What is the safest place in Central America to visit? I am thinking about vacationing there next year (2016) for a week or so but concerned about being safe for me and my 18 year old grand daughter.
Statistically, it is Nicaragua and I have to say I felt pretty safe there. But I found Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama pretty save too and didn't have any problems there. Can't say the same about Guatemala (depends where you go there), but I found northern province Petén and capital Guatemala City very sketchy places I have no intention to return to. On top of that my VISA got cloned there and someone had "fun" for a few days.
But just like every country you can't judge it as a whole. Even in countries considered to be dangerous and with high crime rate you have many pockets of beautiful and save spots you can enjoy.
Just use common sense, don't expect things to work as in the USA and don't be naive. And remember, the fact that you have money doesn't mean you own place or can do whatever you want or are used to back home. You are just visitor. Many people get into trouble because they ignore what I have just described or are trying to impose rules on locals because they think it's right.
I would definitely choose Nicaragua and/or Costa Rica. I have lived in both places (currently in Nicaragua) and have always felt safe. In both countries you do have to be mindful about petty theft and take precautions: not wearing expensive jewelry, not traveling with expensive gadgets on display, and just carrying a small amount of cash on a daily basis. But violent crime (especially against tourists) is extremely rare. I find the people to be incredibly friendly in both countries. Good luck!
My family and I recently traveled to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Absolutely beautiful. Both of these countries are safe and you should have no worries. Nosara, was absolutely fantastic for pacific side Costa Rica. Or the Island of Isla De Ometepe in Nicaragua. Contact "Nicasurfadventures.com" for information. They are a small local company and are extremely helpful! Some helpful tips....Learn basic Spanish, and use a backpack, no roller suitcases.
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