Are you wondering what are the safest and most dangerous islands in the Caribbean?
Then this post provides all the details. Generally, the Caribbean islands are safe places with friendly hospital people.
As Caribbean nationals, we can attest that locals are warm and welcoming to visitors to the destinations.
On a whole, homicides tend to be restricted to persons with disagreements or gang related violence. Robberies, praedial larceny and petty crimes are much more prevalent.
Nevertheless, care and caution should be exercised just as in larger and more developed destinations.
Valuables such as laptops, jewelery, tablets and trendy electronic devices should not be left unattended.
Individuals should avoid walking in dark and secluded places especially at nights.
In this article, we cover the safest and most dangerous islands in the Caribbean as well as features that make them extraordinary.
So, let us begin firstly with the safest Caribbean islands.
18 Safest Islands In The Caribbean
1. St Barths
This overseas territory of France has virtually no crime and as a result is concerned one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.
Locals often boast of being able to leave their cars and homes without locking. As a result, many celebrities usually flock to St Barths for its safety and privacy.
St Barths is a great destination to visit for exotic French cuisine, amazing white sand beaches and high end luxury shopping.
The British overseas territory of Montserrat is another destination with a negligible crime rate.
It has a population of about 5,000 inhabitants as many persons migrated after the volcanic eruption in 1995.
A prominent feature of Montserrat is that it is only island that celebrates St Patrick’s Day as a public holiday annual on March 17th.
The festival is a two week long activity which includes several concerts, street parades and pub crawls.
This is largely due to the Irish heritage of the populace which dates back to slavery.
Affectionately known as the Isle of Spice, Grenada is truly blessed with a low level of crime when compared to its Eastern Caribbean counterparts.
According to the US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council based on a 2018 crime report per 100,000 citizens, Grenada had the lowest murder and kidnapping rates when compared to six other regional islands.
Grenada is a destination with a bit of everything. The island has amazing cuisine, rainforest with magnificent hiking trails, waterfalls and white sand beaches.
Furthermore, the island is home to the first underwater sculpture park in the world which is a must visit for diving enthusiasts.
The Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire is another quiet and safe destination known for its dry and arid landscape.
Furthermore, the island is known as one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. Klien Bonaire is an excellent diving location which is a small uninhabited island.
One of the must visit places on the island is Washington Slagbaai National Park which covers approximately one fifth of the island.
It provides a safe habitat for birds and their production. Additionally, there are also salt pans which provide a home for the pink flamingos.
Known for some of the most turquoise waters in the Caribbean, Anguilla is one of the safest islands to visit.
The population at the time of publication is only 15,368 as per the website worldometers.com
One of the most popular and well- loved beach on the island is Shoal Bay East Beach.
This beach is long strip about 2 miles with perfect white sand and clear blue waters.
Other well-known beaches are Sandy ground Beach and Rendezvous Beach.
One amazing benefit of visiting Anguilla is the easy access of the island to neighboring St Maarten/ St Martin.
There are daily ferry services to both the Dutch and French sides of the territories in the event that you need a break from spending time at the beach.
6. St Martin
St Martin is a Caribbean island that has the unique feature of sharing its landmass with the Dutch Caribbean island of St Marteen.
The destination is great for relaxing, white sand beaches and fine French cuisine.
Orient Bay Beach is the best beach on the island which is excellent for water sport activities such as snorkeling.
For history enthusiasts, Fort Louis is a place to see which provides magnificent views of the capital city of Marigot.
There are also panoramic views of Philipsburg and Simpson Bay which is in Dutch St Maarten.
The access to the Fort is via steps and it is an uphill climb. Nevertheless, it is not a stringent hike.
Affectionately referred to as the “unspoiled queen” of the Caribbean, Saba is only five square miles and has four main villages.
Saba has the highest point of elevation in the Caribbean Netherlands which is called Mount Scenery. It stands at 2,910 feet.
Hiking mount scenery of one of the island’s popular attractions. It takes about 90 minutes each way and the hike is strenuous.
There are steps through the rain forest where you can enjoy the island’s wildlife, flora and fauna.
Bottom Mountain trail, Bud’s Mountain Trail and Dancing Place Trail are some of the other hikes that you can consider when visiting Saba.
Barbados is located Southeastern of St Vincent & the Grenadines and it is one of the more developed Caribbean islands.
Therefore, Barbados is awesome for persons who are looking for amenities such as health care services while on vacation.
Additionally, the island is a perfect destination for persons who love horseracing, exploring the iconic Harrison caves and white sand beaches.
Harrison caves are an absolute beauty to behold. The cave has stalagmites and stalactites which are magnificent.
Visitors get to explore the caves via trams. There is also refreshment available as well as opportunity to purchase local souvenirs at Harrison Caves.
For horse racing enthusiasts, the Garrison Savannah which is a UNESCO heritage site is a place to visit.
Be sure to check out what tournaments and races are occurring while on the island.
Affectionately known as the isle of flowers, Martinique is an overseas territory of France like St Martin above.
Accordingly, Euro is the official currency of the island. Martinique has almost 2,000 different species of flora and fauna.
Located in the heart of the capital city of Fort De France is Jardin de Balata which was designed by Jean Philipee Thoze.
There you can observe and take in the beauty of the island’s flora and fauna.
One advantage of visiting Martinique is the ease of access to neighboring islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica and St Lucia via high speed ferry services.
10. US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands consists of four major islands as well as 50 smaller islets and cays. These islands are St Croix, St Thomas, St John and Water Island.
The islands are amazing for white sand beaches, island getaways and duty free shopping.
Magens Bay Beach is the best beach in St Thomas which is the center of commercial activities among the group.
High end luxury brands such as Coach, Gucci, Rolex and Swarovski have a retail presence in St Thomas
St Croix and St John are much more laid back environment with fantastic white sand beaches.
Over two third of St John is designated as national park and hence is one of the best Caribbean islands for hiking.
11. St Maarten
Our next recommendation for a safe Caribbean destination is the Dutch Caribbean island of St Maarten.
It shares its landmass with the French overseas territory of St Maarten mentioned above.
St Maarten is a popular destination in the Lesser Antilles which provides international airport transfers for smaller islands such as Saba, St Eustatius, St Martin and St Barths.
Furthermore, many persons visit the island to experience the excitement of jet blast from Maho Beach which is also known as Airplane Beach is situated near the Princess Juliana Airport.
As such when planes land they fly over Maho Beach, visitors can experience the strong gush that it produces.
St Maarten is also known for some of the best duty free shopping in the Caribbean with Front Street in the capital city being the best location to shop for jewelery and electronic items.
12. St Eustatius
St Eustatius or Statia as is commonly called by locals is a Dutch Caribbean Island only 11.8 square miles.
The island is often remembered globally for the first salute to recognize United States of America as a nation. This day is marked every year on November 16th on the island.
St Eustatius has many hiking trails and visiting the Quill is one of them. The Quill is the highest point on the island from which one has scenic views of the nearby islands.
It is a dormant volcano and there is a crater where you can see varieties of flowers on the island. It is best if you plan on doing this hike, to consider a going along with a guide.
13. British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are overseas territories of the United Kingdom. It consists of 60 islands located East of Puerto Rico. The four main islands are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.
The islands are known for its iconic beach, the Baths, kite surfing and amazing dive sites.
Located in Virgin Gorda, the Baths is the island’s biggest attraction. The Baths is situated within a unique national park on the southwest coast of the island.
This beach has massive boulders which forms sea pools and is ideal for snorkeling and swimming.
There is a fee required for access to this beach. A must see if you ever visit the BVI.
For dive enthusiasts, the Rhone National Marine Park is a must visit location. This marine park features two amazing dive sites being the wreck of HMS Rhone and the dive of Dead Chest Island.
The Dutch Caribbean island is a safe destination to visit and its perfect for persons who want to vacation in an island outside the hurricane belt.
Aruba does not receive the level of rainfall as countries in the Caribbean such as St Lucia.
As such, sunshine is almost always guaranteed during your visit. There is so much to do and see in Aruba.
Aruba is an excellent destination for white sand beaches, hiking, golfing, great restaurants and skydiving.
15. St Vincent & the Grenadines
St Vincent and the Grenadines is 150 square miles and is another safe destination to consider in the Southern region of the Caribbean
It has a chain of 32 smaller islands which are called The Grenadines. Some of the Grenadines are inhabited such as Bequia, Union Island and Canouan.
Alternatively, islands such as Petit Nevis and Tobago Cays are uninhabited.
Grenadines such as Mustique and Canouan are popular vacation spots for the wealthy.
St Vincent is an excellent destination for black and white sand beaches and hiking.
It is also home to the oldest botanical gardens in the Western hemisphere.
Statistica.com also conducted a review of the number of robberies in the Caribbean for the year 2019.
St Vincent and the Grenadines was the destination with the highest robbery rate. The data revealed that there were approximately 122.5 robberies for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Dominica is located between the French Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe to the North and Martinique to the South.
For persons traveling to Dominica, there is a high ferry service from Dominica which connects seamlessly to the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St Lucia.
Dominica is home to the second largest boiling lake in the world in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It is also a great destination for hiking.
May is an excellent month to visit to explore as the island hosts hike fest.
In relation to robberies, according toStatistica.com, the Nature island of Dominica had the second highest number of robberies in the Caribbean in 2019.
The data showed that there were approximately 119.76 robberies for every 100,000 inhabitants.
17. St Lucia
The Caribbean island of St Lucia has garnered a name for itself as a premier destination for weddings and honeymoons.
It is also known for its stunning twin peaks called The Pitons which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The island is loved for its beaches, hiking trails and entertainment.
The third island in the Caribbean, according toStatistica.com, for the highest rate of robberies in the Caribbean in 2019 was St Lucia.
The data confirmed that there were about 98 robberies for every 100, 000 inhabitants.
18. St Kitts & Nevis
St Kitts is home the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brimstone Fortress Hill National Park.
This location is one of the most visited attractions on the island with sweeping views of Nevis and neighboring islands.
The park also has ramps and rails which makes it suitable for users who may be disabled.
The twin island state of St Kitts and Nevis is the fourth on the list for the highest number of robberies in the Caribbean in 2019.
The data confirmed that there were about 92.74 robberies for every 100, 000 inhabitants.
6 Most Dangerous Islands In The Caribbean
This list below on the most dangerous islands in the Caribbean was evaluated based on data found on the website Stastica.com on the highest rates of homicides in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2022.
The destinations at the top of this list were used to create this report below on the most dangerous Caribbean islands.
According to Statistica.com, based on data computed, Jamaica as the most violent country in the Caribbean for the year 2022.
This website also revealed that there were about 52.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. This figure represents the highest rate of homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nonetheless, Jamaica still remains one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the Caribbean.
The island is cherished for its amazing white sand beaches such as the gorgeous Seven Mile Beach in Negril, majestic waterfalls, rivers, exotic food, reggae music and so much more.
It less than two hours flying time from Miami International Airport to Jamaica thus making this island ideal for a quick weekend getaway.
2. Trinidad & Tobago
The second Caribbean island whose data revealed a high level of violent crime for the year 2022, was the twin island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago.
According to Statistica.com, there were approximately 39.4 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
This figure represents the third highest rate of homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean with the island of Venezuela being in second place.
Trinidad & Tobago is often overlooked as a destination for tourists to the Caribbean.
This is due to the fact that the primary earner for the country has been the oil and gas sector.
As such tourism has not played a pivotal role in the economy of the island when compared to other destinations such as Jamaica.
Nevertheless, the crime for Trinidad & Tobago is predominantly concentrated on the main island of Trinidad.
Visitors to Tobago often describe the island as peaceful and tranquility and compare it to Grenada.
One of the best months to visit is October, when Tobago hosts its annual arts, music and culture festival.
Coming in at number eight on the list, according to Statistica.com for the year 2022 was the beautiful Caribbean island of Belize.
Based on the data revealed,there were approximately 25 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Belize is well known for its superior diving and snorkeling experiences.
Some of the top spots in the country to consider include Turneffe Atoll, Belize Barrier Reef, Hopkins and Placencia.
Furthermore, Belize is home to 300km of barrier reef system which is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which is the second largest system in the world.
4. Puerto Rico
The next most dangerous island in the Caribbean is the US overseas territory of Puerto Rico.
According to Statistica.com, there were approximately 17.4 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
This is number ten on the entire list of the highest rate of homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean. Belize and Brazil were number eight and nine respectively.
Furthermore, Statistica.com also confirmed that Puerto Rico had the fifth highest rate of robberies in the Caribbean in 2019.
The data showed that there were 74.52 robberies for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Puerto Rico is an excellent Caribbean island to visit for amazing beaches, island getaways, exotic cuisine, Spanish food and culture and so much more.
In position number twelve within Latin America and the Caribbean for the highest number of homicide is Guyana.
According to Statistica.com, there were approximately 15.1 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
The Latin America country of Guatemala was number eleven on this list.
Located in the Amazon rainforest, Guyana is home to Kaieteur Falls which is the world’s largest single drop waterfall.
6. Dominican Republic
In position number fourteen on the list of the highest number of homicide within Latin America and the Caribbean is Dominican Republic.
According to Statistica.com, there were approximately 11.9 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Costa Rica was number thirteen on this list.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most visited countries in the Caribbean for its amazing beaches and vibrant nightlife atmosphere.
A large portion of tourists often visit Punta Cana which is home to the tallest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte.
Dominican Republic is unique as it shares the landmass of the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Cheapest and Safest Caribbean Island To Live?
The cheapest and safest country to live in is Grenada. The crime rate is low and is a great option for solo female travelers. It is about four hours flying time from Miami International Airport. Grenada is a wonderful destination for persons who enjoy white sand beaches, hiking and exotic cuisine infused with spices.
What Is The Most Peaceful Country In The Caribbean?
The most peaceful country in the Caribbean is Montserrat. Affectionately known as the Emerald Isle, the population is about 5,000 inhabitants. The eruption of the volcano in 1995 has led to a number of persons migrating from the island. Montserrat is known for its flamboyant celebration of St Patrick’s Day due to its Irish heritage.
Final Thoughts: The Safest and Most Dangerous Islands In The Caribbean
As a general rule, the safest islands in the Caribbean are St Barths, Montserrat, Grenada, Anguilla and Bonaire due to their low crime rates.
Alternatively, the most dangerous islands are Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize and Puerto Rico due to the high homicides rates.
Nevertheless, whether a destination presents a high risk for crime care and due diligence should be observed as in any other country.
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