Travel warnings for Jamaica and the Bahamas have American tourists taking note. The U.S. State Department issued both of the advisories over the last two weeks, in each case citing crime as a potential threat to travelers.
On January 23, the State Department issued a travel warning for Americans heading to Jamaica, citing increased crime on the Caribbean island nation.
The alert is listed as Level 3, one level below the department’s "do not travel" advisory, and it encourages American citizens to "reconsider travel" to Jamaica.
File: This photo taken on Jan. 18, 2024 shows a man fishing at the seaside of Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo by Li Mengxin/Xinhua via Getty Images)
"Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts," the advisory issued by the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica states.
Jamaica has seen 65 murders since the new year, according to data released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force. The number of killings is short of the 81 reported in the same time frame in 2023.
On January 24, the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas issued a Level 2 travel advisory to Americans, suggesting tourists "exercise extreme caution" in the eastern portion of New Providence Island and to keep a low profile.
U.S. officials also urged those traveling to the island to not physically resist when being robbed and use caution when traveling at night.
File: Tourists at a beach in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. (Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The alert noted that 18 murders have occurred on the island nation since Jan. 1, largely due to gang violence is behind the increase in murders.
"Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas," the warning said. "Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence. "
While the travel warnings for Jamaica and the Bahamas were due to violent crime, tourists heading to another popular Caribbean coastal spot should be on alert for other issues.
The State Department issued a security alert earlier this month for tourist towns along Mexico’s Caribbean coast amid clashes between disgruntled taxi drivers and Uber rideshare customers and drivers.
File: Cancun International Airport taxi sign. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The warning comes after medallion taxi drivers in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, home to Cancun and other popular tourist areas on the Yucatan Peninsula, have been harassing and attacking drivers and passengers in Uber vehicles due to frustrations over the competition that the ride-share service provides.
The State Department advised travelers that "past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances."
What is a travel advisory?
The U.S. State Department, through its embassies, issues travel alerts for every nation in the world using the following levels:
- Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions
- Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution
- Level 3 - Reconsider Travel
- Level 4 – Do Not Travel
The more serious alerts also include specific details about the potential threat, ranging from crime to disasters to war.
File: A Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) police officer stands guard in the Half Way Tree neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica on May 18, 2019. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
For comparison, most of Europe is currently under due a Level 2 travel advisory due to terrorism and/or civil unrest.
FOX News reporters Louis Casiano, Andrew Mark Miller, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.