Is Central America Secure to Go to?

The small and colorful buildings of Central America
Posted: 7/6/2019 | July sixth, 2019

Central America is certainly one of my favourite areas for backpacking. Whereas it may be difficult to get round, it additionally presents unimaginable magnificence, ample nature, picturesque seashores, and inexpensive costs.

Political upheaval and civil unrest saved vacationers at bay for a very long time, nevertheless. However nowadays the world has developed into one thing of a hotspot for vacationers, surfers, and retirees.

Why?

As a result of Central America has one thing for everybody!

However is it protected?

Sure — however that doesn’t imply you don’t must take precautions.

On this submit, I’ll go over all the pieces it’s good to know to remain protected and have an incredible journey on this extremely various area!

What International locations are in Central America?

There are seven international locations in Central America:

Click on on the map for nation guides:

Central America Placeholder
Central America

eight Vital Security Suggestions for Central America

Whereas Central America is taken into account typically protected for touring and backpacking, there’s no denying that some precautions must be taken.

  • Pay attention to your environment – It may be straightforward to cease paying consideration and let your guard down. However that’s when catastrophe strikes. All the time pay attention to your environment.
  • Keep away from remoted areas – When you’re someplace remoted, you’ll be at a higher danger for getting robbed, particularly at night time and in massive cities. Attempt to keep the place the crowds are. That’s one of the best ways to keep away from being singled out by potential muggers.
  • Don’t put on flashy gadgets – Petty theft is the commonest menace right here, so take away any jewellery or watches, and don’t wave your cellphone round. Do your finest to mix in, so that you don’t change into a goal for pickpockets.
  • Separate your money – Preserve solely the cash that you simply want for the day on you. Preserve the remainder locked away safely at your lodging.
  • Take taxis at night time – If it’s good to get someplace at night time, take a taxi. It is going to be safer than any public transportation. Have your lodging name the taxi for you, so that you will be positive you’re getting a good driver.
  • Watch out on public transit – If you must take public transit, hold your valuables on you and hold them nicely secured, particularly on rooster buses (colourful, modified, and embellished buses that transport items and folks). Petty theft is widespread on night time buses, so keep away from them for those who can.
  • Don’t do medication – The cartels right here have actually made life tough for the native inhabitants. Don’t help them by shopping for their merchandise. Drug penalties are additionally harsh within the area, and also you don’t wish to find yourself in jail right here!
  • Purchase journey insurance coverage – Journey insurance coverage will hold you protected for those who get injured or ailing, are a sufferer of theft, or need to cope with delayed or canceled flights. It’s a worthwhile funding and may prevent 1000’s of {dollars}. Don’t danger touring with out it!

On the finish of the day, you’ll simply must at all times belief your intestine intuition. If a taxi driver appears shady, cease the cab and get out. In case your lodge is seedier than you thought and appears unsafe, get out of there and discover a new place to remain. You may have each proper to take away your self from such conditions, so do what it’s good to do to really feel protected.

What’s the Northern Triangle? Is it Secure?

The Northern Triangle contains Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. It’s the area of Central America that historically (and at present) has probably the most crime and violence. That is often concentrated within the bigger cities, and significantly in particular neighborhoods. When you’re going to be within the capital cities of any of those three international locations, you’ll wish to discuss to your hostel or lodge employees for probably the most up-to-date security recommendation.

That being stated, for those who’re visiting vacationer areas or occurring nature excursions, then you definately received’t have any points right here so long as you comply with the protection recommendation above.

What’s the Most secure Nation in Central America?

Costa Rica, which gives security and stability alongside unimaginable pure magnificence. After all, costs are additionally a lot larger and mirror the nation’s standing as “the Switzerland of Central America.”

When you’re new to backpacking and wish to begin off someplace that provides a superb mixture of journey and security, go for Costa Rica. It was the primary nation I ever backpacked in, and I completely cherished it!

By way of security, the following finest place is Panama. It’s residence to a rising group of expats and retirees, which is giving the nation an financial enhance and making it a bit extra gringo pleasant. Which means you’ll be capable to get a number of nice suggestions and options (together with particular, native security suggestions) from the expat group whereas nonetheless having your self an journey.

Coming in robust behind Panama is Belize. It does an amazing job of balancing security with loads of matters to see and do!

Is Central America Secure for Solo Vacationers?

Central America is kind of protected for solo vacationers. So long as you keep away from remoted areas and don’t journey alone at night time, you’ll be capable to keep away from the commonest points vacationers face, corresponding to petty crime.

When you’re anxious that you simply received’t really feel protected, attempt to be part of a bunch of different vacationers or invite individuals out of your hostel to affix you if you exit. That approach, you’ll be capable to really feel protected whereas additionally getting to attach with different individuals.

As a solo traveler, be sure you scan your passport and different vital paperwork and electronic mail them to your self in case you do occur to run into bother.

Moreover, be sure you obtain offline maps and offline language apps so you’ll be able to lookup instructions for those who get misplaced or talk with the locals in an emergency. When you can, attempt to study some Spanish earlier than you go too. Even a number of key phrases can go a great distance!

Is Central America Secure for Solo Feminine Vacationers in Explicit?

Solo feminine vacationers will must be extra on guard throughout their time in Central America. Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize are the most secure international locations within the area. When you’re new solo feminine journey, stick to those international locations.

Outdoors of these three international locations, I’d recommend new solo feminine vacationers keep on with group journey or excursions, simply to be protected. Nonetheless, skilled solo feminine vacationers ought to be capable to navigate the area with out an excessive amount of further concern.

Girls must be further cautious in massive cities, although, particularly at night time. Past that, so long as you comply with the same old precautions, you’ll be capable to have an incredible time!

Are Taxis Secure in Central America?

The taxis in Central America are protected and dependable, although you’ll at all times wish to ensure you’re getting in marked taxi. By no means get in an unmarked automotive.

Throughout the day, you’ll be able to hail a taxi from the road safely, however you’ll need to pay attention to the native customized, as some international locations’ taxis use meters and others require you to barter a worth prematurely.

If taking a taxi at night time, have your lodging name it for you. By no means hail a random taxi at night time.

Can You Eat the Road Meals in Central America?

You guess you’ll be able to! You’ll discover all kinds of wonderful avenue meals stands and native eating places in Central America, and also you’d be lacking out for those who didn’t attempt them! Simply ensure that to stay to locations the place there are lots of locals gathered. That’s how you already know the meals isn’t solely protected however scrumptious too!

For probably the most half, you’ll encounter locations that promote numerous sorts of rooster. So long as it’s totally cooked (not pink on the within) and hasn’t been within the solar all day, dive in and provides it a attempt! Numerous meals right here may even be deep-fried, which can nearly at all times be protected (simply not wholesome).

Don’t hesitate to ask your lodge or hostel employees for avenue meals or restaurant options. They’ll little question have some scrumptious — and completely protected — ones for you.

Can You Drink the Water in Central America?

As a common dominated you’ll wish to keep away from the faucet water in Central America, though it’s seemingly advantageous in Costa Rica and Panama.

One of the simplest ways to verify your consuming water is protected is to carry a Steripen or Lifestraw to your reusable water bottle. This fashion you’ll be capable to purify the faucet water so that you don’t get sick — and avoiding single-use plastic bottles within the course of.

***

With so many inexpensive lodging and transportation choices, gorgeous landscapes, plentiful outside adventures, and delightful seashores, it ought to come as no shock that Central America is without doubt one of the most backpacked areas of the world.

Certain, it would get a foul rap attributable to its violent historical past and financial struggles, however that doesn’t imply it’s categorically unsafe. By following the information above, you’ll be capable to keep protected and wholesome throughout your subsequent go to!

P.S. – Do you know I wrote a brand new e-book? It’s known as “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s all concerning the classes I’ve discovered from a lifetime of journey. It options tons of tales and misadventures I’ve by no means instructed on this weblog as nicely! It comes out July 16th! Click on right here to study extra and seize your copy at the moment! (I’ll be occurring a e-book tour too!)

E-book Your Journey to Central America: Logistical Suggestions and Methods

E-book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite engines like google as a result of they search web sites and airways across the globe so that you at all times know no stone is left unturned.

E-book Your Lodging
To search out the perfect finances lodging, use Reserving.com as they constantly return the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and low-cost accommodations. You’ll be able to e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they’ve probably the most complete stock. A few of my favourite locations to remain in Costa Rica:

  • Soiled McNasty (Caye Caulker, Belize) – This is without doubt one of the greatest hostels within the nation and a hub for party-goers. When you’re trying to let free, that is the hostel for you!
  • Rocking J’s (Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica) – This an establishment in Central America. The hostel has been there for ages and there’s an exquisite white sand seaside in entrance of it. They’ve nightly BBQs.
  • The Naken Tiger (San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua) – Positioned in San Juan del Sur, the Bare Tiger is an unimaginable property nestled a bit far out of city however on high of a hill with an exquisite view of the complete space.

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes unsuitable. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that supply the perfect service and worth are:

In search of the perfect corporations to save cash with?
Try my useful resource web page for the perfect corporations to make use of if you journey! I record all those I exploit to save cash after I journey – and I feel will enable you to too!

Need Extra Info on Central America?
You should definitely go to our strong vacation spot information on Central America for much more planning suggestions!

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