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Common Sense Safe Travel in South America

Specific Country Information


Country Information:


  • Argentina is a medium-income nation, which continues to emerge from the 2001-2002 financial crisis. Buenos Aires and other large cities have well-developed tourist facilities and services including many four and five star hotels. The quality of tourist facilities in smaller towns outside the capital varies, and may not be up to similar standards.
  • Updated US Consular information for Argentina.


  • Bolivia is a constitutional democracy, with an elected President and Congress. A developing country, with one of the lowest per capita incomes in the Western Hemisphere, Bolivia is a popular destination for adventure and eco-tourists. Tourist facilities are generally adequate, but vary greatly in quality.
  • Updated US Consular information for Bolivia.


  • Brazil, a nation the size of the lower 48 United States, has an advanced developing economy. Facilities for tourism are excellent in the major cities, but vary in quality in remote areas. The Capital is Brasilia.
  • Rio de Janeiro is billed as a marvelous city, and it is, but be aware that tourists flocking to the beach are targets for the poor who live in the favelas and feel the contrast between economic status. Unfotunately, the favelas are troubled by widespread drug-related crime, gang warfare and other poverty-related social issues.
  • Rival gangs from the favelas are known to stake out "territory" on the beaches, and defend it with violencce.
  • The combination of high crime and poverty make it essential to practice good safety habits.
  • The Brazilian government recently launched a campaign to stop the sexual exploitation of minors by tourists.
  • Updated US Consular information for Brazil.


  • Bogota and opther cities of Colombia are targets for not only the usual types of criminal activity, but also acts of terrorism by various factions rebelling against the government, the curtailment of the drug trade, and US assistance in eradicating the coca fields. News of bombings, murders and assassinations fill the daily news. The US government advises travelers not to visit Colombia.
  • Travel Warning for Colombia.
  • Updated US Consular information for Colombia.


  • Ecuador is a Spanish-speaking country about the size of Colorado. It has a developing economy and a democratically elected government. Ecuador is geographically and ethnically diverse. In general, tourist facilities are adequate but vary in quality. Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000. Both U.S. coins and Ecuadorian coins, which are equivalent to the value of the U.S. coins, are used.
  • Updated US Consular information for Ecuador.

    French Guiana:

  • French Guiana is an overseas department of France. It is a sparsely populated tropical area located on the northern coast of South America. French is the predominant language; English is not widely spoken. Tourist facilities are available, especially in the larger cities such as Cayenne and Kourou, but in some instances are not highly developed. Kourou is home to the Guiana Space Center, from which Ariane rockets are launched.
  • Updated US Consular information for French Guiana .


  • Guyana is a developing nation on the north coast of South America. Tourist facilities are not developed, except for hotels in the capital city of Georgetown and a limited number of eco-resorts.
  • Updated US Consular information for Guyana.

    Paraguay :

  • Paraguay is a constitutional democracy with a developing economy. Tourist facilities are adequate in the capital city of Asuncion, but they vary greatly in quality and prices. Travelers outside Asuncion should consider seeking travel agency assistance, as satisfactory or adequate tourist facilities are very limited in other major cities and almost nonexistent in remote areas.
  • Updated US Consular information for Paraguay .


  • Peru is a developing country with an expanding tourism sector. A wide variety of tourist facilities and services are available, with quality varying according to price and location.
  • Updated US Consular information for Peru.


  • Uruguay is a middle-income nation with a developing economy. The quality of facilities for tourism varies, according to price and area. The capital city is Montevideo.
  • Updated US Consular information for Uruguay .


  • Venezuela is a medium income country with a substantial oil industry. Over the past seven years the political situation in Venezuela has at times been highly polarized and volatile. Scheduled air service and all-weather roads connect major cities and most regions of the country. Venezuela’s tourism infrastructure varies in quality according to location and price.
  • Updated US Consular information for Venezuela.

    After all these cautions, have a good trip. Buen viaje!

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