The world is a big place and there are countless countries and cities to explore. From the harbours of Monte Carlo to the deserts of Australia, the list of places to visit is endless.
Well, nearly endless.
Just as how there are beautiful places to visit around the world, there are places that are definitely not tourist-friendly. Countries such as Colombia, South Africa, and Mexico may be beautiful in theory, but they are also littered with dangerous drug cartels, mass violence, political turmoil, terrorist activities, and severe socio-economic issues. There are places in those countries that you should never visit unless you want to either prematurely end up at the pearly gates or be sold off somewhere.
To give you an idea on where not to visit, here are 15 of the most dangerous cities on Earth.
15. Cali, Colombia – Cartel Haven
Cali has had the unceremonious distinction of consistently being either the most dangerous city or second most dangerous city, depending on a good or bad year, in Colombia.
Due to the dominance of feared drug trafficking cartels such as the Cali Cartel, the Norte del Valle Cartel and the Los Rastrojo, and the presence of corrupt guerrilla groups such as FARC, crime is rampant throughout the city. Based on the most recent stats available, Cali registered a homicide rate of 83 people killed per 100,000 inhabitants.
14. San Salvador, El Salvador – Over 2,000 Murders in 2015
San Salvador is the capital city of El Salvador, a tiny country in Central America. With a population of only about 570,000, the city has a homicide rate of 45 people killed per 100,000 inhabitants. In fact, murders in El Salvador totalled nearly 2,200 in just the first half of 2015. That’s just frightening.
The source of this crime can be traced to the presence of powerful gangs such as the MS-13 and the Barrio 18, and the never-ending hostilities between them. Violence is like second nature in this city and many civilians are caught in the crossfire of these constant gang wars.
Just to top it all off, these gangs aren’t particularly well-organised compared to the Yakuza or Mafia, so most of their income comes from robberies and extortion. So not only will you be killed if you visit, but you’ll most definitely lose every cent on you before you hit the ground.
13. Karachi, Pakistan – Most Dangerous Metropolis
Karachi is the provincial capital of Sindh, Pakistan’s largest city, and the second most populous city in the world. It is also regarded as one of the most dangerous places to go should you ever decide to visit Pakistan.
Karachi is rife with political instability and hostile conflicts between foreign and indigenous terrorist groups. Alongside the pretty tourist spots and the beaches, you can also expect robberies, kidnappings, terrorism, assassinations, and murder on a daily basis. Per the most recent stats, Karachi had a homicide rate of 12.3 people per 100,000 inhabitants, although crime has decreased recently in 2015.
12. Detroit, USA – America’s Most Dangerous City
In 1987, Robocop depicted a futuristic Detroit as a bankrupted city that’s overrun by crime and a severe lack of law enforcement to maintain the peace. Aside from humanoid cyborgs and robots, the producers probably didn’t expect that their futuristic depiction of Detroit would turn out to be so eerily accurate.
Named America’s most dangerous city in 2013 and 2014 (despite a decrease in crime), Detroit is definitely not a place you want to visit. With a population of nearly 700,000, Detroit has a staggering violent crime rate of 2,072 per 100,000 inhabitants and a murder rate of 45 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. With 38.1 per cent of the population living below the poverty line, it’s easy (and sad) to see why Detroit has such a shady reputation.
11. Sana’a, Yemen – A Destabilized City
These days, you can’t watch the news without some mention of Yemen. That’s because Yemen, Sana’a specifically, is one of the most dangerous places to live in the world.
The political situation in Sana’a has been incredibly unstable ever since the destabilisation of the country’s government in 2012. This has led to a deterioration in living standards and a massive uptick in crime. Constant bombings, assassinations, and random acts of terrorism are mixed in with everyday robberies, murders, and other small petty crimes. Power outages are common, fresh water and supplies are hard to find, and life is slowly dying away in the city.