Sometimes life can become overwhelming or stressful. You are overworked or have so family obligations that all you want to do is take a breather. Travelling can be a great option; escaping from your hometown and heading somewhere exotic. Planning a vacation can takes week to plan and several factors must be set in motion. From hotel bookings, to ensuring you have enough money, and then of course deciding on where to go. However, there are some cities where you should absolutely steer clear from when travelling. Of course, sometimes travel is not just for pleasure, but for business. Here are some of the most dangerous cities in the world. If you don’t have to travel there, then don’t. But if you do, here are some things you should know.
15. Cali, Columbia
Cali is a city that puts fear into the hearts of many. Also known as “Cartel Heaven”, Cali is nearly overrun with drug traffickers. If you have watched any number of crime movies, or pay attention to global news, then you may already be aware of just how dangerous Cali truly is. There have been news reports on travelers who have visited Cali claiming that the city was quite terrifying. You would not want to be caught on streets there at night.. However, if you do your best to avoid the night-life and keep your nose clean then you should be alright. Most recent stats show that 83 people to every 100,000 Cali residents are murdered every year. It’s best to steer clear of this city if possible.
14. San Salvador, El Salvador
There was a time when El Salvador was considered one of the safest places in the world to visit. However, that has most definitely changed; especially in the past few years. Two years ago, in 2015, there was a reported 2000 murders alone in a city of 570,000 people. Those numbers alone are scary enough to shake the socks off a weary traveler. Rampant gang violence and war crimes plague this city. Not only is there a greater risk of being killed visiting this city but there is a good chance you would be robbed of every cent that you have.
13. Karachi, Pakistan
Ever since 9/11 North Americans have been quite weary of the Middle East, especially Pakistan. Typically, these days the only people who travel there are military soldiers and peacekeepers. From the constant street violence to the suicide bombings, Pakistan is for all intents and purposes a war zone. There is constant political instability so little is done to fight the crime in the city. It’s best to avoid Karachi at all costs because your life could depend on it.
12. Detroit, USA
Thanks to rapper Eminem’s movie, 8 Mile, we all got a reality check about how violent Detroit is. With gang violence, drug trafficking, as well as a high pedophile population, Detroit is known for being a very unsavory place. It has been referred to as “the armpit of the United States” on more than one occasion. If you have a choice whether or not to visit Detroit, it is highly recommended you steer clear. The only thing you will find in Detroit is trouble, and maybe Eminem.
11. Sana’a, Yemen
In 2012, the country’s government faced destabilization and has remained that way ever since. Because of this, poverty is at an all-time high and the crime is nearly unstoppable. Constant bombings, assassinations and terrorist acts that occur on a daily basis make this city a big no no on the travel map. If you have to visit this city then it’s best you bring your own bottled water because the water in this city is not drinkable and food is becoming scarce. It’s uncertain just how bad this city is going to get.
10. Mogadishu, Somalia
Somalia, has somewhat turned into Pirates of the Caribbean since it has been overrun with pirates. You won’t find Jack Sparrow here however. Instead you will find gun toting criminals. After the government collapsed in the 90’s, a political foot has never been re-established. I wouldn’t recommend visiting this city because there is a high chance that you will end up in a real-life game of Call of Duty.
9. Ciudad, Mexico
This is where things start to get very scary. Ciudad, is also known as “the murder capital of the world.” That right there, is why you should never visit this place. It has been speculated that writers got the idea for the movie, The Purge, from this city. However, unlike the movie where violence only happens once a year, the purging happens every day in this city. It’s a constant free for all. If you even step foot outside then there’s a 50/50 chance you won’t be making it back home. I cannot warn you enough not to visit this black hole.
8. Baghdad, Iraq
Ah, the homeland of ISIS. That four-letter name for the evil band of terrorists plaguing our countries with violence is enough to make you want to hide under the covers. Baghdad is filled with modern day boogeymen. This city consists of three main things; bombings, murder and bullets. Countless news reports urge travelers on the daily to steer clear of this city. In 2014 alone, over 12,000 people were taken hostage and killed just for visiting this city. That’s a pretty good deterrent.
7. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Every year, so many tourists visit Brazil for it’s wonderful cultural and beautiful views. However, Rio is known as the Mugging Capitol of the World. I know what you’re thinking. “Finally a city that doesn’t guarantee I’ll probably get murdered for visiting.” While this assumption is correct, chances are high however, that you will most definitely be robbed. The city is overrun with pickpockets. Most of these pickpockets are children trained to do this. If you visit Rio, enjoy the scenery but keep your eyes peeled and maybe wear a fanny pack.
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town was recently found to have the worst crime rate in the country with 8,428 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s crazy considering Cape Town has a population of 3.75 million. With an uncomfortably high murder rate of 50.94 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, Cape Town also has the dubious distinction of being the most violent city on the continent. Murders, robberies, rapes, and kidnappings have become standard for this beautiful city because of the increasing gang warfare,. Just make sure you don’t stray from the tourist areas if you plan on visiting.
5. Guatemala City, Guatemala
Given that Guatemala borders Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, drugs play a major part in the fabric of this country. Couple that with a large disparity between socioeconomic classes, severe poverty, and an over-abundance of guns, Guatemala City is a haven for drug-fueled crimes that include robberies, assaults, kidnappings, and car jackings. In fact, it has one of the highest violent crime rates in Central America with close to 42 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.
4. Kabul, Afghanistan
It’s as though everything bad that could happen to a city decided to hit Kabul in one shot. There is economic instability and severe poverty, thus leading to kidnappings, homicides, and other petty crimes. There is political instability, thus leading to constant power struggles, violence and terrorist bombings. There are also several different factions fighting in Afghanistan, thus making all the aforementioned problems unpredictable and even more dangerous. Finally, although the US have minimized their presence in Afghanistan, the rise of ISIS has prompted fears that more violence and instability could still hit Kabul. Not that you need any more reason not to visit Kabul anyway.
3. Caracas, Venezuela
Named the most or second most dangerous city in the world (depending on who you ask), Caracas has an astonishing murder rate of 134 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, most of which go unsolved. Evem more depressing is the number of murders in all of Venezuela, which was over 24,000 in 2014. Caracas has a population of about 3.5 million.
2. Acapulco, Mexico
It wasn’t too long ago that Acapulco was on every tourist’s go-to list, but in recent years, Acapulco has consistently registered as having the highest murder among Mexican cities. In 2014, the murder rate was a shocking 104 murders per 100,000 inhabitants. The local police are corrupt and have been known to extort money from people rather than uphold the law. And then there’s the drug problem. Drug dealing and violence are major issues in Acapulco and it is not uncommon to see dead bodies littering the streets because of drug-related altercations.
1. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Located in northwest Honduras, San Pedro Sula is considered the most dangerous city in the most dangerous country in the world. In 2014, the murder rate was a mind-numbing 171 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. That is the highest rate per capita for a city that is not a warzone and has about 3 homicides a day. The city is rife with drug trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, gang warfare, and thus countless murders due to these problems. Violence on the street has become an everyday common occurrence. Sadly, for civilians, their safety is the last thing on anyone’s minds as the city is more or less controlled by drug cartels and law enforcement is virtually useless in San Pedro Sula. To put it into perspective, you know a city is dangerous when issues like political instability, poverty, and corruption are considered minor problems (relatively speaking).