Canada’s Latest Travel Advisory Updates For The Caribbean In April 2024

The Canadian government has updated multiple travel advisories for the Caribbean region this month.

This time around, Canada brings advisories regarding violent crime, sexual abuse, and 2SLGBTQI+ harassment.

Most countries on this list fall under the “Exercise a high degree of caution” category, which means that travel to these countries is not banned but it’s also not encouraged.

Haiti – Avoid all travel

The government urges its citizens to “avoid all travel” to this nation or leave it at once if you are still there.

The political situation in Haiti has significantly deteriorated over the last few months with gangs controlling most of the country’s capital. The island is currently under a State of Emergency and curfew. 

If you decide to visit Haiti despite this advisory, you’re putting yourself at risk of being kidnapped and even murdered. 

Dominican Republic – Exercise a high degree of caution

Although crimes of opportunity are the major threat to tourists in the Dominican Republic, violent crime can also occur even in tourist hotspots and venues such as resorts, airports, beaches or public transportation. 

Canada has received multiple reports of items and money being stolen from all-inclusive resorts, hotels, checked baggage, and even carry-ons at airports, especially during departure.

To ensure a safer trip, make sure to book reputable accommodations with good security systems, keep electronic devices out of sight, verify your suitcases haven’t been tampered with before x-raying them at the airport, and don’t pack valuables on your checked luggage.

Honduras – Exercise a high degree of caution

Canada acknowledges that problems with criminality have improved since 2022. However, it’s still concerned about violent crimes happening more frequently than they should.

The government reminds us that Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world and that a significant number of locals carry firearms and even machetes, which are used to commit crimes. 

If in trouble, calling the police may not be the best bet because this institution has been infiltrated by gang members and lacks sources to ensure justice.

Jamaica – Exercise a high degree of caution

Easy access to firearms in Jamaica has resulted in locals committing multiple violent crimes in a large number of “traditional hot spots” or “high-risk communities.” 

There are at least 50 areas that should be avoided at all costs. Check them out here.

Violent crime has also extended to tourist areas like Kingston and Montego Bay despite the regular police patrols. Although it’s common, the country is not under a State of Emergency at the moment.

The 2SLGBTQI+ community and women traveling solo have experienced verbal or physical abuse. When in the country, avoid PDA, it’s frowned upon.

Bahamas – Exercise a high degree of caution

Violent crime in the Bahamas is not as high as it is in other destinations on this list, but the Canadian government still advises citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when visiting.

Bahamas has experienced a steady reduction in crime since 2018 but it is still prone to violent crime such as armed robberies and sexual assaults.

Regarding this point, cases of women being sexually abused haven’t stopped coming in recent times. Incidents regularly occur in and outside hotels, cruise vessels, and on the beach, especially at Freeport and Nassau. 

Many of the victims have been drugged, thus, never leave your beverages unattended or accept snacks from overly friendly locals.

Belize – Exercise a high degree of caution

Belize has been undergoing a State of Emergency since March 26 due to a spike in crime in Southside Belize City, and Cayo District (Hattieville Area, Roaring Creek Village, Roaring Creek Village and Young Bank Area, Camalote Village). Thus, avoid these areas at all costs.

Be reminded that, for the time being, military and police forces have increased powers to search you, arrest you and restrict your movements.

Violent crime can also extend to Belmopan, the country’s capital. Similar to Honduras, Belize also has one of the highest homicide rates in the world.