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It’d be a shame to miss out on backpacking Nicaragua because of out of date information.
Guatemala is another country that recently experienced a destructive civil war, but the country is recovering and rebuilding, and its locals welcome tourists with open arms.
In addition, it's bordered by the Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, and numerous bays, gulfs and inlets.
Central America is a beautiful region filled with friendly people and amazing adventure… Sensationalised stories about drug wars and homicides flood the media, and paint a dark picture of this region.
Of course, shootings can happen anywhere, but it’s especially important to be prepared for sudden changes in security when traveling in regions linked to drug and gang violence.
As awful as the gang violence is, it’s happening in big city neighbourhoods, not tourist towns.
These cities have a huge problem with gang extortion.
Gangs demand fees from bus owners for passing through their territories.
In January 2017, a mini drug war broke out between two cartels in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen region, resulting in a few shootings outside public places and at a nightclub during BPM (music festival).
A couple friends of mine worked in Playa del Carmen during the BPM shooting, and had to leave with 24 hour notice because of cartel extortion threats at their hostel.