Renowned as a maritime playground for sun-starved Americans, the Bahamas is so much more than a cruise-ship stopover.
Stretched between the depths of the North Atlantic and Florida’s eastern coast, the Bahamas comprises more than 700 islands and 2400 cays, most uninhabited, and all fringed by spectacular coral and fathomless ocean trenches.
From the grit and bustle of funky Nassau to the vast mangroves of Andros, there’s an astonishing array of beaches, reefs, forests and historic towns to be discovered, all within the compass of an hour’s flight.
However, as pretty as it is, you need to be very, very careful when you’re traveling to the Bahamas.
Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault is common, even during daylight hours and in tourist areas.
U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime. Jet-ski operators are known to commit sexual assaults against tourists, including minors.
As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.
If you decide to travel to The Bahamas:
- Avoid the area known as “Over the hill” (south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau at night.
- Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Got any more safety tips? Share them with us in the comments below!