Is Negril Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On January 3, 2024
Negril, Jamaica
Safety Index:
51
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Negril is a fantastic blend of friendly locals, energetic music scenes, pristine beaches, and unique experiences.

However, it requires caution and vigilance to ensure a fantastic experience like all exciting destinations.

Although most locals are friendly and hospitable, harassment cases and crime are occasionally reported.

Therefore, it’s advisable to remain in the tourist areas of Negril, not flash valuables, and not walk alone at night.

Given that Jamaica is a poor nation, avoiding displaying wealth will help eliminate unwanted attention.

Knowing how to be safe in Negril is essential, especially if visiting for the first time.

Since the area welcomes countless international visitors yearly, the most popular destinations in and around the city are well-patrolled and safe.

If you’re interested in visiting Negril, Jamaica, learning more about the city’s safety is important.

Keep reading to find out more!

Warnings & Dangers in Negril

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM

Jamaica has one of the highest per capita murder rates worldwide, including tourists who have wandered into risky areas. The good news is Negril is safer than the rest of the cities, with non-violent crime being the most common. While this doesn't mean you should resist if a petty crime occurs, you can take solace in the fact that your trip will likely be problem-free.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM

Negril's public transit comprises motorbike taxis, automobile taxis, and a local bus system. During the day is the safest time to take these forms of mass transit, but it's advisable to be vigilant and cautious at night. Always use licensed taxis and set the fare before leaving. Local buses become crowded during peak hours, making you susceptible to pickpockets. It's important to note that the bus system doesn't operate with schedules, which takes adjustment for those who are used to more efficient mass transit.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: MEDIUM

Purse snatching, pickpocketing, and other minor thefts are common in Negril, especially in crowded places. Therefore, the government advises all visitors to remain vigilant and secure personal belongings, even in cafes and restaurants. Leaving a backpack on the back of a chair makes you susceptible to a criminal reaching into your bag and grabbing your items.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Given its location in the Caribbean, Jamaica is most susceptible to hurricanes, with the season lasting from June to November. Also, since the climate is tropical, severe thunderstorms can cause mudslides and flooding around Negril. Jamaica is also occasionally hit with earthquakes. While these are all uncontrollable, it's essential to take the proper precautions before traveling and follow the local government guidelines if they occur.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM

Walking alone at night presents risk as the streets are darker and quieter. While petty thefts occur during the late hour, the persistent local hustlers tend to create uncomfortable situations, including muggings. While this is less of a problem during the day, always use private transport or licensed taxis at night and avoid poorly lit, isolated locations.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

Negril has not received any terrorist attacks in modern history, but it doesn't mean you should drop your guard. Be prepared, vigilant, and aware of your surroundings regardless of how safe you think the area, event, or activity is.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: MEDIUM

There is a moderate possibility of being scammed when visiting Negril, specifically with taxi drivers attempting to overcharge you. Aside from this, negotiate prices in advance and double-check your chance to be safe.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM

Females could face unsolicited attention when visiting Negril, and walking home alone at night is never advisable. Taxi drivers and local vendors are known to use catcalls on women, but these are best ignored. The best ways to remain safe as a female traveler are to politely but firmly deny offers, dress moderately, and be vigilant.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: HIGH

Negril's tap water is treated, but the country's poor plumbing infrastructure results in the flowing water picking up bacteria and other contaminants before it gets to the faucet. Many visitors report gastrointestinal issues compared to their home countries due to the treatment. To avoid health risks while on vacation, drink bottled and filtered water.

Safest Places to Visit in Negril

While Jamaica has a reputation for being a violent, crime-ridden country, Negril is one of the safest on the island, with many places you want to visit.

Seven Mile Beach is one of the most popular places in the area and is known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and safety.

Rick’s Café is a popular spot on the cliffs above Seven Mile Beach with stunning and safe sunsets at night.

Other safe destinations include Booby Cay, a small island off the coast; YS Falls, one of the country’s best-known waterfalls; and Bluefields Bay Beach, an isolated beach in southwest Negril.

If you’re seeking a great and safe beach bar, check out Pelican Bar.

Places to Avoid in Negril

Most destinations have specific places to avoid when visiting, most of which are abandoned, poor, off-the-beaten paths with drugs, crime, and other illegal activities.

Although the most common crime is pickpocketing, scams, and other petty theft, don’t put yourself in an unsafe situation by wandering near Lime Tree Lane, Blue Cave Castle, and PeeWee Lane.

This pocket often reports violent crimes among locals, so there is no reason to jump in the mix.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Negril

  1. Avoid Illegal Activities. Most tourists who engage in drugs, the sex trade, and other illegal activities become highly susceptible to crime. Visitors who engage in unlawful behavior are the most common victims of violent and non-violent crimes, so don’t become another statistic.
  2. Avoid Mass Transit at Night. Other than pickpockets on crowded buses, mass transit is perfectly safe in Negril during the day. However, stick to private, licensed taxis to get you back to your hotel or accommodation once the sun goes down. Remember to agree on the price before getting into the car.
  3. Be Firm but Polite. Throughout your time in Negril, you will indefinitely come across pushy street vendors attempting to sell you tours, tickets, souvenirs, sunglasses, and other items you don’t need. There’s no need to be rude to them as you never know what criminals they are connected to, so politely decline and keep walking. They see millions of tourists yearly, so your firmness will not phase them.
  4. Don’t be Flashy. Never flash valuables like expensive electronics, jewelry, or other items in public since criminals are looking for these items. Instead, keep these locked in a safe in the hotel room and carry an anti-theft fanny pack during sightseeing. Tourists who flash cash or expensive items become immediate targets.
  5. Don’t Stay on the First Two Floors. Even after checking highly-rated hotel reviews, criminals will still take advantage of tourists in some areas of Negril. Therefore, it’s best to request a room on a higher floor, lock the door when you enter and exit, and store all valuables in a safe. Most agents will accommodate the request if the hotel is not fully booked.
  6. Learn the Emergency Services Numbers. The most critical numbers in Negril and Jamaica are the doctors and police. You can find this information by asking the resort or hotel staff for assistance and saving it on your phone if an issue arises.
  7. Never Leave Drinks Unattended. Although uncommon, it takes two seconds for a criminal to slip an incapacitating drug into your drink, leaving you completely vulnerable. Therefore, never leave drinks unattended when out at bars, clubs, or restaurants. If a stranger offers you a drink, then ensure you watch the bartender make the drink in front of you. Never accept a random drink without seeing the source.
  8. Remain in Tourist Areas. The safest and most secure areas of Negril to sightsee are the tourist areas, which are well-lit and well-patrolled. If you wish to venture into other areas, contact a local and reputable tour company to take you out of town safely. Don’t venture out alone or with a group, as certain regions outside Negril can be dangerous.
  9. Stay in a Hotel. To understand what to expect, it’s critical to peruse customer reviews when looking for accommodations in Negril. Google Reviews and Booking.com are two excellent options; they provide the most detailed reviews so you can make an informed decision. Remember, safety is your number one priority when visiting Negril, so enter relevant keywords to know you are choosing a good location.
  10. Steer Clear of Poorly-Lit Areas. Let’s face it: poorly lit areas anywhere are scary at night, so why would you venture into a secluded location in an unknown destination? Even during the day, steer clear of abandoned buildings and neighborhoods, as you never know what kind of trouble is waiting for you around the corner.

So... How Safe Is Negril Really?

Negril is considered one of Jamaica’s safest cities, primarily because of the tourist currency flowing through the city.

The government takes the proper steps to keep tourists safe so they will continue to visit the beaches and attractions.

Unfortunately, the crime rates are rising across Jamaica, with petty theft being the leading cause.

The best way to mitigate an issue is by never flashing electrónicas, cash, valuables, or jewelry in public since criminals are searching for these items.

Most accommodations have safes for storage, so using this item is highly recommended.

How Does Negril Compare?

CitySafety Index
Negril51
Kingston48
Montego Bay73
Portmore67
Spanish Town68
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

Jamaica only requires visas for some citizens entering the country for less than 90 days. Ensure your passport is valid for three months following your return from the country. Confirm the requirements with your state department if you need clarification on a visa status.

Currency

Currency

The Jamaican Dollar is the country's official currency. ATMs are available around Negril, and credit cards are acceptable at most locations, especially in touristy areas. Some places accept American Dollars due to the excellent exchange rate but don't rely on all establishments accepting this currency.

Weather

Weather

Two weather types exist on the island: an upland tropical climate on the windward side of the mountains and a semi-Ari's climate on the leeward side. Negril is situated on the tropical side of the island and experiences rainfall throughout the year.

Airports

Airports

Negril is serviced by the Negril Aerodrome, the largest airport in the area, offering domestic and international flights. The Aerodrome is centrally located between downtown, the beach areas, and the inland areas and is easily accessible by taxi or bus.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Like with all destinations, purchasing travel insurance when visiting Negril is essential. Accidents occur, luggage is lost, belongings are stolen, and health issues arise, so having travel insurance gives you peace of mind during your vacation.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Negril Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 28° C
Feb 28° C
Mar 28° C
Apr 29° C
May 30° C
Jun 30° C
Jul 30° C
Aug 30° C
Sep 30° C
Oct 30° C
Nov 29° C
Dec 28° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
323232333333343434333332
Low
°C
232324252626262626262524
High
°F
909090919191939393919190
Low
°F
737375777979797979797775

Jamaica - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Kingston48
Montego Bay73
Negril51
Portmore67
Spanish Town68

Where to Next?

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