Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean known for its stunning waters, world-class beaches, and beautiful scenery. Also known as the home of reggae, dub, and ska. This laid-back country has a lot of natural beauty to offer, which makes Jamaica the special place it is today.
However, Jamaica is also known for its bad reputation when it comes to crime. Drug trafficking, violence, murder, and gun crime, along with petty crimes like theft and robbery, are some of the not-so-nice things that may make you reconsider whether or not you should visit Jamaica.
So the question, “Is it safe in Jamaica?” is a valid one. That’s why this epic travel guide will help you make your stay in Jamaica as pleasant as possible and hopefully keep you out of trouble.
How Safe is Jamaica
Jamaica may always be in a bad light because of crime and violence, and you may be one of those who avoid this Caribbean country. But these problems should not make Jamaica the worst country to visit. Jamaica is undoubtedly a beautiful country and should be considered one of the worthwhile destinations.
Jamaica is a safe destination as long as you use your common sense. Always look for safety knowledge and advice for traveling to Jamaica. Always do your own research and you will have a safe trip to Jamaica.
Due to the constant influx of tourists to the country, the government is also trying to gain a better reputation.
Tourists should always be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of something going wrong.
Avoid going to unknown and dodgy places alone, especially at night. Choosing the right neighborhood can also contribute to your safety. Always be aware of your surroundings. Therefore, it is very important that you only join authorized groups and arrange transfers to and from your vacation spot.
Safe Places To Visit In Jamaica
Safe places to visit in Jamaica are usually located in well-developed resorts, including 5 Sandals Resorts, and urban areas. 24-hour security officers are on-site to keep you safe.
One of the most popular destinations on the island. Ocho Rios is located on the northeast coast of Jamaica. This former fishing village is home to most of Jamaica’s all-inclusive resorts. It is also one of the most family-friendly areas on the island with very low crime statistics.
If you dream of breathtaking beaches, magnificent natural landscapes, and a wide range of cultural attractions, Negril is the place for you. This part of Jamaica’s northwest coast is the most popular starting point for exploring Jamaica.
Port Antonio was once called the “banana capital of the world.” But today, this quaint fishing village in northeastern Jamaica is a laid-back resort town.
The fascinating mix of Georgian and Victorian architecture makes this village really attractive. There are cozy cafes everywhere and it’s a wonderful place to people-watch.
There are many ways to enjoy this village. Sensational jungles, crystal clear waterfalls, turquoise lagoons, beautiful beaches, and epic hiking trails are just some of the things you would love to do here. And most importantly, the crime rate is very low, which is why Port Antonio should be on your list.
If you are a fan of Bob Marley, then you should definitely visit Nine Mile. Bob Marley, who is considered one of the pioneers of reggae, was born, raised, and buried here in Nine Mile. This small village played a big role in Bob Marley’s music career and influenced many of his songs. Visit the Bob Marley Mausoleum, which is managed by members of his family. It houses all the original furniture from the house, guitars, memorabilia, awards, and photos of Bob Marley. You may also stumble upon one of Marley’s Rasta-dyed “rock pillows” that Marley used in search of inspiration for his songs.
This beach spans six glorious golden miles where reggae music, ocean relaxation, and rum cocktails are the favorite themes of the day.
Treasure Beach is the perfect retreat to get away from it all. Its low-key charm makes it a popular spot for those who want to enjoy a slow life. Spend your days swimming, snorkeling, body surfing, or dolphin watching.
Places to be alert in Jamaica
Unfortunately, not all places in Jamaica are safe, especially for tourists. The further you go into the rural areas, the more dangerous it becomes. So if you decide to explore any of the places listed below, always keep your eyes open to avoid any dicey situations you might get into.
The busiest place in Jamaica and the neighborhood with the highest crime rate. You will find the most gang activity, robberies, and violence in this place. A no-go for tourists, especially women.
Montego Bay is also a popular tourist destination because of its many cool hotspots. But this area is also notorious for pickpocketing. So if you are carrying valuable items, you should avoid this area as much as possible. But if you can not, you should stay in one of Montego Bay’s gated communities, which offer a bit more security and peace of mind.
When you go out to have fun in Montego Bay go with tour companies and don’t go with valuables.
With all the shootings that regularly occur in Spanish Town, it is considered one of the most dangerous places in Jamaica and should be avoided at all costs.
Spanish Town is also known as the “Valley of Death” and has a reputation for gun crime, drug trafficking, sexual assault, theft, and other violent crimes. Missing teens, serious crimes, and unsolved incidents are the daily headlines in this city.
Is Jamaica LGBTQ+ Friendly?
Jamaica used to be known as the most homophobic country in the world. But that is slowly changing as cultural attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community have changed. But still, there is no hotspot for LGBTQ+ vacationers. LGBTQ+ couples or solo travelers are advised to choose another country for their trip for their own safety and peace of mind, as they are most likely to stay under the radar there and not attract negative attention.
Jamaica Safety Tips
Although there is a high crime rate in Jamaica, this type of crime is mostly gang-related and crime among tourists is relatively low.
And this should not be a reason for you as a tourist to refrain from traveling to this stunning country.
To help you travel wisely, here are some safety tips as you pack your luggage and prepare for your long-awaited trip to Jamaica.
1. Be vigilant in these areas – avoid places like Kingston. Montego Bay and Spanish Town. Walk in a group as much as possible and do not stay late outside.
2. Watch your back at ATM – most robberies take place in a closed ATM. Always try to use ATMs in busy areas.
3. Don’t be flashy – avoid wearing expensive jewelry, watches, and branded bags as this is a potential target for thieves and pickpockets. Leave these things in safety in your hotel.
4. Avoid going to the same restaurant every night – if you eat at the same restaurant every night, you are giving your routine to thieves.
5. Your money or your life – if someone tries to threaten or rob you, better hand over your money, it is not worth risking your life for it.
6. Make sure your accommodation is secure – lockable windows/doors, a safe, and a security guard are some of the security protocols you need to check first in your rented flat. Make sure you have everything locked up before you leave.
7. Pay attention to local news about hurricanes – if you are informed about when the hurricane is coming, it can literally save your life.
8. Be polite but firm with street vendors – street vendors can sometimes irritate you, but say “NO ” emphatically and politely. You never know what the next move will be if you upset him.
9. The sun can also be dangerous – avoid going outside in the blazing sun. Always wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
10. Do not take pictures of your surroundings without permission – no matter how beautiful your surroundings are, especially the fields, do not take pictures without the owner’s permission.
If you are planning a trip or Jamaica, make sure you keep in touch with your people back home and keep them updated on what you are doing and where you are going. If you are planning to travel to Jamaica, there are many things you should consider, but always put your safety first.