Whether you’re an occasional tourist or a vacation veteran, traveling the world is the only way to experience a place and culture firsthand. But while exploring foreign lands may sound like a dream, there are a number of places where you definitely don’t want to have your passport stamped.
Every vacation spot tends to have its not-so-nice areas, yet even the most seasoned travelers avoid these 17 destinations at all costs. Risk-taking is one thing, but anyone traveling to one of these exotic locales is truly taking their life into their own hands…
1. Antarctica: Even after surviving the hurricane force winds of the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic tundra can turn the smallest injury into a deadly one — especially with the nearest hospital being several days away. It’s for the best, there’s better swimming elsewhere!
2. Eritrea: This small African nation may be relatively safe, but it’ll likely be impossible for most tourists to enjoy their time here. Both the food and water in Eritrea is highly contaminated and has made hundreds of ill-prepared tourists sick over the years.
3. Volusia County, Florida: The Sunshine State may attract many American families and spring breakers alike year-round. However, this area near Daytona beach is also famous for something else entirely…
Being the shark attack capital of the world, of course! Between 2000 and 2015, Volusia County, Florida, has had about 176 shark attacks. Yikes!
4. Vietnam: Due to its troubled past, this area is unfortunately as dangerous as it is beautiful. Many spots still have unexploded mines and bombs from previous wars just sitting beneath the soil, waiting to erupt.
5. Maroon Bells, Colorado: If you’re an outdoorsman and plan on hiking the Rockies, better start elsewhere. Foreign adventurists are warned of the “downsloping, loose, rotten and unstable” rock that “kills without warning” here.
6. Chernobyl: Okay, so maybe a nuclear disaster area isn’t your first choice to vacation, but recently tourism has opened its gates at the Chernobyl site. Tours are now actually being run in zones with lower levels of radiation — but it’s radiation none the less!
7. Skellig Michael: This island off the coast of Ireland became a hot tourist attraction after being featured in the recent Star Wars films. Its 600 ancient steps on the side of a mountain have no safety features. There’s also no food, water, or shelter.
8. Egypt: This ancient country is known for its abundance of scammers and pickpockets. So unless you plan on spending the whole time with an eye on your wallet, it definitely isn’t the place for anyone looking for a hassle-free vacation.
9. Myanmar: In this country, any disrespect toward their strict Buddhist culture can have you arrested. Though it looks like a city full of gold, Myanmar is also home to thousands of disease-ridden stray animals that attack at first sight.
10. Australia: Sure, there are a lot of breathtaking views Australia holds in its grasp — the Great Barrier Reef alone attracts thousands of tourists every year. However, this continent makes the list because of something else in the water…
Stonefish. This genus of fish is mainly found in the coastal regions of Australia, and it also just so happens to be the most venomous sea creature on the planet!
11. Papua New Guinea: More specifically, the Kokoda and Black Cat trails. Nearly 60 miles long, this leech-infested area runs between the northern and southern coast of the hot, humid country. Thousands of visitors make the trek, but beware of the attacks made by people wielding machetes!
12. Canyonlands National Parks, Utah: This massive landscape may look gorgeous from afar, but get any closer and you’ll be in for an ugly surprise. The park has a section called The Maze, and though only 2,000 people visit per year, its confusing deserted paths are no place for a rookie tourist.
13. Ciudad Juárez: This Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, has quite a reputation. And no, it’s not for its unique photo opportunities.
This area is actually known for being the most violent city on Earth. The high levels of crime here stemmed primarily from warring drug cartels and the corruption of local police forces.
14. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: With geotourism on the rise, it’s hard to blame thrillseekers from wanting to experience the magic of lava exploding out of a mountain. But between 1992 and 2002, the park has had 20 fatalities and dozens of more injuries.
15. Algeria: Most western nations generally discourage travel to Algeria. The country is only recently recovering from years of internal conflict, and unsupervised travel can prove deadly.
16. India: Locals are known to drug tourists for their money and possessions here. Staying in the car isn’t much safer, as crowds are known to also assault drivers involved in accidents — regardless of whose fault it was.
17. North Korea: Not only is the security in the DPRK questionable due to their nuclear program, but any dissenting opinions of Kim Jong-Un or the current regime can land you in prison…or worse.
Broadening your travel horizons is great: just make sure none of these places are on your itinerary!
Share these dangerous tourist destinations with your friends below.