Is St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) Safe? Travel Advisory 2024

With the vacation season on the horizon, an increasing interest arises annually in visiting the island of St. Thomas. Visitors love to bask in the warmth of the sun while sipping drinks on one of the island’s stunning beaches. There are countless art galleries, tours, museums, eateries, cultural events and musical entertainment venues to enjoy. 

While conflicting reports address the safety of visiting the island, one can take a few necessary precautions to ensure a safe visit to what many characterize as one of the most enticing islands in the Caribbean. 

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TRAVEL NEWS – U.S. Virgin Islands

February 7: Woman Wanted for Shooting Incident on St. Croix in Custody

Valatina Sanchez, a suspect in a shooting incident on St. Croix on January 31, has been apprehended by the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD). Following a call to the 911 Emergency Call Center, where Sanchez expressed her intention to surrender, law enforcement officials located and detained her near Estate Princess. Despite her detention, Sanchez opted not to provide a statement.

Sanchez faces multiple charges, including attempted murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, aiming and discharging, and illegal possession of firearms. She was unable to meet the $100,000 bail requirement and has been remanded to the John Bell Correctional Facility. Her advice of rights hearing is scheduled for the following day at the Superior Court.

Safe areas and areas to avoid

An essential aspect of planning for a trip to St. Thomas entails making arrangements to limit travel to the safest areas while avoiding those areas with less safe reputations. For example, Red Hook and Sapphire Beaches are guarded around the clock and are considered safe.

Generally, the back streets of Christiansted and Frederiksted (on the Island St. Croix) should be avoided, especially after dark, as should the various public housing projects. More crimes are reported around those public housing projects near Charlotte Amalie proper and Christiansted. 

Safety increases in all the heavily trafficked areas that tourists frequent, so it is best to stay within those areas.

Official travel advisories

Canada Travel Advisory

The Government of Canada advises travelers to the U.S. Virgin Islands to take normal security precautions. The advisory details safety measures against petty and violent crime, and highlights precautions for women’s safety, water activities, adventure tourism, public transportation, and road safety. It also outlines entry and exit requirements, and health advice, including routine vaccines and precautions against diseases like Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Measles, and COVID-19, along with guidance on safe food and water precautions, insect bite prevention, and medical services.

Other things to know

Public transportation

As long as travelers are diligent about keeping their belongings within reach, public transportation is generally safe on St. Thomas. Using it can be preferable to renting cars because of the poor road conditions in some areas.

Going out

People who wish to partake in St. Thomas’ robust nightlife should do so with others. It is best to travel in pairs or larger groups, remain alert, and check with residents about the safest places.

Isolated areas of the island should be approached with caution. These areas include some of the more remote beaches or nature areas and informal parking lots frequented by divers. 

While out, the safest routes are along the main streets and in areas that are brightly lit. Traveling by official taxi is the safest means of transportation during the evening hours, and walking is not advised.

Alcohol consumption should be undertaken responsibly, and one should not leave a drink unattended.

Observe local customs

When out and about in St. Thomas, observing local customs can help one remain safer and enrich the experience by assisting them to connect more closely with their specific destinations. In addition, locals are more apt to assist those tourists who are engaged with the residents and respect their immediate environments.

One should make a point of speaking to residents.

Health concerns

When visiting the island, St. Thomas tourists should watch for insect-borne illnesses, such as the Chikungunya virus and Dengue fever. Insect repellents can help deter infection, as can dressing in appropriate clothing, such as long pants and tops that have long sleeves. 

An excellent way to protect oneself is to wear long-sleeved shirts, full-length pants, and close-toed shoes while visiting St. Thomas. In addition, medical attention should be sought immediately when a high fever or experiencing body aches during or after a visit.

Drinking water

Bottled water is readily available when visiting St. Thomas, but the drinking water that originates on the island is filtered rainwater and is considered safe to drink. 


The period between June and November marks the hurricane season. Therefore, travel should be avoided between July and the end of October, as these are the most likely times for storms to develop.

Women traveling alone

Women traveling alone virtually anywhere have an increased risk of danger, including in St. Thomas. Following the same safety protocols that one follows while traveling in any city increases the chances of a safer visit.

Enjoy the trip

St. Thomas can provide many fabulous experiences that can be enjoyed safely by diligent travelers. Just be sure to plan ahead.