The Bolivia’s Most Dangerous City, Details and Precautions to Know

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When you are in Bolivia you are not going to find too many troubles around your safety. Most cities within the country are not as dangerous as in other ones, for example, in Brazil or Mexico. There are some places or cities where you need to be a lot more careful about your goods and your safety.

The most dangerous city in Bolivia is by far Santa Cruz, where there is another level of crime, in many parts of the city you can get stabbed or abducted and criminals don’t bother about really damaging you, despite this being killed there in daylight hours it’s very rare.

Here we are going to talk about the most dangerous city in Bolivia, and other places and cities quite dangerous if you wanna visit them. We’ll also take a look at the precautions you’ll need to take in these places in order to minimize the risks of facing threats to your safety and belongings.

Which one is the most dangerous city in Bolivia?

By far Santa Cruz is the most dangerous city in Bolivia, unlike other cities, for example, La Paz or Cochabamba, where you’ll find that criminals use many advanced strategies to treat your safety and get your goods.

While criminals in other places and cities of Bolivia will usually only try to grab your goods and maybe get your phone or money, in this city you’ll find many kinds of assaults from these bad people:

  • Armed robberies (even at daylight hours and in the center of the city, but these events are quite unusual).
  • Kidnappings, sometimes criminals run people abductions and ask for some payment to get them back (although this is quite rare to see).
  • Try to stab you, this happens a lot more often. Criminals who are drunk or drugged will have no hesitation in trying to stab people when they assault their victims.
  • Many but many grabbers, no matter where you are at day or night time, in commercial districts of the city countless robbers and grabbers will try to take your money, phone or pertinences.

The most dangerous parts of Santa Cruz 

The most dangerous parts of Santa Cruz are usually the most commercial areas where there are a lot of sellers selling something over the streets, in ant or open markets, and countless average to poor income people buying from them.

Also, most of the neighborhoods located in the old skills of the city are very dangerous to people from other countries, locals there are very hesitant to interact with foreigners and they are very suspicious all the time.

These are the most dangerous parts of Santa Cruz:

  • Any neighborhood beyond the city’s 5th ring (the old skirts of the city).
  • The east and south sides of the city (where most poor people live).
  • The Pirai River (this place is like a lier for these criminals)
  • All ant markets and open markets like the Abasto o 7 Calles, where countless, we mean countless burglars, are always looking for a victim.
  • The Plan 3000 neighborhood, which is very risky in both day and night hours of the day, no tourists go there, and many criminals of different types are located there. Avoid as much as possible.
  • Almost any place at night, but commercial places, the downtown of the city, and open or ant markets are very risky after 8:00 p.m. (the safest areas of the city are still safe during night days, we’ll talk about this later).

The historical city’s downtown has usually some risks, mainly because of many burglars trying to get your belongings, and drunk or drugged people with unexpected reactions, all of this during daylight hours. But at night this area becomes a lot more dangerous. Get a lot of precautions at night hours in the center of the city.

The safest areas of the city

On the other side, we also have very safe areas in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, where people with high incomes usually live and do their activities. You’ll find that there are also many hotels and Airbnbs available within these places and neighborhoods.

These neighborhoods and areas are mostly residential and not commercial, rich people and many foreigners live within these places or make their resting houses or vacation houses within them.

The safest places in Santa Cruz are:

  • Equipetrol and Las Palmas, many hotels, and Airbnbs are located within these neighborhoods they’re also pretty near to the center of the city).
  • Urubo, rich people live here also there are a lot of vacation and resting houses here, Airbnb is available, and quite safe to be in.
  • The northeast part of the city, this is where most wealthy people of Santa Cruz live. Neighborhoods here already clean call streets are quite safe and you won’t face serious threats, even at night, but they are not as safe as Equipetrol and Urubo.

In general, residential and not commercial places where high-income people live will be the safest ones in Santa Cruz city, you can find many three or more-star hotels and many Airbnbs within these places.

Other very unsafe places and cities within the country

Of course, Santa Cruz is, as a whole, quite more dangerous than other cities or places within Bolivia. But still, other places in the country are pretty dangerous as you will see next.

These places are usually the downtown areas of the main cities of Bolivia, also the most commercial parts of the cities, where street open markets are usually situated. During the night most urban areas of the country are quite dangerous.

Other very dangerous neighborhoods cities and areas of the country are:

  • El Alto city (pretty city as a whole, really risky during the night).
  • The 16 de Julio Fair (a really big open street market within El Alto city).
  • The aroma Av. in Cochabamba city, which is an open street market where countless burglars are seeking victims.
  • The Ceja in El Alto city, quite risky during the day, and really dangerous at night, is one of the most dangerous places within the country.
  • The Buenos Aires St. and nearby places in La Paz city, countless robbers and criminals are hidden within the crowd, a lot more dangerous at night.
  • Any semi-rural or rural area, people from other countries are not welcome there. Locals will see you with a lot of suspicion, criminals will instantly notice that you are not a local and will treat you in many ways.

Despite all of these, in most areas of the country, you are not going to be killed or seriously injured. These events are not as common in Bolivia as in other countries of South America.

Precautions to take to avoid these dangers

To avoid all of the reasons that are present in Santa Cruz city which we just mentioned before, you should take the following precautions:

  • Stay in a hotel or Airbnb located within one of the safest of places we mentioned before link. In some of these places, you’ll still be quite safe even at night hours.
  • Don’t go to the most dangerous places unless you have the proper tourist guide and you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s during the day or at night, just don’t go there. Anyway, almost no tourists are usually found going to these places.
  • Don’t go outside after 8:00 p.m. anywhere around the city, unless you are accompanied by a proper tourist guide, you know what you are doing.
  • Take a lot of care of your belongings when you are within highly commercial areas of the city, burglars and criminals will instantly notice that you are not a Bolivian or a local and will set you as a Target in these areas.
  • Don’t talk to strangers, don’t receive anything that they may give to you. You shall never forget this general precaution, burglars would try to distract you while another criminal is stealing from you, putting you to sleep, or even giving you drugs within their gifts.

Always follow the recommendations your tourist guide has given to you to stay safe within Bolivia and Santa Cruz city.


In this guide about which one is the most dangerous city in Bolivia, you have seen that this city is Santa Cruz De La Sierra, and it’s by far the most dangerous one. You know now that there is another level of risk within this city, but despite this, this city is not as dangerous as other ones within Brazil or Mexico.

You’ve realized that you should always avoid being further than the city’s 5th ring, the Pirai River, the Plan 3000 neighborhood, the east and south parts of the city, and be really careful with your belongings in open markets and street markets, like the Abasto or 7 Calles markets. You also should not be outside after 8:00 p.m. anywhere in the city.

You also learned that, to stay safe you should take some precautions like staying within the safest places in the city, which are Equipetrol Las Palmas and Urubo neighborhoods, also the northeast part of the city, and avoid as much as possible the most risk places and all the skills of the city, and don’t receive anything from strangers.

We hope this information has helped you, and if you want to know more about the most dangerous places of Bolivia across all its cities and territory, visit our dedicated note in the following direction: The most dangerous places of Bolivia, a complete walkthrough. Link, information about how to live, work, invest, and travel in Bolivia.

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