Earth is a beautiful place that is full of gorgeous destinations, amazing cultures, and beautiful sights. However, traveling isn’t as easy as grabbing a suitcase and enjoying what the world has to offer – especially for women. It isn’t fair, but many hot spots are particularly more dangerous for women. We decided to highlight 13 travel destinations that women should avoid due to the danger therein.
While Brazil offers so many gorgeous places to see and wonderful cultures to partake in it still isn’t a destination that women will want to flock to in order to get a cheap ticket and hotel reservation. Brazil has a skyrocketing murder rate and now contends as one of the most violent and dangerous countries on the planet. Still, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world and there are plenty of places where women shouldn’t feel scared to travel. Still, female travlers should likely skip the next Carnival if they plan on traveling alone or without a group. According to statistics a woman is sexually assaulted every 15 seconds and a woman is murdered every two hours or so. All of this violent crime says nothing of the constant threat of petty crime that includes mugging, scams, and pick pocketing. Until the country gets itself together we feel like this is an easy ‘pass’.
India is a gorgeous country where hotel reservations can be had and a cheap flight can be picked seemingly at will. The beautiful Taj Mahal stands as one of the greater tourist sights in the country and India’s tourism sector has been grabbing upwards of $20 billion per year. Still, the problem of sexual violence and a culture that greatly diminishes the value of women should have female travelers picking very carefully where they want to visit in the country. India is a big place with a huge population so it stands to reason that there are some bad apples and the news easily verifies this idea. Still, the Humans Rights Watch has been showcasing how little the Indian government actually prosecutes and investigates sexual abuse in the country as well as their own sexual abuse scandals from within police custody. This is another pass for us, despite some truly beautiful destination spots.
If you just look at pictures then Guatemala can look like something pulled straight out of a story book. The Republic of Guatemala, boreded by Mexico and Belize, is a gorgeous country that is replete with diverse ecosystems, deep and fascinating culture, and some fascinating cities that can be a wonder to travel through. Yet with the rise in cartel and drug related violence very much in effect there is all too much cause for concern for female travelers. As with the other countries on our list, sexual abuse seems to be a problem and the government is doing precious little to actually curb the issue. Hopefully these issues get addressed when tourism numbers start to dip so that something can be done and this beautiful country can once more flourish in the way that it should.
Turkey has never made it to the top of our hot spots for global travel and after learning a bit more it likely won’t rank there for you, either. Turkey has been getting steadily worse in a variety of ways for female travelers and the numbers are starting to really back it up. Turkey seems to have harbored a culture of street harassment for women that includes lewd comments leading up to touching (sexual assault). Female murder rates have been climbing and the government seems to be hesitant to do anything about it. Travel advice is all too common and sad for women in the country: cover up completely, don’t be alone with men at any point in time, and never leave your drink unattended when out and about. Date rape drugs are an epidemic in the country. If you stick to the coastal area of Istanbul and stick with a group you still should be able to have a good time with little issue.
For a country so dependent on tourism you would assume that the Egyptian government would be more proactive about cutting down crime, especially toward females and tourists. Egypt attributes up to 20% of its foreign currency directly to tourism but those numbers have been dropping and will continue to drop as crime keeps climbing. After the 2011 revolution crime has hit an apex with a rise in sexual assault and harassment, culminating in several high profile cases of women being attacked in broad daylight at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Right now tensions are high for tourists and the best advice we can give is to stick to the beaten bath, be in a group at all times, and dress as conservatively as possible. It’s a shame, too, because there are so many historically significant sights to take in around the country.
South America hasn’t been kind to travelers of late and much of the cause can be rooted directly to a shady government and a profound amount of crime being performed right underneath the surface. Venezuela is a gorgeous country that is currently plagued with the disease of human trafficking. In fact, many consider Venezuela to be home to the most dangerous human traffickers on the planet. These traffickers like to target tourists and women who are walking alone. The police are reportedly being bought off and criminals are even dressing up as local police to perform their crimes. According to the #s 95% of murders in the country go unsolved and citizens have taken to staying in at night. There is less than no reason to go to Venezuela at this point in time. The crime is out of control.
Myanmar, or Burma, is located in Southeast Asia and the country is home to over 54 million residents. The population make up is 70% Burmese and then the rest are just different travelers from all over Asia. Though Myanmar is one of the prettiest countries on our list it is also one of the more dangerous ones. Generations of civil unrest and political upheaval has left the country prone to violence toward visitors. Things are on the upswing, however, as the tourism industry seems to be steadily improving — and we hope that it stays that way. There is too much beautiful history in Burma to feel too afraid to go see at some point in life.
It can be hard to look past a beautiful country and a delicious coastline when realizing how persistent and common danger actually is. Honduras is a beautiful country with diverse ecology, beautiful beaches, and a rich local culture. However, Honduras is also incredibly violent thanks to all of the gangs and cartels that inhabit the are. Murder is common and actually tops out as one of the highest murder rates on the planet. Murder has become targeted more and more toward women, sadly, and it has gotten so bad that there is now a term for it: femicide. Females between the ages of 15 and 25 are the most common targets with murder rates increasing 200% over the past 10 years or so. Murder may be the most horrific of the crimes committed here but you also have to be aware of all the other common indicators of drug and gang activity.
South America and Mexico just can’t catch a break, can they? Mexico was once considered a premier travel hotspot for North American tourists thanks to its close proximity and affordable USD to peso ratio. However, with climbing homicide rates and an increase in cartel violence there seems to be fewer and fewer tourists heading to the country. Acapulco was once a place where women could go for a week in order to enjoy some fun in the sun. Now it is so dangerous that even the trendy tourist spots are sitting relatively unused. If you do decide to go to Mexico make sure to travel in a group, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid being alone with anyone you don’t know.
When we say Colombia your brain probably instantly goes to cocaine, well, at least if you are paying attention. Colombia is run by cartels and narcos and drugs are as common as the poverty surrounding the country. Colombia has some of the highest murder rates in the world thanks to an influx in terrorism due to the narcos. The country has been rocked by attacks on public transportation: armed gunmen taking hostages, explosives being attached to vehicles, and much much more. Sexual assault is depressingly common and the hospitals in Colombia are often ill equipped to do anything about it. This is a hard pass for us.
Yemen is another one of those beautiful ‘old countries’ that is filled with so much culture and heritage that it can almost be impossible to ignore. Sana’a is one of the most popular city destinations in the country thanks to the old architecture and lavish large and beautiful buildings. Yet the city, much like the rest of the country, is completely unsafe for foreigners and especially for women. Sexual assault is common and it can be hard to get the local police force to help you out.
Kenya has tiny diamonds surrounded by seas of violence and despair. This South African country is becoming more and more popular for thrill seeking tourists who want to go on safari tours to engage with the wildlife but many female travelers should second guess their decision. Traveling outside of the tourist areas in the country could lead to sexual assault, kidnapping, and worse. Stick close with your guide, don’t be alone with anyone you don’t know, and exercise caution at all times with your surroundings.
Closing out our list we have another beautiful country that has been rendered borderline inaccessible due to political upheaval and violence. Mali is a gorgeous destination but even the country’s own Foreign Office has been telling visitors to stay away. A rise in Islamic terrorism has rendered the country prone to kidnapping and terrorist attacks which would put quite the dent in your holiday plans, to say the least.