The 29 riskiest countries for Americans to travel to

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  • The US State Department's public travel advisories outline the potential dangers Americans face traveling abroad.
  • The agency uses four levels of travel guidance to inform potential visitors whether the country poses danger, or in some cases, is completely off-limits.
  • These 29 countries are designated "reconsider travel" or "do not travel."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US State Department's public travel advisories let Americans know what countries are safe to travel to and which ones they should be wary of visiting.

The agency uses four levels of travel guidance to let Americans know what to expect in each country:

Level 1 - Exercise normal precautions

Level 2 - Exercise increased caution

Level 3 - Reconsider travel

Level 4 - Do not travel

Twenty-nine countries around the world are designated "reconsider travel" or "do not travel," mostly because of ongoing armed conflicts. These are the nations we've outlined here.

Here are most dangerous countries in the world, ranked from least to most risky based on the State Department's designation levels.

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Burundi - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Burundi - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of armed conflict and violent crime, including grenade attacks and armed robbery, which are common in Burundi amid fiery political tensions.

US authorities have limited abilities to deliver emergency assistance to travelers, even in the case of police raids and violent clashes at the border.

Honduras - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Honduras - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of violent crime, such as homicide and armed robbery, that runs rampant amid high-level criminal activity, including gang activity, rape, narcotics, and human trafficking.

The Gracias a Dios region is marked as especially dangerous for visitors, as it's "an isolated area with high levels of criminal activity and drug trafficking," where US government agents aren't able to deliver reliable emergency services.

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are the three Northern Triangle countries where the majority of migrants are fleeing to come to the US via Mexico.

Mauritania - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Mauritania - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism and violent crime, including mugging, armed robbery, and assault.

El Salvador - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

El Salvador - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery in addition to widespread gang activity that includes extortion, violent street crime, narcotics, and arms trafficking.

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are the three Northern Triangle countries where the majority of migrants are fleeing to come to the US via Mexico.

Chad - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Chad - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, unmapped minefields along the borders with Libya and Sudan, and violent crime, including armed robbery, carjacking, and muggings.

Nicaragua - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Nicaragua - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The US State Department warns of civil unrest, crime, limited healthcare availability, and arbitrary enforcement of laws, and it says violent crime, including sexual assault and armed robbery, is common.

People pretending to be police known as parapolice are also dangerous, the agency warns, and road blocks may prevent food or fuel from reaching some areas.

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of civil protests descending into violence and violent crime including armed robbery, armed home invasion, and assault sometimes committed by people posing as police or security agents.

The warning specifies threats of crime, Ebola, and kidnapping in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the northeast and armed conflict in the east of the country.

Lebanon - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Lebanon - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

The agency does not recommend traveling to the borders with Syria or Israel due to terrorism and armed conflict, or to refugee settlements due to the potential for armed conflict.

Niger - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Niger - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, kidnapping, and violent crime including armed robbery.

The advisory warns of heightened terrorist activity in the areas bordering Mali, Libya, Burkina Faso, and throughout northern Niger. The US government has limited abilities to provide emergency services to travelers as they are restricted to the country's capital and required to maintain thorough security escorts.

Nigeria - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Nigeria - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and piracy breaking out in rural and urban areas.

US government authorities have limited access to provide emergency services to US citizens who may experience violence, according to the advisory.

Pakistan - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Pakistan - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism as attacks on major hubs across the country continue.

"Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and KPK, including the former FATA," the advisory says. "Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties."

The US government has a limited ability to provide emergency service to traveling citizens and the US Consulate General in Peshawar is unable to provide any consular services, according to the advisory.

Turkey - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Turkey - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism and arbitrary detentions, which the US government has very limited ability to confront if an American citizen is affected.

The agency also warns travelers to avoid areas near the Syria and Iraq border "due to terrorism and kidnapping."

Guinea-Bissau - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Guinea-Bissau - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of civil unrest and violent crime, usually perpetrated by aggressive vendors, panhandlers, and criminals who target foreigners at popular spots in the country, including the airport and Bandim Market.

Furthermore, there is no US embassy in Guinea-Bissau.

Sri Lanka - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Sri Lanka - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism that targets busy areas across Sri Lanka.

In April 2019, the agency ordered all school-age family members of US government employees to leave the country, and allowed "the voluntary departure of non-emergency US government employees and family members."

Burkina Faso - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Burkina Faso - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The State Department warns of crime, kidnapping, and terrorism.

The advisory describes a military effort to cut down on widespread terrorism that resulted in declaring a state of emergency in several regions. The agency also warns travelers to avoid certain areas of Ouagadougou, the country's capital city.

Haiti - Level 4: Do not travel

Haiti - Level 4: Do not travel

The US State Department warns of crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping. In February 2019, the agency ordered all nonemergency US personnel and their families to return to the US.

Royal Caribbean operates a private cruise port called Labadee on the island, and the area is fenced in and under tight security.

North Korea - Level 4: Do Not Travel

North Korea - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of US nationals and says a US passport is not valid to travel to the country without special permission from the agency.

The advisory also describes how the complicated political relationship between the US and North Korea complicates travelers' safety:

"The US government is unable to provide emergency services to US citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea. Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency services. The North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained US citizens."

Afghanistan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Afghanistan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

The advisory cites the "critical levels of kidnappings, hostage taking, suicide bombings, widespread military combat operations, landmines, and terrorist and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne, magnetic, or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs), suicide vests, and grenades," as threats to visitors across the country.

US government employees are under strict travel guidelines and require additional security measures for their time in the country.

Central African Republic - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Central African Republic - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of common violent crimes including armed robbery, aggravated battery, and homicide.

The warning also references armed groups that control large areas and often kidnap civilians, and the US government has limited ability to assist US citizens in the country.

Iran - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Iran - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of kidnapping, arrest, detention of US citizens in Iran that the US government cannot confront with emergency services.

The advisory says:

"Iranian authorities continue to unjustly detain and imprison US citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including students, journalists, business travelers, and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Consular access to detained US citizens is often denied."

Libya - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Libya - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and crime.

Terrorist and militia groups are of particular concern for the threats they pose to travelers, including detaining them at random and without access to legal or embassy resources

The advisory says:

"Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur with little warning and have the potential to impact US citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sabha, and Dernah, have witnessed fighting among armed groups, as well as terrorist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."

Mali - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Mali - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, kidnapping, and violent crime that is especially prevalent in certain areas and targets popular nightclubs, hotels, and places of worship.

The US government has restricted abilities to deliver emergency services to affected visitors.

Somalia - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Somalia - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of crime, kidnapping, piracy, and terrorism that could affect areas frequented by visitors.

Violent crime including murder is common throughout the country, as are illegal roadblocks.

South Sudan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

South Sudan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of armed conflict, kidnapping, and violent crime including carjackings, shootings, ambushes, assaults, robberies, and kidnappings.

Conflicts among various political and ethnic groups have created widespread armed conflict an created a restrictive atmosphere for the abilities of foreign agents like journalists and US government officials, according to the report.

Syria - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Syria - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

The advisory says that "no part of Syria is safe from violence," including "kidnappings, the use of chemical warfare, shelling, and aerial bombardment."

The US Embassy in Damascus suspended its operations in February 2012, and the agency warns that US citizens and Westerners are a target for kidnapping.

Venezuela - Level 4: Do not travel

Venezuela - Level 4: Do not travel

The State Department warns of crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and the arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens. The agency ordered government employees and their families to leave the country in January 2019.

Read more: Water from sewer pipes, cooking with tiny candles, and a Happy Meal that costs a month's pay: Photos by ordinary Venezuelans show life under an economic meltdown

Yemen - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Yemen - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, and armed conflict across Yemen.

Terrorism and military activity have devastated the country's infrastructure, which is already struggling to deliver food, electricity, water, and adequate medical treatment to citizens amid the world's largest cholera outbreak.

The advisory notes that the US Embassy in Sana'a suspended its operations in February 2015.

Sudan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Sudan - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, armed conflict, and violent crime including kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking. In April 2019, the department ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees.

Iraq - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Iraq - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict that can be targeted particularly at Westerners and US citizens.

In May 2019, the agency ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees.

The advisory includes a warning against US citizens traveling to Iraq to engage in armed conflict, saying they would face kidnapping, injury, or death and consequences including arrest, fines, and expulsion.

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