Most Dangerous Tourist Destinations In The World

The world is full of dangerous places, and some people are crazy enough to go to them voluntarily. Coming up are some very dangerous tourist attractions.


The world is full of dangerous places, and it turns out that some people are crazy enough to go to them voluntarily. You should probably use this article as a list of places you should avoid at all costs, but if you’re one of those crazy people you could use this article as vacation inspiration. However, even the diehard thrill seekers among you will think twice after learning about these places.

10. Hawaii Volcano Tours

In Hawaii, a state so unique and far away that sometimes we forget it’s even a state, you can bike or hike up volcanos. It’s a great way to sightsee and get some exercise, but unfortunately, volcanoes can also kill you. You’d think the biggest danger from volcanoes comes from the lava, but that’s not the case.

In 2007, the National Park Service had to temporarily shut down the bicycle tour due to three deaths and various injuries that occurred within the span of a year. The three deaths were due to people losing control of their bikes on the challenging downhill trail.

But people standing on solid ground without bikes have died as well. Various deaths and injuries have been caused as a result of what’s known as ‘lava haze’ – or laze – which are volcanic gasses that can swamp areas quickly during periods of high wind.

Pāhoehoe lava meets Pacific lava haze laze

This laze is made up of a combination of hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide, none of which are things you want to breathe in a lot of, especially for people with respiratory conditions. If that’s not enough of a reason to stay away, volcanos also lead to scalding hot ocean water and can send rocks flying through the air. So, if you’re visiting a volcano, make sure to heed the warnings and be prepared.

9. Devil’s Pool

If the very name ‘Devil’s Pool’ wasn’t enough to keep tourists away, there is also a plaque nearby that reads “he came for a visit and stayed forever.” It was made to honor one of the now more than 20 people who have died at Devil’s Pool in Zambia.

It has been described as the ultimate infinity pool, and it allows tourists to swim right on the edge and look out over one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls. It’s twice the height of Niagara Falls!

Visitors at the Devil-s Pool, Victoria Falls

You can only swim in Devil’s Pool usually between September and December, when the dry season reduces water levels and currents enough for the pool to be accessible. The pool is separated from the falls by a natural rock barrier, which creates an eddy with a minimal current, stopping swimmers from being carried away and allowing them to fool around a few feet from the edge.

The most famous death at Devil’s Pool was that of a heroic tour guide who managed to save a tourist who had started to fall, but then fell over himself. If you ever go to Victoria Falls, consider looking at the water from a nice safe distance, possibly even while standing on dry ground.

8. Valley of Death

If ‘Devil’s Pool’ doesn’t have an intimidating enough name for you, perhaps you would instead like to visit the Valley of Death in Russia. Thanks to the nearby volcano, Kikhpinych, the Valley of Death has a high concentration of toxic gas that accumulates in the valley’s lowlands without any wind to blow it away. This toxic lake of gas kills local plants and animals.

If you ever went there, you would first experience dizziness, a fever, and chills, then you would probably die. According to legends, it was first discovered in the 1930s by two hunters who found it scattered with the bodies of dead animals and devoid of plant life.


They fled after getting a headache, but since their story had been told, adventure seekers have journeyed into the valley, many of whom never returned. Locals estimate around 80 people have been lost to the valley. It's closed off to tourists for obvious reasons, but, because we humans just don’t know how to leave things alone, there are in fact ways for tourists to visit.

You can view the valley and the beautiful landscape from an observation desk which was built at a safe distance away. If that doesn’t cut it for you, you can take helicopter tours over the area and just hope you don’t crash and end up in some bizarre S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-esque scenario.

7. Yosemite Half Dome

Half Dome is a huge granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California. It’s a famous rock formation in the park, and it’s pretty easy to see how it got its name. One side of Half Dome is a sheer rock face, and the other three sides are round and smooth.

The crest is 4,737 feet above the valley floor. It would be totally harmless if people would just leave it alone, but everyone knows that is not how people operate. The Yosemite search and rescue team responds to about 100 incidents each year, from dehydration to much more serious issues.

Girl Posing at Glacier Point Yosemite half dome

Though it might look deceptively easy, it's not for the out-of-shape or faint of heart. Eight people have died hiking up the trail on Half Dome. As you can imagine by looking at Half Dome, it’s a very challenging trail. It takes a whole day to do, so you start at dawn and end around 12 hours later after walking around 15 miles.

You ascend the entire thing, and the last four hundred feet are almost vertical and cables must be used to complete the trail. Most fatalities and injuries are caused by slipping from rain or wearing inadequate footwear. Rain can make the cables and rocks slippery, and there’s even a section of Half Dome that’s just called “the death slabs”.

Yosemite Half Dome

What often happens is people are greeted with clear mornings in the summer when they start the hike, but if it rains in the afternoon, even a little bit, climbing the dome can be extremely dangerous, as stubborn individuals carry on when they should turn back.

Here’s a park ranger attesting to how dangerous the cables can be during bad weather:

Watch on YouTube

6. Running of the Bulls

When people say ‘the running of the bulls’ what they usually mean is the one held in Pamplona during the festival of Sanfermines held every year in honor of Saint Fermin. It began as a small local festival but has since of course become a big tourism event attended by people from all over the world.

Running of the bulls Festival Of Sanfermines

Other towns in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and southern France have bull runs as well, but this is the one that you see in the news. As you can imagine, having a bunch of people run down the street while bulls chase after them is in fact quite dangerous.

Every year, somewhere between fifty and one-hundred people are injured. Since they started keeping track in 1910, fifteen people have died during the run. Fourteen people have been killed by the actual bulls, and one person got crushed in a big human pile-up.

Watch on YouTube

Well, fifteen people in just over a hundred years isn’t that bad, but do you really want to risk it? Or even end up half-dead? Being non-lethally stabbed with a bull’s horn sounds pretty bad as well.

5. Mount Hua Shan

To call the Mount Hua Shan trail a trail is a bit misleading, since it’s actually just planks bolted to the side of the mountain. You essentially hook yourself to an iron chain that runs along the side of the mountain during the trip.

Mount Hua Shan trail planks and chains

Part of the way there aren’t even any planks, and you just have to step on divots that have been carved into the rocks. While there are no official death statistics because the Chinese government is really shady, rumor has it that a lot of people die there every year.

If you want to visit a terrifying plank walkway that does keep official death statistics, consider El Caminito del Rey in Spain. This one is along the walls of a gorge in El Chorro, and the name, which was originally Camino del Rey, means King’s Pathway.

El Caminito del Ray in Spain King's pathway

For about a decade, the walkway fell into disrepair and parts of it were closed, but apparently, people didn’t take the hint and they opened it up again. Five people died there between 1999 and 2000, causing many to view it as the world’s most dangerous path.

4. Papua New Guinean Trails

Papua New Guinea is an incredible, almost unspoiled country, with spectacular scenery, so it's no wonder why lots of people flock there for hiking expeditions. Two trails there in particular – the Kokoda track, and Black Cat Track – are famously challenging.

Both trails feature spectacular jungles and mountains, and hikers can see historic signs from World War 2 along the routes as they were both areas of conflict between Japanese and Australian forces.

The Kokoda track is a more popular track, running for 60 miles, or 96 kilometers, along a single-file track from Port Moresby to the village of Kokoda. Thousands of tourists make the trek every year, though I really couldn’t tell you why.

It takes anywhere from 4 to 12 days to hike the entire trail, including sections that you have to swim and climb. The nights are cold, the days are hot and humid, with highly likely torrential rain, and tropical diseases such as malaria make this one a challenging trail.

Kokoda track Papua New Guinea

In fact, 6 Australian trekkers have died from natural causes while attempting to walk the track over the years, leading some people to call for mandatory fitness tests for all walkers before starting.

The black cat trail, on the other hand, runs from the coastal village of Salamaua to the township of Wau. It's an extremely tough 6-day trek and recommended only for "very fit and experienced trekkers". So the whole thing would be challenging enough even without the possibility of people with machetes coming out of the jungle and killing you.

In 2013, a hiking party had both of their porters killed by bandits known as Raskols, and seven members of their party wounded. The attack was believed to be caused by a grudge related to money and the hiring of porters from different villages, but it still gives me second thoughts about signing up.

3. Death Road

The North Yungas Road, also known as Death Road or Road of Fate, is a road that leads from La Paz to Coroica in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It was dubbed the “world’s most dangerous road” in 1995 by the Inter-American Development Bank.

In 2006, it was estimated that between 200 and 300 travelers died on it each year. It is mostly single-lane, and it follows cliffs that drop down two thousand feet. Also, most of the road is only ten feet wide, which can leave little to no room for cars to pass each other on either side.

North Yungas Road Death Road or Road of Fate

From November to March, rain and fog can lead to terrible visibility on the road, and because there are even sections drenched by overhanging waterfalls, it's almost guaranteed that some parts of the route will be extremely slippery and muddy. As per local rules, whoever is driving downhill never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge.

The North Yungas Road Death Road Road of Fate muddy slippery

Of course, because of all this craziness, it has become a destination for thrill-seeking tourists, and there are tours where you can bike Death Road. Before you sign up, note that eighteen cyclists have died since 1998.

2. Death Valley

Not to be confused with the aforementioned Valley of Death, Death Valley is of course America’s very own hellscape located in California.

The area is best known for holding the record for the highest reliably recorded air temperature on Earth at 134 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as the highest reliably recorded ground surface temperature at 201 degrees Fahrenheit.

Desert Road on the way to Furnace Creek in Death Valley

Along with the heat, the valley is home to numerous dangerous animals, from rattlesnakes to scorpions, black widow spiders and even mice. Seriously, even the mice are dangerous there. The deer mice and cactus mice found in the valley have been found to carry Hantavirus, a potentially fatal respiratory disease.

People planning to travel within the valley should travel with plenty of water and stick to paved roads in the summer, because if your car breaks down, you may otherwise struggle to get help.

Titus Canyon & Grapevine Mountains & alluvial fan (Death Valley National Park, California) (30802497167)

While most people would admit that this is a bit too hot for them, Death Valley attracts many tourists due to its unique and beautiful landscape. As the name implies, many hikers and campers have died in Death Valley, with park management estimating it to be about one or two people per year that perish to heat exposure.

But the most notable and strangest case is probably the so-called ‘Death Valley Germans’. In 1996, a German family of four visiting Death Valley simply disappeared into thin air. Their remains weren’t located until 2009.

1. Crocodiles

You may be aware of Elephant Kingdom from the brief moment of internet outrage it sparked when pictures of this particular attraction surfaced in 2016 showing tourists surrounded by crocodiles.

View post on Twitter

This incredibly suspect Thai zoo had an exhibit where you could just hop on this rusty makeshift raft supported by plastic barrels and dangle meat over the side for the crocodiles. A passing taxi driver, apparently the only sane person in the area, took the pictures that ended up circulated all over the internet.

When the police showed up at the zoo to address the flagrant safety violations, the owners apparently assured them that they only let fifteen people on the raft at a time. Unsurprisingly, the attraction was soon closed, but I have no doubt deaths would have been reported had it remained open.

But if you want to get close to crocodiles, and flirt with death, you should head over to Australia and enter the ‘Cage of Death’. Unlike Australia’s other famous cage, the Thunderdome, nobody has died in this aquarium, at least yet. You just get in, and they lower you into the crocodile-infested water.

Couple Standing CrocJumping Cage-of-Death Darwin

Provided nothing goes wrong, you won’t get eaten. Things have gone wrong before though – in 2015 a tourist was stuck in there for an extra half hour due to a malfunction. So it may be safer than the Elephant Kingdom, but nothing is truly foolproof.

I hope you were amazed at these most dangerous tourist destinations in the world. Stay away from them if you can. Thanks for reading!

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