of the safest countries...." - The BBC News
Thursday, 21 April, 2005
Wish you were here?
This week, a top insurance company charted the world's most
dangerous places to do business. Unsurprisingly, regions like
Iraq, India and Russia were shaded brown on the "risk map",
marking them as at severe risk from terrorism.
But while most countries were classified as "guarded"
risk or above, by Aon, the world's second-largest insurance
broker, it also highlighted, in a calming sage-green, a handful
of states dotted round the globe which remain unaffected by
the seemingly ever-present terror threat. So where could you
go for a relatively risk-free holiday?
as the "charming birthplace of tango" - though that's
debatable, as Argentina also likes to claim the dance as its
own - this small South American nation is supposed to be the
next travel hotspot and it's also touted as the safest republic
in the area.
Uruguay boasts a UN World Heritage Site in the town of Colonia
del Sacramento and the charms of the capital, Montevideo, are
described as being contemplative, dusty, and with an "air
of decay" by Conde Nast Traveller; the beach resorts are
touted as a cross of Miami and Ibiza.
But author Ben Box, who penned Footprint Travel Guide's South
America guidebook, says Uruguay is an example of the continent's
"It wouldn't be my first choice, but that would depend
if it was my first visit to South America," Mr Box says.
"Most people would head to Brazil for Carnival and the
beaches, or to the Andes, for snow or to Peru for architecture.
"Uruguay does tend to figure quite low on the scale, but
I think it's one of those places that, once people have been
to South America and are comfortable there, to see quiet Latin
Like its less-safe neighbours to the north in Brazil (risk level:
Guarded), Uruguay boasts a carnival just after Ash Wednesday.
It can, apparently, be very raucous. As Lonely Planet says:
"Montevideo's staid reputation takes a battering during
this time as a brace of drummers and costumed revellers advance
along its streets."
But as Mr Box says, "you can't really compare it with Brazil,
because Brazil is a continent to itself. The feel of the country
is different. The country itself is not busy, and outside the
city is quite relaxed. I hesitate to use the word sleepy, but
it is very different from the rest of South America."
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