge in local cuisine like jerk chicken and ackee and saltfish. However, at the moment, it is specifically advised for US citizens to not travel to Jamaica.

12. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, a US territory in the Caribbean, offers a blend of Spanish and American influences, vibrant culture, and diverse landscapes. The crime rate here is reported to be 25.6 per 100,000 people. Tourists explore historic sites such as San Juan's Castillo San Felipe del Morro and El Yunque National Forest's lush rainforests. They can also relax on the beaches of Vieques and Culebra, hike to waterfalls in El Yunque, and enjoy authentic Puerto Rican cuisine like Mofongo and Lechón Asado.

11. Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago, located off the coast of Venezuela, offer a mix of cultural diversity, natural beauty, and vibrant festivals. With a crime rate of 49.6 per 100,000 people, people come here to explore Trinidad's bustling capital, Port of Spain, for shopping and dining experiences. Trinidad and Tobago also offers cultural experiences like the Trinidad Carnival, the largest carnival in the Caribbean, and the Tobago Jazz Experience, featuring international and local artists.

Click to continue reading and see the 10  Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit .

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Disclosure: none. 20 Most Dangerous Countries that American Tourists Usually Visit is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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Ranked: most dangerous countries in the world 2024

The most dangerous countries in the world to visit in 2024 have been updated in the latest Travel Risk Map

The most dangerous countries to visit in 2024 are Afghanistan, the Central African Republic , Iraq, Libya, Mali , Somalia, South Sudan, Syria , Ukraine and Yemen according to the latest Travel Risk Map , an interactive tool produced by security specialists at  International SOS .

The map is used to predict the safest and, conversely, the least safe countries in the world to visit and has four layers in total covering a country’s security risk, medical risk, and the impact of the pandemic on travel and domestic operations.

For the security layer of the map, countries are indexed according to their travel security risk rating, which uses five risk definitions : insignificant, low, medium, high and extreme.

International SOS uses several criteria to assess how the conditions in the country may impact visitors’ safety and security.

map of the most dangerous countries 2024

These include the threat posed to travellers by political violence (including terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war), social unrest (including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence) and violent and petty crime.

Other factors assessed include transport infrastructure, the capability of security and emergency services, and the threat of natural disasters. It’s also possible to use the map to assess medical risk and road safety standards around the world.

MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

These are the nine most dangerous countries in the world according to International SOS. They have been assessed as carrying an ‘extreme travel security risk’.

  • Afghanistan
  • Central African Republic
  • South Sudan

most dangerous countries in the world lead image with barbed wire

The most dangerous countries in the world include Ukraine, where Russia launched an invasion in February 2022; Afghanistan, which saw the Taliban take over in August 2021 as foreign forces pulled out of the country; Syria, which has been embroiled in civil war since 2011; and Yemen, which has also been mired in a years-long civil war leading to the deaths of thousands and a major humanitarian crisis .

Despite ongoing instability in Mali – which saw the UNESCO-listed historic city of Timbuktu taken under siege by jihadists in September 2023 – the West African nation has been reassessed as ‘high security risk’ as opposed to ‘extreme’.

“Government control and law and order may be minimal or non-existent across large areas. Serious threat of violent attacks by armed groups targeting travellers and international assignees. Government and transport services are barely functional. Large parts of the country are inaccessible to foreigners.” International SOS

In October 2023, Israel launched an invasion of the Gaza Strip in Palestine after a surprise Hamas attack on southern Israel led to the death of 1,200 people and 240 hostages. As of 16 February 2024, the retaliatory campaign has killed over 28,000 Palestinians. To date, International SOS has not updated the map to reflect this.

A close-up of the Middle East

SAFEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

At the other end of the spectrum, the following 18 countries or territories have been assessed as carrying an ‘insignificant travel security risk’ to travellers and therefore the safest countries to visit.

  • American Samoa
  • Liechtenstein
  • Marshall Islands
  • Switzerland

Sant Esteve church in Andorra

“Rates of violent crime are very low. There is no significant political violence or civil unrest and little sectarian, communal, racial or targeted violence against foreigners. Security and emergency services are effective and infrastructure is sound. Transport services are of a high standard with good safety records and only occasional travel disruption. Industrial action affecting essential services is rare.” International SOS

Complete rankings

Most countries in Europe along with the USA , Australia , New Zealand and Canada  have been assessed as carrying a ‘low travel security risk’. Ukraine is the only European country categorised as a ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ security risk.

Many countries in Asia and the Middle East including Jordan , Oman , Singapore, Japan , China , South Korea , Vietnam , Malaysia and Brunei are considered ‘low risk’.

The most dangerous countries in Asia are Afghanistan and Pakistan ; and Syria, Iraq and Yemen in the Middle East.

The most dangerous countries in Africa are the Central African Republic, Libya, Somalia and South Sudan. In the Americas, Haiti , Honduras and Venezuela are considered ‘high security risk’.

EXTREME (15) Afghanistan Central African Republic Iraq Libya Somalia South Sudan Syria Ukraine Yemen

HIGH (15) Burkina Faso DR Congo Egypt Ethiopia Haiti Honduras Mali Myanmar Nigeria Pakistan Papua New Guinea Venezuela

MEDIUM (68) Algeria Angola Bahrain Bangladesh Belize Bolivia Brazil Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Chad Colombia Comoros Congo Costa Rica Djibouti Dominican Republic East Timor El Salvador Eritrea Fiji Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana India India Indonesia Iran Israel Ivory Coast Jamaica Kazakhstan Kenya Korea, North Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Mauritania Mexico Mongolia Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Nicaragua Niger Peru Philippines Russia Saudi Arabia Sierra Leone Solomon Islands South Africa Sri Lanka Sudan Swaziland (Eswatini) Tajikistan Tanzania Togo Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda Ukraine Zimbabwe

LOW (91) Albania Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Barbados Belarus Belgium Benin Bhutan Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brunei Bulgaria Canada Chile China Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Dominica Ecuador Equatorial Guinea Estonia France Gabon The Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Grenada Hungary Ireland Italy Japan Jordan Korea, South Kuwait Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Malawi Malaysia Maldives Malta Mauritius Micronesia Moldova Monaco Montenegro Morocco Namibia Netherlands New Zealand Oman Panama Palau Paraguay Poland Portugal Qatar Romania Rwanda Saint Kitts & Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Serbia Singapore Slovakia Spain Suriname Sweden Taiwan Thailand Tonga UAE United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Vietnam Zambia

INSIGNIFICANT (17) Andorra Cape Verde Denmark Finland Greenland Iceland Kiribati Liechtenstein Luxembourg Marshall Islands Nauru Norway San Marino Seychelles Slovenia Switzerland Turks & Caicos Tuvalu

The full interactive map by International SOS can be accessed here .

More rankings and articles can be found in our  remote work  area: ►  Best cities in the world ► Countries with the best healthcare in the world ►  World’s worst countries to drive in ►  Most peaceful countries in the world ►  Best countries for women ►  Poorest countries in the world – ranked ►  Happiest countries in the world ►  World’s most powerful passport ►  Countries with the fastest internet in the world ►  Most stressed countries in the world ►  Most expensive cities for expats ►  World’s most democratic countries

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These are the safest (and most dangerous) countries you can travel to next year

Samantha Rosen

As the year quickly draws to a close, we all have our eyes on our future travel plans.

And though it's important to exercise caution no matter where in the world you travel, certain places really shine in terms of safety — while others earn dreadful marks for being high-risk destinations.

On Thursday, International SOS, a travel security services company, released its annual Travel Risk Map for the upcoming year.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter .

The color-coded map highlights destinations where travelers might encounter medical and security risks. The categories range from "insignificant" to "extreme" travel security risk and "low" to "very high" medical risk. The ratings consider everything from prevalence of infectious diseases and political violence to the quality of medical care and probability of petty crime. There's even a map that helps travelers visualize the quality of road safety in a given destination, based on 2018 data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In terms of medical risks, the U.S., Canada, the bulk of Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Chile and South Africa pose a "low" threat. On the flip side, countries such as Venezuela, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are destinations where you should exercise increased caution.

You'll find the most "insignificant" security risks in Norway, Finland and Greenland, as well as Denmark and Iceland, among a few others. Sounds to us like 2020 will be a great time to make sure the northern lights are on your must-see list. For context, there's a "low" security risk for the U.S., Canada and Sweden.

Countries you may want to avoid due to "extreme" security risks include Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia, to name a few. There are also "high" security risks in Haiti, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Egypt and Mexico, among others.

In various instances, though, security threats are concentrated in just a few regions and cities as opposed to throughout an entire country. Interestingly, North Korea has been deemed "medium" risk.

Oh, and you may want to keep off the roads of Vietnam, Thailand, Belize, South Africa and others.

"Obviously [the map] is overall reflective of location risks, but we do advise that consumers do as much research on their destinations as possible," an International SOS spokesperson told CNN . No matter where your travels may take you, it's always worth putting in the time and effort to understand what to expect when you get to your destination.

Before you go, check out our guide on how to stay safe while traveling abroad , as well as how to avoid the measles and other medical mishaps.

The Most Dangerous Countries for Flying

These are the 16 countries banned or restricted from operating within the European Union due to safety concerns.

Most Dangerous Countries for Air Travel

TOPSHOT - The plane carrying members of the South Sudan People's Defence Force of the East African Community Regional Force (EAC-RF) prepares for take-off to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo at Goma airport on December 8, 2023. The East African Community (EAC) regional force began its withdrawal from the Democratic Republic of Congo in the morning of December 3 after Kinshasa deemed it ineffective and refused to renew its mandate. The regional bloc first deployed troops in the violence-plagued region in November last year after the resurgence of the M23 rebel group. (Photo by Guerchom Ndebo / AFP) (Photo by GUERCHOM NDEBO/AFP via Getty Images)

GUERCHOM NDEBO | AFP via Getty Images

An aircraft prepares for take-off to leave the Democratic Republic of the Congo at Goma airport on Dec. 8, 2023.

The fasten seatbelt sign is on, and 2024 looks like it will continue to be a bumpy ride for Boeing.

Concerns about flight safety are currently heightened after a mid-flight accident last week resulted in a panel flying off a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines after it left Portland, Oregon. This marks the latest in a series of safety issues for the aerospace company, some of which have been deadly for passengers in recent years.

In the U.S., air travel is typically safer than traveling on the roads. Although global data suggests the risks for flight accidents are low , annual fatalities associated with air travel accidents show that boarding a plane still comes with risk. The European Union keeps a regularly-updated list of airlines that are banned or restricted from operating within the regional block due to safety concerns.

While this list is not a direct reflection of accident or fatality rates in the skies, it’s regularly reviewed by experts on the European Commission to assess which airlines meet international safety standards.

The list was most recently updated in November 2023 and bans 129 airlines in total from entering EU airspace. More than 100 are banned due to “inadequate safety oversight” by local aviation authorities, and another 22 are banned “based on serious safety deficiencies identified.”

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TOPSHOT - Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners of the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade Kholodny Yar monitor the sky from their positions in the direction of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on February 20, 2024. (Photo by Anatolii STEPANOV / AFP) (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

The most recent update is based on the “unanimous opinion” of aviation safety experts who met in Brussels through the EU Air Safety Committee. The EU Air Safety List bans all airlines in these 16 countries, indicating that they are among the most dangerous for air travel:

Afghanistan

All air carriers certified in Afghanistan were banned in November 2010 due to “the safety deficiencies identified in its system to oversee civil aviation and on several carriers.” This ban includes Ariana Afghan Airlines and Kam Air.

In 2008, the European Commission banned all airlines in Angola due to “significant safety concerns.”

In June 2020, all Armenian airlines were banned from travel in the European Union due to “concerns about safety oversight of air carriers.” Armenia’s Civil Aviation Committee is working to remove several airlines from the list, and in November 2022, an agreement was signed between the country and the EU to align aviation rules and standards.

Republic of the Congo

All five airlines in the Republic of the Congo are banned from operating in the EU.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Thirteen total carriers are banned from operating out of the DRC. Reporting by the BBC in 2019 indicated that, despite safety concerns, the country is reliant on air travel, as the majority of its provincial capitals are not accessible by reliable roads. The Aviation Safety Network shows that there were more than 40 air accident fatalities between 2000 and 2022.

The country only has one airline on the list, Daallo Airlines, which has been banned from flying in the EU since 2009 .

Equatorial Guinea

A crash in July 2005 killed 60 people after the plane “contacted trees and crashed into a mountainous jungle area.” Another domestic crash in 2008 killed 13 people. While those were the country’s only two deadly air accidents in recent history, all carriers in Equatorial Guinea are banned from operating in the EU.

All airlines operated out of Eritrea were banned in 2012, due to safety concerns and “the absence of adequate mitigating measures taken by the competent authorities of Eritrea,” according to reporting by the Independent .

Sixteen different airlines out of Kyrgyzstan are banned from operating in the EU. In January 2017, a fatal accident killed four passengers and 35 others after a cargo plane crashed near an airport.

No airlines are currently operating out of Liberia, but the EU list still bans airlines certified in the country. The most recent deadly crash on record occurred in 2013 and resulted in the deaths of 11 people.

In 2014, all airlines operating out of Libya were banned. The European Commission released a statement saying, “Recent events in Libya have led to a situation whereby the Civil Aviation Authority is no longer able to fulfill its international obligations with regard to the safety of the Libyan aviation sector.”

Airlines operating out of Nepal were banned by the EU in 2013 over safety concerns. In January 2023, a crash killed 72 people and left no survivors, making the incident one of the worst in the country’s recent history. The plane was operated by Yeti Airlines, one of the carriers on the EU’s banned list, and was caused by a pilot error.

There have been fatal air travel accidents nearly every year since 1946 in Russia, with 2015 one of the only exceptions in more than half a century. In August 2023, a non-commercial plane crash famously killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of a Russian mercenary group that was rebelling against military leadership in Moscow, and all others on board. The EU bans about 20 airlines in total from operating out of Russia and entering EU airspace.

Sao Tome and Principe

In November 2009, all airlines operating out of Sao Tome and Principe were added to the EU’s Air Safety List, banning them from operating in EU airspace. Of the move, the vice-president of the European Commission said, “We cannot accept that airlines fly while not complying with international safety standards. This endangers all of us who unknowingly could be on an unsafe plane.”

Sierra Leone

No airlines are currently operating out of Sierra Leone, but the EU list still bans airlines certified in the country.

All airlines operating out of Sudan were added to the EU’s list of banned carriers in 2010, with a statement saying that the move was due to “a poor safety performance of the civil aviation authority of Sudan resulting from persistent non-compliance with international standards in the area of oversight.” In 2020, a crash killed 18 people shortly after leaving El Geneina Airport.

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These Are The Most Dangerous Countries For Americans To Travel To

As much as traveling the world can be a great experience and opportunity to expand our minds, it can also be quite dangerous — especially for Americans. The U.S. Department of State has issued travel advisories to many countries. These advisories were set in place in certain countries because of rampant crime, government corruption, environmental pollution, and civil unrest. The U.S. has also been put on a travel advisory list by other countries because of mass shootings, an unchecked homelessness problem, gun ownership, and a high level of violent crimes. Nevertheless, it is important to stay as safe as possible when traveling abroad. This is why Stacker examined the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories and made a list of the most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to. Check out the current list of travel advisories. Burkina Faso Level 3: reconsider travel Reasons: crime and terrorism Burundi Level 3: reconsider travel Reasons: grenade attacks and armed robberies Chad...

Kelsey Marie • Aug 29, 2019

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

As much as traveling the world can be a great experience and opportunity to expand our minds, it can also be quite dangerous — especially for Americans.

The U.S. Department of State has issued travel advisories to many countries. These advisories were set in place in certain countries because of rampant crime, government corruption, environmental pollution, and civil unrest.

The U.S. has also been put on a travel advisory list by other countries because of mass shootings, an unchecked homelessness problem, gun ownership, and a high level of violent crimes.

Nevertheless, it is important to stay as safe as possible when traveling abroad.

This is why Stacker examined the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories and made a list of the most dangerous countries for Americans to travel to.

Check out the current list of travel advisories.

Burkina Faso

Level 3: reconsider travel

Reasons: crime and terrorism

Reasons: grenade attacks and armed robberies

Reasons: terrorism, minefields, and violent crimes

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Reasons: civil unrest, violent crimes

El Salvador

Reasons: gang violence

Guinea Bissau

Reasons: theft and violent crime

Reasons: protests, tire burnings, and road blockages

Reasons: gang activity, human trafficking, rape, and homicide

Reasons: terrorism threats, armed conflict, and outbreaks of violence

Reasons: civil unrest, crime, and limited healthcare

Reasons: extremist groups, armed robbery, and violent crime

Reasons: terrorism

Reasons: terrorism and arbitrary detentions

Afghanistan

Level 4: do not travel

Reasons: kidnappings, hostage-takings, suicide bombings, landmines, and terrorist attacks

The Central African Republic

Reasons: kidnappings and killings

Reasons: arrest and detention for arbitrary reasons

Reasons: kidnappings and improvised explosive devices

Reasons: kidnappings, violent crimes, and terrorism

Reasons: violent crime and terrorism

North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea)

Reasons: the U.S. is unable to provide emergency services to citizens in the country. Americans cannot travel to North Korea using a U.S. passport without a special validation.

Reasons: kidnapping, murder, and pirates active in waters

South Sudan

Reasons: shootings, ambushes, and robberies

Reasons: terrorism, and civil unrest

Reasons: terrorism, armed conflict, and civil unrest

Reasons: crime, civil unrest, arbitrary arrest, and shortage of food, electricity, and medicine

Reasons: terrorism, civil unrest, and armed conflict

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What countries to avoid on your travels, according to the U.S. government

Many countries’ travel advisories have been updated in 2024, making some popular locations dangerous to travel to.

Sunbathers walk along a patch of resort-lined crescent beach in Negril in western Jamaica in this 2014 file photo.

By Alyssa Bradford

The U.S. State Department regularly updates travel advisory levels for more than 200 countries globally. Levels depend on risk factors such as health, terrorism and civil unrest. Currently, 10% of countries, 19 total, have a level four advisory, meaning no one should travel to that location, per U.S. News & World Report .

Twenty-four countries have a level three travel advisory, meaning to reconsider travel. While citizens are not barred from traveling, additional advice is given because of the severity of risks to safety and security, according to U.S. News & World Report .

Which countries have updated ‘do not travel’ warnings?

Level four is the highest and most dangerous advisory the U.S. government gives. Here are the areas to not travel to and the reasons why, in order of date updated, according to the State Department website .

Burma (Myanmar)

With armed conflict, civil unrest and arbitrary law enforcement, Burma was updated to a level four on Jan. 22.

  • Certain areas within the country, Shan, Chin and Kachin, also contain unidentifiable or unmarked landmines.
  • Many U.S. citizens have been wrongfully detained without due process.
  • Explosives are used during armed conflicts.
  • There are limited medical resources because of shortage in staffing and medical supplies.

Information on Iran was updated on Jan. 11. Terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and the arrest of U.S. citizens are risk factors for Iran.

  • Terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, operate in Iran.
  • The U.S. is unable to provide emergency services.

Which countries should tourists highly consider not traveling to?

Where possible, U.S. citizens should stay away from countries with a level three travel advisory. However, if necessary, appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with others in emergencies; keep travel documents up-to-date; avoid demonstrations or crowds and do not touch unknown objects.

Here are the areas to reconsider traveling to and the reasons why, in order of date updated, according to the State Department website .

Crime, civil unrest, terrorism, kidnapping, landmines and armed conflict causes Lebanon to have a level three advisory. Southern Lebanon, the border with Syria or refugee settlements have a level four, do not travel, advisory. Lebanon’s advisory was updated on Jan. 29.

  • The U.S. Embassy is sometimes unable to assist travelers.
  • Terrorist groups are plotting attacks, especially in tourist locations.
  • Disputes often escalate quickly within families and neighborhoods, causing gunfire or other violence.
  • Kidnapping occurs due to the want of money, political motives and family disputes.
  • Landmines are found in roadside ditches, shoulders and unmarked trails.
  • Protester gatherings often turn violent. Major roads can be blocked for the protests.

Saudi Arabia

Updated on Jan. 24, Saudi Arabia has a level three advisory. There are currently threats of missile and drone attacks, terrorism, arrests due to social media activity and prohibited items within the country.

  • The U.S. government is unable to provide aid for most emergencies.
  • Iran has conducted destructive and lethal attacks with missiles and drones against government and civilian sites.
  • Debris from drone and missile attacks are dangerous.
  • U.S. citizens have been arrested for social media comments, likes, posts or reposts that are deemed critical of Saudi Arabia.
  • Drugs, weapons, pornographic material and other illegal items are often imported into the country.

Travel to Jamaica should be reconsidered because of crime and reduced medical services. The country’s travel advisory was updated on Jan. 23.

  • Violent crimes such as sexual assault, armed robberies and home invasions occur.
  • Police respond poorly to criminal incidents.
  • Families of U.S. citizens are often killed in homicides with death certificates given a year or more later.
  • Hospitals are under-resourced.

Papua New Guinea

Crime, civil unrest, piracy, kidnapping, limited health care services and natural disasters cause Papua New Guinea’s level three advisory, updated on Jan. 17, 2024.

  • Violent crime such as assault, home invasions, carjacking and robberies occur.
  • Criminals attack foreign tourist hotspots for money.
  • Police presence and their resources are limited.
  • Piracy is active in the surrounding water. The criminals often use physical violence.
  • Foreign citizens have been kidnapped.

Updated on Jan. 11, Nicaragua has increased in arbitrary law enforcement, limited health care and false detention.

  • Nicaragua’s government searches and seizes personal items, targets pro-democracy advocates and families, and prevent individuals from departing.
  • U.S. citizens can find themselves charged without fair trials.

Travel to Niger should be reconsidered because of crime, kidnapping and terrorism. The travel advisory was updated on Jan. 8.

  • Demonstrations often become violent.
  • Terrorists operate in different areas within the country and have attacked security forces.
  • Robbery is common.

Crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping are current risks in Colombia. The level three travel advisory was updated on Jan. 2.

  • Violent crimes such as assault, homicide and robbery occur.
  • Terrorist groups carry out attacks in both local and tourist locations.
  • Demonstrations regularly shut down major roads and have resulted in fatalities.

Navigating fear when the world seems unsafe

Does it ever feel like you hear news about tragedy constantly? Living in a digital age allows us to hear or see recent crises in an instant.

However, for me, I’ve found that being in constant fear makes life difficult. Learning how to cope while dealing with fear has been important as I want to continue to be immersed in the news.

Promises Behavioral Health offers five ways to cope with fear to help prevent bigger problems, like depression or substance abuse, down the line.

  • Pay attention: Take the time to recognize what you are feeling and why you are feeling that way. Running from fear can make someone more anxious and depressed long-term.
  • Give fear a shape: Give your fear a silly or child-like identity, an appearance or even a name. You can then speak to your “fear” as a parent talking to a child or a person trying to get someone annoying to know why they’re wrong.
  • Focus on your present reality: Take the time to understand if you are overgeneralizing. Though there are bad people, not every one has lost kindness. Question if your thoughts are actually true or if you are just convincing yourself something bad will happen.
  • Balance the negative with the positive: Notice the good things happening around you. If you want to look into tragic events, look into heroic stories as well for balance. You can also inspire yourself and others to take action against injustices you see.
  • Get help: Never be afraid to get help if fear is consuming and creating problems in your life. Therapy and help from friends or family can be effective.

Situation in Haiti March 29, 2024

U.s. citizens in haiti, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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In our Travel Advisories, we advise you not to travel to high-risk (level 4 travel advisory) countries or areas. This is due to local conditions and/or our limited ability to help there. These places are dangerous and by visiting you may be putting yourself at extreme risk.

  • You are subject to the local laws of the country you are visiting. If you violate that country’s laws, you could be arrested and prosecuted, even if your actions would not have been against the law in the United States.
  • The United States does not have a diplomatic or consular presence in some countries. We cannot provide any consular services in most of these places. In a few of these countries, the United States works with an official protecting power who can provide very limited assistance to U.S. citizens. 
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The risk of traveling to every country in Europe, according to the US State Department

  • Before you plan your European vacation, it's worth checking out which countries are the most dangerous and why.
  • The US State Department ranks countries as Levels 1 through 4, from least dangerous to most dangerous.
  • Twelve European countries are ranked Level 2, and the agency recommends American visitors exercise increased caution when visiting them.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Insider Today

Europe may include some of the most popular travel destinations for Americans, but the US State Department advises that several countries on the continent may require extra caution for those looking to vacation abroad.

The State Department uses four levels of travel guidance to offer Americans advice, set boundaries, and describe the risks of each country:

Level 1 - Exercise normal precautions

Level 2 - Exercise increased caution

Level 3 - Reconsider travel

Level 4 - Do not travel

Eleven European countries are ranked Level 2, but apart from regions in Russia designated as Level 4, there are no countries the State Department warns against visiting altogether.

Elsewhere, there are several countries in Africa, Latin America, South America, and the Middle East ranked Levels 3 and 4. These include Venezuela, multiple regions in Mexico, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea.

Here are the travel advisories for every country in Europe, ranked from most to least risky based on the State Department's designation levels.

Germany - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department warns American travelers that terrorist groups may "continue plotting possible attacks" in Germany.

Since October 2015, there have been 13 significant incidents regarding terrorism in Germany. These include a high-profile December 2016 attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, when a lorry struck and killed 12 and injured 48. Earlier that year, during one July week , a teenager hacked at train passengers with an axe and knife in Wuerzburg, and a bomb detonated outside a bar in Ansbach, injuring 15 people. 

The Islamic State claimed the above attacks, while others were orchestrated by right-wing German extremists against refugees and Kurdish extremists against Turks and Turkish organizations.  

Italy - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises caution in Italy due to potential terrorist attacks that may target popular tourist locations and both public and private spaces. 

In 2018, a right-wing extremist terrorist seriously wounded six African immigrants in a drive-by shooting in Macerata. In 2016, Italian authorities arrested suspects in connection with a plot to attack the Vatican and Israeli Embassy in Rome on behalf of the Islamic State. The attack was never carried out. 

Spain - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department warns US citizens that terrorist groups may continue to plot attacks in Spain and asks tourists to exercise increased caution.

In August 2017, a jihadist terror attack in Barcelona resulted in 15 deaths. A van driven into pedestrian street La Rambla killed 13 and injured at least 130 others, including one person who died of injuries later. The attacker killed another person in order to steal the victim's car for escape. Later that day, a van operated by men believed to be part of the same terrorist cell drove into pedestrians in Cambriis, killing one and injuring six others. All attackers were killed by police. 

Belgium - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises increased caution in Belgium due to potential terrorist attacks. 

Since 2014, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for seven terrorist attacks in Belgium, including the three coordinated March 2016 Brussels bombings . Twin bombings in the Brussels airport and one at a metro station in central Brussels killed 32 civilians and injured over 300 others. The bombings were the deadliest terror attack in Belgium's history.

Other terror attacks in Belgium include several stabbings , including in May 2018 when a prisoner on day release stabbed two police officers , took their guns, and shot and killed them. 

France - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises that American tourists exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.

The yellow vests movement is one major protest force in France supported by more than 80 percent of French citizens and, at its height, brought a quarter of million marchers into the streets. The movement started in October 2018 with provincial workers protesting a hike in fuel taxes, with literal yellow high-visibility vest-wearers camped at traffic circles. 

The movement has since spread to wide swaths of French citizens protesting President Emmanuel Macron and perceived economic injustices. Protesters have include far-right extremists and known anti-Semites, according to CNN, but also far-left individuals. Macron has responded to some complaints, eventually abolishing the fuel tax rise.  

Demonstrations in Paris and other major cities are expected to continue in the coming weeks and may result in property damage, including looting and arson, along with reckless disregard for public safety.

Police have responded with "water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas," and the State Department advises visitors to avoid major French cities on the weekends.

Since, the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for six other terrorist incidents. A packet bomb explosion in May in a pedestrian zone of Lyon that injured 13 people has yet to be claimed . 

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department suggests that tourists in Bosnia and Herzegovina should exercise increased caution due to the threats of terrorism and land mines. Minefields and land mines are present throughout the country, and while suspected hazardous areas are usually clearly marked, several people are killed and injured each year by land mines. 

The war within the country from 1992 to 1995 resulted in around 2 million landmines and unexploded munitions left within the region in over 28,000 locations. Government agencies and NGOs along with NATO military units have been clearing mines since 1996, with initial plans to rid the country of them by 2019. That goal has not been met, with over 80,000 uncleared mines left today. Experts predict at least another five years will be needed for the efforts. 

Ukraine - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises increased caution for Americans traveling to the Ukraine due to crime, civil unrest, and demonstrations that occur around elections. Tourists should take care not to travel to Crimea, due to "arbitrary detentions and other abuses by Russian occupation authorities," and should avoid the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts due to armed conflict. 

The US government does not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation forces and warns travelers that opposition forces within the region may suffer abuse from the Russian military. 

Crimes targeting foreigners are common in the Ukraine, and demonstrations throughout the country often turn violent, especially nearing elections. Politically targeted assassinations, bombings, and violence by extremist groups have also occurred. 

Russia - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department suggests that crime, terrorism, and arbitrary enforcement of local laws throughout Russia may put Americans in unsafe situations. The US government may have the delayed ability to provide services to US citizens in the Saint Petersburg area, and terrorist groups attack public and private spaces with little to no warning.

Parts of Russia have a Level 4 advisory, and the State Department asks US citizens to avoid traveling to the North Caucasus Region, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, along with Crimea. Local gangs in the North Caucasus Region have kidnapped Americans and other foreigners for ransom, and there are "credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTI persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities."'

In March, an activist was sentenced to four years in Chechnya for drug abuses, a move that has been widely viewed as an effort to quell criticism of the Chechen government. Extrajudicial killings, kidnappings, and torture, including a "gay purge" of at least 40 suspected gay men and women in Chechnya have received international attention. 

Chechen separatists have been responsible for multiple terror attacks in Russia, and a St Petersburg metro explosion in 2017 planted by a terrorist who has not been claimed by any group or regime left 15 dead and at least 45 injured. 

Additionally, the US does not recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea, suggesting those who challenge the authority of the Russian Federation military presence on the peninsula may suffer abuse.

Netherlands - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises that terrorists may attack the Netherlands with little to no warning, and that American tourists should be extra cautious. 

In March, a terrorist in Utrecht shot and killed three and injured five on a tram, and later said he acted alone. 

Serbia - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department suggests Americans take extra caution in Serbia due to the high occurrence of crime. Violence is associated with organized crime and high-profile sporting events, including car bombings and assassinations by shooting in all areas at any time. 

In 2016, a Serbian man killed five people and injured 22 in a shooting in a café in Žitište. 

United Kingdom - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises increased caution due to terrorist threats that may potentially be ongoing, as well as a risk of isolated violence by "dissident groups in Northern Ireland."

Several high-profile attacks in 2017 included the May  Manchester Arena bombing at an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 and injured dozens. In June, the London Bridge van-and-knife attack killed eight and injured at least 48. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State.

In January, Irish Republican Army dissidents staged a car bombing outside a courthouse in Londonderry, but no one was injured or killed. Most Irish militants left over after North Ireland's 1998 peace accord have renounced violence, but small groups have carried out occasional bombings and shootings.

Denmark - Level 2: Exercise increased caution

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department suggests additional caution for Americans traveling to Denmark, since terrorists potentially "continue plotting possible attacks."

In April 2015, two days of shooting attacks in Copenhagen left two victims and the shooter, who swore allegiance to the Islamic State, dead. Five police officers were wounded. The first shooting took place at an art showing and the second occurred outside the city's Great Synagogue the next day. 

Albania - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department recommends increased caution in the southern town of Lazarat, Albania, due to crime. 

Moldova - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department advises Americans to exercise increased caution in Transnistria, an unrecognized state that split off from Moldova and remains in unresolved conflict with the country's central government. 

Poland - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the ninth largest country in Europe.

Romania - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to the world's oldest human fossils.

Greece - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the picturesque coastal country.

Czech Republic - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to popular tourist destination Prague.

Portugal - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the oldest country in Europe.

Sweden - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

Hungary - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the land-locked country that was once part of the Roman Empire.

Belarus - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with a street named after Vladimir Lenin in every city.

Austria - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to Vienna, known as the Wine Capital. 

Switzerland - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country that produces the most chocolate.

Bulgaria - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the only European country that hasn't changed its name since it was established. 

Finland - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with the highest consumption of both coffee and milk.

Slovakia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the geographical midpoint of Europe with the most castles per capita.

Norway - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the birthplace of skiing. 

Ireland - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country that originated Halloween. 

Croatia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to the Dalmatian Coast, where parts of "Game of Thrones" was filmed. 

Lithuania - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the Baltic State that was the largest European country at the end of the 14th Century. 

North Macedonia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to the deepest underwater cave.

Slovenia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with over 10,000 caves and 90,000 beekeepers.

Latvia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with the tallest women on average.

Estonia - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the first county to use online political voting.

Montenegro - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the small Balkan country famous for its rugged beaches and tourism.

Luxembourg - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the second-richest country in the world. 

Malta - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to Calypso Cave, which Homer is said to have written about in "The Odyssey."

Iceland - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country with some of the largest glaciers in Europe.

Andorra - Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the country home to the capital with the highest altitude in Europe.

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

  • Main content

Cancún, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta: Which Mexico resort is best for you?

A comparison of the country’s most popular beach towns.

No other country welcomes more American tourists than Mexico . Vacationers go for sun-soaked beaches, warmer temperatures and low costs that feel far away from the cold reality of everyday life. More than 12 million American tourists took a flight into Mexico last year, according to statistics from the country’s secretary of tourism.

The vast majority head for one of three beach zones: Cancún, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, which represented three of the top four airports for international tourist arrivals last year, including Mexico City.

While you can’t go wrong with any of these three resort areas — they’re famous for a reason — there are noticeable nuances that can tip the scales when you’re picking one over the others. Over the past 10 years, I’ve visited all three on several occasions: Cancún half a dozen times, Vallarta twice, and, most recently Los Cabos. In terms of visitor appeal and natural beauty, they rival some of the world’s most remarkable and serene beaches.

We asked the travel platform Hopper to pull average spring break prices — covering March, April and May — to show how the costs break down. Here’s the case for each destination, depending on your budget and travel style.

Cancún: All-inclusives, nightclubs, beautiful beaches

Located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, Cancún is the most popular of the three Mexican getaways by a sizable margin. It is also the most “touristy” in terms of spoken English, Americanized cuisine and the volume of resorts and daily flights from North America and Europe.

In my experience, it’s been the most expensive of the resort hubs in this comparison, although Hopper’s data shows it has the lowest average “good deal” airfare this spring ($330), and the average nightly hotel rate is higher in Los Cabos. In Cancún, you’ll get a lot in return for your money: tranquil, teal and warm waters and white sandy beaches (when the seaweed isn’t bad). There is also the most nightlife and the best snorkeling and scuba diving. The Cancún area and surrounding Mayan Riviera are full of all-inclusive resorts with options ranging from adults-only to kid-friendly.

Cancún is only a couple hours drive ( and now train ) from world-class Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza and Tulum. There’s also swimmable, flooded sinkholes called cenotes that are a wonder on their own.

Good deal airfare: $330

Average nightly hotel rate: $251

Best for: Clubgoers, families, adventure seekers, history buffs

Los Cabos: Desert romance, deep-sea fishing, wedding backdrops

The area we call “Cabo” is actually two beach towns in one, hence its other nickname, “Los Cabos.”

Separated by 20 miles and on opposite sides of the tip of Baja California, San Jose del Cabo (where the airport is) is the older town located on the Gulf of California. Just around the corner lies Cabo San Lucas, the newer and fast-growing town at the confluence of the Pacific and the gulf.

To get an idea of Cabo’s romantic scenery, imagine if Arizona, Southern California and the Mediterranean had a baby. Dramatic deserts, rugged coastline, deep blue ocean and a famous sea arch (a.k.a. “El Arco”) are flanked by endemic elephant trees, desert sand , and gorgeous cactuses.

As the second-most popular beach retreat on this list, Cabo has an abundance of wildlife and biggest beaches, as well as high-end resorts, spas, golf courses and restaurants.

Travel adviser Sebastian Garrido recommends deep-sea fishing — or just enjoying the products of Pacific waters. Cabo blends coastal Mexican cuisine with resort fare, catering to both locals and tourists alike.

“You can find some of the best seafood around the world down here,” he said.

In my experience, swimming on the Pacific is often forbidden by lifeguards, given the dangerous undertow. But the gulf side is tranquil and family friendly.

A popular place for weddings, Cabo is probably the most dreamy landscape of the three destinations.

Good deal airfare: $447

Average nightly hotel rate: $475

Best for: Pacific views, sport fishing, weddings, culture that caters to locals and tourists, sunsets and scenery.

Puerto Vallarta: Fewer Americans, sleepy beaches, birria tacos

Nestled down the Pacific coast in Jalisco state, Puerto Vallarta is a classic, cozy beach town. It is surrounded by mountains and tropical jungles and often caters more to Mexican tourists than Americans.

In terms of culture, cuisine, number of restaurants, boardwalk shopping, cobblestone streets, and affordability, Vallarta is the most “Mexican” of the bunch, which is endearing.

Vallarta’s narrower beaches are admittedly more confined than Cancun’s or Cabo’s . But they’re still beautiful. Among the Pacific views, you can spot humpback whale breaches early in the year. While there are dozens of large luxury resorts and all-inclusives here, you’ll also find a lot of small hotels that are locally owned and operated .

Jalisco is the home of birria , a complex braise of goat, lamb or beef served with a rich, spicy broth. I’ve also had chilaquiles and tacos al pastor here that trumped the versions I tried in Cancún and Cabo.

“Puerto Vallarta offers an authentic Mexican experience as it was not created as a tourism destination,” says Gustavo Rivas-Solis, a travel publicist who represents the area. “It grew into one as people took notice and fell in love with Bay of Banderas and its surroundings.”

Good deal airfare: $412

Average nightly hotel rate: $192

Best for: Ocean views, sunbathing, fewer tourists, colonial architecture, jungle hikes, street shopping

Blake Snow is a writer from Provo, Utah.

Where to go

Our favorite destinations: These 12 destinations are at the top of our wish list for where to go this year, without crowds. In 2023, we explored an Alaskan bear paradise, Brooklyn’s famous pizzerias and a hidden gem in Italy, among other highlights ..

Travel like a local: Residents share their favorite places in our top city guides: New Orleans , Rome , Tokyo and Mexico City .

National parks: This comprehensive guide has details on all 63 U.S. national parks. For a deep dive into five of the most well-known, you can listen to the Field Trip podcast . Then explore tips from locals for visiting Yosemite , Glacier and Everglades .

Tales from the road: Dolly Parton has opened a new resort at her theme park complex in Tennessee, while “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have a new hotel in Waco . Road-trippers may be just as excited to see the cartoon beaver at Buc-ee’s , and bargain-hunters should consider a stop at the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Ala.

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

More From Forbes

20 most dangerous places for women travelers.

  • Topping the Women's Danger Index is South Africa
  • Also on the list on the list of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world: the United States
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Here, two women on a beach at sunset in South Africa, which has been named the most dangerous ... [+] country in the new Women's Danger Index.

Women are   traveling solo   more than ever. A ccording to the Travel Industry Association, approximately   32 million American women travel alone  every year . But the sobering reality is that this  can be a risky endeavor. I n March,   The  New York Times  published an article titled, “ Adventurous, Alone, Attacked ,” detailing attacks on women travelers like Carla Stefaniak, who was killed while on vacation in Costa Rica. And despite the  low statistical chance  of being killed while on vacation, a number of other highly publicized recent incidents—including the  murder of a 26-year-old German backpacker  in Thailand in April, the  brutal assault  on a woman at a Dominican Republic hotel in January and the  beheading of two Scandinavian hikers  in Morocco in December—have underscored the risks for women travelers. The president of WorldAware, a global risk management provider for companies, even  told the  Los Angeles Times  that it’s “100% easier to be a man” traveling than a woman. 

In an attempt to help determine the worst places for solo female travelers, journalists Asher and Lyric Fergusson—whose blog is focused on travel safety—have created a new  Women’s Danger Index , which ranks the  world’s most dangerous countries for women traveling alone. " While traveling as a couple we've experienced some uncomfortable situations and we've heard horror stories from many solo female travelers," says Lyric Fergusson. "Rather than relying on hearsay and anecdotes, we thought it would be good to know which countries are the worst and safest based on hard facts."

The husband-wife duo r anked 50 countries with the most international tourists using the following eight factors: street safety for women, intentional homicide of women, non-partner sexual violence, intimate partner violence, legal discrimination, global gender gap, gender inequality index and violence against women attitudes. The data was   compiled using sources ranging from the 2018   Gallup World Poll  to   Equal Measures 2030 's  Gender Advocates Data Hub .

READ MORE:  "Ranked: The 20 Most Dangerous Places to Live"

An activist with a red colored hand on her mouth during a protest in South Africa to stop abuse ... [+] against women.

Topping the Women's Danger Index is South Africa , which is considered the worst country for violence against women by non-partners, homicides and how safe women feel walking alone at night. Spain is the safest country.  Also on the list on the list of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world: the United States , which ranked number 19. Compare the results of the Women's Danger Index to  Thomson Reuters Foundation 's 2018 ranking of the most dangerous countries for women, where India topped the list and the United States made it into the top 10—the only Western country to be included. A  2017 report  that I covered in this column listed Egypt as the most dangerous country for women travelers and included places like Morocco and India.

Fergusson says she was most surprised by the United States's ranking. "The USA is the most dangerous Western country in the world, which was very unexpected," says Fergusson. "Scoring badly on street safety, non-partner sexual violence and a host of gender inequality issues makes the United States particularly bad for female travelers. For women aged between 20 and 24, homicide is the  3rd most likely way to die , which accounts for a staggering 7.5% of all deaths in this age group."

Here, I list the 20 most dangerous places for solo female travelers in the Women's Danger Index and get  Lyric Fergusson, the coauthor of the study, to share her thoughts on each country.  Following this list, I've got the five safest places on the Women's Danger Index. You can see the entire ranking of the 50 countries here .

The 20 Most Dangerous Places for Women Travelers

1. South Africa: "With this nation scoring poorly on street safety and many other factors, women in South Africa have been historically treated cruelly, but thankfully situations have been slowly improving ," says Fergusson. " Often, traveling women to South Africa are warned not to hike, drive, walk or move about alone and to generally behave conservatively."

A protest in Rio de Janeiro in March 2018 after a black woman politician was killed in Brazil, which ... [+] is the second most dangerous country in the world. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

2. Brazil: "Trailing next (quite a way behind South Africa) was Brazil, which scored badly with both street safety and intentional homicide against women," says  Fergusson. " This sun drenched country also performed poorly in the Global Gender Gap category. The United States government warns tourists not to walk alone at night or to physically resist any robbery attempts."

3. Russia:  "Scoring below par on both the intentional homicide against women and non-partner sexual violence, Russia comes in at number three on our list ," says  Fergusson. " This beautiful vodka-loving country also performed poorly in a host of categories including being the ninth worst with legal discrimination against women. Thankfully the #metoo movement has been making headlines in Russia showing signs that things are slowly improving for the better."

4. Mexico:  "Since Mexico is by far the most visited country out of the top five worst, it really caught our eye ," says  Fergusson. " The three areas that Mexico ranked abysmally for were street safety, intentional homicide and non-partner sexual violence. In fact, Mexico ranked in the top four worst in all three of these categories. Many news reports have sited that unfortunately Mexico is becoming more and more unsafe and it’s best to only stay within your resort to minimize negative incidents."

5. Iran:  "Of the top 50 most-visited countries, Iran scores the worst in the Global Gender Gap study , " says  Fergusson. " It also scored quite terribly with inequality and discrimination categories placing this country fifth worst in our index. One area that Iran did perform well in was the fact that they had very low levels of intentional homicide against women."

The Dominican Republic is number 6 on the list of the most dangerous places.

6. Dominican Republic: " The Dominican Republic is an extremely popular destination for American tourists and has recently been making headlines after a string of mysterious deaths ," says Fergusson. " In our index, this beautiful Caribbean Island ranked sixth worst, scoring particularly woefully with street safety. Whether the recent media hype is real or not, our study certainly found this country isn’t safe for women traveling alone. This surprised us because before the recent string of events we’d never heard of problems for tourists going to the Dominican Republic."

7. Egypt: " Egypt ranked especially badly in both the global gender gap (fourth worst) and gender inequality (sixth worst)," says Fergusson. " This country was also the tenth worst for street safety. It also has particular poor marriage and divorce laws and fairly poor government representation. But a ttempts to lower the gender gap are being made by granting over 600 scholarships to women studying in fields of business, science and engineering."

8. Morocco: "Morocco ranked the worst in our list for intimate partner violence ," says Fergusson. " It also scored poorly with gender inequality and the global gender gap. The street safety score was not much better, either."

9. India:  "India scored the worst out of our 50 countries in the gender inequality category ," says Fergusson. " It also had poor rankings in intimate partner violence and the gender gap. Sadly, a lmost 90% of women who are raped in India knew the perpetrator ."

On a sandy beach in Thailand, one of the most dangerous countries for women.

10. Thailand:  "Thailand had the worst score in our list regarding violence against women attitudes ," says Fergusson. " This country also had poor rankings in intimate partner violence and gender inequality."

11. Malaysia: "Very poor ratings with intimate partner violence, and gender inequality issues brought Malaysia to the number eleven spot on our list ," says Fergusson. " This makes Malaysia one of the worst Asian countries for solo female travelers, just behind India and Thailand. The thing that surprised us is how big of a gap there is between Singapore (safest Asian country) and Malaysia since they are separated only by a short bridge. A look at the history of Singapore sheds some light on the surprise."

12. Saudi Arabia : Saudi Arabia ranked the worst in our index for legal discrimination," says Fergusson. " This country also scored the second worst in our list for the global gender gap and scored poorly with street safety.  Many women flee the country to find their own freedom and to escape abuse."

A woman traveling solo in Turkey, which ranked number 13 on the list of the most dangerous places.

13. Turkey: " Turkey had the fourth worst rating for intimate partner violence and the fifth worst in the global gender gap and the eighth worst with street safety," says Fergusson, who shared the sobering fact that " 89.2% of women in Turkey have been subject to violence from their spouses."

14. Argentina: "Argentina scored the third worst with street safety and the tenth worst with intentional homicide of women," says Fergusson. " Robberies are quite common in Buenos Aires (even while sitting in a car at a red light). And according to a recent report , p eople in Iraq feel safer walking at night than in Argentina."

15. Chile: "Chile ranked the seventh worst with street safety and eighth worst with intimate partner violence," says Fergusson. " Street harassment has affected three out of four people, and 85% of those people are women. Plus,  40% of women are harassed on a daily basis, and 90% have experienced some sort of harassment at some point in their lives."

Statues in the Killing Cave in Battamgbang, Cambodia.

16. Cambodia: "Cambodia ranked the third worst for violence against women’s attitudes and gender inequality. It also scored poorly with the global gender gap and street safety," says Fergusson. " Over half of men believe that women provoke men into being violent toward them."

17. Bahrain: "Bahrain ranked the fourth worst with legal discrimination and the sixth worst in the global gender gap and also performed poorly with street safety," says Fergusson, who also mentions that shockingly, " rapists are protected from being prosecuted if they are married to their victims or if they move forward to marry them."

18. Tunisia: "Tunisia ranked the ninth worst with the global gender gap. It also performed poorly with street safety, legal discrimination and gender inequality," says Fergusson. " Tunisia leads the northern Africa region in women’s rights and government representation, but at least 47 percent of the country’s women are affected by domestic violence. 

Demonstrators wearing white veils hold photos of gun violence victims during the third annual ... [+] Women's March in New York City on Jan. 19, 2019. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

19. United States:  "Ranking 19th on our list was the USA ," says Fergusson. " This makes it the most dangerous Western country in the world which was very unexpected. Scoring badly on street safety, non-partner sexual violence and a host of gender inequality issues makes the United States particularly bad for female travelers. For women aged between 20 and 24, homicide is the third most likely way to die ,  which accounts for a staggering 7.5% of all deaths in this age group. And for black females in the same age group, homicide is responsible for a whopping 15.7% of deaths ."

20. Ukraine: "Ukraine ranked the sixth worst with street safety and scored subpar on global gender gap and gender inequality," says Fergusson. " Ukrainians do not consider gender-based discrimination in the workplace a serious issue."

Friends taking a selfie in Barcelona, Spain, the safest country for women travelers.

The 5 Safest Places for Women Travelers

1. Spain: "Spain is the safest country on Earth for women traveling alone  and it’s the 2nd most visited destination (just behind France)," says Fergusson. "This sun-blessed mediterranean jewel performed very well with street safety, low legal discrimination and low violence against women attitudes."

2. Singapore. "Singapore is by far the safest Asian country on the planet . Excellent ratings in more than half of the areas including  92% of women  feeling safe when walking alone at night makes this island nation really stand out," says Fergusson. "Interestingly, Singapore’s next door neighbor, Malaysia, was the eleventh worst country in our Index and is separated only by a short bridge (they speak the same language too)."

3. Ireland: " The small island nation of Ireland had particularly low levels of legal discrimination, gender inequality and violence against women’s attitudes. Ireland also had relatively low levels of non-partner sexual violence," says Fergusson.

4. Austria: " Austria had some of the lowest levels of sexual violence and gender inequality out of all the destinations we reviewed," says Fergusson.

5. Switzerland: "Some would say that Switzerland is the most beautiful country in Europe with its countless breathtaking mountains and fairytale landscapes," says Fergusson. "Switzerland performed very well with street safety, and low levels of intentional homicide against women. Although, quite shockingly, Switzerland didn’t allow  women the right to vote  until 1971!"

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25 Most Dangerous Places To Avoid In The World

Posted: April 1, 2024 | Last updated: April 1, 2024

<p>The 25 most dangerous places in the world encompass regions facing a myriad of formidable challenges. From Syria’s devastating and prolonged civil war to Afghanistan’s persistent conflict and terrorism, these areas are marked by political instability, violence, and humanitarian crises. South Sudan grapples with ethnic violence and political turmoil, while Yemen faces a complex and protracted conflict, leading to dire humanitarian conditions. Venezuela contends with economic collapse and political unrest, resulting in protests and violence. El Salvador and Honduras struggle with high crime rates and gang violence, posing risks to residents and visitors alike. Libya remains marked by political instability and conflict, while Iraq deals with ongoing violence and extremism. Somalia faces decades of conflict, piracy, and militant groups, and Lebanon confronts political instability and economic crisis, along with security concerns. The presence of armed extremist groups in certain regions of Mozambique adds to the list of dangerous places. These areas underscore the importance of staying informed, exercising caution, and heeding official travel advisories when considering travel or residence in these challenging environments.</p>

The 25 most dangerous places in the world encompass regions facing a myriad of formidable challenges. From Syria’s devastating and prolonged civil war to Afghanistan’s persistent conflict and terrorism, these areas are marked by political instability, violence, and humanitarian crises. South Sudan grapples with ethnic violence and political turmoil, while Yemen faces a complex and protracted conflict, leading to dire humanitarian conditions. Venezuela contends with economic collapse and political unrest, resulting in protests and violence. El Salvador and Honduras struggle with high crime rates and gang violence, posing risks to residents and visitors alike. Libya remains marked by political instability and conflict, while Iraq deals with ongoing violence and extremism. Somalia faces decades of conflict, piracy, and militant groups, and Lebanon confronts political instability and economic crisis, along with security concerns. The presence of armed extremist groups in certain regions of Mozambique adds to the list of dangerous places. These areas underscore the importance of staying informed, exercising caution, and heeding official travel advisories when considering travel or residence in these challenging environments.

<p>The Democratic Republic of Congo is regarded as one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors that have persisted for decades. Political instability, a history of conflict, and ethnic tensions have fueled ongoing violence and insecurity, particularly in the eastern regions of the country. These areas are characterized by the presence of numerous armed groups vying for control over valuable resources, including minerals, and engaging in sporadic fighting. The result is a dire humanitarian crisis, with millions displaced from their homes and facing severe food and healthcare shortages. The weak central government’s limited ability to enforce law and order exacerbates the security challenges, making the DRC a hazardous environment for both its citizens and those working to address the complex issues plaguing the nation.</p>

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is regarded as one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors that have persisted for decades. Political instability, a history of conflict, and ethnic tensions have fueled ongoing violence and insecurity, particularly in the eastern regions of the country. These areas are characterized by the presence of numerous armed groups vying for control over valuable resources, including minerals, and engaging in sporadic fighting. The result is a dire humanitarian crisis, with millions displaced from their homes and facing severe food and healthcare shortages. The weak central government’s limited ability to enforce law and order exacerbates the security challenges, making the DRC a hazardous environment for both its citizens and those working to address the complex issues plaguing the nation.

<p>The Central African Republic is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors. Political instability has been a chronic issue, leading to frequent changes in government and an inability to establish effective governance structures. Ethnic and religious tensions have resulted in recurring violence, often along sectarian lines, and armed groups control large portions of the country, engaging in activities like looting, extortion, and violence against civilians. CAR also faces severe economic challenges, with limited access to basic services, which further exacerbates the security situation. The presence of multiple armed groups, some of which are involved in illicit activities like poaching and resource smuggling, makes it a highly volatile and unpredictable environment. The ongoing violence, displacement of civilians, and lack of a functioning justice system have contributed to the dangerous conditions prevailing in the Central African Republic.</p>

Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors. Political instability has been a chronic issue, leading to frequent changes in government and an inability to establish effective governance structures. Ethnic and religious tensions have resulted in recurring violence, often along sectarian lines, and armed groups control large portions of the country, engaging in activities like looting, extortion, and violence against civilians. CAR also faces severe economic challenges, with limited access to basic services, which further exacerbates the security situation. The presence of multiple armed groups, some of which are involved in illicit activities like poaching and resource smuggling, makes it a highly volatile and unpredictable environment. The ongoing violence, displacement of civilians, and lack of a functioning justice system have contributed to the dangerous conditions prevailing in the Central African Republic.

<p>Mali is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have led to a volatile security environment. The presence of various Islamist extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS, has fueled conflict and terrorism in the northern regions of the country. These groups have been responsible for numerous attacks, kidnappings, and acts of violence, targeting not only security forces but also civilians. Mali’s political instability and a lack of effective governance in some areas have further exacerbated the security situation. Ethnic tensions and communal violence have also added to the instability, leading to displacement and humanitarian crises. The complex interplay of these factors has created a hazardous environment in which residents and travelers alike are at risk, necessitating extreme caution and vigilance when navigating Mali’s challenging landscape.</p>

Mali is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have led to a volatile security environment. The presence of various Islamist extremist groups, including al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS, has fueled conflict and terrorism in the northern regions of the country. These groups have been responsible for numerous attacks, kidnappings, and acts of violence, targeting not only security forces but also civilians. Mali’s political instability and a lack of effective governance in some areas have further exacerbated the security situation. Ethnic tensions and communal violence have also added to the instability, leading to displacement and humanitarian crises. The complex interplay of these factors has created a hazardous environment in which residents and travelers alike are at risk, necessitating extreme caution and vigilance when navigating Mali’s challenging landscape.

<p>Nigeria faces significant security challenges that contribute to its reputation as a dangerous place. One of the most prominent issues is the persistent insurgency by Boko Haram, a jihadist extremist group, primarily in the northeastern part of the country. Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous deadly attacks, kidnappings, and acts of violence, leading to instability and fear in affected areas. Communal violence, conflicts over land and resources, and clashes between herders and farmers have resulted in further bloodshed and displacement of communities. Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative criminal enterprise, with both opportunistic and organized criminal groups targeting residents and foreigners alike. The prevalence of these security concerns, coupled with corruption, political instability, and underdevelopment in certain regions, makes Nigeria a challenging and dangerous place, especially in some northern and northeastern areas.</p>

Nigeria faces significant security challenges that contribute to its reputation as a dangerous place. One of the most prominent issues is the persistent insurgency by Boko Haram, a jihadist extremist group, primarily in the northeastern part of the country. Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous deadly attacks, kidnappings, and acts of violence, leading to instability and fear in affected areas. Communal violence, conflicts over land and resources, and clashes between herders and farmers have resulted in further bloodshed and displacement of communities. Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative criminal enterprise, with both opportunistic and organized criminal groups targeting residents and foreigners alike. The prevalence of these security concerns, coupled with corruption, political instability, and underdevelopment in certain regions, makes Nigeria a challenging and dangerous place, especially in some northern and northeastern areas.

<p>Mexico’s reputation for being a dangerous country is rooted in several complex factors. High levels of violence and insecurity can be attributed to the presence of powerful drug cartels, which engage in territorial disputes, drug trafficking, and criminal activities. These cartels often operate with a degree of impunity, contributing to the country’s challenges in maintaining law and order. Corruption within law enforcement and government institutions has further exacerbated the problem, hindering efforts to combat organized crime effectively. Socioeconomic disparities, poverty, and limited access to education in certain regions create an environment where criminal activity can thrive. While Mexico is a vast and diverse country with many safe areas, travelers are advised to exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and heed travel advisories when visiting certain regions that are more prone to violence and crime.</p>

Mexico’s reputation for being a dangerous country is rooted in several complex factors. High levels of violence and insecurity can be attributed to the presence of powerful drug cartels, which engage in territorial disputes, drug trafficking, and criminal activities. These cartels often operate with a degree of impunity, contributing to the country’s challenges in maintaining law and order. Corruption within law enforcement and government institutions has further exacerbated the problem, hindering efforts to combat organized crime effectively. Socioeconomic disparities, poverty, and limited access to education in certain regions create an environment where criminal activity can thrive. While Mexico is a vast and diverse country with many safe areas, travelers are advised to exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and heed travel advisories when visiting certain regions that are more prone to violence and crime.

<p>Brazil faces a complex set of factors that contribute to its reputation as a country with areas of high crime and danger. Several factors contribute to Brazil’s safety challenges, including socio-economic disparities, drug trafficking, and urban violence. Many of its cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, grapple with significant income inequality, with impoverished favelas juxtaposed against affluent neighborhoods. This economic disparity can lead to high levels of crime, as some individuals turn to criminal activities as a means of survival. Brazil is a major transit and consumption hub for illegal drugs, fueling drug-related violence and organized crime in various parts of the country. Gangs and criminal organizations often clash over control of drug trade routes, leading to violence that can spill over into urban areas. While Brazil is a diverse and culturally rich country with many safe regions, these challenges in certain areas contribute to its perception as a dangerous place. Visitors and residents alike are advised to exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and take appropriate safety measures.</p>

Brazil faces a complex set of factors that contribute to its reputation as a country with areas of high crime and danger. Several factors contribute to Brazil’s safety challenges, including socio-economic disparities, drug trafficking, and urban violence. Many of its cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, grapple with significant income inequality, with impoverished favelas juxtaposed against affluent neighborhoods. This economic disparity can lead to high levels of crime, as some individuals turn to criminal activities as a means of survival. Brazil is a major transit and consumption hub for illegal drugs, fueling drug-related violence and organized crime in various parts of the country. Gangs and criminal organizations often clash over control of drug trade routes, leading to violence that can spill over into urban areas. While Brazil is a diverse and culturally rich country with many safe regions, these challenges in certain areas contribute to its perception as a dangerous place. Visitors and residents alike are advised to exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and take appropriate safety measures.

<p>Haiti is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have created a challenging environment. Political instability has been a longstanding issue in the country, with frequent changes in leadership and a history of government corruption contributing to social unrest. Natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and hurricanes, have further strained the nation’s fragile infrastructure and economy. High levels of poverty, limited access to basic services, and a lack of effective law enforcement have led to a rise in crime rates, including violent crimes such as kidnappings and armed robberies. The country faces challenges related to inadequate healthcare and limited access to education, exacerbating its vulnerability. All these factors combined have created a hazardous situation in Haiti, impacting the safety and well-being of its citizens and visitors.</p>

Haiti is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have created a challenging environment. Political instability has been a longstanding issue in the country, with frequent changes in leadership and a history of government corruption contributing to social unrest. Natural disasters, particularly earthquakes and hurricanes, have further strained the nation’s fragile infrastructure and economy. High levels of poverty, limited access to basic services, and a lack of effective law enforcement have led to a rise in crime rates, including violent crimes such as kidnappings and armed robberies. The country faces challenges related to inadequate healthcare and limited access to education, exacerbating its vulnerability. All these factors combined have created a hazardous situation in Haiti, impacting the safety and well-being of its citizens and visitors.

<p>North Korea is considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries due to its unique combination of factors. First and foremost is the secretive and authoritarian regime of Kim Jong-un, which exercises tight control over information, making it difficult for the outside world to understand the true extent of the country’s capabilities and intentions. The nation’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missile development has raised global concerns about the potential for a nuclear conflict. North Korea has a history of aggressive rhetoric and provocative actions, such as missile tests and military drills, further heightening tensions in the region. The nation’s closed-off society, strict state control, and severe human rights abuses make it a challenging and risky destination for foreigners. Overall, North Korea’s opacity, nuclear ambitions, and confrontational approach to international relations contribute to its reputation as a highly dangerous place in the world.</p>

North Korea

North Korea is considered one of the world’s most dangerous countries due to its unique combination of factors. First and foremost is the secretive and authoritarian regime of Kim Jong-un, which exercises tight control over information, making it difficult for the outside world to understand the true extent of the country’s capabilities and intentions. The nation’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missile development has raised global concerns about the potential for a nuclear conflict. North Korea has a history of aggressive rhetoric and provocative actions, such as missile tests and military drills, further heightening tensions in the region. The nation’s closed-off society, strict state control, and severe human rights abuses make it a challenging and risky destination for foreigners. Overall, North Korea’s opacity, nuclear ambitions, and confrontational approach to international relations contribute to its reputation as a highly dangerous place in the world.

<p>Sudan is considered dangerous primarily due to a combination of factors that have persisted for many years. Political instability, stemming from historical conflicts and civil wars, has left the country fragmented with numerous armed groups vying for control. The Darfur conflict, secession of South Sudan, and ongoing ethnic tensions have contributed to insecurity and violence. Humanitarian crises, such as displacement and food shortages, further exacerbate the situation. The presence of various armed militias and rebel groups adds to the overall instability. All these factors, coupled with limited access to basic services and weak governance, make Sudan a hazardous place with significant security concerns, particularly in certain regions. Travelers are advised to exercise extreme caution and stay updated on the evolving situation when considering travel to Sudan.</p>

Sudan is considered dangerous primarily due to a combination of factors that have persisted for many years. Political instability, stemming from historical conflicts and civil wars, has left the country fragmented with numerous armed groups vying for control. The Darfur conflict, secession of South Sudan, and ongoing ethnic tensions have contributed to insecurity and violence. Humanitarian crises, such as displacement and food shortages, further exacerbate the situation. The presence of various armed militias and rebel groups adds to the overall instability. All these factors, coupled with limited access to basic services and weak governance, make Sudan a hazardous place with significant security concerns, particularly in certain regions. Travelers are advised to exercise extreme caution and stay updated on the evolving situation when considering travel to Sudan.

<p>Myanmar is considered dangerous due to a combination of factors, primarily stemming from political unrest and human rights abuses. The military coup in February 2021 led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government and resulted in widespread protests, which have been met with a violent crackdown by the military junta. The security forces have been accused of using excessive force, leading to injuries and fatalities among demonstrators. Myanmar has a long history of ethnic conflicts and violence, particularly in states like Rakhine and Chin, which have seen displacement and atrocities, most notably against the Rohingya minority. This complex and volatile situation, coupled with the suppression of civil liberties, has created a highly unsafe environment, making Myanmar one of the world’s dangerous places. Travelers should exercise extreme caution and closely monitor developments before considering any visits to the country.</p>

Myanmar is considered dangerous due to a combination of factors, primarily stemming from political unrest and human rights abuses. The military coup in February 2021 led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government and resulted in widespread protests, which have been met with a violent crackdown by the military junta. The security forces have been accused of using excessive force, leading to injuries and fatalities among demonstrators. Myanmar has a long history of ethnic conflicts and violence, particularly in states like Rakhine and Chin, which have seen displacement and atrocities, most notably against the Rohingya minority. This complex and volatile situation, coupled with the suppression of civil liberties, has created a highly unsafe environment, making Myanmar one of the world’s dangerous places. Travelers should exercise extreme caution and closely monitor developments before considering any visits to the country.

<p>The Philippines can be considered dangerous due to several factors. First, certain regions in the country, particularly parts of Mindanao and nearby islands, have faced security concerns because of the presence of militant groups like Abu Sayyaf and other armed factions. These groups have been responsible for kidnappings, bombings, and violent incidents. Second, the Philippines is susceptible to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, which can result in significant damage and loss of life. Some urban areas, particularly in the capital, Manila, have high crime rates, including street crime and petty theft. While the Philippines has many safe and beautiful destinations, travelers should exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and follow official travel advisories when visiting the country, especially in regions with heightened security risks.</p>

Philippines

The Philippines can be considered dangerous due to several factors. First, certain regions in the country, particularly parts of Mindanao and nearby islands, have faced security concerns because of the presence of militant groups like Abu Sayyaf and other armed factions. These groups have been responsible for kidnappings, bombings, and violent incidents. Second, the Philippines is susceptible to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, which can result in significant damage and loss of life. Some urban areas, particularly in the capital, Manila, have high crime rates, including street crime and petty theft. While the Philippines has many safe and beautiful destinations, travelers should exercise caution, stay informed about local conditions, and follow official travel advisories when visiting the country, especially in regions with heightened security risks.

<p>Eritrea is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors that make it a challenging and hazardous destination. The country’s closed-off government, led by President Isaias Afwerki, exercises strict control over information, limiting transparency and accountability. Mandatory and indefinite military conscription, often involving forced labor, has led to widespread human rights abuses and a climate of fear. Eritrea’s lack of political freedoms and severe restrictions on basic rights have generated significant instability and discontent among its population. Moreover, the government’s repressive measures have caused a mass exodus of Eritreans seeking refuge in neighboring countries, making the nation’s own citizens vulnerable to persecution. As a result, Eritrea’s oppressive regime, human rights violations, and limited access for foreigners combine to create a dangerous and inhospitable environment for both residents and travelers.</p>

Eritrea is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors that make it a challenging and hazardous destination. The country’s closed-off government, led by President Isaias Afwerki, exercises strict control over information, limiting transparency and accountability. Mandatory and indefinite military conscription, often involving forced labor, has led to widespread human rights abuses and a climate of fear. Eritrea’s lack of political freedoms and severe restrictions on basic rights have generated significant instability and discontent among its population. Moreover, the government’s repressive measures have caused a mass exodus of Eritreans seeking refuge in neighboring countries, making the nation’s own citizens vulnerable to persecution. As a result, Eritrea’s oppressive regime, human rights violations, and limited access for foreigners combine to create a dangerous and inhospitable environment for both residents and travelers.

<p>Ukraine has faced significant dangers and security challenges in recent years due to the ongoing conflict in its eastern regions. The conflict, which began in 2014, involves Ukrainian government forces and separatist groups in Donetsk and Luhansk, with Russian involvement suspected in supporting the separatists. This protracted conflict has resulted in casualties, displacement of civilians, and political instability. The situation remains unpredictable, and the region near the conflict zone is particularly hazardous due to sporadic fighting and the presence of landmines. Political tensions and territorial disputes with Russia continue to contribute to Ukraine’s overall precarious security environment. Travelers to Ukraine should exercise caution, especially in areas close to the conflict zone, and stay informed about the latest developments and official travel advisories.</p>

Ukraine has faced significant dangers and security challenges in recent years due to the ongoing conflict in its eastern regions. The conflict, which began in 2014, involves Ukrainian government forces and separatist groups in Donetsk and Luhansk, with Russian involvement suspected in supporting the separatists. This protracted conflict has resulted in casualties, displacement of civilians, and political instability. The situation remains unpredictable, and the region near the conflict zone is particularly hazardous due to sporadic fighting and the presence of landmines. Political tensions and territorial disputes with Russia continue to contribute to Ukraine’s overall precarious security environment. Travelers to Ukraine should exercise caution, especially in areas close to the conflict zone, and stay informed about the latest developments and official travel advisories.

<p>Turkey, while a country of great historical and cultural significance, faces certain security challenges that contribute to its reputation as a potentially dangerous place. One key factor is its proximity to conflict zones, such as Syria and Iraq, which has resulted in occasional spillover violence and the presence of refugees and displaced populations. Southeastern Turkey has seen intermittent security concerns and occasional conflict-related incidents, particularly near the Syrian border. The government’s actions and policies have also led to political tensions and crackdowns on dissent, impacting civil liberties and freedom of expression. While many parts of Turkey are safe for travelers, the dynamic regional and political landscape requires visitors to stay informed about current events, exercise caution in certain areas, and heed official travel advisories to ensure their safety and well-being.</p>

Turkey, while a country of great historical and cultural significance, faces certain security challenges that contribute to its reputation as a potentially dangerous place. One key factor is its proximity to conflict zones, such as Syria and Iraq, which has resulted in occasional spillover violence and the presence of refugees and displaced populations. Southeastern Turkey has seen intermittent security concerns and occasional conflict-related incidents, particularly near the Syrian border. The government’s actions and policies have also led to political tensions and crackdowns on dissent, impacting civil liberties and freedom of expression. While many parts of Turkey are safe for travelers, the dynamic regional and political landscape requires visitors to stay informed about current events, exercise caution in certain areas, and heed official travel advisories to ensure their safety and well-being.

<p>Honduras has gained notoriety for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to a combination of factors. High crime rates, particularly violent crimes such as homicide and armed robberies, are a significant concern, especially in urban areas like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Gang violence, driven by powerful criminal organizations like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, contributes to the pervasive insecurity. Honduras is a transit point for drug trafficking, which fuels conflicts among criminal groups and exacerbates violence. Political instability, corruption, and weak law enforcement institutions further hinder efforts to combat crime effectively. These complex challenges have collectively created an environment where residents and visitors alike face significant risks, making Honduras a hazardous place to live or travel without taking extensive precautions.</p>

Honduras has gained notoriety for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to a combination of factors. High crime rates, particularly violent crimes such as homicide and armed robberies, are a significant concern, especially in urban areas like San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Gang violence, driven by powerful criminal organizations like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, contributes to the pervasive insecurity. Honduras is a transit point for drug trafficking, which fuels conflicts among criminal groups and exacerbates violence. Political instability, corruption, and weak law enforcement institutions further hinder efforts to combat crime effectively. These complex challenges have collectively created an environment where residents and visitors alike face significant risks, making Honduras a hazardous place to live or travel without taking extensive precautions.

<p>Syria is incredibly dangerous primarily due to its prolonged and devastating civil war, which has raged on since 2011. The conflict has resulted in widespread destruction, displacement of millions, and a dire humanitarian crisis. Multiple armed groups, including the notorious ISIS, have emerged in the power vacuum, making many parts of the country perilous for civilians and travelers alike. The war’s complex nature involves not only domestic factions but also international actors, contributing to a volatile and unpredictable security landscape. The use of chemical weapons, airstrikes on civilian areas, and violations of international law have further exacerbated the dangers faced by the population. The combination of ongoing violence, political instability, and a fractured society has made Syria one of the most hazardous places in the world.</p>

Syria is incredibly dangerous primarily due to its prolonged and devastating civil war, which has raged on since 2011. The conflict has resulted in widespread destruction, displacement of millions, and a dire humanitarian crisis. Multiple armed groups, including the notorious ISIS, have emerged in the power vacuum, making many parts of the country perilous for civilians and travelers alike. The war’s complex nature involves not only domestic factions but also international actors, contributing to a volatile and unpredictable security landscape. The use of chemical weapons, airstrikes on civilian areas, and violations of international law have further exacerbated the dangers faced by the population. The combination of ongoing violence, political instability, and a fractured society has made Syria one of the most hazardous places in the world.

<p>Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world primarily due to its prolonged conflict and political instability. The presence of various armed groups, most notably the Taliban, has fueled a persistent insurgency that has lasted for decades. Terrorism remains a significant threat, with groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS having a presence in the country. The conflict has resulted in widespread violence, displacement of civilians, and a dire humanitarian crisis. Afghanistan’s challenging terrain, porous borders, and historical tribal divisions contribute to the complexity of the security situation. The ongoing instability, coupled with weak governance and a struggling economy, has created a hazardous environment for both its population and anyone traveling to or residing in the country.</p>

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world primarily due to its prolonged conflict and political instability. The presence of various armed groups, most notably the Taliban, has fueled a persistent insurgency that has lasted for decades. Terrorism remains a significant threat, with groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS having a presence in the country. The conflict has resulted in widespread violence, displacement of civilians, and a dire humanitarian crisis. Afghanistan’s challenging terrain, porous borders, and historical tribal divisions contribute to the complexity of the security situation. The ongoing instability, coupled with weak governance and a struggling economy, has created a hazardous environment for both its population and anyone traveling to or residing in the country.

<p>Lebanon’s precarious security situation is primarily due to a combination of factors that have escalated its level of danger. Political instability has plagued the country for years, leading to frequent protests, government resignations, and power struggles among various factions. The economic crisis has pushed Lebanon to the brink, resulting in a severe devaluation of its currency, soaring inflation, and widespread poverty, further fueling civil unrest. The catastrophic explosion in Beirut in August 2020 exposed the government’s negligence and corruption, intensifying public anger. Lebanon has seen the presence of various armed groups, including Hezbollah, which can contribute to an unpredictable security environment. These intertwined challenges, from political turmoil and economic collapse to social discontent and the presence of armed factions, make Lebanon a particularly dangerous place with risks of protests, violence, and instability. Travelers are advised to exercise extreme caution and stay informed about the evolving situation in the country.</p>

Lebanon’s precarious security situation is primarily due to a combination of factors that have escalated its level of danger. Political instability has plagued the country for years, leading to frequent protests, government resignations, and power struggles among various factions. The economic crisis has pushed Lebanon to the brink, resulting in a severe devaluation of its currency, soaring inflation, and widespread poverty, further fueling civil unrest. The catastrophic explosion in Beirut in August 2020 exposed the government’s negligence and corruption, intensifying public anger. Lebanon has seen the presence of various armed groups, including Hezbollah, which can contribute to an unpredictable security environment. These intertwined challenges, from political turmoil and economic collapse to social discontent and the presence of armed factions, make Lebanon a particularly dangerous place with risks of protests, violence, and instability. Travelers are advised to exercise extreme caution and stay informed about the evolving situation in the country.

<p>Yemen is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a complex combination of factors. First and foremost, the country has been embroiled in a protracted and multifaceted conflict since 2014, involving various factions, including Houthi rebels, government forces, and foreign actors. This ongoing conflict has led to widespread violence, displacement, and a dire humanitarian crisis, with millions of Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance, including food and healthcare. The situation is exacerbated by frequent airstrikes, bombings, and ground clashes, making it perilous for civilians.</p>

Yemen is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a complex combination of factors. First and foremost, the country has been embroiled in a protracted and multifaceted conflict since 2014, involving various factions, including Houthi rebels, government forces, and foreign actors. This ongoing conflict has led to widespread violence, displacement, and a dire humanitarian crisis, with millions of Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance, including food and healthcare. The situation is exacerbated by frequent airstrikes, bombings, and ground clashes, making it perilous for civilians.

<p>Venezuela is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have led to a complex and perilous environment. One of the primary reasons is the country’s economic collapse, characterized by hyperinflation, shortages of essential goods and services, and a collapsed healthcare system. This dire economic situation has fueled social unrest, protests, and political tensions, often resulting in violence. The political turmoil and power struggles within Venezuela have contributed to an unstable governance structure and a lack of effective rule of law, exacerbating the security concerns.</p>

Venezuela is considered a dangerous place due to a combination of factors that have led to a complex and perilous environment. One of the primary reasons is the country’s economic collapse, characterized by hyperinflation, shortages of essential goods and services, and a collapsed healthcare system. This dire economic situation has fueled social unrest, protests, and political tensions, often resulting in violence. The political turmoil and power struggles within Venezuela have contributed to an unstable governance structure and a lack of effective rule of law, exacerbating the security concerns.

<p>El Salvador has gained notoriety for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to a combination of factors. High crime rates, particularly homicides, are primarily attributed to the presence of powerful and violent gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18. These gangs have a significant presence in urban areas, where they engage in drug trafficking, extortion, and territorial disputes, leading to frequent violence. The government’s efforts to combat these criminal organizations have led to confrontations and further instability. Socio-economic disparities, a lack of educational opportunities, and limited access to social services have contributed to the allure of gang membership for many young Salvadorans, perpetuating the cycle of violence. The resulting insecurity has made El Salvador a challenging place for its residents and a risky destination for travelers, particularly in certain urban centers.</p>

El Salvador

El Salvador has gained notoriety for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world due to a combination of factors. High crime rates, particularly homicides, are primarily attributed to the presence of powerful and violent gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18. These gangs have a significant presence in urban areas, where they engage in drug trafficking, extortion, and territorial disputes, leading to frequent violence. The government’s efforts to combat these criminal organizations have led to confrontations and further instability. Socio-economic disparities, a lack of educational opportunities, and limited access to social services have contributed to the allure of gang membership for many young Salvadorans, perpetuating the cycle of violence. The resulting insecurity has made El Salvador a challenging place for its residents and a risky destination for travelers, particularly in certain urban centers.

<p>Libya is considered highly dangerous due to its protracted political instability, ongoing conflict, and security challenges. Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been marked by a power vacuum, with multiple armed groups vying for control. This fragmentation has resulted in a lack of effective governance and law enforcement, contributing to widespread lawlessness and insecurity. The presence of militias, terrorist organizations, and armed factions further exacerbates the volatile environment. Travelers and residents face unpredictable risks, including violence, kidnapping, and attacks. The situation in Libya remains fluid, making it one of the world’s most dangerous places, where security conditions can change rapidly and without warning.</p>

Libya is considered highly dangerous due to its protracted political instability, ongoing conflict, and security challenges. Since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been marked by a power vacuum, with multiple armed groups vying for control. This fragmentation has resulted in a lack of effective governance and law enforcement, contributing to widespread lawlessness and insecurity. The presence of militias, terrorist organizations, and armed factions further exacerbates the volatile environment. Travelers and residents face unpredictable risks, including violence, kidnapping, and attacks. The situation in Libya remains fluid, making it one of the world’s most dangerous places, where security conditions can change rapidly and without warning.

<p>Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors. Prolonged political instability, the legacy of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and ongoing sectarian tensions have created a fragile security environment. The presence of extremist groups, most notably ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has further exacerbated the situation. These groups have launched deadly attacks, controlled territories, and spread terror, resulting in significant violence and insecurity. Iraq’s complex ethnic and religious divisions have led to conflicts over power and resources, making it a breeding ground for internal strife. As a result, residents and visitors alike face considerable risks, ranging from terrorism and armed conflict to kidnapping and crime, making Iraq a perilous destination and challenging place to live.</p>

Iraq is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a combination of factors. Prolonged political instability, the legacy of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and ongoing sectarian tensions have created a fragile security environment. The presence of extremist groups, most notably ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), has further exacerbated the situation. These groups have launched deadly attacks, controlled territories, and spread terror, resulting in significant violence and insecurity. Iraq’s complex ethnic and religious divisions have led to conflicts over power and resources, making it a breeding ground for internal strife. As a result, residents and visitors alike face considerable risks, ranging from terrorism and armed conflict to kidnapping and crime, making Iraq a perilous destination and challenging place to live.

<p>Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a complex web of factors contributing to its extreme instability. Decades of conflict, dating back to the late 20th century, have left the country deeply divided, with a lack of central governance and competing power structures. The presence of militant groups, notably al-Shabaab, has further exacerbated the insecurity, as they engage in acts of terrorism, control territories, and impose their harsh interpretation of Islamic law. The country’s extensive coastline has also made it susceptible to piracy, with Somali pirates hijacking vessels in the Indian Ocean. The combination of these factors has led to ongoing violence, political turmoil, and a dire humanitarian crisis, making Somalia an exceptionally dangerous place for both its residents and travelers.</p>

Somalia is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world due to a complex web of factors contributing to its extreme instability. Decades of conflict, dating back to the late 20th century, have left the country deeply divided, with a lack of central governance and competing power structures. The presence of militant groups, notably al-Shabaab, has further exacerbated the insecurity, as they engage in acts of terrorism, control territories, and impose their harsh interpretation of Islamic law. The country’s extensive coastline has also made it susceptible to piracy, with Somali pirates hijacking vessels in the Indian Ocean. The combination of these factors has led to ongoing violence, political turmoil, and a dire humanitarian crisis, making Somalia an exceptionally dangerous place for both its residents and travelers.

<p>Mozambique is considered a dangerous place due to the escalating violence and insurgency, primarily concentrated in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula. Armed extremist groups, most notably Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ), have been responsible for a series of brutal attacks, targeting civilians and security forces alike. This insurgency has resulted in widespread displacement, a humanitarian crisis, and a deteriorating security situation. Factors contributing to Mozambique’s danger include the presence of radicalized militants, economic grievances, and competition over valuable resources in the region, particularly natural gas reserves. The combination of these elements has created a highly unstable environment, making certain regions of Mozambique hazardous for both residents and travelers, necessitating extreme caution and thorough awareness of the security situation.</p><p><a href="https://bonvoyaged.com/?utm_source=msnstart">For the Latest Travel News, Headlines & Videos, head to Bon Voyaged</a></p>

Mozambique is considered a dangerous place due to the escalating violence and insurgency, primarily concentrated in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula. Armed extremist groups, most notably Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ), have been responsible for a series of brutal attacks, targeting civilians and security forces alike. This insurgency has resulted in widespread displacement, a humanitarian crisis, and a deteriorating security situation. Factors contributing to Mozambique’s danger include the presence of radicalized militants, economic grievances, and competition over valuable resources in the region, particularly natural gas reserves. The combination of these elements has created a highly unstable environment, making certain regions of Mozambique hazardous for both residents and travelers, necessitating extreme caution and thorough awareness of the security situation.

For the Latest Travel News, Headlines & Videos, head to Bon Voyaged

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Oliver Bertasio loves to sing. He long dreamed of a career in the arts. But, struggling with insecurity, he stayed largely behind the scenes, even while taking theater classes in college.

The Massachusetts native could not have imagined that he would find his voice in Kentucky.

Looking back, Bertasio , now 33, sees that the insecurity came from not understanding his gender identity. It wasn’t until he accepted himself as a transgender man and transitioned while living in New York eight years ago that he felt comfortable in his own skin. But after moving to Lexington about two years ago and finding a welcoming community that embraced him, he found the courage to step onto the stage — joining a church choir and performing with a local theater company.

“I’ve never felt more at home than I do in Lexington,” said Bertasio, who works at a bank where even customers have been uniformly kind — including those who appear to be conservative.

Oliver Bertasio sits for a portrait in his bedroom

In making the move from the Northeast to the South, Bertasio appears to be bucking the trend of transgender Americans who are leaving Republican-led and Southern states as anti-trans vitriol and legislation has escalated in recent years. In the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey , 41% of the more than 90,000 respondents lived in the South. Nearly half of all respondents said they had considered moving to another state because anti-trans legislation had been considered or passed, with 5% actually doing so.

The top 10 states from which survey respondents moved are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

“You have to calculate your own risk and decide whether it’s a risk you want to take,” Bertasio said of living in a state where legislators are actively targeting transgender rights. For Bertasio, finding joy and a sense of community he never really had before was completely unexpected — and worth the move.

“At the end of the day, finding community and purpose” is what everybody wants, he said.

Members of the choir sing during rehearsal

Transgender people have always existed, even in the very places where politicians are doing the most to strip them of their civil rights, said author, activist and historian Samantha Rosenthal .

Rosenthal, a history professor at Roanoke College in Virginia and author of “ Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in a Southern City ,” said that while it’s widely known LGBTQ people have migrated over time to big cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Southern migration has often found queer people from rural and very small communities moving to cities like Charlotte, North Carolina; Roanoke, Virginia; and Atlanta. As that Southern migration occurred, she added, services and resources built up to meet increased demand, neighborhoods were built, and LGBTQ communities thrived.

“Most Southern cities of 100,000 people or more — so not that big — have these gay enclaves,” she said. “It’s a rich, vibrant queer world here.”

Samantha Rosenthal.

Rosenthal, who grew up in upstate New York and spent most of her 20s living in New York City, migrated south herself, moving from Brooklyn, New York, to Virginia in 2015. Assigned male at birth, Rosenthal, now 41, had come out as a queer man about a year before moving to the South. But in recording the stories of trans women throughout Virginia, particularly those a generation older than her, she realized she was hearing experiences like her own and has since come out as transgender. Many of the stories she recorded can be found on the site she co-founded in 2015, the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project .

While her experiences in Roanoke are often very different from those of the LGBTQ people who have lived there all their lives, especially Black queer and trans women, Rosenthal said she only truly discovered who she is once she moved there.

“I’ve experienced a kind of homecoming, even though it’s not where I grew up,” she said.

Related stories:

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For every step forward marginalized communities make in securing civil rights, there is backlash, said Rosenthal. She said she and other historians believe the current “very intense” backlash began after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015.

Last year, more than 500 state bills targeting LGBTQ people were introduced in state legislatures across the U.S., according to a tally by the American Civil Liberties Union . Of those bills, 75 became law, according to an NBC News analysis of the ACLU’s data . In just the first three months of this year, the ACLU is tracking more than 470 such state bills, with proposed legislation including restrictions on bathroom access for transgender people of all ages, bans on gender-affirming health care for trans youth and prohibitions on trans people changing the gender marker on their state-issued IDs.

“The intent of these policies is clear: to harass and intimidate transgender people back into the closet, to drive people from public society — and the consequences are devastating,” said Brandon Wolf, the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ rights group.

Adrian Whittamore peeks beyond a doorway next to a wall with the pride flag

North Carolina is among the states where bills targeting the LGBTQ community — and particularly the trans community — have been the most plentiful. Last year, state legislators there proposed 11 such bills, and five of them , including one that bans gender-affirming care for minors, passed into law, according to the ACLU’s tally. So far this year, there are six bills under consideration in the state, including a religious exemption proposal that would allow medical providers, health care institutions and insurers to refuse to provide “or pay for any health care service that violates his, her, or its conscience.”

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson , the state’s Republican candidate for governor, made national headlines during a February campaign speech when he said transgender women should be arrested if they use the women’s bathroom, adding that people who “are confused” about their gender should “find a corner outside somewhere to go” to the bathroom.

But for 37-year-old Basil Vaughn Soper , who identifies as a man of trans experience from the South, North Carolina is where he belongs. For Soper, moving back to Asheville — to the slower pace, the familiar foods, dog walks in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, being closer to his sister and her children — has brought him full circle. He had not anticipated when he moved back from New York City that he would soon be awash in the deeply rooted emotions of being home.

Basil Vaughn Soper.

“I was really able to sit back and see everything I have done, to know that I am safe and that I have my loved ones nearby,” Soper said. “It was really an emotional thing, and I didn’t expect it to be.”

Asheville had been a refuge, the place where he found safety and a community of friends four years after fleeing abuse in his parents’ South Carolina home when he was 16. He was 20 when he arrived in Asheville, still trying to understand why his outward appearance bore no relationship to the confusing feelings he had about who he was and his place in the world. It was at a gender workshop at a local Universalist Church that he first heard the language that gave voice to everything he had been feeling.

Unable to easily access the full range of gender-affirming health care, Soper left North Carolina, ultimately settling in New York, where he was able to medically transition. But when his job afforded an opportunity to return to the South, he decided to go home.

A photograph of Oliver Bertasio and his boyfriend, Adrian Whittamore, is seen in a family album

Transphobia and bigotry are not exclusive to Republican-led states or cities, said Soper, founder of Transilient , a documentary project to record transgender and nonbinary people sharing their experiences of day-to-day life. He said the way it’s expressed may be different, but the hurt it causes is not — GOP-led attacks on transgender rights notwithstanding. He added that he has experienced transphobia in liberal and conservative states while traveling for Transilient and while living in Democratic-led cities in the North.

“Transphobia is deeply embedded in our culture overall,” he said. “It just comes out and looks very different depending on the level of education you have around trans people and the kind of information you’re getting about us. It really depends on how people are educating themselves, and even if you’re super educated about trans people, you still have to dismantle the transphobic ideas within yourself.”

Oliver Bertasio sings at a karaoke bar

Ultimately, regardless of gender identity, people often find themselves living joyful lives and participating in civil society in cities and states where they never anticipated ending up. The opportunity to do so is supposed to extend to all Americans, including LGBTQ people, said Soper, Rosenthal and Bertasio.

“I have just as much right to love the state of Kentucky as anybody else does,” Bertasio said.

For more from NBC Out,  sign up for our weekly newsletter .

Sandy West is a former full-time staff writer for local newspapers, business publications and The Associated Press. She is an independent journalist primarily writing about health-related issues, juvenile justice and child welfare.

Watch CBS News

Looking for the best places to see the April 8 solar eclipse in the totality path? You may have to dodge clouds.

By Eric Henderson

Updated on: April 2, 2024 / 2:12 PM EDT / CBS News

America is gearing up for the April 8 total solar eclipse , and in less than a week many will be scrambling to find the best location to watch within the path of totality. Meteorologists are closely monitoring the latest models, and while it won't be until a few days prior to the event that the national forecast will be fully cooked, historical data suggests those hoping to view the corona and see a fully darkened midday sky may find themselves dodging clouds due to April weather patterns.

The last time a total solar eclipse traversed an elongated path across the continental U.S. — on Aug. 21, 2017 — Americans could be caught gazing at the midday dark from Oregon all the way to South Carolina. Most spots along the path of totality enjoyed reasonably clear, summer skies.

Those living or visiting along the path of totality next week may not end up so fortunate, as historical weather maps show the odds of experiencing a cloud-free sky at this time of year are somewhat less than ideal. In fact, finding a totally clear view at any given time is closer to the exception than the rule.

"According to NASA, at any given time, 70% of the earth is covered in clouds," said Mike Augustyniak , CBS Minnesota director of meteorology.

Not only is North America in the middle of the volatility of changing seasons during this year's solar event, but meteorologists note that we're also currently in an El Niño pattern, albeit one that's proven quieter than usual.

"An El Niño pattern tends to increase the chances of cloudy, rainy weather in those areas. Interestingly, though, that is not how this winter and spring have played out," said Augustyniak. "Since the start of 2024, Texas Hill Country and western Texas areas have been markedly drier than average; if that trend holds for the next few weeks, that would be good news for eclipse watchers."

The path of totality is only about 150 miles wide, and in America stretches roughly 2,500 miles from the Texas border to the last few towns in northeastern Maine. That leaves only so many places where you can seek the full show, though the path's width will be significantly wider than it was in 2017, according to NASA , as the moon will to be closer to Earth on this pass than it was then.

So will April showers bring spectator flowers? Here's a breakdown of which places along the path of totality are most likely to give eclipse chasers the best odds.

United States map showing the percent of cloud cover in various regions of the eclipse path on April 8. The lakeshore region will be primarily affected.

Viewing the eclipse in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas

Augustyniak said at this transitional time of year, the further south you can go, the more likely you are to experience clear skies during eclipse totality.

"Of the areas where the total eclipse will be visible on April 8, that includes the Hill Country of Texas, and the Mexican states of Coahuila and Durango," Augustyniak said.

Of course, the further south you get, the more you increase your chances of running into not only clouds, but rain.

"Spring is our storm season of course," said Jeff Ray , chief meteorologist for CBS Texas.

Ray said that you can almost bet on needing to do a little bit of reverse storm-chasing — in other words, doing some last-minute navigation to dart away from the oncoming clouds, rather than toward them — on or around the eclipse in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"There will be storms around the day of April 8. I say that because we rarely get through a week in spring without a couple of rounds coming through the area during this time of the year. Will they arrive a day before and be gone? Not start up until later that day? Maybe two days later? We are looking at our long-range model the GFS for the date and it looks like storms on the eighth," Ray said, with a caveat. "Long-range models are notoriously inaccurate for a specific day. But there is a good chance the storms the model sees will materialize, give or take a 36-hour period."

Ray said that Texas sees, on average, a sunny or mostly sunny April day only about 28% of the time. Conversely, the region gets April days with mostly cloudy or fully overcast conditions about 36% of the time.

"High clouds can arrive several days before the storm system, they are overhead in April around 22% of the time. A sky with some kind of cloud cover is likely," said Ray. "A typical April day would have near overcast skies in the morning, then the heating of the day makes for more sunshine. So an afternoon even has better odds of a good view of the eclipse."

Eclipse map of totality

The eclipse will reach totality in Texas from about 1:30 p.m. CT near Elm Creek until wrapping up near the Oklahoma border a few minutes before 2 p.m. Some of the most populous areas along the path of totality will be during this leg, from San Antonio and Austin to Dallas-Fort Worth.

One final factor to consider if you're heading to the area — tornadoes. Ray said that the National Weather Office in Fort Worth has tallied all the confirmed tornadoes since 1880, and in April and May, north Texas has seen more than 1,100 twisters, compared with the nearly 900 seen in all other months.

"So more tornadoes in the 61-day window than all of the other days of the year combined," Ray said, "but the tornado count varies greatly from year to year."

Ultimately, Ray said that April is traditionally the third-stormiest month of the year in Texas.

"In short, April is not the best, nor the worst, time of the year to hope for clear or mostly clear skies. The best would be July or August. The worst would be January or February," he said. "We get a decent idea of the expected weather about seven days out. Four days out we get more comfortable talking about the timing of a rain or storm event. But it's the weather, we are trying to throw a lasso around chaos. It is not rare we forecasters look like fools."

Viewing the eclipse in Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana

While many are likely to head as far south as possible, some of the biggest cities in the Midwest are likely to fuel day-of migration to spots in Missouri and Illinois, many of them likely seeing a total eclipse for the second time in a decade. A small zone centered around Carbondale, Illinois, was along the path of totality in 2017, and will be once again this month.

While those in the St. Louis area seeking areas to watch in southeastern Missouri will find historical odds for cloud-free viewing roughly comparable to Arkansas, and those in the Chicago metro area should find their best bet is to head toward the southern part of Illinois.

"If you're unable to travel (to Texas or Arkansas), then Southern Illinois and Indiana present your best opportunity for a clearer sky, supported by the 43-year average and, of course, weather permitting," said Albert Ramon , chief meteorologist for CBS Chicago.

solar-eclipse-2024-path-3d-201p-cdt.png

There will likely be some who decide that 90% or 95% totality is enough for them. But Ramon warns that those in the Chicago metro area could be at a higher risk to find their view obscured by clouds.

"Based on a comprehensive 43-year average , April 8 typically brings cloud cover chances ranging from 60 to 80% across Chicago and its surrounding suburbs, with similar patterns observed in Indianapolis, where cloud cover hovers between 60 to 70%," Ramon said.

Viewing the eclipse near the Great Lakes and Pennsylvania

Ramon said another factor that could make viewing along the path of totality something of a challenge in the Midwest is the lingering influence of an El Niño weather pattern.

"Its presence elevates the chances of clouds across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions," Ramon said. "This year may even be a bit more cloudier than the normal."

The Great Lakes portion of totality's path includes large sections of Ohio, including Cleveland, along with the area of Ontario south of Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Erie, Pennsylvania. CBS Pittsburgh meteorologist Ray Petelin said many of these areas are subject to the wildcard that is the Great Lakes.

"They are known for lake-effect snow, but it is the lake-effect clouds that could hide the eclipse. Erie, which is in the path of totality, averages only six clear days during the month of April. Pittsburgh, which has the potential to see around 97% of totality, only averages four clear days in April," Petelin said.

NASA total eclipse animation

Petelin says that a southerly breeze and warmer-than-average temperatures would go a long way toward helping the Great Lakes region out on April 8. 

"While the historical data suggests the chances for a clear day are low, this winter and early spring have been exceptionally bright and warmer than usual. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we can get that perfect weather for when it matters most," Petelin said.

As it stands, the areas near the shores of the Great Lakes historically show a higher probability for clearer skies than areas inland.

Viewing the eclipse in New England

The eclipse will wrap up its march across the U.S. when the path of totality cuts across state lines from New York to Vermont just before 3:30 p.m. ET. By this point in the event, the duration of totality along the central line will have already fallen off from its peak — about 4 minutes, 30 seconds near Nazas, Mexico — to just over 3 minutes, 30 seconds, according to NASA.

solar-eclipse-2024-path-3d-328p-edt.png

"The southern edge of the totality line passes right through the towns of Middlebury, Northfield and Barre. You will need to get just north of these areas. Some suggested 'larger' towns include Montpelier, St. Johnsbury, Newport and Burlington," said Terry Eliasen , executive weather producer for CBS Boston.

In New Hampshire, the southern edge of totality will pass just north of the White Mountains. And in Maine, you'll need to get north of major cities like Portland, Augusta and Bangor. Eliasen said the entirety of Baxter State Park will be in the totality path, including Mount Katahdin.

The bad news: Eliasen said that those in the New England area face possibly the stiffest odds in the country for catching clear skies next Monday, based on historical patterns. The data says you're more likely to be negatively impacted by clouds pretty much anywhere in these three states than not.

"Frankly, northern New England is probably the worst place (historically speaking) in the path of totality as far as cloud cover goes," said Eliasen. "Of course, we could get lucky."

No luck? There's always the 2045 total solar eclipse

As a last-ditch hope for those who opt to stay put no matter where they're located, there's one last meteorological ace-in-the-hole that could offer reprieve, one fueled by the astronomical event itself.

"It's worth noting that, as totality approaches and sunlight is reduced, temperatures are likely to fall noticeably. Cooler temperatures can stabilize the atmosphere – like when the sun sets after a hot summer day – leading to a decrease in cloud cover," said Augustyniak. "Still, your best plan is to find an area that has no clouds to begin with."

And if the clouds end up sullying the view for some this month, another chance comes around in August 2045 , when a line of totality will stretch from northern California all the way to Miami Beach. Which, of course, will fall during the height of hurricane season.

United states map showing the path of the 2045 solar eclipse.

Eric Henderson is Managing Editor, Midwest for CBSNews.com. He has won three Emmy Awards, an Eric Sevareid Award and two Edward R. Murrow Awards.

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Damage reported as start of severe weather outbreak rips across heartland Monday

According to local storm reports tallied by the national weather service, there were at least three reports of tornadoes in northeastern oklahoma, more than 40 reports of damaging winds or wind damage from texas to kentucky and over 60 reports of large hail from texas to ohio..

FOX Weather Meteorologist Steve Bender talks to storm tracker Corey Gerken as he follows storms in Missouri.

Storm tracker follows storms in nation's heartland

FOX Weather Meteorologist Steve Bender talks to storm tracker Corey Gerken as he follows storms in Missouri.

April typically kicks off the most active three months for tornadoes in the U.S. , and this year is no exception as a widespread multiday severe weather outbreak is expected to impact tens of millions of Americans in the eastern half of the country through Tuesday .

On Monday, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center issued the year's first Level 4 out of 5 risk for severe weather , centered over central and eastern Oklahoma and far North Texas , where storms were forecast to produce destructive hail upwards of 2-3 inches in diameter . That area was removed by Monday night, but a Level 3 out of 5 risk zone remained in a swath from Texas to Ohio .

Severe storms began to erupt in the central U.S. Monday afternoon and continued throughout the night before spreading east on Tuesday morning. 

The storms have produced both large hail and damaging winds that caused damage Monday and Monday night from Texas to the lower Ohio Valley.

HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHER

The top hail reports on Monday, April 1, 2024.

The top hail reports on Monday, April 1, 2024.

(FOX Weather)

According to local storm reports tallied by the National Weather Service , there were more than 40 reports of damaging winds or wind damage from Texas to Kentucky and over 60 reports of large hail from Texas to Ohio.

The largest hail report was grapefruit-sized hail (4.5 inches) near Briar, Texas, while the highest wind report was an 88-mph gust near Albany , Texas.

The top wind reports on Monday, April 1, 2024.

The top wind reports on Monday, April 1, 2024.

According to the NWS, hail the size of hen eggs was reported near Logan, Oklahoma. Wind-blown hail broke windows in Caney , Kansas. In Missouri , hail the size of golf balls was reported falling hard in Chesterfield for about 5 minutes. Baseball-sized hail was reported near the town of Nugent in Texas, while baseball-sized hail damaged vehicles and broke the windows of a home in Hawley , Texas. Video showed hail covering the ground in Boyd , Texas, on Monday evening.

Video shows hail covering the ground in Boyd, Texas, on April 1, 2024.

Hail covers yard in Texas

Video shows hail covering the ground in Boyd, Texas, on April 1, 2024.

Wind damage has also been reported. According to the NWS, law enforcement near Sweetwater , Texas, reported multiple power poles had been knocked down. A roof was ripped off a home in Shackelford, Texas, near where the day's highest wind gust of 88 mph was recorded. Trees and power lines were blown down in Independence , Kentucky. In Missouri, trees were knocked down in the town of Westphalia .

On Monday evening, Carthage , Missouri, reported damage around the historic downtown square from a possible tornado. The town was placed under a Tornado Warning about 9:30 p.m. CDT, warning of 70-mph winds and quarter-sized hail. Prior to hitting Carthage, the storm produced a 73-mph gust in Joplin , Missouri.

A Tornado Warning was issued for Carthage, Missouri, at 9:33 p.m. CDT Monday. It was also warned for 70-mph winds and quarter-size hail.

A Tornado Warning was issued for Carthage, Missouri, at 9:33 p.m. CDT Monday. It was also warned for 70-mph winds and quarter-sized hail.

(Carthage Water & Electric Plant (CWEP))

Additionally, there were at least three reports of tornadoes in northeastern Oklahoma on Monday evening.

According to the NWS, a tornado near Lenapah , Oklahoma, rolled over a tractor-trailer, trapping one person inside. Another tornado was reported near the town of Hominy , Oklahoma. Storm spotters near Bartlesville , Oklahoma, also reported a tornado crossing Highway 75.

A funnel cloud was spotted in central Oklahoma on Monday as the National Weather Service put the region under a Tornado Watch. Footage filmed by Kristy Turner shows the funnel moving across the town of Kingfisher, northwest of Oklahoma City.

Watch: Funnel cloud forms as Tornado Warnings hit Oklahoma

A funnel cloud was spotted in central Oklahoma on Monday as the National Weather Service put the region under a Tornado Watch. Footage filmed by Kristy Turner shows the funnel moving across the town of Kingfisher, northwest of Oklahoma City.

Kristy Turner captured the footage above showing a funnel cloud moving across Kingfisher , Oklahoma, which is located northwest of Oklahoma City .

"My husband and I were watching the news as we were expecting bad weather. We went to the door and stepped outside and this is exactly what we saw," she said.

Both Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm watches were issued Monday and Monday night for several states.

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

Strong, long-track tornadoes expected in Ohio Valley on Tuesday

A potentially substantial severe weather outbreak – including the threat of a few strong, long-track tornadoes – is expected Tuesday afternoon and evening, with the highest tornado threat centered over the Ohio Valley .

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued a Level 4 out of 5 risk for severe weather in parts of Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana . This includes the cities of Columbus , Cincinnati and Dayton in Ohio, as well as Louisville and Lexington in Kentucky.

The threat of severe weather also extends as far south as the Gulf Coast and as far east as western portions of Virginia and the Carolinas, including major cities such as Nashville in Tennessee , Birmingham in Alabama , Atlanta in Georgia and Tallahassee in Florida .

Click here for the latest updates on Tuesday's ongoing severe weather outbreak .

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

Severe weather threat shifts to East Coast on Wednesday

Severe thunderstorms packing threats of damaging winds and hail are possible Wednesday across parts of the eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic , with a second severe weather threat area expected over the Florida Peninsula.

Wednesday's threat zone includes the cities of Richmond and Virginia Beach in Virginia, Hatteras in North Carolina and Jacksonville and Tampa in Florida.

WHICH U.S. COUNTIES ARE MOST AT RISK OF TORNADO DAMAGE?

most dangerous countries to visit as an american

Be sure to check back with FOX Weather for updates on this ongoing severe weather outbreak . You can download the free FOX Weather app and enable notifications to receive real-time alerts about any severe weather headed your way.

  • Severe Weather
  • Thunderstorms
  • Extreme Weather
  • Mississippi
  • West Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • Mid-Atlantic

IMAGES

  1. Ranking the Most Dangerous Countries for Americans To Visit

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  2. These are the world's most dangerous countries for 2021

    most dangerous countries to visit as an american

  3. Ranking the Most Dangerous Countries for Americans To Visit

    most dangerous countries to visit as an american

  4. Chart: The Most Dangerous Places In The World To Visit

    most dangerous countries to visit as an american

  5. Mapping out the most dangerous countries for tourists

    most dangerous countries to visit as an american

  6. Map reveals most dangerous places in the world to visit in 2023

    most dangerous countries to visit as an american

VIDEO

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  3. Top 6 Countries To Avoid in 2024

  4. Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries in The World

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  6. The Most Dangerous Countries In The World For Travel In 2023

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