Jamaica is a popular tourist destination, but the Caribbean nation also has high rates of petty and violent crime as well as civil unrest, including in areas frequented by travelers. Petty crime, armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, homicide, sexual assault and gang violence are all concerns. Although gang violence typically occurs outside of tourist areas, collateral risks do exist. Local authorities may declare a state of emergency without warning to combat crime.
Avoid traveling alone or in isolated areas, regardless of the time of day, and don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of money. Be careful when withdrawing money from ATMs and only use kiosks inside secure locations such as banks and major hotels. Do not take public transportation and instead use pre-arranged services or transportation arranged through your hotel or resort. If a demonstration is underway, avoid the area due to the potential for violence.
Security concerns within Jamaica’s resorts and hotels are lower, but visitors should carefully choose accommodations with robust security measures in place. Take precautions to secure travel documents, credit cards and cash in hotel safes and avoid leaving items unattended in public areas. Be aware that criminals have spiked food and drinks, even in resort areas.
LGBTQ+ travelers should take extra precautions if visiting Jamaica, as they may face legal concerns, harassment and violence. Choose resorts that are known to be friendlier to the LGBTQ+ community and avoid public displays of affection or revealing personal details.
Finally, Jamaica is susceptible to hurricanes, which can lead to infrastructure issues, flooding and landslides. If traveling during hurricane season, keep track of weather-related developments and have an evacuation plan in place.
Visit the U.S. Department of State website for up-to-date information on travel advisory levels and safety information for travelers to Switzerland.
All U.S. travelers should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service offered to U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad. Enrolling in this program allows you to receive important information from the embassy and helps the embassy contact you in an emergency.