Millions visit Mexico safely every year to explore the vibrant culture and view some of the world’s best archeological sites, but violent organized crime makes the country one of the more dangerous for tourists. Resort areas are generally safe from the drug-related crimes like kidnappings, robberies, and carjackings, but traveling outside of those touristy areas can be risky. The most recent travel warning from the US Department of State outlines which specific areas to avoid. The Mexican government is working to combat organized crime through added federal police and military forces, but police corruption is another dangerous problem throughout the country.
The world’s largest country is a tempting place to visit, with its centuries of literary and artistic greats, vast and varying landscapes, and iconic architecture. Travel in the North Caucasus can be dangerous due to civil and political tension and criminal gangs, and although Moscow and St. Petersburg are becoming more established tourist destinations, they are experiencing a rise in violent hate crimes against racial and ethnic minority travelers. LGBTQ culture exists in the country, and though it isn’t illegal, ‘promotion‘ of LGBTQ lifestyles is.
North Korea is a wholly unique place and a shadowy mystery to most of the world. Traveling to the communist state is possible though it’s not easy or advised. There is a low threat of terrorism and crime, but travelers are at risk of arrest and long-term detention for breaking laws that would not be considered criminal outside of North Korea. ‘Unsanctioned religious or political activities, unauthorized travel, or unauthorized interaction with the local population’ are all crimes with harsh penalties, even for travelers who are part of organized tours. As there is no right to privacy in North Korea, tourists should assume all of their communications are monitored.
Egypt’s enticing draws are numerous: the Nile River, the endless deserts, the ancient pyramids, and the beautiful beaches and coral reefs of the Red Sea. Currently, travelers face threats of kidnapping and terrorism in the country and are advised not to leave the Cairo metropolitan area. Political instability could lead to protests and potentially violent clashes, which visitors should avoid. Be sure to check out the laws of the country before you visit—it is illegal to photograph police stations, military barracks, or other public buildings. Crime in Cairo is moderate, usually only manifesting in crimes of opportunity like pickpocketing.
Turkey is a popular tourist destination for its stunning beaches, bustling cities, and rich history as the cradle of civilization. Its positioning on both Europe and Asia make it a unique place to visit, but recent travel warnings are advising tourists to rethink visiting the country. As threats of terrorism have increased, with six bombings happening in the last eight months, tourism in Turkey has fallen by 50%. Some of those attacks have targeted popular tourist areas. Travelers still keen to visit should avoid large crowds and be aware of kidnappings occurring in the southeast near the Syrian border.
Kenya’s remarkable savannahs, iconic wildlife, and snowy mountain peaks grace many a traveler’s bucket list, but the US Department of State is currently advising against travel to the country. Thousands visit every year with no issues, but terrorist attacks threaten the Nairobi area, along the coast, and in the northeast by the border of Somalia. Shootings, grenades, and other explosives have killed hundreds of Kenyans since late 2013. Tourists are also at risk of kidnapping and armed carjacking.