***Most of these reports are not recent. Less incidents occurred during covid and places may have changed.
This page was setup to identify places where cycle tourists are frequently assaulted; it is not meant for reporting petty crime. It should only include locations where a cycle tourist has been attacked or threatened (e.g. by gun, knife or physical violence) and the occasional special mention of areas notable for delinquency. To report an incident please let me know where (pin drop ideally), when and a brief summary of the event.
It was inspired by my being robbed at gunpoint in La Guajira desert, Colombia. It hardly needs to be said – if someone knew multiple incidents had occurred in that area, they could take a bus, speed through it, get accompanied by a local, not wild camp etc.
These incidents are rare and sparsely spread across the continent; the road is by far the greatest risk.
‘Enlarge map’ for the KML file
General observations and speculation:
- Areas for particular precaution: Northern Caribbean coast of Colombia and Northern coast of Peru.
- Assault in the mountains of South America seem far less common than the coast.
Logical (and perhaps rather obvious) precautions one can take in known hotspots:
– Avoid camping, or if you must camp do it on someone’s land with their permission out of sight from the road
– Get off the road early (e.g. before 3.30pm)
– Get a police escort (assuming you can trust the police!)
– Ask locals for advice (an older Señora may be a safer bet than a young man with a motorbike), be vague about where you’re going.
– Don’t get out anything of value (phones, cameras etc).
– Don’t hang about, keep going; particularly in isolated areas.
– Any other ideas?… please comment below.