Safety in Central America
  • I am planning a trip in a few months travelling from Cancun Mexico into Peru through Belize and Guatamala and am just wondering if anyone has done this themselves and wether its a good idea to be attempting this trip whilst travelling alone. I have travelled before but only in Asia and Australia and have heard that S.America is a different kettle of fish. i can speak only basic spanish so wondering how i will get on. does anyone have any experience of doing a similar trip? any tips, places etc would also be greatly appreciated.
  • If you have traveled asia you will be fine here. Just use common sense. For more specific information on El Salvador, where I have lived since 1994 feel free to post here or write me directly at rpbroz@gmail.com . For general information about El Salvador check out www.theotherelsalvador.com .
    What ever you do don't by pass El Salvador, although tjhe smallest country in Central Amreica it is worth a visit if only to discover the warmth of the people.
    Have a great trip and if you do come check out Suchitoto( a must see if coming to El Salvador), where I have been living since 2000. Check out http://www.gaesuchitoto.com and the official site at http://www.suchitoto-el-salvador.com.
    For more information about what I do here check out my sites at http://www.pafmelsalvadorprojects.org and http://www.elgringosuchitoto.com
    Have a great trip
    rpbroz
  • Hi there.

    I travelled around South America by myself a few years ago and had a fantastic time! I visited Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador and found no problems as a solo traveller. My main advice would be to stick to the tourist trail for each country ie stay where the other backpackers are. It's easy to get to know people as you go and seek their advice on which areas are safe. If you're looking for some inspiration for what to do in Peru, I would suggest including the following places on your itinerary:
    Huacachina - stunning desert oasis where you can do sand-boarding
    Islas Ballestas - a place to go if you love wildlifel; there's an abundance here!
    Nazca - to see the infamous Nazca Lines
    Lake Titicaca - get an insight into how the local people live on the islands.
    Macchu Picchu - inlcuding the Inca Trail if you like trekking
    Arequipa - visit the beautiful Colca Canyon

    These are all the main highlights of Peru. I hope you have a really fantastic time!

    Suzanne
  • Hi Suzanne, thanks for your advice, i have shortened my trip to just central america to give me more time to enjoy the countries. Peru and the rest of South America will have to wait for another trip.

    thanks again for you imput!

    Rowan
  • Hello,
    Travelling alone have great fun and excitement. I also love to visit alone. While travel alone you must take care of a few things. I advice you to take information from the visitor's center of the city where you want to visit. They can provide you the best information about the place. That will definitely help you on your trip.
  • NicaraguaPanama and Costa Rica are generally safer than HondurasGuatemalaEl Salvador, and Belize, which suffer from the maras (street gangs) and also have the highest crime rates in the region. The police are often not seen as reliable or trustworthy. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights reported last year that Guatemala had the highest murder rate in all of Latin America, with 70.0 homicides per 100,000. In comparison, the murder rate in the United States is 5.6 homicides per 100,000. Night travel is dangerous anywhere in Central America, especially in national capitals. Illegal drugs are common in the region so stay clear!

    Crossing into South America overland might seem like a good idea when you look at a world map, however, it's not. The border to Colombia in Panama's Darienprovince is surrounded by a dangerous wilderness and the only break in the Pan-American Highway. Known as the Darien Gap, this is the playground of ruthless drug smugglers and militias who will be happy to kidnap or kill you. Unless you're equipped from the movie Predator, stay away.

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