If you’re planning a trip to one of the safest countries in Latin America, you’ve come to the right place. Latin America is a region known for its stunning beauty, from paradisiacal beaches to breathtaking natural landscapes. It’s also a destination full of history and culture. Whatever your interests may be, Latin America offers a wealth of attractions and experiences.
We have traveled a lot through Latin America, and we have our own favorites. Costa Rica, for instance, is always my top choice and probably the safest country in Latin America. It is also one of the most enchanting countries in the region, with its remarkable wildlife and biodiversity. I also love Cuba and its rich historical tapestry as well as Chile, which captivates you with its contrast of glaciers in the south and inhospitable deserts in the north.
While these are some of the safest Latin American countries, you should always keep in mind that accidents, illnesses, or incidents like theft can happen anywhere. That’s why I recommend traveling with comprehensive travel insurance. We’ve been using Heymondo travel insurance for years, and they’ve consistently provided excellent support whenever we’ve needed it. If you decide to go with them too, make sure to use our Heymondo discount code.
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Now, let’s delve into other safe Latin American countries that offer an enjoyable travel experience. To compile this list, we’ve not only considered our own experiences but also consulted the Vision of Humanity statistics website, which evaluates each country’s safety by taking into account violent crimes in proportion to its population. A lower score on the Vision of Humanity scale indicates a safer destination. So, without further ado, let’s see what is the safest Latin American country.
1. Costa Rica, the safest country in Latin America
♦ Overall score of 1.73/5
Costa Rica is one of the best countries to visit in Central America, and it’s no wonder why. Costa Rica is not only the safest Latin American country but also a land full of attractions.
But if you’re planning to travel to Costa Rica, you’ll find lots of other attractions to explore thanks to its diverse natural wonders. Its volcanoes, particularly the Poás Volcano, are must-see attractions located near the capital. I recommend this excursion which starts from San José and also includes a visit to the Catataras de la Paz, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Costa Rica. The country also has incredible national parks, such as the Manuel Antonio National Park which offers picturesque beaches and biodiversity that’s hard to find elsewhere in my experience. To fully appreciate the hidden wildlife in this tropical jungle, I recommend exploring it with an expert on this guided tour.
I also highly recommend visiting the Marino Ballena National Park. Here, you can relax on stunning beaches, immerse yourself in tropical forests, and even go on a whale-watching tour.
Costa Rica’s low crime rate explains its reputation as one of the safest countries in Latin America. As a tourist, I assure you that you will not have any safety concerns here. Nonetheless, I still recommend keeping an eye on your personal belongings, especially in urban areas.
While the country is one of the safest Latin American countries to travel to, I still recommend investing in one of the best travel insurance options for Costa Rica. This way, you’ll have peace of mind in case any unexpected incidents occur during your journey.
To learn more about the safest country in Latin America, check out our guide below:
- Recommended accommodations:
There are lots of places to stay in Costa Rica, but here are my favorite hotels:
2. Chile, another one of the safest countries in Latin America to visit
♦ Overall score of 1.87/5
Chile is renowned for being one of the safest countries in Latin America. This beautiful nation boasts landscapes that often appear out of this world. Every year, we organize photography tours in Chile, including an Atacama & Uyuni photo tour, and a Patagonia photo tour. So, you probably can guess how much we love this country.
When you travel to Chile, make sure to explore Santiago de Chile, the capital city and one of the safest cities in Latin America. Begin your journey with this free tour that gives you the perfect first impression of the city by exploring its main attractions, including the Plaza de las Armas, the Central Post Office of Santiago, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, among other famous sites and structures. For a multi-day experience in the city, consider booking this day trip to Cajón de Maipo, a stunning mountain gorge.
I also recommend visiting the vibrant city of Valparaíso, known for its rich culture and history. Join this free tour if you want to explore the city’s main attractions with a knowledgeable guide. Valparaíso is also famous for its wines, so if you want to savor the best Chilean wines, you can book this excursion. This is a comprehensive tour of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, which also includes wine tasting in Viña Indómita, located in the Casablanca Valley.
Another place that I recommend you visit is San Pedro de Atacama, renowned for the El Tatio geysers, Piedras Rojas, and the Salar de Atacama. These locations offer some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country. Consider taking this excursion to explore the Piedras Rojas and the Salar de Atacama. You can also join this tour to witness the geysers in all their glory. San Pedro de Atacama is a favorite tourist destination for its incredible night skies. So, if our photography tour seems a bit challenging to you, you can enjoy this night skies tour.
Lastly, a visit to Torres del Paine in the Chilean Patagonia is a must. Don’t miss the opportunity to join this excursion from Puerto Natales and spend a full day exploring one of the most beautiful natural parks in the country, as well as enjoying its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife. On our photography tour in this region, we even have a puma tracking day, so make sure to join us if you’re interested.
In my opinion, Chile is not only one of the safest places to visit in Latin America but also one of the safest countries in South America. You’ll find countless things to see and do in Chile, and you can explore every corner with absolute peace of mind thanks to the country’s low crime rate.
- Recommended accommodations:
3. Panama, the safest Latin American country with dreamy beaches
♦ Overall score of 1.94/5
Panama, one of the safest places to visit in Latin America, is also considered among the safest countries in Central America. Beyond its famous canal, this nation offers beautiful tropical beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, and abundant natural beauty.
For a great start, consider a visit to the iconic Panama Canal, one of the most well-known sites in the country. The Panama Canal is a 50-mile waterway full of history and surrounded by fascinating legends. You can take this tour to delve into the fascinating stories and myths about it. Alternatively, if you want to experience sailing through the canal, you can join this ship cruise and visit the Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, and the Bridge of the Americas.
Bocas del Toro, also known as Bocas, is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country. The main island, Colón, is where the capital, Bocas Town, is located. From here, you can go on an excursion to Playa Estrella and Isla Pájaros, which I highly recommend. Another delightful option is to join an excursion to Cayo Zapatilla and Cayo Coral. I assure you that these destinations are authentic tropical paradises that are really worth visiting.
Another place you surely won’t want to miss is the Barú Volcano, the tallest volcano in the country. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can hike the Quetzal Trail through Barú Volcano National Park and enjoy lush jungles and tropical rainforests. This trail also connects Cerro Punta with Boquete, two charming towns located in the western highlands of Panama.
Coíba Island is a World Heritage Site, renowned as one of the best diving destinations in the Pacific. And if you enjoy surfing, make sure to visit Santa Catalina.
A definite highlight of your journey should be the San Blas Islands, a true tropical paradise where you can experience living like the indigenous Kuna people. To get here, you can take this excursion, which includes an exciting tour of the Panama coastline. Here, you’ll find beautiful rustic wooden cabins by the sea, but there’s no electricity, Internet, or running water. Despite these conditions, the experience is nothing short of incredible. The dramatic contrast between Panama City with its towering buildings, museums, restaurants, and shops, and San Blas Islands’ relaxing atmosphere is truly striking.
Panama, in addition to being one of the safest Latin American countries, is also a natural paradise that deserves a place on your travel bucket list.
- Recommended accommodations:
4. Uruguay, the safest country in Latin America to visit for history
♦ Overall score of 1.80/5
Uruguay, known as one of the safest places to visit in Latin America, is also an exceptionally beautiful destination.
You can start your journey through this charming country from Montevideo, its capital city. Here, you’ll learn a lot about the country’s history, culture, and tradition through its architecture, monuments, squares, and streets. To get a great introduction to the city and its historic center, I recommend starting with this free guided tour. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive exploration, consider booking this half-day tour. From Montevideo, you can also go on an excursion to Punta del Este which is widely known for its idyllic beaches, particularly Playa Mansa, famous for the iconic sculpture of “La Mano” (The Hand) emerging from the sands of Punta del Este.
Uruguay has several other cities with significant historical interest, such as Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This charming town is located along the banks of the Río Plata, featuring cobblestone streets and low stone houses. Colonia del Sacramento is one of the safest cities in Latin America with a rich history and culture, so I recommend taking this guided tour to fully immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, don’t miss Cabo Polonio, a remote village without electricity or Internet, surrounded by pristine nature and untamed wildlife. Another option is exploring Punta del Diablo, a small fishing town with an ideal environment for surfing and other water activities. Finally, to recharge your batteries, you can head to some of the country’s renowned natural hot springs, such as the Daymán Hot Springs or the Arapey Hot Springs.
Uruguay is undeniably one of the safest Latin American countries, making it an ideal choice for couples and families. With its exceptional beauty and low crime rates, Uruguay is one of the best destinations in Latin America.
- Recommended accommodations:
5. Argentina, one of the most beautiful and safest Latin American countries
♦ Overall score of 1.84/5
Argentina stands out as one of the most splendid and safest countries in Latin America, and a perfect choice for a vacation with friends, family, or as a couple.
With tons of interesting things to do in Argentina, you’ll need at least two weeks to explore its main attractions.
Kick off your adventure in Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital, and one of the safest Latin American cities. You can join this free guided tour of the historic center and immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture. Once your tour is over, you can stroll along its grand avenues, visit lush parks, and admire iconic buildings and monuments. And of course, no visit to Buenos Aires is complete without enjoying a mesmerizing tango show, which is a significant part of Argentina’s cultural heritage.
I also recommend visiting Mendoza, especially if you like savoring fine wines in a city with a long-standing winemaking tradition. You can even take this winery tour and taste the best Argentinian wines in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. I also recommend taking a free guided tour to get to know the different attractions of Mendoza. And if you’re looking for a more adventurous journey, consider an excursion to the Andes to witness the majestic Aconcagua mountain.
Another one of my favorites is Calafate, one of the safest places in Latin America. This beautiful town is located on the southern border of Lago Argentino and serves as a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park and the Perito Moreno Glacier. If you want to make the most out of your time here, make sure to book this tour which includes an optional boat cruise. If you’re an avid hiker, head to El Chaltén, renowned as the national capital of trekking, offering multiple trails in the middle of breathtaking natural landscapes. In fact, it is so beautiful that we had to include it in our Patagonia photography tour.
Another must-visit destination is San Carlos de Bariloche. I recommend starting your exploration with this guided tour to fully appreciate the panoramic views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and learn about the city’s history, which was once a refuge for many Nazis. Another excellent option is booking the scenic tour of the seven lakes, which includes visiting Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner, Hermoso, and Machónico Lakes. Afterward, you can explore the Arrayanes forest on your own, head to the majestic Cerro Tronador, and enjoy the abundant nature that surrounds this enchanting town. And don’t forget to refuel with the local specialty—chocolate, a beloved treat in this region.
Depending on your available time, you can embark on this 5-day tour of Iguazú Falls to witness one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Alternatively, you can visit Salta, a city surrounded by striking mountain landscapes. To get here, you can join this full-day tour to enjoy its rich cultural heritage, stunning scenery, and historical attractions.
Argentina is undeniably one of the best places to visit in South America. As one of the most stable Latin American countries, it offers a remarkable combination of awe-inspiring natural beauty and impressive history. So, I assure you that you’ll have a memorable experience.
- Recommended accommodations:
6. Cuba, a safe Latin American country with unique attractions
♦ Overall score of 2.10/5
Cuba also ranks among the safest countries in Latin America to visit. We have traveled to this stunning country, so I can guarantee that you will be captivated by its beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.
I suggest you start your exploration in the heart of Havana. For instance, you can take this free guided tour of colonial Havana as an engaging introduction to the city. If you want something more comprehensive, consider booking this guided tour. Havana is one of the most significant cities in Cuba, where you can find tons of interesting things to do. Some of the main attractions include the iconic Malecón de La Habana, the Museum of the Revolution, and the magnificent Christ of Havana.
Visiting the Viñales Valley is another one of the best things to do in Cuba. This extraordinary natural space is one of the most beautiful and popular attractions in the country, declared both a National Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll find the distinctive geological formations known as “mogotes.” These are rounded limestone hills or mounds that create a unique and picturesque landscape throughout the Viñales Valley.
From there, you can head to Varadero to enjoy its stunning beauty and white sandy shores. You can also visit Trinidad, a charming city with cobblestone streets dating back to the colonial era, or explore Cienfuegos to learn about its fascinating colonial history. I suggest taking a two-day tour of Trinidad and Cienfuegos from Havana to get to know both cities in greater depth.
For more detailed information on things to see and do in Cuba, check out our dedicated guide.
While Cuba is among the safest Latin American countries to visit, it’s always wise to have good travel insurance. In fact, I’d recommend having travel insurance whenever you explore any country in Latin America. This way, you will be covered in case any unforeseen event happens. Feel free to consult our guide on the best travel insurance for Cuba.
- Recommended accommodations:
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba – an iconic 1930s hotel with fantastic views of Havana and its surroundings.
- Casas particulars: These are rooms or accommodations for rent in the homes of Cuban families. I’d recommend finding one in each city you plan to visit, like Trinidad and Viñales, to experience the true Cuban culture firsthand.
Is it safe to travel to Latin America?
These were some of Latin America’s safest countries. So, when you visit these destinations, you can do so without fear because they have impressively low crime rates. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or your significant other, you won’t encounter major safety concerns.
However, you should always exercise caution while traveling. Keep a watchful eye on your personal belongings and valuable items, just as you would in any part of the world. While Latin America, in general, is safe, thefts can happen, and it’s better to be prepared. Additionally, avoid areas that may be more conflict-prone, especially at nighttime.
We have traveled through Latin America on several occasions, and I can assure you that we’ve never had any problems. The local people are incredibly friendly and helpful, and we’ve never felt like we were in any kind of danger during our travels.
Tips for traveling safely through Latin America
Now that you’re aware of the safest places to travel in Latin America, I’ll leave you some tips to help you enjoy a trouble-free and unforgettable trip:
It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance. This way, you’ll have coverage in case of any unexpected issues. We’ve been using Heymondo travel insurance for years, and their quick and professional responses have been a lifesaver for us on several occasions. They even have a medical assistance team to answer your questions. I remember a time in Costa Rica when I got food poisoning, and Heymondo took care of everything right from the start.
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Another tip is to avoid carrying too much cash with you. It’s not just about the risk of theft but also the possibility of losing it somewhere. I recommend getting one of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards, which not only offer security but also save you money and get you the best currency exchange rates.
Even when you travel to the safest cities in Latin America, it’s a good idea to have tracking devices like Airtags on your luggage. This way, you can keep tabs on them, especially if you decide to leave them in luggage storage for a while.
Another important thing is staying connected. Having Internet access while traveling allows your family to stay in the loop about your whereabouts and plans. We use Holafly eSIM cards, which provide unlimited data for most countries at a reasonable price. So, to stay connected, I highly recommend Holafly’s eSIMs. And don’t forget to use our code for a discount on Holafly.
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Lastly, use common sense and follow your gut feeling. Don’t put yourself in situations you consider risky, and avoid places that make you feel unsafe.
And now, you’re ready to explore the most stable Latin American countries, so I hope you have a fantastic journey. If you have any questions or want to share your experience traveling to any of the safest places in Latin America, you can leave me a comment below. I will be happy to hear from you!
Enjoy your adventures in Latin America!