Safety in South America
South America as a whole is a safe and welcoming continent, and as long as you use common sense, you shouldn’t have a problem. Violent crime is rare in tourist destinations, but petty crime can occur. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your local guide about best practices for staying safe in each area. They are locals from the area and will have the best advice. If you ever have any urgent issues, you can use the 24-hour emergency number we provide all our travelers with.
Your home country may provide travel advice and tips. Keep in mind that this advice tends to be “worst case” and problems are rare, especially for travelers taking trips such as ours. We do not take our travelers to areas we consider unsafe.
Security tips for South America:
- Ask your guides for their advice
- Leave expensive jewelry at home
- Just carry enough cash for that day’s activities
- Consider using a money belt
- Use hotel safes
- Within cities, take one credit or debit card with you and leave another in your hotel safe
- Within cities, carry a copy of your passport with you leaving the original in your hotel safe (when traveling outside cities you should take your original passport with you – if unsure, ask your guide).
- Keep walking at night to a minimum – ask your hotel to arrange a taxi for you or use Uber (see below)
- Be alert to pick-pockets, keep things in front pockets
- Keep purses and handbags on your lap in restaurants rather than on the floor or back of your chair
For US Citizens, the State Department recommends bookmarking the Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts page, following their Twitter and Facebook accounts, and/or downloading their free Smart Traveler App through iTunes to stay up-to-date on travel warnings and news. They also offer useful tips for traveling safely abroad.