The U.S. Department of State has issued a warning for a popular travel destination after 18 murders were reported this month.
A travel advisory posted Friday urges tourists to exercise increased caution” when traveling to The Bahamas due to crime. The Level 2 alert says violent crime, including burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assaults, can occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas, where law enforcement may be limited.
“The majority of crime occurs on New Providence (Nassau) and Grand Bahama (Freeport) islands. In Nassau, practice increased vigilance in the “Over the Hill” area (south of Shirley Street) where gang-on-gang violence has resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population,” the alert says. “Be vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence.”
According to AL.com, the advisory comes after the U.S. Embassy in The Bahamas posted an alert urging citizens to be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024. The killings, believed to be motivated by retaliatory gang violence, have occurred in broad daylight.
If you decide to visit The Bahamas, the embassy and the state department recommended the following:
- Exercise extreme caution in the eastern part of New Providence Island (Nassau)
- Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is
- Use caution when walking or driving at night
- Keep a low profile
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt
- Review your personal security plans
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel
Travelers are also urged to be aware of safety risks while swimming or using commercial recreational watercraft, which are not consistently regulated. Always review and heed local weather and marine alerts before engaging in water-based activities, the advisory said, and never swim alone, regardless of your age or level of swimming skills.
Read the full travel advisory at travel.state.gov.