As a travel agency we never want to dissuade your wanderlust, however, there are some destinations that are not suited to tourism. Your safety is very important to us and we believe that a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way. While this list may be inclusive of current conditions, remember that things can change and countries that were once deemed unsafe are now tourist havens. Keep in mind that travel is never 100% safe and you should always exercise caution in a foreign country. If you’re not sure how safe your perspective destination is, please visit the Government of Canada’s website for its travel advisories –

Here are a few destinations you should not be including on your bucket list at the moment and some nearby alternatives that are much safer for you to enjoy.

1. Mexico
High Risk States – Michoacán, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Guerrero
Due to an increased risk of drug cartel violence, these Mexican states are best avoided. While there are spots in these states that are relatively peaceful, the threat of violence is high.

Safer Alternatives – Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Oaxaca

2. Venezuela
High Risk – Avoid all travel
This country is currently experiencing a political upheaval, high violent crime rates and poor health infrastructure. There are food, medical supplies, water and electricity shortages and many Venezuelans are fleeing their own country.

Safer Alternatives – Bolivia, Argentina and Peru

3. Africa
High Risk Countries – Somalia, South Sudan, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Mali
Despite Africa’s incredible beauty, there are a number of dangerous countries on this continent. Terrorism, kidnapping, police corruption and civil war make some of these locations outright dangerous.

Safer Alternatives – Namibia, Botswana and Zambia

4. Middle East
High Risk Countries – Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan
The unrest in the Middle East is well documented in addition to terrorism, civil war, drug violence and anti-western sentiment. Travel to these locations comes with a real risk of personal harm.

Safer Alternatives – United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman

5. Asia
Risky – North Korea
It should be noted that Asia is (for the most part) a very safe area to travel from the perspective of crime and violence (with some very few exceptions). That said, countries like North Korea and China have detained westerners for little to no reason. The best advice in China is to adhere to local laws and not challenge any authority. In the case of North Korea, all Western countries have advised against all travel due to uncertain security, and it’s nuclear arms program. It is also important to note that North Korea does not have any government or consular office in the country and contact with the Canadian government from this country is nearly impossible.

Safer Alternatives – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam

Questions about a destination on this list? Have an idea as to where you want to go? Get in touch with us or an experience specialist


Sean Mitchell

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