The Safest Caribbean Islands (RANKED)
The Caribbean Islands offer a diverse range of locations for tourists, with beautiful sandy beaches, dense rainforests, and an all-around good vibes culture. However, there are some instances of crime in the Caribbean Islands, which can lead tourists to wonder which nations are safer than others.
Using crime rate data and the Global Peace Index (GPI), we look into the safest Caribbean islands and the islands that are deemed more dangerous.
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St Lucia doesn’t feature on the GPI but the small eastern Caribbean island is considered one of the safest. It has a small population of around 200,000 people who are generally friendly and welcoming. Most tourists will find their visit is free of trouble, but visitors are reminded to stay vigilant and avoid isolated areas, especially after dark.
St Lucia has dormant volcanoes that don’t pose a risk, however, hurricane season, from mid-May to the end of November, can sometimes cause disruption.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is another nation that doesn’t feature on the GPI but it is considered to be one of the safest Caribbean islands. It has one of the lowest burglary rates and also kidnapping cases in the Caribbean and most tourists won’t face a risk when they visit. However, it is advised to always remain vigilant and maintain personal security awareness to keep safe.
Barbados is seen to be one of the safest Caribbean islands and as such, sees around 1 million visitors every year. Locals are generally welcoming to tourists and families especially favour visiting this Caribbean island.
Some popular tourist areas, such as Bridgetown, have recently seen a spike in robberies. As a result, tourists are advised not to wear visible gold jewelry and as with any other country, visitors should take steps for their own safety, such as avoiding isolated areas.
Grenada is one of the safest Caribbean islands, with a low crime rate and low risk of natural disasters. There are some instances of pickpocketing, and it has the second-highest burglary rate in the Caribbean. However, tourists who are aware of their belongings and maintain their personal security shouldn’t face a problem.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
St Kitts and Nevis is another smaller island nation that is seen as one of the safest in the Caribbean. It has a very low crime rate and visitors usually won’t face any problems on their trip. There are, however, some instances of petty crime and pickpocketing, and tourists are advised to ensure their valuables aren’t visible and are kept secure. Hurricane season lasts from May to November and visitors should be aware that small storms could easily develop into larger, more dangerous ones.
The Bahamas has a higher risk of crime, especially violent crime and robbery. There are certain areas, such as downtown Nassau, where the risk is higher, and tourists are advised to walk there after dark. The Bahamas also sees a risk of natural disasters, with hurricane season lasting from June to November.
However, the outlying islands of the Bahamas have a lower crime rate and are generally seen as safer. The Ministry of Tourism has also taken steps to protect people, including implementing more CCTV and improving regulations around boat safety.
The Dominican Republic is the first Caribbean nation to feature on the GPI. It ranks joint 81st in the world, out of the 163 nations that are ranked. There are certain areas of the Dominican Republic where crime is more common than others, and tourist hotspots will be more prone to pickpocketing and muggings. Punta Canta and Las Terrenas tend to have lower crime rates and safe tourist resorts.
Jamaica ranks joint 81st on the GPI. It is lower on this list of safest Caribbean islands due to its high murder rate, which is 5th in the world. Jamaica has a generally high crime rate and gang violence and shooting are common. However, these instances are usually contained in certain areas, so tourists aren’t always affected.
Hotels and resorts are kept safe, but tourists can be targeted for robberies and pickpocketing, with some instances turning violent. Visitors are advised to not carry valuables and to take precautionary measures to keep themselves and their belongings safe.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago ranks 88th on the GPI, making it one of the least safe Caribbean islands. It has one of the highest homicide rates in the Caribbean, coming second to Jamaica. Violent crime is common, including robbery and assault and drug trafficking is also an issue.
Tourists are targeted for petty crime, scams, and pickpocketing. Visitors are advised to exercise caution to keep safe. This includes keeping windows up and doors locked when driving and avoiding isolated areas.
Haiti ranks 115th on the GPI, out of 163 countries, and is seen as one of the least safe Caribbean islands. Haiti is currently in an unpredictable and volatile security situation. There are often demonstrations and protests which can turn violent, and visitors are advised to avoid crowds and large gatherings.
There are high crime rates in Haiti, especially for violent crime, including murder, assault, and robbery. There have also been many instances of kidnappings of foreign nationals, who will be released for a ransom. Public transport is generally seen as unsafe. Visitors are advised to be extra attentive when withdrawing money from ATMs and to always be aware of their surroundings.