Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

The most incredibly dangerous places to visit — and why.


In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new breed of travelers. They’re known as the “anti-tourist”. Instead of going to beautiful places promoted for tourism, these free-spirits love to visit areas that are not only discouraged by travel advisories, but are also deemed “forbidden”. The more the media makes a fuss about the place, the more the trip becomes exciting. With no police assistance or ambulance to a local hospital, they want to encounter danger, up close and personal.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

The anti-tourists find thrill primarily from the difficult and dangerous experience, rather than from being in the new environment.

Remember that invincible feeling you had when you were a teenager? When you were excited to see the gritty and more dangerous places of the world? Well, for some people that feeling doesn’t dissipate, but grows stronger over time.

A travel psychology expert named Michael Brein identifies this behavior as “macho tourism”. When danger is being reported in a particular part of the world, the anti-tourists then desire to visit that place in order to A) prove that they’re tougher than the rest of us, and/or B) get an adrenaline rush and feel more alive. Remember the time of your childhood when your mother told you not to go to a seemingly creepy place, but you went anyway? And then you came home safe and said “Look Mom, I made it”? The anti-tourists are said to be relieving that early feeling of triumph.

No big surprise, but Instagram and Facebook may have contributed to this anti-tourism behavior. When people are able to travel to the baddest badlands around the world without being harmed, they are most likely to brag about it on their social networking sites, which encourages their ‘friends’ and followers to attempt similar feats for bragging rights.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

When visiting the forbidden, the anti-tourists risk being kidnapped for ransom or held captive by terrorists; they often get caught in wars and strife arising in unstable territories, get lost and killed in deadly terrains, encounter wild and deadly animals, get robbed and or murdered by opportunistic local serial thieves and killers, or become infected with exotic diseases. Sounds fun, right? (jk!) But for as long as the craving for excitement exists, the anti-tourists will continue to ignore cautionary travel alerts, and will take critical travel advisories as a “go” signal.

There are also anti-tourists who risk their lives for a “personal mission”. Maria Rychlicki, a municipal government worker in Los Angeles, spent time in Lebanon, Egypt, Israel and Columbia when these countries were on State Department alert lists. She knows she has been picking trips that are on advisory lists, but she sees this as an opportunity to represent America.
“Visiting countries on the advisory list means I am not spending money to meet other American tourists. I have often felt I am a good ambassador of the American people. I have been, at times, the first American that people (in a foreign land) have met,” she claims.

We’re not encouraging people to travel to the “forbidden” and risk being kidnapped or killed, but if you are one of the few travelers who love to go to places that other people are afraid of, then these dangerous areas are ideal for you. Enter at your own risk.

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Avatar of Angela Davis

Originally from Denver and now living in NYC, Angie has been writing since she was small. She lives in the Flatiron district with her partner Tanya and their mutt Sparky (always adopt!) In her spare time she loves to paint (mostly abstract) and talk to random people on the street to find out what's interesting to them.

    Reader Discussion: 114 Comments

    1. Avatar of VIPIN SAINI

      What an amazing article. In love with all these beautiful photographs. Many of these places are on my travel bucket list for a very long time. Gonna start ticking them off this year. Thanks for sharing this. Looking forward to reading more of these awesome travel blogs 🙂

    2. Avatar of Joanne Moran

      Joanne Moran

      I don’t want to get kidnapped or anything like that and then get sold to white slavery mafias!!! Remember the movie Taken?!

    3. Avatar of Dawn Gonzales

      Dawn Gonzales

      I bet most people who are saying that those countries are truly dangerous and shouldn’t be visited are yet to visit those places themselves.

    4. Avatar of Isadora Oliver

      Learning about those unsafe places will put off the myths that surround them, and it gives a chance to humanize the people there again.

    5. Avatar of Violet Bell

      Violet Bell

      Advanced knowledge of survival skills is what one needs in able to outlast any difficult situation one may encounter in those unsafe places.

    6. Avatar of Cindy Buford

      Cindy Buford

      West Bank and Gaza strip is Israel are areas that can be considered dangerous because of the tension on the borders with Israeli government forces.

    7. Avatar of Alexis Stevenson

      Alexis Stevenson

      What are these youngsters trying to achieve anyway? Are they trying to make a mark in this world or just trying to be famous on social media? If by any chance you die, I bet none of your followers actually care.?

    8. Avatar of Bernice Perry

      Bernice Perry

      Never travel alone as a woman. Not because we can’t do it, but because we are more likely to be targeted than most men. But whether we are a man or a woman, it is always practical not to travel alone in a risky place.

      • Avatar of Peggy Ortiz

        Peggy Ortiz

        It’s always good to travel in pair or groups because when a problem arises, there are more chances that someone can find help.

    9. Avatar of Angelica Prouty

      Angelica Prouty

      Anti-tourists must be street smart. One should never wear a Rolex and carry a big camera hanging around the neck. Observe how people act, their gestures and body languages to know how to respond accordingly.

    10. Avatar of Penny Ryan

      Penny Ryan

      Going to precarious places is no fun at all. Imagine having to watch over your shoulder in every minute? How can you appreciate the time you are spending on that place?

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