Is Montego Bay Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Safety Index:
73
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
93
* Rated 93 / 100 based on 3 user reviews.

Montego Bay commonly referred to as MoBay, is the second-largest city in the island nation Jamaica, a member of the British Commonwealth.

Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish, one of the 14 parishes in Jamaica and one of the famous tourist arrival destination.

Montego Bay has long received the title of “tourist capital of Jamaica.”

It takes most of Jamaica’s international flights.

This is a tourist destination known for its duty-free shops, cruise line terminal, and Doctor’s Cave sheltered beach with clear turquoise waters, which is one of the most famous beaches on the island.

Warnings & Dangers in Montego Bay

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

In general, Montego Bay can be safe if you follow common sense and be careful at night. Central areas may be less secure than the outskirts. Any contact with drug dealers and prostitutes should be avoided.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Public transport is well distributed and reliable. However, it is worth watching your pockets, and things as pickpockets can wield. Taxis are preferred if you return to the hotel late at night. Use only licensed taxi services.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

Pickpockets are more common on beaches and in crowded places. At the bazaars, they may also try to distract you and empty your pockets at this time. Always be mindful of your surroundings. Local can be very intrusive if they see you as a tourist. However, if you firmly tell them no, they will lag behind you.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: HIGH

Jamaica is subject to many natural hazards. The island is located in the hurricane belt and has survived many hurricanes. Jamaica also has a history of seismic activity. Strong earthquakes affected Montego Bay and Kingston in 1958. Investigate reliable sources for these risks before you travel here.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Armed robberies also sometimes occur in the region. Most often, this is a showdown between drug dealers. However, tourists can also become an accidental victim of an attack. Avoid walking at Montego Bay late at night and alone. Do not be in the dangerous areas of the city alone.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Although there is no recent history of terrorism in Jamaica, the possibility of attacks cannot be ruled out. Explore the political situation on the island before your trip. It is best to avoid mass crowds, political, and other rallies.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM

Most Montego Bay scams involve lottery tickets when you are offered to buy them to win. Be sure you will lose. Also, tourists can be deceived with the price of trinkets and taxi rides. Haggle and discuss the cost of the trip in advance.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

In Montego Bay, women are better off traveling in the company. If you walk alone, especially at night and in disadvantaged areas, then there is a high probability of becoming a victim of the increased and persistent attention of local men. Use a taxi to return to the hotel late at night, always get behind the driver and close the windows of the car.

So... How Safe Is Montego Bay Really?

Montego Bay has an average level of travel safety.

The crime rate is medium to high.

The main problems are related to the theft of things, car theft, and hacking, attacks, vandalism, and corruption problems.

Some concern is the growing level of drug-related crimes.

While Montego Bay is a relatively safe city, reasonable precautions should be observed.

Stay in groups, and stick to tourist areas.

The rural areas are especially dangerous.

Most locations close to the resorts are safe.

Travelers should be aware that Jamaicans are amiable people.

However, they always try to do a service for Western tourists for money.

Themselves will offer you somewhere to take, help – and they will wait for this monetary incentive, sometimes very persistently.

Do not be afraid to say no and avoid these people from the very beginning.

Also, note that the stores will have staff in front of the stores to get you in.

Simple is not, thank you will be enough.

The areas inside the city are especially dangerous, as it is here where poor people live.

More distant from downtown Montego Bay are safer areas.

Prostitution is common at night in Montego Bay, in the dead streets, on the Fashion Strip, and in “sketchy” bars.

How Does Montego Bay Compare?

CitySafety Index
Montego Bay73
Kingston48
Portmore67
Spanish Town68
Negril51
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Visitors to Jamaica must obtain a visa from one of the Jamaican diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the 116 countries designated as visa-exempt countries or countries whose citizens may obtain a visa on arrival. Most Commonwealth Citizens can visit Jamaica for up to 180 days visa-free. A valid passport is a must.

Currency

Currency

The Jamaican Dollar is the currency of Jamaica. The currency code for Dollars is JMD, and the currency symbol is J$. It is divided into 100 cents.

Weather

Weather

The best time to visit Montego Bay, Jamaica, is from November to mid-December when the weather is pleasant, and the room rates are reasonable. Average temperatures in Montego Bay vary very little, and the weather feels hot all year with a low chance of precipitation most of the year.

Airports

Airports

Sangster International Airport is an international airport located 5 km east of Montego Bay, Jamaica. The airport is capable of handling nine million passengers per year. It serves as the most popular airport for tourists visiting the north coast of Jamaica.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Montego Bay Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 25° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 25° C
Apr 26° C
May 27° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 26° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
292929303132323232313029
Low
°C
212121222323232423232322
High
°F
848484868890909090888684
Low
°F
707070727373737573737372

Jamaica - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Kingston48
Montego Bay73
Negril51
Portmore67
Spanish Town68

Where to Next?

3 Reviews on Montego Bay

  1. Chill vibes

    If you come from a fast paced life style, like me, I’m a New York investment banker who is so used to the city lifestyle, Montego Bay would influence you to tone it down a bit. Its a pretty chill environment, locals are also very friendly, however as always be careful with you who interact with.

  2. V
    Vikki S. says:

    Montego Bay

    Stay at the Hilton in Mobay. Pay for the Mobay Greeters to hand you a drink and escort you through customs =) Set up taxi service to and from Sanger; I highly recommend Turner (Carlton Turner) Taxi. He will also pick you up and take you shopping during your stay ensuring you go no where unescorted. Then, chill ‘Mon! 😎🇯🇲
    We go every year!

  3. Be smart and enjoy!

    This will be my second visit to MoBay. Like any other country to include travels within the US, I exercise caution everywhere in other words be smart. I usually try to stay on the resort unless it’s an excursion promoted by the resort.

    The MoBay Experience is highly recommended to assist with the ease of getting through customs and helping to get your luggage and to your transportation services to your resort. The food isn’t great but the service does eliminate the headache of standing in the long waiting line to clear customs.

    I have always chosen to hire VIP transport services rather than ride the bus or van service offered. The VIP service is just me and my travel partner. This service is usually in a luxury car or SUV (BMW,Mercedes Benz, etc.) and it’s worth the money. This driver will have a light snake and an adult beverage for you to enjoy on the ride to your resort.

Montego Bay Rated 4.67 / 5 based on 3 user reviews.

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