What is the safest Caribbean island to visit? Whether it’s a vacation for the whole family or a solo trip, stay safe by choosing the best destination.
There are always safety concerns when traveling abroad. Some parts of the world have a higher crime rate than Americans are used to. Some countries also have a lot of desperate people who scam American tourists for a living. When you pick an island to visit, it is important to factor in safety concerns, including both personal safety and weather-related safety.
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What are the safest Caribbean islands to visit?
The safest Caribbean islands to visit are St. Barts, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, and St. Lucia. These destinations have lower crime rates and are frequented by wealthy travelers. Grenada, St. Kitts, and the Caymans are the safest for solo female travelers.
Choosing a safe vacation destination is more than just picking the island with the lowest crime rate. Tourists should always factor in the likelihood of bad weather, especially during hurricane season. The safest islands to visit to avoid hurricanes are the ABC islands, which include Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.
Sources include Travelers Worldwide, Exploring Caribbean, TripSavvy, Afar Magazine, U.S. News and World Reports, and Forbes.
What Are the Safest Caribbean Islands for Tourists to Visit?
Tourists frequently ask their travel agent which island in the Caribbean is the safest. Most of the countries in the Caribbean are perfectly safe for tourists. The islands that have the lowest crime rates all have different risks for tourists to watch out for.
In general, the top 5 safest islands in the Caribbean are St. Barts, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands, and St. Lucia. However, even when visiting safe islands, tourists should exercise common sense.
Is St. Barts the Safest Island in the Caribbean?
St. Barts is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. It has a 0% murder rate and a very low rate of violent crimes. There are a few reasons why St. Barts is so safe:
- It has a below average poverty rate.
- St. Barts is designed to provide a luxury experience to tourists.
- The locals are very relaxed and trusting; they usually leave their own homes and vehicles unlocked.
- St. Barts is currently free of Zika virus.
Although St. Barts is free of crime, tourists should still be aware that tap water is not safe to drink. Instead, you should drink only bottled water. Most resorts and hotels provide potable water to all visitors.
The trade off with visiting such a safe island is the price. Accommodations in St. Barts are more expensive on average than the rest of the Caribbean. Most hotel and resort rooms begin at $200 a night and go up from there.
Is Anguilla Safe to Visit?
Anguilla is considered a very safe Caribbean destination, along with St. Barts. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has designated Anguilla as one of the lowest risk countries for Americans to visit.
Anguilla has very low rates of murder and violent crime; past crimes have been overwhelming between locals who know each other, rather than tourist-targeted.
The only real threat that tourists should be aware of is petty theft. It is possible to be pickpocketed anywhere in the world. Generally, if tourists lock their valuables in their hotel room, nothing will be stolen.
Why Does the Cayman Islands Have a Low Murder Rate?
Like Anguilla and St. Barts, the Cayman Islands are a safe destination for international travelers. One reason why there is so little violent crime is because the Caymans have strict gun control laws. Currently, someone would have to get explicit permission from the Commissioner of Police, pass all qualifications, have an up to date license, and properly store the gun in their home.
Due to the lack of firearms, the Cayman Islands are relatively free of murders, armed theft, drug-related homicide, and corruption.
However, there have been reports of petty thieves who target tourists. When you take a trip to the Cayman islands, be sure to keep your hotel room locked and keep valuables out of sight.
The Cayman Islands are more affordable than St. Barts or Anguilla, so it is a good vacation destination for families who are on a budget.
Are the U.S. Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands Safer?
The Virgin Islands in the Caribbean are split between the U.S. and Britain. Despite the split, they have similar rates of crime, similar pricing, and similar cost of living. The rate of violent crime is very low; however, the Virgin Islands have higher rates of sexual harrassment than the Caymans and St. Barts.
For this reason, the Virgin Islands are not recommended as a destination for solo female travelers. Catcalling and harassment can best be avoided if women travel in groups, have a man with them, or stay at the resort.
How Can I Stay Safe in St. Lucia?
St. Lucia is consistently ranked as the 5th safest destination in the Caribbean. Like St. Barts, Anguilla, and the Caymans, St. Lucia has a very low rate of violent crimes. When tourists visit St. Lucia, the biggest threat to their safety is bad weather; the hurricane season is from August through November, so tourists should avoid planning a trip during those months.
When you visit St. Lucia, you should take a few safety precautions:
- Do not flaunt expensive items; leave the diamond earrings at home.
- Keep your hotel room and vehicle locked at all times.
- Do not walk alone at night; even during the day, stay on well-traveled, well-lit streets.
- Same-sex relationships are outlawed in St. Lucia, so if you are LQBTQIA+ then you should refrain from public displays of affection with your partner.
What Are the Safest Caribbean Islands for Solo Female Travelers?
If you are a woman who is planning a solo trip, you should consider visiting Grenada, St. Kitts, or the Cayman Islands. The first factor that makes these destinations best for solo women is transportation. In Grenada, it is affordable to rent a car and drive yourself, so you don’t have to rely on walking or biking around. Both St. Kitts and the Caymans have taxis with standardized fares, as well as safe transportation via buses.
Because these destinations are tourist-friendly, it is easy for solo travelers to meet other tourists and to join group activities. The locals, especially in St. Kitts, are known for being very friendly. If you get lost or need help, the locals are sure to help you and get you where you need to be safely.
When you visit, Grenada, St. Kitts, or the Cayman Islands, you will discover that there is plenty to do, including shopping, snorkeling, seeing underwater statues, exploring the beaches, hitting the spa, and going out sailing. You will quickly make friends with other women traveling alone.
What Is the Safest Caribbean Island To Visit During Hurricane Season?
When it comes to safety during an international trip, it isn’t just about crime rates and if the country allows guns. You should also consider weather safety. The official hurricane season in the Caribbean is June 1st through November 30th. If you are also trying to avoid peak tourist season, then it can be challenging to find the best months to visit. If you do want to travel during hurricane season, then you should visit the 3 ABC islands where hurricane season does not exist.
Aruba is known for its incredible snorkeling, diving, national parks, and beaches. What makes Aruba unique is that the tap water is safe to drink almost anywhere on the island. Because of Aruba’s placement in the Caribbean, it does not get hit with hurricanes in the way that the rest of the Caribbean does.
In addition to weather factors, Aruba is also consistently rated as a very safe island for tourists and a great destination for solo female travelers. Because Aruba has robust infrastructure, a booming tourist economy, and a majority middle class population, crime is rare.
Bonaire is world-renowned for its diving. As evidence of the calm waters and safe weather, Bonaire’s peak diving season overlaps with the rest of the Caribbean’s hurricane season. From April to November, the water is the warmest and clearest. If you don’t like diving, Bonaire also has exquisite beaches, excellent climbing, safe sea kayaking, and pristine national parks.
Curaçao is the final ABC island that does not get hurricane season. It is an excellent destination for history-loving tourists. In addition to beaches, snorkeling, diving, and sea caves, the city of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which you can see on guided walking tours.