Is The Bahamas Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is The Bahamas Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

The Bahamas has seen a surge in crime recently, although authorities underscore that it primarily impacts the local community.

The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory remains at level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), but an update on January 26 underscored the importance of exercising extra vigilance, particularly when visiting New Providence and Grand Bahama islands.

According to reports, two American cruise passengers were drugged and sexually assaulted at a Grand Bahama resort on February 4. There is an ongoing investigation by the FBI and local law enforcement, and two employees of the resort are being held as suspects.


February 22 – The U.S. travel advisory for the Bahamas doesn’t seem to worry local travel agents

At Worcester’s Caribbean Travel Tour, Zuly Echandia doesn’t think the State Department’s alert to be more cautious because of crime quite matches up with what she’s been hearing.

She claims her clients tell her they enjoy visiting the Bahamas and believe it to be a safe destination.

She continues, pointing out that the travel advisory particularly addresses gang-on-gang violence in the Nassau region.

The Bahamas are ranked at level 2, which places them alongside countries like Brazil, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Official Travel Advisories

The Bahamas

U.S. Travel Advisory for the Bahamas

The United States State Department issued an “Exercise Increased Caution” warning for the Bahamas, citing a number of violent crimes like armed robberies, sexual assaults, and shark attacks.

Given the moderate crime rate, travelers are urged to exercise extra caution when visiting Grand Bahama (Freeport) and Nassau’s “Over the Hill” neighborhood.

Canada Travel Advisory

The Canadian government is cautioning its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling in the Bahamas due to high rates of crime, especially in Freeport and Nassau. 

Authorities also state that the most frequent crimes against visitors in Freeport and Nassau include armed robberies, burglaries, purse snatchings, theft, fraud, and sexual assaults. Robberies can occur at cruise ports and in and around renowned resort areas.

Areas to Avoid in the Bahamas

Most crimes occur on the islands of Grand Bahama (Freeport) and New Providence (Nassau). In Nassau, particular vigilance is advised in the “Over the Hill” neighborhood (located south of Shirley Street) due to incidents of gang-related violence, which predominantly impact local residents.

Tourists are advised to avoid areas such as Bain and Grants Town, Centreville, and Englerston in New Providence, as they are known for higher rates of criminal activity.

Common Scams in the Bahamas

When compared to other Caribbean countries, the Bahamas experiences relatively fewer scams. Nevertheless, it’s important to remain vigilant against the following fraudulent activities:

Taxi Overcharging: Some taxi drivers may take longer routes or quote higher fares than necessary. To avoid this, consider pre-booking taxis or using ride-sharing services like Uber.

Drink Pricing: Certain establishments may charge extra for beverages. Always check for price lists or inquire about prices before placing your order.

Hair Braiding Scam: Visitors may be misled into paying exorbitant prices for hair braiding services. Despite agreeing on a price upfront, visitors may find themselves faced with unexpected fee hikes, citing reasons such as time taken or hair length. To prevent this, ensure to finalize the price before commencing the service.

Fraudulent Tours and Fake Tour Guides: Beware of fraudulent tour offers where locals promise exceptional tours but end up charging inflated guide rates. Always verify the credibility of tour operators and guides before booking.

Safety Tips for the Bahamas

Safety standards in the Bahamas are not too high during nighttime hours. Despite the generally friendly and hospitable nature of the locals, security issues may arise, particularly in secluded or urban areas. To ensure your safety, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Remain vigilant of your surroundings, even in typically safe areas.
  • Exercise caution when approached by unfamiliar individuals.
  • Avoid visiting deserted beaches or walking alone, particularly after nightfall.
  • Refrain from using drugs and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Do not venture on foot outside of the main tourist areas and beaches, especially when alone.
  • Opt to stay in downtown Nassau, where regular police patrols are conducted.
  • Steer clear of unlit areas, and consider traveling in groups after sunset.
  • Exercise caution when using local bus services at night, especially outside of main tourist areas. 
  • In the event of an attack, do not resist and comply with any demands, as attackers may be armed.