Travel to South America, and you’ll understand the instant appeal of this vast continent. It’s an artist’s dream: the mountains of the Andes, the Atacama desert of Chile, the ranches and vineyards of Argentina, the rainforests of Colombia, and the beach resorts of Costa Rica. These picturesque Latin American countries are some of the safest countries to visit!
Unfortunately, popular opinion has long held Latin America as dangerous and embroiled in drug wars. In the past, this bleak perception of Latin America may have been accurate, but a lot has progressed since then. There are numerous countries in South America with almost no crime rate and even lower crime rates than the developed world.
So, what are the safest Spanish speaking countries?
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Understanding Spanish Culture
Most Latin American countries are former colonies of either Portugal or Spain. This European influence contributed immensely to the religion and national language of the people.
It was also pivotal in understanding Spanish culture on the continent. There was a unique hybrid culture that developed through the intermingling of European, Native Indian, and African customs. Today, it is known as Hispanic in the Spanish-speaking territories.
Catholicism dominates, brought by the Conquistadors in the 15th Century. The church is the center of the family, which is typically large and paternalistic. Male culture is full of machismo and honor, and people believe in hard work.
The younger generation has a more modern outlook on life, but show respect and care for the older generation.
Latin America is also a resource-rich continent.
- Colombia produces 90 percent of the world’s emeralds
- Brazil is the world’s largest sugar and coffee producer
- Chile and Argentina are accomplished wine producers, with many award-winning New World wines
- Peru is a significant exporter of alpaca fur
- Venezuelan women, renowned for their beauty, have produced more Miss Worlds than any other country in the world.
Given the considerable influence of Spain on the Spanish-speaking territories, are Latin and Spanish the same? The answer is a resounding no.
Latino Spanish differs from European Spanish in both language and culture. For instance, the word potato in Spanish is patata but in Mexican Spanish is pata, and a pen is bolígrafo in Spain, but pluma in Mexico.
Safest Countries to Visit for Spanish Speaking
Chile is stunning—almost ethereal. It is a diverse country that traverses the continent with the mountains of the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It has a Global Peace Index (GPI) of 28.
Chile’s diverse landscapes comprise of deserts, beaches, mountains, and lush forests, and a stunning national park which makes this country stand out. Sample the Atacama Desert, visit numerous volcanoes, and kayak in a maze of picture-perfect lakes.
You’ll also be impressed with the sophisticated cities, filled with fantastic architecture, beautiful surroundings, fashionable people, mouth-watering food, and reasonable standards of living. Definitely, a safe country to visit.
Argentina is hands-down the beef capital of the world. Visit the land of the gauchos to see how cattle ranching is done authentically. It is the second-largest country in South America and the eighth-largest globally. Also a very safe place to visit in the Latin American world.
Argentina has a cosmopolitan city that is accessible, modern, fashionable, and full of high-quality eateries. This land is the home of beef and a carnivore’s heaven.
Wine also features heavily on the Argentinian landscape. You can take a tour of the beautiful estate vineyards dotted all over the countryside, as well as the ranches that still maintain traditional country living.
With a global peace index of 75 and only seven homicides per 1000 people annually, this country is high on the safety ladder as the safest countries in Latin America.
A beautiful country nestled in the north-west corner of the continent, Peru is full of tradition and customs, passed down through the ages.
It has exquisite beaches and majestic mountains, where the ancient city Machu Picchu sits. If you love hiking and history, Peru and machu picchu is the right place to visit.
Make a point of seeing the alpacas in their natural environment and perusing the traditional handicrafts the enterprising locals make with soft alpaca fur.
The capital city, Lima, offers exotic beaches, as well as an authentic Latin American city experience with dancing and fountains. You won’t have to worry about crime when you’re out and about at night, either. The crime rate in Peru is almost zero, and, with a Global peace index of 80, Peru is can be a the top of the safer places to visit in Latin America.
Panama is the gateway to South America. It is fast becoming an ideal country in which to retire, coupled with visa-friendly policies that allow free entry to many from foreigners.
The country has now started to receive a plethora of tourists, and the crime rate has decreased. This decline is a result of the vigilance and competence of the police and border patrol officials from the country’s official border agency, SENAFRONT.
Panama City is also an ideal city to live and work in, with high salaries, low taxes, and a reasonable cost of living.
Costa Rica is known as “the rich coast,” and it is a tropical paradise over in central america. It is a warm and welcoming country with a convenient and modern capital city, San Jose. The country has a high Global peace index of 33, with a low crime rate, clean water supply, and quality medical care with its world-class doctors and hospitals.
You’ll experience some crime, but should you take the recommended precautions and heed travel warnings, these incidents will be minimal. You’ll have a wonderful time in this Latin American country. Many consider Costa Rica not only an excellent tourism destination but an ideal place to live, work, and retire as its one of the safest countries.
Also known as the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. After transitioning back to Democracy, the America Uruguay relations are very strong.
There is a travel advisory for people going to Uruguay. Despite this there are many safety reports that make traveling to this country a low-risk venture. One thing to keep an eye on is the possibility for natural disasters.
When it comes to South America, Uruguay is about as safe as it gets. They are ranked as the “most livable and greenest country” in not only South America, but also North America.
That said, it does not mean there is no crime that happens in Uruguay. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings when it comes to possible pickpocketing, mugging, handling money and other similar situations. You probably already are, but we are just giving you a heads up to be sure you don’t lower your guard because you assume you are in some sort of Utopia that doesn’t exist.
What is the Safest Latin American Country?
According to the World Population Review, Uruguay is the safest country in Latin America. The country has a Global Peace Index score of 1.795, which is the highest in the region. Uruguay has a low crime rate and is known for its stable political environment, which contributes to its overall safety. However, the US State Department has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for Uruguay, cautioning visitors about the risk of robberies in certain areas.
Other countries in Latin America that are considered relatively safe include Chile, Costa Rica, and Panama. Chile has a Global Peace Index score of 2.392 and is known for its low crime rate and stable political environment. Costa Rica has a Global Peace Index score of 2.687 and is known for its friendly people, natural beauty, and low crime rate. Panama has a Global Peace Index score of 2.687 and is known for its strong economy, stable political environment, and low crime rate.
Overall, while there are some safety concerns in Latin America, there are also many countries in the region that are considered relatively safe for travel and living. It is important for visitors to be aware of the potential risks and take appropriate precautions to ensure their safety.
What is the Least Safest Country in Latin America?
Venezuela is widely considered to be the least safe country in South America, and one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The country has been facing a severe economic and political crisis in recent years, which has contributed to a rise in crime rates and violence. According to the Global Peace Index, Venezuela has a score of 2.919, which is the lowest in South America. The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, with an estimated 60 murders per 100,000 people.
The US State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Venezuela, warning US citizens not to travel to the country due to the risk of violent crime, civil unrest, and arbitrary arrest and detention. The State Department also advises US citizens who are currently in Venezuela to leave the country as soon as possible. The crisis in Venezuela has led to widespread shortages of food, medicine, and other basic necessities, as well as political instability and social unrest. While there are some areas of the country that are considered relatively safe, visitors should exercise extreme caution and be aware of the potential risks before traveling to Venezuela.
Safest Country to Travel in South America
So, what is the safest country in South America? According to various sources, including Storyteller Travel, South America Backpacker, and Travel Safe, Uruguay is considered the safest country to travel to in South America. The Global Peace Index ranks Uruguay as the safest country in South America, with Chile and Argentina following closely behind. Uruguay is also the second-safest country in Latin America as a whole, with only Costa Rica claiming a higher spot on the GPI. Chile is ranked as the safest country in South America by the Global Peace Index, and there are currently no travel warnings or alerts for Chile from the U.S. State Department.
It’s important to note that safety can vary greatly depending on the region and city within a country. While Uruguay may be the safest country overall, there may be certain areas within the country that are less safe than others. It’s always important to do research and stay informed about the safety of the specific area you plan to visit. Additionally, it’s important to take general safety precautions when traveling in any foreign country, such as avoiding walking alone at night and keeping valuables secure.
Overall, while there may be some variation in safety levels between countries and regions within South America, Uruguay consistently ranks as the safest country to travel to in the region. Travelers should always stay informed and take general safety precautions when traveling in any foreign country, regardless of its safety ranking.
Wrapping It Up
We haven’t even covered all the other safest countries that qualify on the global peach index to be listed among the most secure Spanish speaking countries on the South American continent. Other notable countries in Latin America include Cuba, Guyana, American Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay. You will find that Iceland ranks as the safest country in the world on the global peace index.
It’s always advisable to read the State Department’s travel updates before you go, as situations erupt all over the world. Safety problems can happen anywhere, including american countries like the United States, which interestingly is one of the world’s largest Spanish-speaking countries with a sizeable Latino community. The United States is one of the safest countries in the world compared to Latin America countries.
We also can’t forget one of the safest countries in the world, Spain, the mother country, as one of the safer places to visit in Latin America.