Guest Safety & Security
Travelers to Jamaica need not be overly concerned about security or safety issues; using good common sense will help to keep you safe and healthy.
For your health, wear sunscreen as the Caribbean sun is much stronger than at home, and try to avoid the midday sun altogether. Be especially cautious on your first day.
It’s best to drink bottled water in Jamaica. If you experience diarrhea, change your eating habits and drink only bottled water until your symptoms subside.
Use insect repellent, especially in the early evening. “No-see-ums” are a common annoyance here.
There are numerous hospitals in Jamaica, but they are not of the same standard as those in the United States. Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay (876-952-5100), St. Ann’s Bay Hospital in Ocho Rios (876-972-0150), and University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston (876-927-1620) are few. Call 119 in case of emergency. For minor medical problems, visit a pharmacy.
The greatest crime risk to visitors is robbery. Pay extra attention to your surroundings when traveling. Women’s handbags should be zipped and held close to the body, and men should carry wallets in their front pants pocket. Large amounts of cash should always be handled discreetly. Keep the doors and windows of your villa and vehicle locked, and don’t leave valuables (including passports) in plain sight. Be careful at beaches, too; avoid leaving valuables unattended.
There are some neighborhoods in Montego Bay and Kingston that should be avoided altogether due to gang violence. They include Mountain View, Trench Town, Tivoli Gardens, and Arnett Gardens in Kingston, and Flankers in Montego Bay. Take extra caution in downtown Kingston after dark.
Hitchhiking and walking on the beaches after dark are also strongly advised against.
Drug use is prevalent in Jamaica, but avoid buying, selling, holding, or taking illegal drugs under any circumstances as they are often much more potent than at home and can pose serious health risks. Criminal penalties regarding drug use and trafficking are also severe.