9 Top South American Countries Ranked By Safety


There are various reasons to travel to South America that appeal to different kinds of people. Although the continent has occasionally had a bad image, it is nevertheless a popular destination for tourists and foreigners.

When going overseas, safety is a concern that has to be given careful consideration. This is especially true while traveling to a foreign or unknown place. The locals of a place have the power to truly improve or ruin a trip’s overall experience. Even if there are some unsafe regions in South America, there are many more safe nations that can be ideal for your next trip.

Our list of South American countries ranked by safety is based on information from the most recent Global Peace Index (GPI) as well as regional data on crime statistics in the nations that made our list. Discover which South American nations are the safest by reading on—you might be surprised!

9 South American Countries Ranked By Safety

1. Uruguay

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Uruguay is a small, friendly country in South America that is the safest. Uruguay, which is positioned halfway between Argentina and Brazil in South America, has the highest ranking of any South American nation at 50th out of 163 nations examined by the Global Peace Index.

It consistently ranks among the safest nations in South America because of its well-known democratic stability, inclusive social programs, and low crime rate.

World Peace Index Score: 1.80/5.0, World Ranking: 50/163

2. Chile

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Chile is frequently ranked among the safest countries in South America, coming in at number 58 out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index. Travelers can feel extremely comfortable in Chile because of its strong economic progress, stable democracy and low crime rate.

Traveling should always be done safely and sensibly, especially in cities. This applies to all trips. Still, don’t be afraid. Travelers report very few problems in Chile, save from the sporadic pickpocketing. Overall, the country is fairly safe.

World Peace Index Score: 1.87/5.0

World Ranking: 58/163

3. Argentina

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Argentina is a top vacation destination regardless of your preferred style of travel, consistently rated highly among South American countries ranked by safety. It  is regarded as a very safe vacation destination and is ranked 54th out of all countries in the world for safety.

Remember that, compared to some of the nations lower on our list, Argentina has a significantly greater prevalence of small-time crimes like pickpocketing and robberies. It ranks third on this list because data indicates that it has the highest rates of robberies in all of South America.

By no way is this intended to discourage you from visiting Argentina. It is just intended to serve as an informative example of how difficult it may be to rate entire nations according to how safe they are for tourists.

You’ll be alright if you follow the fundamental travel safety precautions when visiting Argentina.  Try keeping your handbag in front of you, clipping the zippers on your bag shut, staying in the safe sections of the cities and locations you’ll be visiting, and, if at all possible, not flashing costly jewelry or gadgets.

World Peace Index Score: 1.84/5.0

World Ranking: 54/163

4. Paraguay

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In the heart of the continent, Paraguay is a landlocked nation that receives very little traveler traffic yet is among the South American countries ranked by safety. Paraguay, which ranks 68th on the Global Peace Index for this year, is renowned for its relative stability and lower rate of violent crimes such as assaults and robberies than some of its neighbors.

Apart from being among the most secure tourism destinations in South America, it is also reasonably priced. One of South America’s most reasonably priced travel locations, it offers amazing off-the-beaten-path experiences at incredibly low prices. If there was ever a hidden gem, this one is it.

World Peace Index Score: 1.94/5.0

World Ranking: 68/163.

5. Bolivia

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Another fantastic South American travel destination is Bolivia, which is also a typically safe place for tourists to visit. Bolivia, which is ranked 78th out of 163 nations on the Global Peace Index, has improved results in the categories that most frequently affect travelers: peace, stability, and crimes.

It is the poorest nation in South America, yet when it comes to small-time crimes that might affect tourists more regularly, including pickpocketing and robbery, Bolivia does better than many other nations in the area, such as Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. As a hiker in Bolivia, I personally felt quite secure.

Bolivia is a big, varied country with a lot to offer tourists, but the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat is a particular highlight for tourists. Because the water-flooded salt flat here flawlessly mirrors the sky during the rainy season, this surreal location is also referred to as the biggest mirror in the world. It’s a place where you really should go.

World Peace Index Score: 2.0/5.0,

World Ranking: 78/163

6. Ecuador

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Rank six on our ranking of South American countries ranked by safety is Ecuador. Ecuador, which is ranked 97th out of 163 nations in the Global Peace Index, has improved in many areas in recent years, although residents and some tourists have been unnerved by a few startling incidents of large-scale protests and political unrest in recent years.

Tourists visiting Ecuador should use caution to stay away from small-time thieves and pickpockets. Remember that nations higher on this list (like Chile and Argentina!) record significantly more robberies and minor crimes than Ecuador does.

World Peace Index Score: 2.09/5.0 World Ranking: 97/163

7. Peru

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Even while Peru may struggle to rank among the safest nations in South America, these problems haven’t had a big impact on the country’s little amount of foreign tourism. It saw roughly 5.5 million foreign tourists in 2019, many of them traveling to Machu Picchu, the country’s most well-known attraction.

Venture off the usual route and see amazing pre-Incan sites like Chan Chan, old Arequipa, the snow-capped peaks of Huaraz, and other lesser-known places in Peru. You will be amazed at how much Peru can offer.

World Peace Index Score: 2.13/5.0

World Ranking: 103/163.

8. Colombia

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Though a lot has changed in a short period of time, Colombia’s recent history may have given you the impression that it is one of the riskier South American nations to visit. Even though Colombia still has numerous problems, since its peak in 1991, the country has seen a 75% decrease in crime, making it safer and more tranquil. That’s practically unheard of.

Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s has undergone a significant metamorphosis and is rapidly progressing. However, Colombia continues to be regarded as one of the three least safe nations in South America because of the limited number of armed guerrillas that are still active in the nation and the danger associated with trafficking.

It’s crucial for travelers to be aware of these problems while also remembering that, despite isolated incidents of violence and instability in Colombia, travel and tourism to the country have increased dramatically in recent years, making it a more sought-after vacation destination than ever.

In addition to being a highly sought-after destination for digital nomads and backpackers throughout Latin America, Colombia’s port of Cartagena welcomes cruise ship visitors virtually every day during the busiest time of year. Affordable Caribbean island getaways, breathtaking locations for hiking across deserts and jungles, and, of course, the greatest coffee on earth are all to be found here.

World Peace Index Score: 2.69/5.0, World Ranking: 140/163.

9. Brazil

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Brazil, which ranks 132nd out of 163 nations in the Global Peace Index, has fallen in the rankings, mostly as a result of higher crime rates. As a result, it needs to deal with security and criminal issues.

It has better crime statistics than Brazil in a few key places that are more likely to affect tourists, even though Brazil is officially ranked higher than Colombia on the Global Peace Index. Brazil has thus been demoted on this ranking.

In Brazil, safety can differ significantly between regions and cities, so when you’re making travel plans, be careful to get informed local counsel. This is particularly relevant while traveling through Brazil’s bigger cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where specific regions are often riskier for visitors.

Anecdotally, visitors will tell you all kinds of tales about their experiences traveling in Brazil; some would say they were completely safe, while others may describe different forms of insecurity like pickpocketing. This serves as a gentle reminder to ignore any news that seems too good to be true and to keep in mind that there are simple ways to travel safely, regardless of whether you’re in the safest or least secure country in the world.

It is ranked lower on this list, but it shouldn’t deter you from visiting. The vast region of Latin America is home to innumerable exquisite and distinctive towns, breathtaking beaches, the enormous and varied Amazon, and more. All of it is definitely worth the trip to see.

World Peace Index Score: 2.64/5.0 World Ranking: 132/163.

Final thoughts

There is much more to travel safety than simply numbers, even if data suggest that Uruguay and Chile are among the safest nations in South America.

Whether you are traveling to South America or somewhere closer to home, following a few easy but wise travel safety precautions can make the difference between an absolutely uneventful vacation and one you would rather forget.

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