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I have traveled alone or with my wife to some places mentioned here as dangerous. I have found in places like Central and South America that hiring local guides is the key. Sometimes you can hire a reliable car and driver for not much money. I hired a driver in Banos, Ecuador for $20 for five hours and he personally accompanied me to all the waterfall. A great driver from Quito to Mindo, Ecuador was about $80 and he took us to a bank where I could use my American Express card and stood guard as we used it. A person has to be smart. A smart person does not wander around cities alone after dark without taking cabs. I don't even do this in Chicago anymore that is near where I live. Chicago, NYC, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Philadelphia, Detroit, and LA all can be pretty scary at night--and some parts of them are a problem during the day, but none of them should be intimidating with the right escort.