When planning a trip to the Caribbean, one of the most common queries is this: What are the safest Caribbean islands to visit?
In most cases, travelers are unlikely to experience any kind of major incident on their vacation in the Caribbean, regardless of where they choose to go.
With that said, violent crime rates and murder tend to be higher on some islands than the rest.
While travelers must exercise caution whichever destination in the Caribbean they head to, there are some places you can go on a holiday being a bit more relaxed.
If you are interested in knowing which are the safe places to travel in Caribbean, we will list and talk about them briefly below.
Enjoying Your Caribbean Trip
It is imperative to note that any dialogue that revolves around the crime rates and safe destinations in the Caribbean should include every one of the Caribbean islands.
Several reports have indicated that the violent crime in the Caribbean rarely ever touches the 30 million+ tourists who visit the islands every single year.
Most of the reports of violence are confined to the inner-city areas, which are rarely visited by tourists.
Of course, it is foolish of us to say that petty street crimes do not occur, but they do not happen as often as you would think.
Just as you are encouraged to never leave your valuables unattended wherever you go, the same thing applies when you are on a trip to the Caribbean islands.
Anything that could be appealing to a thief, like expensive jewelry, electronic devices, wallets, and purses, should not ever be left behind in the room, rental car, or anywhere that could be considered open to them.
If you are traveling far off the beaten path on one of the numerous islands in the Caribbean, we recommend hiring a local guide so that you can be safer.
Just as you would not wander into the woods of Northern Maine or Colorado, you should not be walking into the wilderness areas of even the safest Caribbean islands.
Safest Caribbean Islands to Visit
If we are being honest, there is no such thing as the “safest” Caribbean island.
However, research has shown that there are specific islands with a higher crime rate than the other islands.
Of course, it is always wise to check the island’s official website for an updated government-issued advisory before you book your vacation.
Furthermore, you must follow all the standard safety precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings, especially during nighttime.
There are also other things you need to keep in mind.
Find out whether the hotel or resort you will be staying at is gated, whether the beaches you plan on visiting are child-friendly, and what kinds of activities are offered.
For example, St. Lucia is known to have a lower crime rate.
Still, if you intend to hike through the forest and climb the Pitons, it would be advisable to leave the kids at home.
Some of the safe places to travel in Caribbean for families are those with the best beaches and calm waters.
You will also find that these spots are packed with child-friendly amenities and activities.
Since the Bahamas is an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays, the crime rate can differ from one island to another.
This means your safety needs will tremendously vary across the islands and largely depend on which one you are visiting.
Nassau is where almost 70% of all the locals reside.
It is also the best destination in the Bahamas to learn the history and customs of the country.
Since this is the most heavily visited tourist spot in the Bahamas, you need to be highly alert of your belongings.
While violent crime rates are relatively low here, you need to be very attentive and on the lookout for ATM scammers and pickpockets, especially in downtown Nassau.
Thankfully, there are a lot of resorts in Nassau itself.
You can enjoy your entire Bahamian holiday without having to walk around too far and getting out of your resort’s safety bubble.
We recommend checking out our detailed article on Nassau Paradise Islands to plan your itinerary better.
The other islands in the Bahamas, like the Andros, Abacos, Exumas, Eleuthera, Out Islands, and more, are even more safer than Nassau.
The Bahamas is slowly and steadily becoming more and more LGBTQ-friendly, so it is safe for LGBTQ people and couples to head here for a holiday.
However, we recommend limiting public displays of affection, regardless of your sexual orientation.
The Bahamas for solo women travelers is also reasonably safe, but women should exercise caution when traveling alone.
While the island is mostly harmless, you should consider dressing modestly while you’re there. Take ample precautions when traveling at night to ensure your safety.
This includes only booking a licensed taxi wherever you go, especially in Nassau.
Avoid walking alone at night or in poorly lit areas that are deserted. You should also avoid hitchhiking.
Barbados is considered the safest place to retire in Caribbean, especially for families.
This is an independent British Commonwealth nation welcoming more than a million travelers every year.
The tourism industry is a huge part of Barbados’ economy.
It is said that the locals here are some of the nicest and friendliest people in all of the Caribbean.
You will find numerous family-friendly beaches on the west coast, with white powdery sands and gorgeous turquoise waters.
Beyond the beaches, the island nation offers its visitors a wide range of delicious local cuisine with a fantastic line-up of activities and picturesque gardens.
According to the US Department of State, Barbados is typically a very safe holiday destination.
Still, as a traveler, you need to be aware of certain things.
For instance, it is completely illegal to wear any kind of camouflaged clothing in the country, and they take this rule very seriously.
If you are renting a car to drive yourself, you need to be extra careful as the roads are relatively narrow and are not clearly marked.
Barbados has some fantastic properties where you can stay.
These include vacation rentals in private islands, gated resorts, mansions, and family condos.
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean islands’ most geographically diverse islands.
It is located on the island of Hispaniola.
With some of the most beautiful beaches, soaring mountains, and fascinating Spanish architecture, it is a worthy place to visit.
The country’s capital is home to beautifully restored monasteries and quaint cobblestone streets.
It is also home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor in the Colonial Zone, which is the oldest cathedral in the Americas.
The island is home to some breathtaking powder-white beaches.
Some of them are backed with palm trees, and the others are lined with rocky cliffs and pretty mangrove lagoons.
According to the US Department of State, tourists heading to the Dominican Republic must exercise caution due to a rise in the crime rate recently.
Preferably, you would want to stay in reputed hotels and store any valuables in the hotel safe.
Also, it is advisable not to wander in remote areas, especially at nighttime.
Anguilla has experienced a sudden growth spurt over the last couple of decades, as evidenced by the rise of high-end hotels and upscale resorts.
With that said, even with all the new luxury tourism, the island hasn’t lost its laid-back charm.
Tourists can enjoy miles and miles of pristine white-sand beaches, along with the countless coves that are reachable by boat.
The island has endless water activities to enjoy.
What’s more, slightly away from the beach, you will find countless family-friendly restaurants and even low-key nightspots.
The US Department of State reports that Anguilla has some of the lowest crime rates in all of the Caribbean.
However, it is still important to take the necessary precautions to be safe.
Compared to other islands, though, many consider Anguilla to be the safest place to retire in Caribbean.
Antigua has become more and more popular in recent times for family vacations.
This is an Eastern Caribbean island offering some of the most thrilling zip-line tours, island safaris, and more than 350 gorgeous beaches.
It has a new airport, too, which makes it easier to reach.
There, you will find more than a few excellent family-friendly resorts you can choose to visit.
Antigua’s famous Rainforest Zipline Tour will have you flying along with the island’s highest trees.
Still, the icing on the cake is stopping and enjoying a drink in the treetop bar.
Just offshore, the entire family can enjoy the restored sugar plantation, an inflatable water park, and a children’s museum.
Antigua isn’t typically considered an island with a high-risk factor to visitors.
However, petty crime rates do tend to spike up during the carnival, which takes place in July.
We recommend not going to remote beaches at night, nor should you flaunt your wealth or leave your valuables unattended.
With strict gun laws, relative wealth, and a stable economy, the Cayman Islands is one of the safest places in the Caribbean.
Located to the west of Jamaica, it consists of three separate islands.
You will find some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches and even some of the world’s most luxurious vacation rentals here.
According to the US Department of State, the Cayman Islands is relatively safe, with only little criminal activity that affects the tourists.
Just be aware of your surroundings and keep your windows and doors locked, as occasional robberies still do occur.
What Are the Least Safe Islands in the Caribbean?
Based on the crime rates, some of the islands in the Caribbean known to be unsafe are Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago.
As said earlier, though, most crimes occurring in the Caribbean is mostly an internal problem.
These crimes are typically linked to the inner-city areas, which tend to be pretty far away from the tourist hotspots.
Just make sure you do ample research when heading to any of the Caribbean islands.
Stay as far away as possible from bad neighborhoods.
Apart from a couple of isolated incidents mentioned in the press, tourists are seldom victims of any violent crime when vacationing in the Caribbean.
Safest Places in the Caribbean
The countries we listed earlier are some of the safest Caribbean islands to visit.
In addition to being a great holiday destination, most of the Caribbean islands are pretty safe.
All you need to do is make sure you follow common-sense precautions.
Doing this will ensure you and your belongings are safe throughout your holiday.