Is Ocho Rios Safe To Travel In 2022?

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Like all tourist towns in Jamaica, Ocho Rios is safe for visitors. However, it would be best if you exercised caution. Jamaica has a crime problem; therefore, don’t expect this town to be immune.

Ocho Rios is on the North Coast and was once the island’s cruise ship capital. With cruise ships docking daily, the town overflowed with shoppers, diners, sunbathers on beaches, and tourists going on excursions. However, with hustlers from all over the island trying to make a quick buck, tourists complained about harassment.

Although they were a nuisance to tourists, who saw their behavior as rude and aggressive, they were not dangerous. Most time, it was a misunderstanding of the culture.

Jamaicans are persistent, especially when trying to make a sale. If a  potential customer is not interested in their product, it motivates them to try harder to make a sale. So they use every trick up their sleeves. However, their tactic of pursuing an individual despite them showing no interest is annoying even to Jamaicans.

To make matters worse, some locals believe tourists come to have a good time and smoke weed. This results in them attempting to sell marijuana to visitors even when they are not interested.

The education of vendors in the tourist towns and antiharassment teams cause harassment to reduce significantly, making Ocho Rios safe for visitors to walk without being bothered by vendors.

Turtle River Park in Oho Rios
Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios

How safe are the communities surrounding Ocho Rios?

Although Ocho Rios is safe, some areas in Saint Ann have crime issues. Not comparable to Kingston, Clarendon, and Saint Catherine, but it is still a problem. Robberies and murders occur, mainly by migrating criminals from troubled sections of the island looking for a quiet place to lie low.

Sometimes they even form gangs in these peaceful rural communities. Fighting among members and rivals results in murders and shootings, something alien to these neighborhoods.

These crime hot spots have been on the police radar for years. The communities are Mansfield Heights or Falklands, outside Ocho Rios proper; Claremont Street in Runaway Bay; Phoenix Park in Moneague and Steer Town, near Mammee Bay. Most criminal activities are confined to these places but sometimes spill over into other parish sections.

Ocho Rios is a transition point between Kingston and Montego Bay, so many travelers pass through this town, not just tourists and locals. Unfortunately, some use it as an opportunity to make easy money. They travel to Ocho Rios in the days to hustle and return to Saint Catherine or Kingston at night.

If you are not aware, you can become a victim. Flashing valuables and money or walking on lonely streets without paying attention makes you vulnerable to criminals anywhere in the world. Ocho Rios is no different. Therefore, whatever safety measures you practice in major cities in your country, please don’t throw them out the door when you are there.

Cruise Ship docking in Ocho Rios
Cruise Ship docking in Ocho Rios

Are Resort Ocho Rios Safe?

There have been reports of armed robberies and sexual assaults at all-inclusive resorts in Ocho Rios, so travelers should take precautions to ensure their safety. Although this is not a frequent occurrence, and the criminal was caught, there are other reported incidents of guests being robbed while they slept.

While the resorts are generally secure, keeping valuable items like passports and jewelry out of sight is still essential, such as not leaving food or drinks unattended.

Most resorts provide you with a safe. Use it, and do not share the combination with anyone.

Ocho Rios resorts are safe for travelers; however, take sensible precautions. By following these tips, you can enjoy your vacation without worry.

Click here for the best accommodations in Ocho Rios.

Grand Bahia Pool

Is Runaway Bay Jamaica safe?

Is Runaway Bay Jamaica safe?

Situated on Jamaica’s north coast, about 60 miles from Montego Bay, is the picturesque town of Runaway Bay. A popular tourist destination, it offers visitors various activities and attractions.

But what about safety?

With just over 3,000 people, Runaway Bay is a relatively small town.

However, it is home to two large resorts – the Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort and the Margaritaville Island Reserve – which bring in countless tourists yearly.

In addition, the town is situated close to Ocho Rios, another popular tourist destination. As a result, there is a heavy police presence in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, which helps to keep crime levels low.

In fact, according to the most recent data from the Jamaican Constabulary Force, the overall crime rate in St. Ann – the parish in which Runaway Bay is located – has decreased by 6% since 2018. So, if you’re wondering, Is Runaway Bay Jamaica safe?

The answer is yes!

Locals help to make Ochi Rio safe.

Ocho Rios is safe because of the locals. They understand it is a tourist town and the importance of having a good image. Most people depend on tourism to survive, so they protect their livelihood.

If they see a crime taking place, they are likely to intervene. For example, there are reports of an incident where residents chased an armed robber. Although he was wearing a mask, they hunted and caught him. They revealed his identity and disarmed and recovered the stolen properties; however, he escaped. The police arrested him a short time later.

Crime against tourists in Ochi is almost non-existence, with police on the streets and vigilant locals. 

Travelers are safe at hotels and resorts; most have security measures to protect guests. However, there have been a few reported incidences of theft at a popular all-inclusive resort. They suspect it to be an inside job carried out by rogue staff members.

It dented their image because it was on local media and all over the internet. So I suspect that they have fixed this problem by now.

To reduce the possibility of losing your valuables while staying at a resort, make use of the safe they provide. There are easy and cheap security measures that you can use when traveling. For example, get a simple alarm system for your door or windows or a portable door lock. Budget-friendly, and you can use them at your home, resort, or Airbnb.

Och Rios Town Jamaica
Walking in Ocho Rios Jamaica

Conclusion

Ocho Rios is safe, but crime happens everywhere on the planet. Take safety precautions when traveling. You are there to enjoy your vacation but remember you are still on earth among humans. Be aware of your surroundings; don’t expose cash or valuables. Lock away your passport, money, or important thing in a safe when leaving your hotel room.

Jamaica has a crime problem, but it is not widespread. Ochi Rios and other tourist towns are among the safest places in the country.