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6 Destinations That Are Incredibly Dangerous (And Why You Should Visit Them Anyway)

There are many reasons to scratch a destination off your bucket list (lack of culture, butt ugly locale, boring natives), but a perceived—and sometimes real—threat doesn’t have to be one of them. Here are some tourist destinations that might not currently be the safest places to be, but are still worth the trip.

This kind of goes without saying, but Afghanistan is not a safe place to be at the moment, especially if you’re an American. Between the war and the brutal beheadings of journalists even stepping foot into the country at this point in time is a major risk. But if you’ve got the gumption and simply can’t wait to see what this country has to offer, you probably won’t be disappointed. Afghanistan is home to some spectacular views and destinations including the archaeological remains of Buddhist art in Bamiyan Valley and the glacially-carved valleys of the Wakhan Corridor. It’s best not to risk the country alone at this time, but there are travel tours available for anyone adventurous enough to visit.

Mount Everest
Not every place on this list is dangerous due to the people that live there. Mount Everest is on nearly every adventurer’s bucket list but only a fraction of them have what it takes to make it to the top. Since the first recorded ascent of Everest around 250 people have died attempting the climb. Those who make it are met with some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. Of course, to see it you’ll need to compete against freezing temperatures, dangerous cliffs, overhanging icicles that fall if disturbed and the possibility of an avalanche around every corner.

With the arrival of Al Shabaab militants and terrorist organizations moving into the region, Kenya has become a hostile playground for would-be tourists. Tourists must be wary of theft, and women in particular should not travel the streets alone at night in Kenya. But the country is certainly not without its charms. Aside from the beauty of the area, tourists are safely able to partake in safaris and enjoy many of the amenities Nairobi has to offer. The Masai Mara National Preserve is the best place in the world to view Africa’s exotic wildlife species like lions, wildebeests, cheetahs and more. That alone is worth a visit.

Normally US Embassies in foreign countries are seen as the safest place for US citizens; unfortunately that’s not always the case in places like Lebanon where tourist attacks on the Embassy are frequent. US citizens are warned to avoid western-style locations and activities if visiting Lebanon—but who travels to another country to visit Western places, anyway? As long as you steer clear of the Syrian border and Tripoli there are many safe and wonderful things to see in Lebanon. The seaside town of Byblos is a Unesco World Heritage site home to artifacts reaching as far back as Neolithic times. You also want take a trip to Pidgeon Rocks in Beirut to view the arched rocks jutting out of the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Death Road, Bolivia
Bolivia’s North Yungus Road begins at 15,400 feet above the ground and attracts around 25,000 mountain bikers each year. The locals refer to it as “El Camino de la Muerte,” or Death Road, because 300 of those bikers fall to their deaths annually. Death Road is considered the most dangerous stretch of road in the world. It winds up through the Amazon rainforest with stretches of it only three meters wide, and no railing between motorists and a sheer drop off the side. But those willing to risk it are treated with striking views of the Andes Mountains through rolling hills covered in clouds and waterfalls. Just don’t let the views distract you too much, or they might be the last thing you ever see.

Rampant instability and corrupt government coups have turned this once-thriving tourist trap into a barren wasteland. Portions of the country, particularly the north, have become overrun by radical Islamists and many countries advise their citizens to avoid Mali over fears of kidnapping. But there’s still plenty of good reasons to travel out here. The 800-year old colorful spectacle that is the D’Jenne market is reason enough to travel to the country. The streets here are lined with vibrant stalls of merchandise being peddled by vendors in every color imagine able. It’s enough to make you go blind if you look too long. Timbuktu may be out of reach (for anyone not willing to risk life and limb) at the moment, but the nearby mud mosques are a view you need to see at least once in your life.

photos ©istockphoto


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