The Bahamas : Safety by City
If you include the cays, which are small islands formed on coral reefs, the Bahama Islands consist of about 2,000 islands.
This archipelago and its beaches are an attraction in themselves, but even though they’re most popular for the heavenly beaches, Bahamas are also known for having some wonderful landmarks.
There’s the Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation (formerly known as The Vendue House) as well as Paradise Island, and many forts and monuments all over the city of Nassau, open every day so you can go visit whenever.
Apart from touring around the forts and monuments, there are also other tours you can take such as the tour of the distillery at John Watling’s or you can give Tru Bahamas Food Tours a try and taste some original Bahamian food.
However, don’t ignore the source of the greatest enjoyment in the Bahamas – water!
The Bahamian beaches are perfect for water sports, kiteboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, bonefishing, wave runners, island boat tours, wild dolphin excursions, and even shark encounters.
And the best part about the water – it’s like warm bath water all year round.
Warnings & Dangers in The Bahamas
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
The Bahamas aren't too safe to visit with its high murder rate, but if you apply safety and precaution measures, it should minimize the risk of getting hurt.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Be very careful when using public transport. Taxi drivers might try to overcharge you since the cabs in this country are not metered. Remain vigilant on public transport since that's where pickpockets operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets are, of course, common, and this country is ridden with both petty and violent crime, though this time, the accent is on violent crime. Still, you should never carry all your money in the same place, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
When it comes to natural disasters, The Bahamas suffer from hurricanes during the hurricane season that lasts from 1 June to 30 November. Tourists are advised to monitor local and international weather updates.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
Violent crime is extremely common in the Bahamas. The country is ridden with violent crime, and armed robberies, kidnappings, and murders are extremely common, usually not affecting tourists though violence towards foreigners has been on an increase during the past couple of years.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in The Bahamas' recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out so remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Bear in mind that taxi drivers may try to overcharge you, since cabs in The Bahamas are not metered, so always agree on the price before getting in, and avoid getting into unlicensed cabs. Also, some tour guides, including boat operators, may ask for a tip on top of the agreed price upon the completed job.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
The Bahamas aren't the safest destination for solo female travelers. Women have reported catcalls and sexual harassment while walking on the streets of the Bahamas. If you are a female solo traveler, you are advised to reject rides from strangers or taxi drivers who appear unlicensed. Be sure to avoid remote streets, both during day and night, and do not flash your belongings or handle money in public. Stay out of the streets at night and be vigilant for any possible dangers at all times.
So... How Safe Is The Bahamas Really?
The biggest problem for the Bahamas, crime-wise, isn’t the petty crime or the violent street crime: it is the murder rate.
The statistics for the year 2007 weren’t encouraging: 42 recorded murders.
Then three years later, in 2010, the murder count was 96.
The police suggest that the highest number of these murders are fuelled by competition in the illegal drug trade, and related to drug trade or gangs, but there’s also domestic violence that ends with a murder.
This may not affect tourists, but what does is the general increase in violent crime in the recent past, so visitors are advised to exercise caution.
The American Embassy has also received several reports of sexual assaults on American tourists, including teenage girls.
When it comes to these shocking crimes, most of the serious crimes committed in the Bahamas occur largely in Nassau (New Providence).
It is noted that the increase in violent crimes between 2009 and 2015 is partly focused on tourists since many of them were targeted at tourists visiting the country.
There were also instances of an armed robbery at more remote locations, where tourists have no business going anyway, but it is important to mention it as a possible danger.
Many tourists reported being mugged, some of them even in front of a hotel.
You can expect the Bahamian police to be of little help.
How Does The Bahamas Compare?
- Visas - Some countries are required to apply for The Bahamas' visa, while many countries other than the US and Canada are required to present a valid passport which must be current up to your travel period. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - There are two valid currencies in The Bahamas: United States Dollar and the Bahamian dollar. You can find plenty of banks with ATMs in the major tourist centers, and cities, but bear in mind that they can be rare or nonexistent on the Out Islands.
- Weather - The climate in The Bahamas is subtropical in the north and fully tropical in the south. The best time to visit the Bahamas is between September and May when the temperature averages 21-24°C. Keep in mind that more northerly islands are around 5° cooler than the southern islands. The rest of the year is a bit warmer, with higher humidity in the summer months when the temperatures vary between 27 and 29° C.
- Airports - The biggest airports in the country are located in Marsh Harbour, Moore's Island, Sandy Point with a large private airport serving Castaway Cay, also used as an exclusive port for the Disney Cruise Line ships.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to The Bahamas, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
The Bahamas Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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21 Reviews on The Bahamas
We have boated from Miami to Bimini GB and Nassau some 15 years ago. It is a beautiful spot to visit BUT unless and until the government and law enforcement get SERIOUS about corruption and violent crime the tourism future looks grim !
Surely with mandatory stiff and severe penalties for violent crimes especially against tourists who greatly contribute to the economy,etc.such a small country with it’s resources ought to be able to RID the place of ALL crime whatever the costs !
Otherwise the word will sooner than later get around and most folk will absolutely AVOID the islands !
Sad but true.
Negroes are out of control and will, infact, hurt, rob and may kill. Use to keep a boat at Lyford Key. Pulled out and now keep boat in Carribean.
Stop calling out the Black people
Back off man! The white people there are just as bad, you’re being really insensitive.
White people make up less than 5% of the island tho
Bahamas travel risk needs to be changed
I felt very safe safer than in the us recently on vacation. I got lost on a scooter and a local resident was nice enough to drive me back to safety. They don’t do that in the us. I saw no crime or weapons. I felt nothing but love on the island.
Really? I did not feel safe there and I was on there on a Cruise. Some shady-looking stuff when getting off the boat. Low-class people.
This review is woefully out of touch. I live in the Bahamas for the last 28 years and have never been subjected to any of this. Places like Chicago or Detroit are far more dangerous than the Bahamas. Kidnappings really? Very very rarely somebody gets kidnapped and when it does happen it’ll it’s usually a child walking home alone. Compare the amount of kidnapping per capita to that of the US
Hello anonymous I am a woman alone and am looking to buy a house there and wondered where about do you live? The house I’m looking at is in New Providence. Is that safe to you?
I agree. I just came back from the Bahamas as a solo female traveler. Not once did I feel in danger (with the exception of crazy traffic driving). I was there for 4 days, on my own, did my own excursions (private ones too). I haven’t been mugged, catcalled or anything like that. There is crime just as any town and country. Seldom do they involve murder and people flash name brand and high end items out here as well.
I cannot speak for Nassau but I can say that Freeport in Grand Bahama is much safer than any city in Europe and even more than in the US.
To be fair, I always left my beachbag outside during the night and someone stole it once. The incredible thing is that the robber emptied the bag, left the towel, snorkeling gears and only took the 8$ bag. Robbers are even courteous there.
Just common sense and be careful about other people driving and you will be safe.
bahamas is very nice but nassau just is a hotspot for crime
This article is quite extreme!
Seriously it’s not a big deal
I went to Nassau on a cruise, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. All of the people were real chipper and upbeat, and made my family feel welcome. We left our stuff on the beach to go snorkeling. There was like actual money in that bag and all that got taken was a pair of sunglasses. One lady charged a bit too much for handmade souvenirs, but we made a deal and it was fine. Never once did I feel uncomfortable here. Heads up though: in the middle of the summer, hiking up the stone staircase and walking around the streets, it was CRAZY HOT. I thought I was gonna DIE. But in the end, everything was totally fine and all the pickpocket warnings were for naught. Of course I suggest being careful at all times, but it wasn’t any worse than a regular city. I could see myself living there. Also, you people need to back off of the racist stuff. Everyone’s calling this a real terrible place and calling out the black people, and I’m just like, get over yourself. These people were great to us and y’all are being real jerks.
Cat Island fans
I never travel without checking the state-issued travel advisory. Sometimes there is local civil unrest that you, as a tourist, might not be aware of so why risk it?
After reading a bit on relevant travel forums I decided to skip Nassau altogether, even day crime is serious there. We finally decided on Cat Island, a very small island which allowed us to spend our days worry-free. Luckily, my husband is not a shy man, he scanned several taxis for the lowest fare, the difference between them was insane! If you don’t have an option I would strongly suggest negotiating, they do like a good haggle.
Our kids had a bit of trouble adjusting to the weather, the insane high temperatures mid-day meant we had to spend a lot of time shielded from the sun. We lathered ourselves in spf but somehow still managed to get a pretty ugly chest burn right on the first day.
Also, I was surprised to see quite a few female travelers when we were there. If I’m being honest, I would love to experience this paradise all by myself, the whole area is safe and the water is so nice.
If you downsize and opt for a small island with very few inhabitants or go for islands that are mostly booked by families with kids I’m guessing you won’t have any problems. However, if you’re going there to party all night, your chances of bumping into shady characters are pretty high, especially if your alcohol levels are high.
The Bahamas has tons and tons of gorgeous islands where you can escape the daily grind. I wouldn’t say no to it just because in some areas – especially over-populated or touristy ones – you might be in danger. Things aren’t pretty good in NY either but I wouldn’t move in a million years.
Extremely friendly people
Buy an “all-inclusive trip” it’s safer and you never have to carry money. The Bohemian people in markets and even the people on the beach selling trinkets and are extremely friendly, they work for the government there are extremely poor people you do have to beware of cab drivers and never go shopping without a crowd.
My 21-year-old daughter and I spent a week at Nassau and Paradise Island, we stayed at a sister motel next to the Atlantis and it set the bar extremely high for future travels.
Just stay away from Nassau
The Bahamas do have lots of crime in nassau but the other islands are pretty safe! at least they don’t have as much crime as the DR
Bahamas is as safe as anywhere
My wife and I have lived in Nassau for a decade, and the negative reviews above are ridiculous.
Don’t go “Over the hill”. Don’t disrespect the locals. They are a proud, loving people but know how to dish rudeness right back at you. Watch your pockets when walking in town…when 6 cruise ships are in port, the petty thieves smell blood! But they are not violent.
The “murder rates” that the media and travel sites love to play up, are 99% gang-related.
My wife goes grocery shopping alone, I wear my Rolex out in public, we hang out on public beaches, and we have NEVER ONCE felt unsafe. With few exceptions, Bahamians are awesome people and they (and we) live in a beautiful country!
Need advice on Treasure Cays Safety
I am looking for feedback on Treasure Cay, we are going between Christmas and New Years and we found an affordable priced air bnb only two blocks from the beach. We are bringing our daughter who is a strong and beautiful 13 year old and my handsome 12 year old son. Should I worry about their safety? Also how many scams are out there for places to stay.
Go if you feel lucky enough
I’ve been to the bahamas on a cruise with my mum and dad in my senior year of high school. It was great and a lot of fun. Nothing bad happened to us and the beaches were nice to swim in and its quite peaceful. Their views on corporal punishment of crime is a bit concerning cause they literally beat their prisoners on their backs. I don’t know if it is because it scares them to not do what they did again. Either way if you commit a crime don’t expect a reasonable punishment. The criminals their literally never commit a crime anymore there because of fear of pain rather than to give back to the community.
Why is The Bahamas on the “Safest Countries to Visit” tab?