Travel Tips Chile tops the list as the safest country in Latin America.

Published on July 3rd, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut

Chile tops the list as the safest country in Latin America.

The 3 Safest Countries in Latin America

Safety is a big concern around the world today. With crime, terrorism and other threats, it’s easy to feel like you might not be safe anywhere. But the 2017 Global Peace Index actually reports that the world has become slightly more peaceful. So what does that mean for Latin America, and for your travel plans?

Three countries stand out as the safest countries in Latin America today, for various reasons. Here they are:

  1. Chile: Ranking at 24 in the overall listings, Chile remained at the top of the regional rankings in Latin America.
  2. Costa Rica: This nation continues to rank as the safest place in the region that includes Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
  3. Uruguay: Again coming in as one of the safest countries in Latin America, Uruguay ranked 35th globally.

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Safety in South America
Overall, South America’s score was a bit better compared with 2016 — so much that it’s surged ahead of Central America and the Caribbean and to land in fourth place out of the nine geographical areas. Societal Safety and Security were the areas in which South America improved the most. While Chile and Uruguay rank as the safest, Guyana and Argentina are actually the most improved countries in the index. Argentina’s new administration, led by Mauricio Macri, has had a positive influence as it takes a consensus-building approach when interacting with internal opponents.

Peru has also enjoyed improvement, according to the index, as President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s administration has helped to improve the nation’s performance on the Political Terror Scale and Political Instability rankings. Colombia is also improved, thanks to the ceasefire and progressing peace between the government and the FARC — and that’s also had a positive effect on neighboring Ecuador.

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It’s no surprise that Venezuela’s Political Instability ranking has worsened — and so has Brazil’s, since the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Safety in Central America and the Caribbean
Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean may have dropped one position as South America moved up, but Costa Rica kept its top position in the region (and an overall rank of 34). Seven of the 12 countries in the region improved — and Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba followed Costa Rica as the safest Spanish-speaking countries in the region (in spite of the fact that both Costa Rica and Nicaragua actually dropped a bit in score).

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And in case you were wondering, the United States ranked in the “medium” safe category, coming in at 114 — far behind Canada, which scored as one of the safest countries in the world, at number eight.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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