Is Central America Safe to Visit? 15+ Ways to Stay Safe! (Updated 2019)

Posted: 7/6/2019 | July sixth, 2019

Central America is certainly one of my favourite areas for backpacking. While it may be difficult to get round, it additionally provides implausible attractiveness, ample nature, picturesque seashores, and inexpensive costs.

Political upheaval and civil unrest stored vacationers at bay for a very long time, then again. But in this day and age the world has evolved into one thing of a hotspot for vacationers, surfers, and retirees.


Because Central America has one thing for everybody!

But is it secure?

Yes — however that doesn’t imply you don’t want to take precautions.

In this submit, I’ll cross over the whole thing you want to know to keep secure and feature an awesome commute on this extremely numerous area!

What Countries are in Central America?

There are seven nations in Central America:

Click at the map for nation guides:

Central America Placeholder
Central America

eight Important Safety Tips for Central America

While Central America is thought of as normally secure for touring and backpacking, there’s no denying that some precautions will have to be taken.

  • Be acutely aware of your atmosphere – It may also be simple to forestall paying consideration and let your guard down. But that’s when crisis moves. Always pay attention to your atmosphere.
  • Avoid remoted spaces – If you’re someplace remoted, you’ll be at a better possibility for buying robbed, particularly at night time and in large towns. Try to keep the place the crowds are. That’s the easiest way to steer clear of being singled out by way of possible muggers.
  • Don’t put on flashy pieces – Petty robbery is the commonest danger right here, so take away any jewellery or watches, and don’t wave your telephone round. Do your absolute best to mix in, so that you don’t turn out to be a goal for pickpockets.
  • Separate your money – Keep most effective the cash that you want for the day on you. Keep the remaining locked away safely at your lodging.
  • Take taxis at night time – If you want to get someplace at night time, take a taxi. It shall be more secure than any public transportation. Have your lodging name the taxi for you, so you’ll be able to make sure to’re getting a credible motive force.
  • Be cautious on public transit – If you have got to take public transit, stay your valuables on you and stay them neatly secured, particularly on rooster buses (colourful, changed, and adorned buses that delivery items and other folks). Petty robbery is not unusual on night time buses, so steer clear of them if you’ll be able to.
  • Don’t do medication – The cartels right here have in reality made lifestyles tricky for the native inhabitants. Don’t strengthen them by way of purchasing their merchandise. Drug consequences also are harsh within the area, and also you don’t need to finally end up in prison right here!
  • Buy go back and forth insurance coverage – Travel insurance coverage will stay you safe in the event you get injured or in poor health, are a sufferer of robbery, or have to maintain not on time or canceled flights. It’s a profitable funding and will prevent hundreds of bucks. Don’t possibility touring with out it!

At the top of the day, you’ll simply want to all the time consider your intestine intuition. If a taxi motive force turns out shady, forestall the cab and get out. If your resort is seedier than you concept and turns out unsafe, get out of there and discover a new position to keep. You have each and every proper to take away your self from such scenarios, so do what you want to do to really feel secure.

What is the Northern Triangle? Is it Safe?

The Northern Triangle incorporates Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. It’s the area of Central America that historically (and these days) has essentially the most crime and violence. This is most often concentrated within the greater towns, and in particular in explicit neighborhoods. If you’re going to be within the capital towns of any of those 3 nations, you’ll need to communicate to your hostel or resort team of workers for essentially the most up-to-date protection recommendation.

That being stated, in the event you’re visiting vacationer spaces or occurring nature tours, you then received’t have any problems right here so long as you observe the security recommendation above.

What is the Safest Country in Central America?

Costa Rica, which gives protection and balance along implausible herbal attractiveness. Of direction, costs also are a lot upper and mirror the rustic’s standing as “the Switzerland of Central America.”

If you’re new to backpacking and need to get started off someplace that gives a just right mixture of journey and protection, opt for Costa Rica. It was once the primary nation I ever backpacked in, and I completely beloved it!

In phrases of protection, the following absolute best position is Panama. It’s house to a rising neighborhood of expats and retirees, which is giving the rustic an financial spice up and making it just a little extra gringo pleasant. That approach you’ll be in a position to get a whole lot of nice pointers and recommendations (together with explicit, native protection pointers) from the expat neighborhood whilst nonetheless having your self an journey.

Coming in sturdy in the back of Panama is Belize. It does a super activity of balancing protection with quite a few issues to see and do!

Is Central America Safe for Solo Travelers?

Central America is slightly secure for solo vacationers. As lengthy as you steer clear of remoted spaces and don’t go back and forth by myself at night time, you’ll be in a position to steer clear of the commonest problems vacationers face, corresponding to petty crime.

If you’re frightened that you just received’t really feel secure, check out to sign up for a gaggle of alternative vacationers or invite other folks out of your hostel to sign up for you whilst you cross out. That method, you’ll be in a position to really feel secure whilst additionally getting to connect to people.

As a solo traveler, be certain that to scan your passport and different vital paperwork and e mail them to your self if you do occur to run into bother.

Additionally, be certain that to obtain offline maps and offline language apps so you’ll be able to glance up instructions in the event you get misplaced or keep in touch with the locals in an emergency. If you’ll be able to, check out to be told some Spanish prior to you cross too. Even a couple of keywords can cross some distance!

Is Central America Safe for Solo Female Travelers in Particular?

Solo feminine vacationers will want to be extra on guard right through their time in Central America. Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize are the most secure nations within the area. If you’re new solo feminine go back and forth, stick to those nations.

Outside of the ones 3 nations, I’d counsel new solo feminine vacationers stick to workforce go back and forth or excursions, simply to be secure. However, skilled solo feminine vacationers will have to be in a position to navigate the area with out an excessive amount of further fear.

Women will have to be further cautious in massive towns, even though, particularly at night time. Beyond that, so long as you observe the standard precautions, you’ll be in a position to have an awesome time!

Are Taxis Safe in Central America?

The taxis in Central America are secure and dependable, even though you’ll all the time need to you should definitely’re moving into marked taxi. Never get in an unmarked automobile.

During 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 nations’ taxis use meters and others require you to negotiate a value upfront.

If taking a taxi at night time, have your lodging name it for you. Never hail a random taxi at night time.

Can You Eat the Street Food in Central America?

You guess you’ll be able to! You’ll in finding all varieties of wonderful side road meals stands and native eating places in Central America, and also you’d be lacking out in the event you didn’t check out them! Just make sure that to stick to puts the place there are a large number of locals amassed. That’s how you recognize the meals isn’t just secure however scrumptious too!

For essentially the most section, you’ll come across puts that promote quite a lot of types of rooster. As lengthy as it’s totally cooked (no longer purple at the within) and hasn’t been within the solar all day, dive in and provides it a check out! A large number of meals right here can also be deep-fried, which can nearly all the time be secure (simply no longer wholesome).

Don’t hesitate to ask your resort or hostel team of workers for side road meals or eating place tips. They’ll unquestionably have some scrumptious — and completely secure — ones for you.

Can You Drink the Water in Central America?

As a common dominated you’ll need to steer clear of the faucet water in Central America, even if it’s most probably high-quality in Costa Rica and Panama.

The absolute best method to make sure that your ingesting water is secure is to carry a Steripen or Lifestraw on your reusable water bottle. This method you’ll be in a position to purify the faucet water so that you don’t get in poor health — and heading off single-use plastic bottles within the procedure.


With such a lot of inexpensive lodging and transportation choices, surprising landscapes, abundant out of doors adventures, and wonderful seashores, it will have to come as no wonder that Central America is likely one of the maximum backpacked areas of the sector.

Sure, it could get a foul rap due to its violent historical past and financial struggles, however that doesn’t imply it’s categorically unsafe. By following the ideas above, you’ll be in a position to keep secure and wholesome right through your subsequent seek advice from!

P.S. – Did you recognize I wrote a brand new e-book? It’s referred to as “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s all in regards to the classes I’ve discovered from a lifetime of go back and forth. It options lots of reports and misadventures I’ve by no means advised in this weblog as neatly! It comes out July 16th! Click right here to be told extra and grasp your reproduction as of late! (I’ll be occurring a e-book excursion too!)

Book Your Trip to Central America: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find an inexpensive flight by way of the usage of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favourite search engines like google and yahoo as a result of they seek web pages and airways all over the world so that you all the time know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
To in finding the most productive price range lodging, use as they constantly go back the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and inexpensive motels. You can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have got essentially the most complete stock. Some of my favourite puts to keep in Costa Rica:

  • Dirty McNasty (Caye Caulker, Belize) – This is likely one of the largest hostels within the nation and a hub for party-goers. If you’re having a look to let unfastened, 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 a fantastic white sand seaside in entrance of it. They have nightly BBQs.
  • The Naken Tiger (San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua) – Located in San Juan del Sur, the Naked Tiger is an implausible belongings nestled just a little some distance out of the town however on most sensible of a hill with a fantastic view of all the space.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will offer protection to you towards sickness, harm, robbery, and cancellations. It’s complete coverage in case the rest is going fallacious. I by no means cross on a commute with out it as I’ve had to use it again and again previously. I’ve been the usage of World Nomads for ten years. My favourite corporations that provide the most productive carrier and price are:

Looking for the most productive corporations to lower your expenses with?
Check out my useful resource web page for the most productive corporations to use whilst you go back and forth! I listing the entire ones I exploit to lower your expenses after I go back and forth – and I feel will allow you to too!

Want More Information on Central America?
Be certain to seek advice from our powerful vacation spot information on Central America for much more making plans pointers!

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