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## Is It Safe to Travel to South America in 2017?

With its diverse landscapes, rich cultures, and vibrant cities, South America is a continent that has long been on the bucket list of many travelers. However, concerns about safety have often deterred people from exploring this fascinating region.

In recent years, South America has made significant strides in improving its safety record. While it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions, there are many safe and rewarding destinations to visit. Here’s what you need to know to plan a safe and unforgettable trip to South America in 2017.

### Current Safety Situation

Overall, South America is a relatively safe continent to travel. According to the Global Peace Index 2016, Chile, Uruguay, and Costa Rica are among the top 50 safest countries in the world. However, there are still some areas that should be avoided, particularly certain parts of Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Areas to Avoid

Brazil: Favelas (slums) in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Colombia: Rural areas near the border with Venezuela and Ecuador.
Venezuela: Caracas, the capital city, as well as other major urban centers.

### Tips for Staying Safe

Here are some tips to help you stay safe while traveling in South America:

Be aware of your surroundings. This means paying attention to who’s around you and what’s going on, especially in crowded areas.
Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a particular situation, it’s best to move on.
Don’t walk alone at night. If you need to go out at night, take a taxi or a ride-sharing service.
Keep your valuables secure. This means keeping your passport, money, and credit cards in a safe place.
Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Instead, use credit cards or traveler’s checks.
Be wary of pickpockets. In tourist areas, pickpockets are known to operate.
Learn some basic local phrases. This can help you communicate with locals if you need assistance.
Respect local customs and laws. This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts.
Consider hiring a local guide. A good guide can help you navigate the local culture and avoid any potential dangers.

### Safe Destinations

There are many safe and rewarding destinations to visit in South America. Here are a few of the most popular:

Chile: Santiago, Valparaíso, the Atacama Desert, and the Patagonia region.
Uruguay: Montevideo, Punta del Este, and the Colonia del Sacramento.
Costa Rica: San José, the Arenal Volcano, and the Manuel Antonio National Park.
Argentina: Buenos Aires, El Calafate (gateway to Perito Moreno Glacier), and the Iguazu Falls.

### Conclusion

South America is a safe and rewarding destination for travelers who take the necessary precautions. By being aware of your surroundings, following these safety tips, and choosing safe destinations, you can have a memorable and enriching experience in this fascinating continent.

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