Wondering what the safest South American countries are? If you’re planning a trip to South America, you’re in for an unforgettable travel experience. South America is bursting with unmissable sights, dynamic cities and awe-inspiring landscapes. In fact, it is one of the most popular travel destinations on earth. Whether you dream of visiting the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru or fancy immersing yourself in the landscapes of Patagonia, you’ll want to know how to stay safe on your travels. Travelling always comes with an element of risk, but by knowing the safest South American countries, you’ll be better informed to plan a trip of a lifetime!
An epic travel destination, Chile holds the title as one of the safest countries in South America and the world! Here you can discover the richness of South America’s landscapes, from windswept deserts to the glaciers of Patagonia. Whilst the Pacific coast offers beautiful beaches and colourful cities, the far south is home to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most popular attractions in Patagonia. Off the mainland, Easter Island awaits the most adventurous travellers. Furthermore, Chile is known as the ‘Land of Poets’ and is a haven for lovers of the arts.
When it comes to safety, Chile ranks highly in the Global Peace Index. Of course, it is always wise to be careful with your personal belongings in the larger cities such as Santiago or Valparaiso, but otherwise, Chile is a safe place to travel to in South America. The biggest risks come from nature itself, so if you’re heading into the wilderness of Patagonia or the Atacama Desert, be sure to pack appropriately.
The second-largest country in South America, Argentina packs a punch as a travel destination. Encompassing an incredible range of landscapes, Argentina is a paradise for outdoor lovers. Here, you can visit sights as diverse as the Iguazu Falls, the Perito Moreno glacier and the soaring Andes mountain range. Furthermore, it is one of the safest countries in South America, and much safer than the USA in terms of GPI ranking.
If you travel to Argentina’s city’s, follow common sense and keep your belongings secure. This is especially important in the larger cities such as the capital, Buenos Aires. Other risks to consider are mosquito-related, but these are generally limited to the north of the country. Therefore, be sure to pack your mosquito repellent if you’re planning a visit to the Iguazu Falls.
Just across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Uruguay is often overlooked as a travel destination. In fact, it is the safest South American country in terms of GPI ranking and is famed for its laid-back atmosphere. The capital, Montevideo, is home to exquisite architecture and beautiful beaches. On the other hand, sprawling pampas and tropical rainforests invite you to explore off the beaten path.
One of the wealthiest and smallest nations in South America, Uruguay is a safe travel destination. In fact, the country is famed for its liberal politics and open-minded values, so no matter your background, you needn’t worry about travelling to Uruguay.
One of the most popular destinations in South America, Peru is the ultimate backpacker destination. Bucket-list sights abound here: Macchu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and the Sacred Valley are just a handful of Peru’s highlights. Its major cities include historic Cuzco and modern Lima, the coastal capital. Whether you’re hiking the Inca Trail or sampling mouthwatering ceviche in the capital, you’ll be happy to know Peru is one of the safest countries in South America.
With a GPI ranking of 86, it’s one of the most peaceful countries in the region. One of the things to keep in mind if you travel to Peru is the altitude. Indeed, much of the country lies at high altitudes, with Cuzco and Lake Titicaca among the highest popular attractions. Nevertheless, altitude sickness is uncommon. The best way to avoid it is to stay within your own personal activity level limits and take some time to acclimatise when you arrive at altitude.
There’s nowhere else on earth quite like Ecuador. From the Amazon Rainforest to the legendary Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is a small country with a lot to offer. Scientists and wildlife lovers from across the world flock here to uncover Ecuador’s rich biodiversity. Seeing marine iguanas or giant tortoises in the wild are just some of the rewards of a trip to Ecuador. Nestled in the heart of the Andes, the capital city of Quito is another highlight of a trip to Ecuador.
With around the same GPI score as Peru, Ecuador is one of the safest South American countries. There is very little crime here, and petty pickpocketing is the only thing to consider when you are exploring the larger cities. On the other hand, Ecuador is located in the so-called ‘Ring of Fire’, so occasionally suffers from natural disasters. Nevertheless, travel to Ecuador is more than worth it!
Although Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the region, it is increasingly becoming an unmissable travel destination. Home to the magical Uyuni Salt Flats, Lake Titicaca and the highest capital city in the world travel to Bolivia is infinitely rewarding. In recent years, La Paz has undergone a transformation, becoming one of the most exciting cities in South America. Furthermore, visitors to Bolivia will want to discover its rich biodiversity and unique mountainous landscapes. The vast salt lake of Uyuni and the glistening waters of Lake Titicaca are among the top sights.
One of the safest places to visit in South America, Bolivia has seen a decreasing trend in crime rates in recent years. In fact, crimes towards tourists are rare, although keeping an eye on your belongings is advisable in urban areas.
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