A common question seen on many travel forums is "how safe is it to travel to X (one on the Latin American countries) as a solo female traveler?" It is fully understandable why traveling alone to Latin America can seem an intimidating prospect, particularly if you are a woman. However, women who have already been to this region of the world know there is no need to post this type of question. All of the countries in Central and South America are generally safe to visit as a solo female traveler. There are, however, some areas that pose a risk and these should be avoided.
Many of the large cities in Latin America have areas that aren't particularly desirable and you should stick to the main tourist or modern parts of these cities if you visit them. This includes all of the major cities in Central America (ie Belize City, Guatemala City, Managua, Mexico City, Panama City, San Jose, San Salvador and Tegucigalpa). There are also certain parts of South American cities that should be avoided such as Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Caracas in Venezuela. As with the large cities in Central America, stick to the touristy areas and you'll be fine. You should also take care when visiting particular areas of certain countries such as in Colombia and Venezuela. For example, it isn't a good idea to hang around the border regions of Colombia or travel to obscure, off the beaten track destinations. Although Colombia and Venezuela get some bad press they are both relatively safe to visit if you stick to the top tourist destinations mentioned in reputable travel guides. If somewhere is mentioned in a reputable guidebook, it is almost certainly safe to visit.
This leads to an important point in the discussion. It is very easy to get paranoid about visiting certain countries and cities but this is totally unwarranted. Remember, it's only certain parts of these countries and cities that are best avoided, just as certain parts of cities in Europe or North America are best avoided. In fact, traveling around most of Latin America is far safer, and more pleasant, than traveling around many parts of Europe or North America. Additionally, as Susan Griffith rightly points out in 'Traveling Solo as a Woman in Asia' 'there is a pernicious mythology surrounding the lone female traveler, whether it is as a hitchhiker around Britain or a traveler in Southeast Asia. perils and dwell on a single woman's vulnerability. Often this doom-ridden response is just an excuse for their own timidity of spirit. " Don't get paranoid: the countries of Latin America are no more dangerous than many other countries in this world, and in reality you are more likely to encounter problems in some European countries or North American states.
Referring back to the classic question seen on travel forums (ie how safe is it to travel to X as a solo female traveler) it is worth mentioning the …