Crime and Sharks Warrant Level 2 Travel Advisory in Bahamas, Says U.S. Department of State

NASSAU, Bahamas – The United States Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for travelers planning to visit the Bahamas. The advisory, posted on Friday, warns travelers to “exercise increased caution” due to crime, specifically on the islands of New Providence, which includes Nassau, and Grand Bahama, which includes Freeport.

A security alert posted by the U.S. Embassy in the Bahamas last Wednesday also advised U.S. citizens to be “be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024.” The alert warns that murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets.

According to the advisory from the State Department, travelers should practice “increased vigilance” in the “Over the Hill” area south of Shirley Street, where gang-on-gang violence has “resulted in a high homicide rate primarily affecting the local population.”

The advisory also warns against activities involving commercial recreational watercrafts, including water tours. The advisory says those activities are not consistently regulated, and the watercraft “may be poorly maintained” and some operators may not have safety certifications. Additionally, the advisory cautions travelers to be mindful of sharks when swimming, “as there have been recent fatal and non-fatal incidents involving sharks.”

If traveling to the Bahamas, U.S. citizens are advised to contact the U.S. Embassy in Nassau for assistance. The embassy can be reached by phone at 242-322-1181 or by email at

The U.S. Department of State also recommends being vigilant when staying at short-term vacation rental properties where private security companies do not have a presence. It warns that violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas. And due to these safety concerns, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use independently operated jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.