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Venezuela

A political celebration in Venezuela

Sven Creutzmann/Getty Images

Venezuela is home to beautiful beaches and rugged mountain terrain perfect for the willing adventurer. But the dangers of this South American country should inspire tourists to keep their heads on a swivel. The murder rate in the capital city of Caracas is said to be the highest in the world, and most of these murders go unsolved [source: Department of State].

The poor neighborhoods of Caracas rarely see police and are on the list of areas to avoid as a tourist. Pickpockets, armed robbers, hotel thieves, scammers, grifters and con men abound. Beware of fake police check points set by gangs of nefarious ne'er-do-wells and of the "express kidnappings" that are commonplace. Crime is even rampant at the airport, which itself is said to be rife with corruption. Things are so bad near the Venezuela-Colombia border that the country advises against traveling within 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) of it, and U.S. Embassy members are flatly prohibited from doing so.

Aside from all this, the food is great and the surfing is good -- just do so at your own risk.

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