The Caribbean is a safe travel destination, generally. According to Caribbean expert Robert Curley, “Crime has colored the perceptions of Caribbean travelers. A few high-profile incidents can quickly get island visitors wondering what lurks beneath the sun-and-fun image promoted in tourist brochures.”
But how safe is the Caribbean, anyway?
Crime in the Caribbean
Property crime has been increasing in the Caribbean in recent years, and experts say that the increase has been most pronounced in highly developed tourist destinations, including the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).
How Safe Is St. Martin (SXM)?
Good news! St. Martin is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, according to travel site Oyster.com.
TripAdvisor says that, while generally safe, one of the biggest crimes here is passport theft. Because of this, travel experts recommend carrying a driver’s license and a photocopy of your passport with you, leaving your physical passport in your hotel safe.
“The Island of St. Martin is a Safe Destination”
Writing on TripAdvisor, one local has the following advice:
“My advice to tourists is follow the same rule of thumbs back home:
- Do not leave valuables in your car
- Be cautious when going to areas that are not frequently used by people.
- Do not give rides to strangers, etc.
Regardless the island is a great safe destination.”
Another TripAdvisor commenter says:
“We have been to the island 7 or 8 times in the past 6 years. Have never felt unsafe. We travel the island most everyday exploring beaches and culture. Just be smart and have the same awareness you do at home or traveling anywhere. Enjoy!”
Yet another TripAdvisor commenter says:
We have been to St. Martin several times, the most recent being in December. We have never felt unsafe and we’re planning to go back next year already!
Even in the most troubled countries, crime rarely touches tourists, says Caribbean expert Robert Curley. “On the other hand, experts note, visitors are often more likely than locals to be victims of property crimes, and often are specifically targeted in locations known to be frequented by tourists.”
Keeping Yourself Safe
While our island is very safe, it always pays to be prepared.
Here’s what the US State Department recommends (and this is useful information for everyone who visits our island):
Make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency or if your documents are lost. Leave one copy with a friend or relative at home.
It is always a great idea to let at least one person know exactly where you will be staying and how to contact you in an emergency.
Carry the other copy with you stored separately from the originals.
Documents to make copies of include:
- Passport ID page
- Foreign visa (if applicable)
- Hotel confirmation
- Airline ticket
- Driver’s license
- Credit cards brought on the trip
- Traveler’s check serial numbers