It is the safest country to travel to in Latin America

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Security remains a top concern for Americans traveling in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in places where neither local customs nor language feel familiar and where scam culture is prevalent. However, there is a country where the risks are not so highand it was judged the safest way to travel in Latin America.

Young tourist with a backpack looking at a waterfall in a natural setting, Costa Rica, Central America

The geopolitical cluster remains a major tourist destination as a whole: whether it’s a beach getaway closer to home in Mexico’s stunning Riviera Maya, or an extended stay in the wonderful city of Rio , Brazil, Latin America is full of wonders and beautiful landscapes. trail locations ready to be discovered.

On the other hand, those who visit these countries are generally advised to be more “cautious”, as crime rates are generally high.

What are some of the safest destinations in the world?

Aerial view of Reykjavik, Iceland

This year’s edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranked 163 countries and independent territories according to their “level of peace”. The study uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from “highly respected sources” and considers three main “domains” to measure peace:

  • The level of “Societal Safety and Security”
  • The extent of any “ongoing national and international conflict”
  • The degree of militarization
Female solo traveler standing on trail leading to snow capped mountains in New Zealand

These factors contribute directly to the perception of tourism safety – when locals themselves believe that crime levels in their home towns are low, visitors have nothing to worry about. As expected, the safest continent with the highest score of safety markers remains Europeruled by the island nation of Iceland, the most peaceful in the world.

Iceland is one of the few counties to have earned the US State Department’s Almost Inaccessible Blue Badge, which means it is placed at the lowest possible Tier 1. When visiting Iceland, Americans should “take normal precautions.” Other countries in the top 10 include second-placed New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria.

Global Peace Index map showing the most peaceful and least peaceful nations in the world
Picture by IPE World Peace Index

Conversely, the countries with the lowest scores this year are Afghanistan, who have held the title for five consecutive years now, Yemen, Syria, Russia, largely due to their aggressive campaign against neighboring Ukraine, and South Sudan. In summary, the “state of peace” in different countries has been classified according to the categorization below:

  • Very High (Dark Green)
  • High (light green)
  • Medium (yellow)
  • Low (Amber)
  • Very low (red)
  • Not included (Gray)

And the most peaceful Latin American country this year is…

Young female tourist standing in front of a waterfall holding her arms up, Costa Rica, Central America

Out of 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, only four have obtained at least a “light green” certification, these being Chile, Uruguay, Panama and Costa Rica the highest. With an overall safety score of 1.732, up 0.017 points from last year’s index, Costa Rica is officially the safest destination within the collective.

In the world ranking, it is the 38th most peaceful country, beating other American competitors like Mexico and even the United States by a wide margin. For comparison, these North American giants are ranked 129th and 137th respectively, being awarded an “orange” or “low security” badge.

The United States and Mexico share this suboptimal status with countries like Brazil, Turkey, Colombia and Israel.

Colonial style buildings in Costa Rica, Central America

Back in Costa Rica, it is behind only Canada (12th in the world) in the Americas, with 26 fewer places. In Central America, it’s the country where Americans will feel safest – part of the reason why it’s become so popular with young backpackers in recent months, being crowned regional tourism leader.

This year’s GPI notes that there has been a “deterioration” of peace, attributed to an increase in violent protests, the importation of arms, rising crime rates and political instability, but Costa Rica maintains a good score both on the fronts of militarization and ongoing conflicts, fares much better than its counterparts in this respect.

What you need to know before visiting Costa Rica

Aerial view of downtown San Jose, capital of Costa Rica, Central America

Currently, there are no Covid entry requirements for Americans traveling to Costa Rica. They are allowed to enter despite being vaccinated and no pre-departure testing or post-arrival testing/quarantine rules apply. It is one of the few countries in Latin America where these restrictions have been lifted for good.

The US State Department advises Americans to exercise ‘increased caution in Costa Rica, the same advice applies to a number of traditionally safe European and North American destinations. The entity specifically lists pick-pocketing and theft as “common crimes,” although the vast majority of visits to Costa Rica are trouble-free.

Aerial view of Carrillo Beach on the Samara Coast in Costa Rica, Central America

The UK Home Office, equivalent to the US State Department, notes Costa Rica has a ‘lower murder rate’ than its neighbours’, although high compared to the UK. Even then, tourists must maintain the ‘same level of personal safety awareness’ as in Britainwhere theft of personal items and muggings are also a problem.

Read more:

Travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for 2022

Costa Rica officially launches a new digital nomad visa with a simple process

Launch of a new tourist route between the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama

Caribbean destinations without restrictions this fall and winter

Top 10 off-the-beaten-track sun destinations for US travelers this winter

This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your upcoming trip, please visit:

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice