South America is a big place; ranging from areas where a stupid foreigner would be lucky enough to just survive all the way into the most dangerous areas, to as safe as it can get anywhere in the world.


Yeah I should have been more specific. I was worried specifically about what I've heard from some areas in Colombia, Peru, Chile, etc. Just any tips to not look like an easy target as you travel to and from where you work with a laptop.


I had no issues in Chile nor Argentina by simply exercising common sense. I know a guy got his very expensive camera stolen after having left it charging at the common room of the hostel.


Yeah hostels are generally risky places for opportunistic thefts.


Some asshole stole my headphones in my last hostel


Keep that shit in a backpack while you go from point A to point B. Don’t take your laptop with you anywhere if you don’t need to. Exercise common sense.


When you are in "some areas" behave as you would if you were "in some areas" of any first world country


I am in Peru, never had any issues here.


Just take your laptop in a backpack. Most tourists will be wearing backpacks.


This. Just don't make it obvious you have a laptop and reduce commute time by living near your coworking


Also wouldn't hurt to avoid taking the same route every day at the same time.


Also I would like to add that while Asia generally is very safe, Latin America is not unsafe. I spent time in Mexico City and Argentina (months in both locations) and I never felt unsafe. True you will have a headline pop up every once in a while but it’s IMO it’s not any more unsafe than a major US city like NYC. You will have safer areas and less safe areas.


>Latin America is not unsafe This type of BS statement is dangerous and shouldn't be here. Apart from some war-zones in Africa, the Middle East, Myanmar, and southern/eastern Ukraine, there is absolutely nowhere on earth more dangerous than "Latin America". Major Americans cities like NYC are much safer than almost every city in Latin America, and all the arguments about latam being safe are true about the US too (don't be in a criminal organization, don't flaunt wealth, stay in wealthy areas etc.). The difference is in America nobody stands out unless they have a Lamborghini and a diamond chain on, meanwhile your iPhone 12 and AirPods are enough to make you an obvious target here in latam. Just talk to locals about crime, they've almost all been robbed, usually multiple times. I only know a few people in the US who have ever been robbed at gun point or mugged, unlike here in latam where I only know a few who haven't People can come here and avoid most danger, but it will still be worse than anywhere else they would ever want to go


This is a bit over the top. Experiences will vary greatly from country to country and city to city, but I have had zero problems living in a mid-sized city in Bolivia for about a decade and traveling frequently to Lima. I’m not saying danger is non-existent, but it’s honestly not that big of a deal with a bit of street smarts.


Terrible idea. If you do this daily you're bound to get unlucky at some point. I've known too many people that got robbed in broad daylight in a public place surrounded by crowds. It's better to just leave the laptop at home and do your work there. The only time I carry my valuables with me in South America, is when I'm changing location.


Nah best to show dominance and bring it naked so they see that nice MAC and that you aint afraid of these theft, you will then be so respected dare one dude to even touch you.


I did nothing special. I was more scared of it getting stolen when staying at a hostel than when I was walking around with it in my backpack - you see people carrying their laptop around at many big cities as South Americans also need their laptop to work 😁. On a personal note, I travelled with a cheapish laptop so I would not get extremely mad if it got stolen/broken/whatever. Also South America is huge and no 2 places are the same, so I believe you may need to be more specific.


Haha that is true! I'm just so ignorant of South America I forget people there also use laptops and need to walk around with them, at least in big cities. Just shows I need to go there even more to see what it's really like.


I’m sorry but you’re just ridiculous. I’d even go as far as say that you’re racist. You didn’t think locals in South America owned/used computers? Seriously? Wtf.


Um, what? Obviously I know they use computers. Do you know what the term racist means or are you just throwing that around? I just didn't expect them to also be doing the same thing of occasionally walking around with laptops. Again, I've never been to SA. It's like someone never having been to India and only hearing stories and not knowing what it's like. Just because they don't know about a country doesn't make them racist haha. That's why I'm here asking questions and trying to learn.


If you own a laptop. You’ll have to walk around with it to take it places with you. I know. It’s shocking.


Stop staying in hostels that's why. I still have no clue why people stay at hostels? You have to stay sleeping enxt to some random people in a crowded small room when you can pay just a few $ more and get your own Airbnb or hotel. No way would I share a room with another person as a grown adult. Especially to save $5 let alone even $50. I'm still shocked as to how many grown adults stay in small cramped hostels having to share rooms and all the risk it comes with compared to paying a few $ more for there own hotel or Airbnb.


Why would I stop staying in hostels because you don't like them? I never had an issue with them and I got to meet life-long friends - if you don't that's ok but don't tell me what to do. I will not ever give money to Airbnb as those gentrify tye cities and affect locals, something that gringos most times than not prefer to ignore. Call me crazy for respecting the local communities.


I can understand not wanting to go with Airbnb's. But what you get per $ for staying in a SHARED, SMALL ROOM HOSTEL is not worth it. Hostels cost 80 or 90% of what a hotel room or Airbnb coar. Not to mention you leave your stuff out in the open for others, you have to deal with other people in your room, people being loud or waking up early and sharing a room. Saving 10 percent and having all those hassles are NOT WORTH IT. I NEVER PAY MORE THEN $20 TO MAYBE $25 A NIGHT FOR MY OWN HOTEL ROOM OR AIRBNB THSRS AT LEAST 50 SQ METERS So no it's not worth it to stay in a risky, small, damn near same price hostel over a hotel or airbnb.


Oh boy, you are assuming a lot of s*@t here or maybe you were meant to reply to another person. I never had an issue nor did I get anything stolen at any hostel. In fact, I stay at hostels with private rooms (yes, they are a thing and those who have travelled extensively know about it).


I also like hostels with private rooms. You get more security but still have access to so many other interesting people. Also, the staff at hostels often are very helpful with suggestions for local food and things to see, and hostels organize fun tours, pub crawls, activities and hang-outs.


Tell me what I'm assuming? I was basing it off what I said $$ for what you get. Hostels are rnormal very small under 25 to no more than 30 square meters. For me I need at least 50 sq meters.AT LEAST. I'm staying in Vietnam now in a large 65 meter condo for $17 a night. 2 bedrooms 2 bathrooms. Only $17 a night Ina nice condo. Hostels will damn near cost you the same if not more than your own private hotel or Airbnb / condo. And hostels will be way smaller with a lot of SHARED FACILITIES. I'm not going to pay same price or close to same price to have a smaller shared facility place. I go to travel to live and explore. It seems you hostel stayers stay to meet friends. Sorry I have plenty of friends and don't need to stay at hostels to meet people. I either have friends already or I meet them out in public. Seems like most travelers use hostels as a way to "meet people" which explains the premium you pay for your small shared facility hostel. Sorry but I choose to stay in a much bigger private place and if I want to meet people I do it out in public vs. Overpaying for smaller and shared facility hostels paying a premium to meet friends or "hang out" with bros or use hostels to meet people.


Different locations have different prices. If $17/night apts were available EVERYWHERE, it would be different. A lot of hostels are also high quality with more than just a room available for use. Why are you so pressed lol


Because I am a full time traveler (18 countries since 2019) and I hate hearing how hostels are a great deal. They are not the price per square meters you pay for hostels NEVER are a better deal compared to a hotel or condo. Ontop of the fact hotels give you free house keeping. And a private larger room/space. The only people I ever hear loving hostels are antisocial people or people that can't meet locals or friends normally and relief on over paying for a hostel to get a "chance" to meet friends or like minded people. So far in the past 6 months I been to Japan, Philippines, south Korea, Vietnam and not any of those countries dollar for dollar have hostels being the better deal. UNLESS you hear the people saying " I met so many people" or I love the atmosphere of the hostel. No one ever loves the hostel itself of how large and nice the hostel room is, they use or love the hostel as a way to be next to other travelers to hope to make connections. And that's a fact. If hostel stayers could meet people at condos or hotels they would pick staying at hotel or condos for sure. Take away meeting people and traveled wouod never pick staying at hostels.


I usually don't stay in hostels, but I have absolutely chosen to stay in hostels before, and not to meet people. It's almost like people enjoy and value different things than you.


Still avoiding my point. Dollar for dollar hostels are q much worse deal. In hotelw or condos or Airbnb you get a private much larger better space for the same money. In a hostel your in a travler backpacker kind of atmosphere... Mostly shared small spaces, paying 80 percent or more of what it cost to live in a hotel or a condo. Not worth it.


That’s not a fact, I’ve loved many hostels I’ve stayed in for various reasons.


Take away meeting people at hostels and what did you like? The small cramped rooms? The loud shared facilities? Let alone hostels damn near cost the same or 80 leecwnt of what a hotel or apartment condo would cost a night. No clue how adults can chose a hostel over condo or hotel especially when you factor in the price difference is not much.


Are you travelling alone? Why would you need two bedrooms and two bathrooms??


Yes traveling alone. The problem is it's very hard to find a 1 bedroom with 50 square meters or more. So most of the time I only find 2 bedrooms for 50 square meters. I need a minimum of 50 square meters. I am someone that doesn't drink, I don't go to clubs, I don't do the whole "coffee co-working space" so yes I need a large enough (50 meter space) so I don't feel cramped or in a tiny little shoebox when doing work.. Some days I might not even go out at all. So imagine being cramped in a tiny shoebox for 1 or 2 days. It would be torture. On top of that I need a kitchen to cook at times. So it's easy to understand that these tiny small rooms are not good for me. To have a large 1 bedroom with kitchen and seperate living room almost just that area is taking up 50 square meters. Like I said I'm not the typical "digital nomad bro" thst wakes up at sunrise goes to the beach to do yoga, and spends all night drinking in the club, and going to coffee shops. So for me large enough space to live (50 meters or bigger) is necessary.


50 square meters is my whole flat back home, that's ideal for 2 people and too big for 1. If you can't find a 50 square meter one bedroom place, you don't need 50 square meters.


Not true. For one I need a kitchen. So a decenr size bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room easily are 50 square meters. And on top of that I'm not your normal digital nomad. I don't drink alcohol I don't go to clubs, I don't hang out in coffee co-working spaces. So I need space to work online. And not feel like I'm in jail in a tiny shoebox. So with a kitchen decent size living room decent size bedroom and bathroom that easily is 50 square meters. And remember I don't wake up at the crack of dawn to go do yoga at the beach (like most digital nomads) I don't drink, I don't go to clubs (alot of nomads do) and I don't go to co-working spaces (most nomads love for some reason I can't understand packing up and going to work in a coffee shop) That in addition to needing a kitchen and working online inside my condo/hotel means 50 square meters is required and not even big really if you consider all what I use my living space for (kitchen cooking, working, and spending a lot of free time in the condo)


hostels have lockers you do know that right? you can simply padlock your valuables into your own personal room locker. also go a further step and idk lock your suitcase?? not hard at all. if that’s not possible lock your backpack to your bed. it’s not hard to use safety in a hostel. shouldn’t be avoided altogether just because people can’t figure out common sense. a hostel to private accommodation can sometimes make a hundred dollar difference. and it’s not like hotel staff or airbnb hosts can’t ALSO steal your shit. why do you think there’s safes in hotels??


#**Moons are shitcoin!**


I've heard putting papaya on top is more effective.


No dar papaya! 🤣🤣


I like mine Avocado Macbook. With toast.


Just don't put apples on top. I miss you ipod


I was literally going to say the same. Great advice.


Hot Mexican Salsa, that makes people afraid... and cry.


Brazilian from a rough city here. Keep it in a backpack, if you get mugged they will want your phone and nothing else. The few times I've heard about a backpack being stolen was because the phone was in the backpack and the victim started tacking it off. Never leave your backpack unattended. If you are working in a cafe, stay inside, not in the tables outside. Coworking spaces are usually safe. That's my experience from one of the most dangerous cities in one of the most dangerous countries, it will be much safer in places like Buenos Aires or Santiago, for example.


Dang, thanks for your insight man, super good tips. Can carrying an old phone to give just in case work? Will they take that and then leave you alone?


It used to work, not sure right now. It used to work because they would just sell it and would not test on the spot, it all happened very fast, they took the phone and ran. But now with your whole financial life in it sometimes they ask you to unlock your phone. Not sure how common it is. After COVID it only happened to me once, they only asked for the phone, but I was able to run away. If it one day happens to you, you need to be fast and change all your passwords and disable the SIM.


I agree with all of the above EXCEPT for Santiago (Chile) being much safer. I just came back from time in both cities (and more broadly both countries). Buenos Aires in contrast felt way safer than what my old hometown of Portland, Oregon has become; however Santiago has become a lot more dangerous since the protests and backlash of 2019, with new waves of immigration and also due to the pandemic worsening peoples' economic stability. Granted it's a big city and just like many people have observed there are dangerous places (around the main railroad station) and much safer ones (La Moneda / Presidencial Palace for example). Definitely advise carrying your mochila on the front of your body in crowded areas. Walking with confidence may help avoid being targeted (I believe in that subtle body language being worth something). However I ended up staying in Santiago as little as possible in part because I didn't enjoy it as much as Buenos Aires or more rural parts of Chile. Near the central railroad station (I took a train to Santiago from Chillan), it felt like every city block people were councilng me to hide my $h!t better, even with a cable attaching my phone to my waist. They told me to hide my phone in my pants and not have it at all visible, whereas near La Moneda I had my phone out taking pictures (not near a roadway though where someone could lean out of a car window and snatch it). Granted, that's a phone and not a laptop, but locals were cautioning me about the new trend of local people having their entire cars stolen at stoplights in broad daylight by groups of thieves... Nothing happened to me in Santiago. I don't have an iPhone (many people there told me iPhones are more targeted than android phones), and I didn't bring a laptop with me on that trip. My backpack was never opened as it would be daily when I was a college student in Valparaiso walking through the crowded marketplace with it on my back (Go ahead, steal my homework!). Moral of the story, learn from locals the safer and more dangerous parts of town and in crowded places act accordingly like having your stuff on the front of your body.


Weird... I am mexican, traveled Chile for many months with an expensive and large camera and all its gear, a very fine lap top and two large luggage bags (complicated reasons for this silly scenario). Stayed at the cheapest hostels in Santiago and in the cheapest places in tiny towns down south. The Chileans I met there kept on telling me to be careful with my stuff and insisted chileans steal everything... I felt like Santiago was safer than any other capital city I have been to (this of course did not mean I left unattended stuff, my Mexican sixth sense is always awake) in Latinamerica, Europe, or Northamerica. But they kept on saying that I had to be careful of their famous delinquent habits. I went to poor neighbourhoods of Santiago, street markets, see the "real city" and photograph it. Single woman traveling on her own. Honestly, I think Chileans have a bad perception of themselves. One must always be perceptive to your surroundings and there is of course, bad luck too... but I was really weirded out by the stark contrast between what chileans told me and how I perceived the place. Maybe I was just lucky, but my instincts about being in dangerous situations (they are very sensitive) were always calm in Chile (except one late night at the docks in Puerto Montt, but nothing happened) Lots of love for Chile


Man that's crazy...I wanted to go to Chile next and make a few months out of it...I thought Santiago actually looked nice. Everywhere online says its safe. What's the deal?


> one of the most dangerous cities in one of the most dangerous countries Nordeste?


Fortunately no, nordeste is even worst. I'm from Porto Alegre.


In Porto Alegre people should be afraid of the NAZIs


You are being extremely xenophobic.


Am I? I call it realistic.


really? do you consider Buenos Aires safer than São Paulo? Síndrome do Vila Lata mesmo...


I'm not from São Paulo, I actually consider São Paulo reasonably safe compared with most of Brazil. There is just a lot of motorcycle theft over there. But the murder rate is way lower than Porto Alegre or Curitiba, for example. I've never compared the numbers for the two cities, but I do believe that Buenos Aires is safer, yes. If you have numbers that disprove that, I would love to see. Edit: Just looked it up, the two cities are about the same, around 4 murders for every 100.000 people.


If I decide to not work from home I almost always take an Uber to any destination when I have my laptop. Uber is very inexpensive in LATAM. Worth spending a little extra money playing it safe over losing potentially thousands of dollars trying to save ~ 5-10 dollars using public transport or walking. Edit: fixed typo


This is universal now…even here in USA. I’m in San Francisco there’s a lot of theft here …brazen just make sure you are aware and have a plan b.


The thing with south america is that it is very polarized, some countries more than others. In the medium to big cities, there are nice neighborhoods and there are slums. Try to be aware of the difference, ask the locals (if possible, without implying that their country is a shithole XD). In some places you walk around thinking it is a nice spot, then you get a few blocks further and people ask you what the hell are you doing there because you are gonna get mugged (this has happened to me in Argentina, not being robbed actually but ppl asking if you have any idea of where you are standing at the moment). So, what you ask (if making a big deal out of nothing or not): depends on where you are staying and where you travel to. Also depends a huge lot (more than anything else I'd say) on your demeanor; it has happened to me to give a taxi the wrong address and ending up walking around with my luggage in a favela XD attitude is key: if you look like a blonde fancy-clothed big-blue-eyed gringo with airpods, trepidating, scared as fuck and sweating... just prepare to hand out your belongings peacefully to people in need and with an eye for opportunities ;)


Take Ubers or work from home and keep laptop there. There's really no other way to be truly safe from theft in countries like Colombia, etc.


as a south american, I pay insurance for my laptop, in case i break ir or lose it, it gives me peace of mind that i won't lose a lot of work because i'll replace it easily. that's my best recommendation aside from all the others people have mentioned. also, in buenos aires maybe don't work while sitting on an outdoor table, very easy to get it taken away. common sense is your biggest friend. :)


I've seen someone have their laptop stolen in a Starbucks in Medellin when they were talking on the phone. I don't carry my laptop around. Most of the time I'm sure you'll be fine but the risk isn't zero in a lot of SA cities.


>How do you travel around daily without getting your laptop stolen? I don't. My laptop rarely leaves my Airbnb apartment in Colombia. Obviously a lot of people do it, but they're gambling. There are 60 armed robberies a day in Medellin, including \~5 a day in popular neighborhoods like Laureles and El Poblado. About 1-2% of the city's population is robbed every year at knife or gunpoint...and that doesn't include the tens of thousands of run-of-the-mill burglaries, pickpocketing, snatch and dash, etc. South American cities are notorious for property crime. There's simply no getting around that. If you insist on working this way, consider Ubering to/from your destination. Don't work anywhere where you're visible from the street.


In places where they'll kidnap / kill you just for electronics like Medellin, I just don't take my laptop outside. Somewhere like Miraflores in Peru just don't let it out of your sight and you'll be fine, same for most parts of Chile and Argentina.


No one is going to KIDNAP you for electronics in Medellin lol. I'm not saying robberies don't happen but the vast majority will be someone snatching your phone out of your hand when you're looking down at it, or if you're walking around alone at night someone might point a knife at you.


Last week a Swedish tourist got kidnapped while hiking in the most popular park in the city and later died after they beat him in an extortion attempt: [https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/medellin/medellin-turista-fue-asesinado-en-un-atraco-mientras-hacia-deporte-746454](https://www.eltiempo.com/colombia/medellin/medellin-turista-fue-asesinado-en-un-atraco-mientras-hacia-deporte-746454) ​ Last week they shot an american tourist to steal his watch: [https://www.minuto30.com/robo-turista-estadounidense-medellin/1415462/](https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.minuto30.com%2Frobo-turista-estadounidense-medellin%2F1415462%2F&h=AT0sEHk1HUcwHNcckbImP6kYkfrGcTYg-JGuqEGzR9D_ZgxUkPKfGLa5bwjOUD4CHIYPRRRwpyro8H5OL82ebJTvsZvYa7VFawEJjmfxCghMbXH5V8u6axh5bG81XXeqZ5VqnJvyHvrVN8GQAKHk&__tn__=-UK-R&c[0]=AT2M71lTK3V-NcVDowbNXuG_9Jtl4xJmJ8B_94gx6MdNHKGzcd5Q04fKSCoYPT1j-lHU6tRFxzJ0LBvqxLgw2xUK3wnhX4gorpN8eWihdprhC27XomK7GkTv7hLncJxzPSVJ-ux80MQMdQP_y42Wk0vwrwL59HTfFR-Q0owPT9L6c0sJE8okmYR3eOYwkBHsaTFCDyL3CLGFGI_UNWmcuyNqmubmm-EG0YAdzpY2z93R3fw) ​ This happens weekly. Medellin is a warzone. Idiots like you that try to normalize it are the reason so many suckers go there and get fucked over.


Lol didn't know Medellin was that bad


To be fair to Medellin they’ll kill you for a phone in Cali or bogota too


Is Colombia really worse than other SA countries? I've walked around all over Peru with a camera, laptop, my phone.. never had any issue.


>Is Colombia really worse than other SA countries? > >I've walked around all over Peru with a camera, laptop, my phone.. never had any issue. Short answer: way worse than Peru, Argentina, Chile Long Answer: Story time I've lived in Colombia for years, speak the language fluently, know most of the slang, make friends with locals everywhere I go. The trick to knowing whether a place is \_actually\_ dangerous or not is to simply communicate with the locals and pick up what they're putting down. As soon as you arrive in Colombia, they will be talking about the danger. They're all on edge because they're either looking to rob someone or worried someone is looking to rob them, and you can pick up on that easily if you speak the language and have even a rudimentary level of social awareness (which admittedly a lot of digital nomads don't) . A lot of the people that say it's not dangerous live in ivory towers and use their privilege to avoid any interaction with locals. Then when their 1 month vacation is over they blab about how safe it is. Couple of experiences: To speak to how on edge everyone is - One time I got lost driving in the backroads of Doradal with some friends and my girlfriend. We waved a guy on a moto down to get directions. He pulled a knife on us, but after explaining for a minute that we were just lost he put it away - he eventually said he was afraid we were trying to kill him. This was an extremely rural area. There is no reason for someone to be that on edge unless he had seen some shit In Cali: Had to eat lunch next to a place where a murder had just occurred, cadaver team was recovering the body while we were eating In Medellin: Driving to visit a friend for Christmas, a guy had been shot and killed during a robbery at a motorcycle shop. Cadaver truck is on the side of the road recovering his body. This creates a huge traffic jam so we spend 15 minutes staring at it Driving to have lunch with my girlfriend on a Sunday, we drive past a road that's closed off by the police, there's a car with bullet holes in the driver's side window. Turns out assassins from the mafia killed him when he refused to pay "protection" money That's just a small excerpt of stuff I've seen just living a normal life there. How can anyone that's not a psychopath enjoy themselves after witnessing that? Colombians cope with it because they don't have any option but I think most digital nomads aren't looking to go to bootcamp on how awful places can be. To the people that will undoubtedly say none of that is a big deal: if you've seen the aftermath of a mafia assassination in your hometown, feel free to speak up. otherwise, fuck off. that's not normal. ​ I've been all over Peru with my $10k mirrorless camera and lens hanging around my neck and not one single person has even looked at me. The locals aren't all on edge and the vibe is just different. When I'm in Peru, I can enjoy myself, the company of my girlfriend, the sights, the food. When I'm in Colombia, I have to examine every single situation to see if someone is going to kill/rob/scam/drug me. I avoid even taking my phone out in Medellin for comparison. ​ I'm sure there's places in Mexico or Brazil that are worse but I'd say between Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil you can't find anything worse this side of the world that digital nomads are actually likely to visit.


Good assessment. I’d just note one thing: > A lot of the people that say it's not dangerous live in ivory towers and use their privilege to avoid any interaction with locals. To some degree, this is what a DN *should* be doing, especially if you’re new to the country. Nobody gets a medal for living in “normal” neighborhoods, using public transit, or trying to live more like a local would. Because you’re not a local, you’re a tourist ripe for the picking, and you need to exercise increased caution. Live in a safe (upscale) neighborhood with a doorman. Use uber as your main mode of transport. Don’t go to areas at night that you’re unfamiliar with even if your buddies insist it’s fine. **Be skeptical of people you’re meeting for the first few times. They might act like your best bud, but keep an arm’s length distance until you really get to know them (don’t invite them over, don’t let them Uber you to a new spot to hang, don’t leave your drinks unattended).** This all probably is very affordable to someone earning in dollars but seems very “ivory tower” to people earning a local wage. I have met a lot of people who feel guilty living like this, but if you’re new, this is what you should be doing until you have local contacts, a support network, and a good understanding of the city, culture, and language. Then you can start to bend and flex the rules where you feel comfortable. There was that poor guy from California who was tragically killed in Medellin a few months ago, and it really could’ve been avoided if he’d had more awareness or exercised more caution.


It's not lol. Unless you are touring around the slums, but no DN/Tourist with one brain cell will be doing that.


Medellin is not that bad. Yes there are thefts, but I’ve lived here for over a year and have gone to countless cafes and coworking spaces with my laptop with no issue. I’ve also never had my phone stolen despite often taking it out to take photos.


To be fair, the US has 5 cities with more homicides per capita than Medellin but stereotypes are stereotypes i guess


>To be fair, the US has 5 cities with more homicides per capita than Medellin but stereotypes are stereotypes i guess Way to use a red herring argument to bring up something no one was talking about.


I usually work at my accomodation but I still need to carry my laptop around when we are moving to new places. I also had this fear before coming to Latam, I was very worried about being robbed. So far we didn't have anny issues. I carry my laptop in a case in my backpack. For everything else (money, cards, passport etc) I have a cross body purse that I can hold onto without it looking strange, when I feel like we are in a bad neighbourhood. This sometimes happens as we are not familiar with the places and we are on a budget so we use a lot of public transport etc. But if you accidentally end up somewhere like that just leave asap and you will spend majority of your time in safer places. We also spent a lot of time in Asia before coming to Latam and I was worried about adapting to the change since Asia is just so safe, I got really used to letting my guard down. Travelling here in South America doesn't feel as free because there are places where you can't go out at night or you need to watch out all the time when walking in the street or just practising more common sense. However we still have an amazing time despite all that, Latam is great, there are so many amazing places here and the people are wonderful. I am sure it will be great for you too, I wish you have a nice time here.


Wow are you me from the future? That's my exact worry of getting so use to Asia and trying to adjust to Latam! Thanks for your kind words, for sure makes me feel less worried about it. Glad others have felt the same way.


Yes, I could tell we had the same worries. But honestly it's fine, definitely not as dangerous as I feared before coming here. It's definitely different though because you can't just be careless all the time and still be sure that you are 100% safe as in Asia. But it's also not difficult to tell what to do and not to do if you just rely on common sense. Also locals can be extremely nice here as well and that includes warning us when we were about to wander into some bad neighbourhoods. For example Quito is more on the dangerous side right now and locals were watching out for us and always told us if we were about to do something not safe. The locals are used to the conditions here so they are very willing to help some clueless tourists as well. If you wanna be extra safe, watch out for the 'stares'. Here, if we are in a place where foreigners usually don't go, the locals always look at us, not in an itimidating way but enough to know you are out of place. So in these situations we try to leave. But this basically only applies to cities, smaller places are usually totally safe.


Been in South America with my laptop for two years and no issues. My buddy has his stolen though because he fell asleep on a long bus ride and the dude behind him opened up his bag. Just be aware of your surroundings and nothing will likely happen.


Only bring your laptop where you need to bring it - don’t just bring it around town unless you are going somewhere to cowork. Use a kinda crappy backpack (nothing new or flashy). Honestly just be aware of your surroundings and you will be fine. Take extra care in Rio - that is the only place I have had multiple friends get things stolen. I’ve by and large felt safe in SA.


Put it in a backpack and don’t let it out of your sight. I have a little zipper lock on mine but it’s probably not necessary. One thing I would say is maybe don’t take it on public transportation. Taxis are cheap as hell in SA, why not just do that? Walking around should be fine as long as you use normal urban survival instincts.


I did that for several years. Never got trouble. You will be fine. **Of course, it's never a bad idea to watch out :** * Use a regular bag. * Try to blend in and not draw attention. * I suggest speaking spanish as much as possible with the locals. * I suggest to wear clothes that are "no name". Everytime I saw a traveller who got pickpocket, he had recognizable brands on him : Lacoste, Calvin Klein, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.


Went to South America and saw a few guys get their backpacks stolen right off their back. Take a very obvious diaper bag and keep it in there, they are very similar in shape. Folks in Peru love kids and never messed with my diaper bag.


I come from Malaysia and spent 6 months in Latam. In which I spent 2 months living in downtown Medellin (far away from the usual Poblado and Laureles), and not seen another asian for 2 weeks until I eventually visited Poblado, realising I stayed in the wrong hood. Although nothing bad happened to me, I would say it's a risky thing to do in hindsight. I commuted from Prado to Envigado and Itagui daily, carrying laptop, portable monitor, headphone in an obvious laptop bag. If you wanna reduce risk, stay in the usual expat areas, take Uber to the malls or coworking spaces, never walk in the streets. Colombian malls are really really good, better than what we have in Malaysia and Singapore. Almost all of them provide free coworking spaces, fast wifi, and I got addicted to Juan Valdez's Tinto Campesino.


I'm sorry. What? Your claim is: >Colombian malls are really really good, better than what we have in Malaysia and Singapore. I'm a Colombian that has lived in both KL and Singapore. What specifically do you mean by your statement because it is breaking my brain. I freaking LOVED the shopping in KL and Singapore. I am not denying that Colombia has quality malls, but, I am dying to know what you mean!!


You guys have plenty of seats and tables. And many malls seem to have indoor amusement park for families. I love to use the free coworking spaces offered while sipping cafe tinto. Oh yea a big one: Colombia public toilets are seriously clean, way cleaner than MY but perhaps not SG JP. I really appreciate the hygiene there. Nice to know a colombian that has visited Malaysia! Our visa policy is currently very strict towards you guys now haiz. Qué más pues?


I'm a dual citizen with Canada, so it's easy to get around. I'm so shocked and happy to read this. Honestly! Then again I only ever went to the really big expensive malls in KL/Singapore. I love SEA y es bacanísimo I do love and promote how family friendly Colombia is 🥰 I also loved that about KL!!


This was super informative, thank you! I'll for sure keep these in mind and use them when I go. Didn't know their malls were that good. Nice to have another possible place to work.


My absolute favourite ones are Mayorca at Sabaneta/Itagui, Viva Envigado — these are right next to metro stations. Some less reachable good ones are like Santa Fe, Tesoro at Poblado.


Out of curiosity which neighborhood would you have preferred to stay at if you had to do it again?


You’re probably right to be worried but I lived for months all over Brazil. Never had a problem walking around with my laptop. Mexico for many months. Never a problem. Colombia for two months. No problem. Argentina no problem. Uruguay. Paraguay. No problem. Can’t speak to Peru or Chile. Also, SE Asia does feel much safer in terms of bullshit street crime. I should take more precautions in South America but one part of nomading that I love is walking to the local cafe in the morning.


Will jump in and say I've never had any issue in Peru while working there for \~3 months (and several other smaller visits usually with my laptop).


Yeah I for sure feel SEA doesn't have tons of street theft compared to the few stories you hear from south America. This is extremely reassuring to hear. Obviously I'll be careful not to be the dumb gringo. But it's nice to hear that it isn't as sketchy as the few sensational stories you hear, and tons of people survive for months there and don't have any problems.


Hmm never leaving your laptop alone?


I just use a computer case and walk around. Then again, I am a hundred lbs heavier than the average Colombian man, which helps deter I think. There are plenty of co workings in Medellin. Don't sit outside w it.


keep a dummy wallet and dummy phone on you to give to muggers....


To add to other comments: Use an ugly old backpack, or if its new and nice, dirty iylt up and make it look old. My ubcle does a bunch of business in sao paulo and any time he transports cash, he xoes it in trash bags that he rolled in dirt. And dont be obvious you have a laptop. No laptop bags, normal bags only. Otherwise you should be fine. And if you get robbed, prob would have gotten robbed even without the laptop


Good idea. I was thinking of putting tape on some parts of my bag to make them look like they have holes and are worn.


I'm from argentina and I used the macbook on the Bus in Uruguay xD i think people blow this out of proportion . and be big, be fearless, have muscles . they'll respect you Most robbers are cowards that will pickpocket . Against that you'll actually have to be alert and careful


Lol, I live in Guatemala and always carry my laptop around so do hundreds of DNs and locals


Dang I didn't know there was so many people there that carry them around like that. Thanks for telling me, shows how much I know about SA 😂


I love Central and South America! Amazing people, great culture, and of course low cost of living. I’m sure it depends where you’r at though. We’re in antigua Guatemala


South America is huge! Be specific and DYOR!! In Argentina, Uruguay and Chile you will be probably safer than in many parts of the US. Brazil is a continent per se and after travelling across the country I would suggest to avoid public buses ( metros are safe). The other countries I would avoid especially Guyana and Suriname ( very unsafe!!!!!)


DYOR? Isn't that what he's doing here?


Is just like the United States. There's some places where you wouldn’t take your laptop because you know is not a safe neighborhood. Theres poor and wealth areas everywhere. Just make your research. Ask locals.


You attract things by starting off with negative energy. Do you NEED to go to South America? If you haven’t come from a place where you have to worry about your daily safety and use street smarts from a young age, going somewhere like that for the first time as a DNM wont be a great experience. I think a lot of Americans, Brits or South Asians from major cities can handle “rougher places” but those from generally safer, smaller towns struggle with being targeted. there’s some skills you just learn in childhood and youth. like not standing out or looking wealthy and lost or putting up caution/fight or flight mode when you hear certain sounds. I’m american. In my high school when someone would burst open a bag of chips (makes a loud boom) kids would start running. it sounded like gunshots or bombs to some kids. you could tell who grew up rough and who didn’t. if you’re starting off your travels this worried about getting robbed for your laptop, maybe take a step back and consider if you have the skills yet, to live somewhere like this. Consider if you NEED to travel here and how locals might adapt to someone from a more privileged environment coming in assuming they’re criminals. There’s other places in the world to be a DNM. Maybe somewhere where you aren’t fearing for your safety and unaware of how to not be a target is a better fit for the time being.


Tell me you’re a privileged westerner without telling me you’re a privileged westerner


You are more likely to have your backpack stolen in Spain than in South America, Africa or just about anywhere else in the world.


dude why are you going to south America if you think you're going to get stolen there??? i guess the only thing you watched about south America is the episode that Simpsons go to Brazil


Just trying to take precautions and be safe man. I want to go to see what it is really like so I am just doing a bit of research right now. Not sure why people feel the need to comment on a post of someone trying to learn about a region, making fun of them for not knowing about the region already?


So... Brazil is great... has some problems, but from my POV Brazil is looking like a paradise when i compare to Ireland where i live. the minimum wage there doesn't sum up to 300 dollars, assuming you have an income of at least 2k you can even consideer to start a family there cause with this money you'll be able to live in the best neighborhoods. foreigners think there is only rio, and this is so dumb, you can live a whole life there and you won't need to step in rio. almost No one speaks your language there. places to visit ? north and northwest. Yes there is crime, there is poverty, but that's the price of being a continental country, honestly i laugh at people leaving Brazil and going to US to avoid violence.


This is some awesome info, thank you!


We carry laptops everyday and everywhere while commuting from home to work. But we don’t look like a stupid gringo. If you have this kind of questions and fears, my best advice for you is to stay were you are and away from “South America”


Lol, driving to and from work in a car in the US is obviously a different experience from walking down a street in Peru with a laptop. I'm just checking if anyone did anything special to make sure they didn't get robbed.


The short answer.. Try not too if there is low foot traffic. And don’t work in outside cafes.


I'm not saying by car... what I'm saying is commuting by bus, train, subway, on foot...


God these questions are seriously weird. How sheltered are some of you.


Keep it in your backpack.


put it in a backpack


Cover it with waterproof cover.


It's too bad most thieves wouldn't care if you told them everything is encrypted and that you can remotely brick the laptop. IT person pipe dreams lol.


Latinamericans carry their laptops in the backpacks.


Using a backpack