I am such a sucker for a good travel Insta — "I want to go to there," is my first thought. (30 Rock anyone?) I don't think twice about whether I need a visa, or any shots, or if it's monsoon season. And I certainly don't think to check the Government of Canada's Travel Advisories site.
It is certainly surprising that the government of Canada would want to warn Canadians about going to some of these places. The reasons why are pretty shocking, too. And we've all seen a friend take a trip to the Bahamas, or Nicaragua, so to learn that there is violent crime, or political unrest, is kind of unsettling.
TL;DR Below are ten countries the government of Canada advises Canadians to avoid or otherwise practice extreme caution while visiting.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to "high levels of crime" as well as a high risk of "natural disasters." The crime is a result of ongoing drug trafficking in the area.
Due to the "presence of drug traffickers and criminal organizations," the government encourages Canadians to avoid all travel to certain provinces, the city Montañita, as well as anywhere within 20km of the border with Colombia in the province of Esmeraldas.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to "political and social tensions," as well as an ongoing "threat of terrorism throughout the country."
There is also a mention of the damage as a result of a recent earthquake that makes certain districts and cities unsafe. The province of Papua should also be avoided for non-essential travel due to the "regular occurrence of violent incidents."
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Sri Lanka due to the ongoing political unrest throughout the country. Even Canadians of Tamil descent have faced "difficulties, including arrest and detention," as the military maintains a stronghold in the country's northern and eastern areas.
There have also been reports of various crimes on tourists including spiked food and drinks, theft, and sometimes violent crime. Women should be alert and attentive, particularly if travelling alone.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to the the ongoing "elevated threat of terrorism" in the country.
Since the middle of November, unpredictable Yellow Vest protests have dominated some city streets. This can impact transportation as well as cause potentially violent disruptions in public places.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to the "threat of terrorism." This alert is particularly important for anywhere within 30km of the Berm, the militarized boundary in the desert of Western Sahara, as well as anywhere between the Berm and neighbouring countries to the east of Morocco.
Early in December, two Scandinavian tourists were murdered in Morocco in what authorities deemed a terrorist act. As such, foreigners should practice caution, ensure their own security, and limit travel to remote areas.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to the high crime rates in many cities, including Freeport and Nassua, two major tourist destinations.
Violent crime rates are down, but "robberies, burglaries, purse snatchings, theft, fraud and sexual assaults," still occur on a regular basis, even in the daytime and in public and populated spaces.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution as there is a high rate of crime, violent assaults and potential for "political instability" in some regions. In the southeast, tensions "remain high," as cattle rustlers have been reportedly invovled in violent incidents.
Exploitation of foreigners is frequent and "widespread," in tourist areas. Be wary of frauds posing as "guides" on any beaches and keep alert at all times when travelling alone. Limit travel at night and also... be wary of sharks.
The government advises Canadians to exercise a high degree of caution due to "violent crime and demonstrations" — they also say to "avoid all travel" to Chamelecón, Choloma, and Cofradía due to high murder rates at the hand of street-level gangs.
Honduras has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and "drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and the presence of street gangs pose significant security concerns," according to travel.gc.ca.
The government advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel due to "civil unrest" occurring since protests began, which led to several violent incidents and subsequent fatalities.
There have been reports of violent crime in tourist areas, as well as gang-related violence outside Granada, one of Nicaragua's largest and most central cities.
Canadians should exercise a high degree of caution due to the "threat of terrorism" alongside a "high leve of crime."
Travel.gc.ca names two areas where there is a threat of "piracy and kidnapping," as well as terrorist attacks. Davao city, for example, is under marital law and several foreigners have been kidnapped here.
For the rest of the countries that the government has advisories for, check their site here.