Jamaica dangerous? Which neighborhoods to avoid in Kingston?

In preparation for your next vacation to the West Indies, ask yourself if Jamaica is dangerous, which neighborhoods to avoid in Kingston and other areas of the island.

In some cases there may actually be risks Caribbean islands but is this the case for Jamaica in 2022?

Here's a guide to Jamaica on the safe side and my advice to avoid bad places and choose the best place to live.

Without wishing to offend Jamaicans, this article contains no judgment or discrimination. In fact, it is a simple summary of information from various and reputable sources (government recommendations, statistics, press articles, economic studies).

Is Jamaica dangerous?

Jamaica is a destination that makes tourists dream because of its sun, its culture, the friendliness of its people and its heavenly beaches. But Jamaica also has a darker side: its insecurity.

In fact, according to website statistics, Jamaica is considered one of the most violent countries in the Caribbean. In 2021, there were 49.4 homicides per 100 inhabitants. Proportionally, it had the highest murder rate in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, the French government warns travelers to Jamaica in 2022:

"Crime is high in Jamaica. Foreign tourists traveling on foot or in supposedly quiet residential areas can become victims of armed robberies. In any case, appropriate protective measures should be taken. Outside the cities, safety issues are generally less important. " France Diplomacy

Is Jamaica dangerous everywhere?

Le Numbeo world ranking, Jamaica has a very high crime index (77.33), but this number is only attributed to Kingston its capital.

Jamaica World Crime Numbeo Map

In fact, many travel agencies and blogs claim that Jamaica is not a dangerous country for tourists. That tourists are not the target of criminals, that they only face thefts or fraud, as in all tourist destinations in the world.

So without wanting to encourage or discourage you from traveling to this wonderful country, I will simply indicate below the areas you should avoid in Jamaica.

Dangerous Jamaica – areas to avoid

In terms of areas to avoid in Jamaica, the British government states:

"Crime rates are high, especially in and around certain areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. Gang violence and shootings are commonplace, and while these incidents are generally confined to inner city neighborhoods, there have been recent incidents outside these neighborhoods where there is a risk of becoming a collateral victim. Use caution when traveling to West Kingston, Grant's Pen, August Town, Harbour View, Spanish Town and parts of Montego Bay, including Flankers, Barrett Town, Norwood, Glendevon, Rose Heights and Mount Salem. " gov.uk the 02 / 03 / 2022

As of 28, the United States has classified Jamaica in Zone 4 and recommends travelers avoid certain areas of Jamaica (see Jamaica Travel Advice):

  • Clarendon for crime
  • Hanover for crime
  • Kingston
  • St. Andrew
  • Montego Bay
  • St. Ann
  • St. Catherine
  • St. James
  • Westmoreland

Dangerous neighborhoods in Kingston, Jamaica

Dangerous neighborhoods known to house many gangs and therefore would have high levels of violent crime in Kingston (source travel advice for Jamaica):

  • Arnett Gardens
  • August Town
  • Cassava piece
  • Central village in the Spanish city
  • Denham Town
  • Grants Pen
  • Hannah City
  • View of the harbor
  • Mountain View
  • Olympic Gardens
  • payneland
  • Portmore
  • Tivoli Gardens
  • Ditch City
  • West Kingston
  • Whitfield Town

Map of the districts of Kingston in Jamaica

To better identify the neighborhoods to avoid in Kingston, here is a map that you can zoom in to find:

Dangerous areas in Montego Bay

Montego Bay, located on the north coast of Jamaica, is very popular with tourists. In fact, not only are there wonderful beaches there (Doctor's Cave Beach or Walter Fletcher Beach), but cruise ships dock there as well. Many beach resorts, shopping centers, golf courses and amusement parks are the main assets of Montego Bay.

However, be sure to avoid the following areas:

Where to stay in Jamaica?

Among the safest areas in Jamaica, I recommend Negril beach resort on the western tip of the island.

Negril for the best beaches in Jamaica

This area is very attractive to tourists as it is known for its white sandy beaches, shallow bays and turquoise waters.

The most beautiful beach in Jamaica is Seven Mile Beach where I recommend you to choose your hotel. Indeed it is a heavenly place, lively (stores, bars, restaurants) and a good place for diving or snorkeling.

Which hotel in Negril?

Many hotels offer all-inclusive stays at very attractive prices, but the one I recommend is the TOP: Sandals Negril Beach

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