When planning your vacation to the Caribbean you have a wide choice between islands with idyllic beaches that all have their own look and feel. Jamaica is one of the larger Caribbean islands, known for its many waterfalls, and has a very special history that goes much further back than Bob Marley and the reggae culture. The documentary 'Marley', however, gives an impressive picture of his life that is interwoven with music, his values, vision and spirituality. Bob Marley's roots also attract a lot of tourists to Jamaica every year, but Jamaica is actually attractive to all types of travelers.


Jamaica has the chill vibes, it is 'laid back' and the 'no problem' and 'don't worry' appearance attracts not only modern hippies but all kinds of different people: Young and old, rich and less rich, travelers who want to meet stresses or tourists who mainly want to party, people who are curious about the culture and Rastafarians, but also nature lovers can indulge themselves in Jamaica. Jamaica has beaches, waterfalls and rivers, the Blue Mountains near Kingston and many small unknown bays and caves. Despite all those great things, many travelers still wonder if travelling in Jamaica is dangerous. It is high time to clarify this!

Travelling to Jamaica, how dangerous is that?

During the preparations for a trip to Jamaica, all kinds of questions arise, such as: Which vaccinations do I need? What about the mosquitoes, hurricanes, the heat or the rain? Can I travel with children? What exactly can you do next to the all-inclusive resorts with their white sandy beaches and the famous hotspots? And how safe or dangerous is Jamaica?


We hear this last question very often and that is why we inform you from Jamaica itself with the most current situation. Many tips are also applicable to many countries, so even if you go to Barcelona, ​​New York, Thailand or another destination you can benefit from it. Read on and check if you are completely up to date!

1. Watch your things as you would in any other place

The Dutch are known for casual and laziness. They leave their phones on the patio table next to the cigarettes and a bunch of keys. Phones are stolen regularly in this way and there is also a chance of that in Jamaica. Be careful with your things and do not leave anything unattended. Not even if you have been in the same place for 5 days and you started to feel at home there. Someone can always come by who does not take it so closely with the mine. This also applies to take a dip in the ocean and leaving your things unattended on the beach. But as these tips apply to Jamaica, this could just as well be told about Barcelona, ​​Amsterdam, New York or Thailand.

2. Do as the locals do, take a taxi

Taxis are quite expensive in the Netherlands, but in the Caribbean, it is cheaper to take the (shared) taxi. Treat yourself therefore occasionally with the convenience of a taxi. This is especially recommended in the evenings. If, for example, you must walk a long way after getting out at night, then take a taxi and you will be sure that you will be safely returned to your hotel or guesthouse. In principle, it is always good to do what the locals do themselves and you will also use a lot of taxis. So keep your eyes and ears open and act like the locals.

A few Taxi tips

Do you decide to go by taxi? Then there are several tips that we are happy to give you. For example, you must consider that taxi prices are often double at night compared to the daily price. There are also different types of taxis. The 'red plate taxi' is the official private taxi at a fixed price. This is higher than the shared taxi. Check the price before you board, sometimes a meter is used and the other times not. The shared taxi usually leaves when it is full. In a passenger car, it can easily take 5-6 people, not including the driver. The taxi buses are also stuffed enormously; where normally three people sit on a couch, you will find that 4-5 also fits in Jamaica. It is nice and cheap and you cannot bump into it because of the pinching. The price per ride is fixed in such a shared taxi, so no worries about paying more than a Jamaican. Only in the vicinity of the airport do you have a chance that people will try to earn more from you. That is why it is important to be well informed about the standard prices.

Responsible taxi drivers

If you have done a tour or have taken a taxi, the guide or taxi driver will usually wait until you are completely inside your hotel or guesthouse. People feel responsible for your safety. If you are not sure that they are waiting, check it out, especially if you have not made a reservation and you have just arrived.

3. Love, sex or money?

Talking about steps ... If you only want to go out, then that's fine. Certainly, on the beach in Negril but also elsewhere in a club, although you don't see the latter much. You will soon notice that you will not be alone for long. Jamaicans are often looking for company and 'love'. That can be truly pure love or just about sex or money. If you are aware of what you are doing, it does not have to be a problem. The following comment is also not to cause unrest or to frighten you but picking up someone from a club can be a risk. It has happened that after the nightly romance you wake up early in the morning on your own and your phone and money are gone. Try to be somewhat aware of that, but especially enjoy your vacation and the people you meet,

4. Avoid aimlessly strolling in Kingston

Downtown Kingston is a large area with several ghettos strung together. So you have the Parade in the middle, the same place where the buses also stop, the Haven in the south and the National Hero's park in the north. The Parade, the market (to the west of the Parade with the large bus station behind it), the Museum for Arts and Trench Town where Bob Marley used to live and where there is now a small museum, are places where you can walk around during the day. Just don't go aimlessly, because that usually attracts the wrong people. If you do not know the city and you do not feel completely at ease and do you want to see Life Yard (a real vegetable-fruit-herb garden) for example, do not go alone but take a local friend or guide and let them know that you come along.

As a tourist, you do not suffer from gangs

In Jamaica, you have gangs that occasionally have a fight with each other. As a tourist, you generally do not experience this, you will read it in the newspaper at most. Make sure you are well informed about the place you want to visit and do not just go for walks in neighborhoods where you have nothing to look for.

Do not attempt to go out on your own at night

In the evening it is not a good idea to go out on your own in Kingston. People who are more familiar with Jamaica and its culture know well enough what is possible and what is not. Are you there for the first time, do not take any risks and inform yourself and do what feels right for you? It is about enjoying your vacation or journey. A local or a guide will gladly show you the special things about the city and the island and can also accompany you with dinner or while walking. Take advantage of that, it is cozy and interesting. But also reserve a certain amount of your holiday budget for this; it belongs a little bit. On the other hand, Jamaicans are very helpful and friendly. Are you lost or are you looking for a certain store; just ask on the street. You really don't have to give a tip for that,

5. Job assistance

Tourist areas, especially Ocho Rios, are a special case. Some locals think that by showing you the way they can 'make a dollar' and unsolicited they will 'help' you. In such cases, say kindly but definitely "no" or "I am all right" if you do not like this. In Jamaica they call this 'job assistance', but it is not really appreciated by many Jamaicans. Jamaicans radiate hospitality and want you to have a good time.


It is quite normal in Jamaica to try to make money in one way or another and to help people often expect a tip. There is no social security in Jamaica; No work means no income and people are not always insured for medical care and having your children go to school also costs a lot of money. If you don't want to or can't give a reward, you can say that you think it's worth a trip but that you don't have that much now: "Mi av nothing to give at the moment."

6. Camping in Jamaica

Don't just take pictures of people on the street, certainly not in the ghetto (or of Rastafarians). It is not acceptable and polite, and it can even be dangerous. You don't know who you put in the photo and that person can find it very annoying. In general, you ask for permission. Photographing sweet children seems very harmless, but you still must think about what will happen to that photo if it ends up on social media. And you should ask yourself how you would feel if your photo or that of your children were lying around the net everywhere.

7. Camping in Jamaica

Some travelers like to travel on a low budget and organize things themselves as much as possible and go out alone. Camping is a challenge; you are as simple as possible in nature. For this, the following applies: Inform well where it is possible, whether it is safe and what you should consider. There are various options for camping in Jamaica. For example, at the Blue Mountains, at Bob Marley beach near Negril and some hotels or guesthouses give the possibility of camping. Wild camping is not very common in Jamaica.

Going to the Blue Mountains on your own?

As far as the Blue Mountains are concerned, going to the top of the Blue Mountains without a guide is possible for people who are well trained, but it is difficult for others to find the right path. Certainly, in the dark, it can be a big challenge. If you get sick, an accident happens or you get stung or bitten by an animal, Jamaicans know what to do and a guide makes sure you come down safely. So, think carefully about whether you have enough skills to go alone into the Blue Mountains.

8.  Golden tip, ask advice from hut values ​​or hotel owners

Mountain hikers who travel from hut to hut always ask the huts worth what the route looks like, what obstacles they can expect and what the weather is like. De huttenwaard knows the area like the back of its hand and provides the latest information. That is also the case when travelling in Jamaica. Whether you are in the ghetto, Ocho Rios, Nine Mile or Treasure Beach; Get informed about the community, the village or the region. For example, the owner of the hotel or guesthouse gives you a perfect update of the situation, interesting sights and things you need to know and/or avoid. The people on site are there to protect you, so ask for this update and let them know where you are going that day or what your next destination is when you leave!