Jamaica is the land of Reggae, Rasta, and Radiance. While it’s one of the best Caribbean Islands for those who want to be a part of the intoxicating nightlife, the island also has a high crime rate. This fact really scared me as I was planning my trip to Jamaica in 2010. I had already bought my tickets and booked my hotels, so I did a little research and decided I would not let myself be a victim.
Before embarking on any Jamaican adventure, you will need to know where to stay safe and still have a blast. My month long vacation to Jamaica was probably the best month of my life and it all started in….
One of my favorite nightlife spots was Pier One for their live music and great drinks. This place is loud and full of energy, but also very safe.
Margaritaville also shows up in Ocho Rios and Negril, but my favorite is the Montego Bay location. It doubles as a restaurant and bar right by the ocean with a big waterslide (closed at night). I got my fill of tropical drinks, dirty dancing, and live music. You will have a blast at this place, just be smart about keeping your money safe.
This goes for all places in Jamaica: If you do use a credit card, don’t let the person processing it out of your sight. Employees everywhere in Jamaica are the most honest and hardworking people you’ll ever meet, but it only takes one rotten apple to ruin your credit.
Skimming is a popular method to steal card numbers, so be wary of anybody (or ATM) that you hand your plastic. The best way to avoid identity theft is to leave the cards in a safe place at the hotel and just stick to cash.
While visiting this popular tourist district we were told by our cab driver to avoid James Avenue at night unless looking for trouble, I’ll offer the same advice to you all.
Little Pub is a great spot for starting off your stay in Ocho Rios the right way. I loved the live Reggae music and dancehall DJs they featured.
Ruins Pub allows you to sip on a drink peacefully in front of a beautiful waterfall. How classy is that? It also helps that the staff are amazingly patient and helpful. I definitely recommend this pub for a family friendly night out. I enjoyed the food and the prices, and made friends with the workers.
There are places in Negril you definitely want to avoid, but if you stick to Bourbon Beach and the Seven Mile Beach, you’ll be entertained for days and safe as turtle in its shell.
Bourbon Beach has excellent Jerk chicken, dancing, and views of the ocean. This place just screams “Party”. As an added bonus, the music is free if you choose to stay in their hotel. It was a good value, party and feast.
Located on Seven Mile Beach, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is amazing. Have you ever jumped on a giant water trampoline or climbed a rock wall? Well now you can, before or after you visit the Tiki beach bar of course.
Rick’s Cafe is on the same beach with a competing entertainment assortment. They have a cliff-top pool and a delicious restaurant where many people choose to cliff jump into the pristine waters below.
Nearby you’ll find my next favorite, The Jungle Night Club. This is possibly the safest night club in Negril with its tough security, good vibes and a good mix of tourists and locals. This place has excellent dancing capabilities with multiple dance floors, very loud music and a sexy atmosphere. I was a little bit out of my element in the raucous crowd, but after a couple of delicious shots of rum, I was ready to let go and get my groove on.
There are many reasons to visit Jamaica, don’t let a fear of crime stop you!
About The Author: Mary Song is a computer science guru with 13 years of experience in travel and real estate marketing. Her current projects include tinkering on computers and writing about Best Travel Deals.