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Central America travel safety advice


Central America travel safety advice

Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica are generally safer than Honduras, Guatemala, El 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 Darien province 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 a movie Predator, stay away.

The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Central America


Where To Stay & Best Hotels in Central America - updated Feb 2023

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WHERE TO TRAVEL NEXT IN 2020


Central America Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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