As you may know, I’ve spent the last year living and traveling throughout different countries in South America! A year ago, I asked myself a million questions — Where’s the best city to live in as a digital nomad? Which cities should I visit? Most importantly, what’s the safest place to visit in South America?
I can now speak on this topic from my own personal experience. I have some statistics for you to back up my answer as I’m being as non-biased as possible. I hope you learn something new from this!
The safest country in South America:
If we look at official numbers, the 2019 Global Peace Index ranks Chile safer than the rest of the countries in South America (and also the rest of the Americas).
The Global peach index takes into consideration a country’s violence and it is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ peacefulness. For perspective, I’ll provide the ranks of well-known countries, from most peaceful to least:
Rank #1 – Iceland
Rank #20 – Norway
Rank #27 – Chile
Rank #33 – Costa Rica
Rank #75 – Argentina
Rank #60 – France
Rank #128 – United States of America
For a broader overview, this is a snapshot of the Global Peace Index in all of the Americas:
Have you learned something new from this?
Safety in South America:
- The only times we felt a sense of precariousness were at 3-6am, when we had to catch a red eye flight or after a late night out, when we found ourselves out in the wee hours of the morning.
- My boyfriend and I travel together, so yes, I’m typically in the company of a guy. However, many times we do different activities at separate times, so I’ve been alone and taken Ubers and used public transport by myself in all countries. My perception of each country is still the same whether in company or alone.
- Speaking Spanish helps, but we still “stand out” everywhere we go because of our accents. It’s a similar experience to an American visiting the UK. One word out of your mouth and they can tell you’re not a local.
- We typically stay in neighborhoods where you are likely to find foreigners. This means work friendly coffeeshops, expat meetups, etc. It’s the same neighborhoods I would recommend you to stay at if you’re traveling for the first time.
Let’s talk more about Chile:
We lived in Santiago, the capital of Chile for 3 months. The cost of living there was higher than in Bogota, Lima and Buenos Aires. We also found a significant number of expats living there from the US, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, you name it.
Chilean Spanish is quite fast and they use a lot of slang. It can be quite difficult to understand until you get a little bit more used to it!
From Santiago, you can visit the Pacific coast (Valparaiso), the desertic north (San Pedro de Atacama), and the Patagonian south (for example, Puerto Montt/Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas).
Chile has sooo much to offer as far as diverse landscapes and big city getaways. I’d say it’s an underrated country that might slip past your radar if you don’t know much about it!
I create custom travel itineraries in Chile (and to over 40 other countries!) using my personal experiences to help YOU travel and explore more!Learn more about my travel guru service and contact me to get started!
Highlights of our visit to Santiago, Chile:
Wine tasting at Concha y Toro + Cousino Macul vineyards —
Ski school in Farellones in mid-July (the seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere!) —
Thermal waters in the Andes mountains (it’s such an incredible feeling) —
I really hope that after reading this, you consider adding Chile to your bucket list!
Signed after returning to Bogota, Colombia (!),
Salma Travel Guru