The riskiest vacation hotspots in the Caribbean, ranked

punta cana dominican republicFlickr/Ben Kucinski

The US State Department's public travel advisories let Americans know what countries are safe to travel to, and which ones they should be wary of.

With at least five Americans reported dead in the Dominican Republic in the last three months, it's worth checking these alerts before going on your Caribbean next vacation.

The State Department uses four levels of travel to let Americans know what to expect in each country:

Level 1 - Exercise normal precautions

Level 2 - Exercise increased caution

Level 3 - Reconsider travel

Level 4 - Do not travel

Currently, 14 countries around the world are designated "do not travel," nearly all because of ongoing armed conflicts. In the Caribbean, Haiti, Venezuela, and parts of Colombia are designated Level 4.

Here are the travel advisories for every country in the Caribbean, ranked from least to most risky based on the State Department's designated level.
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Anguilla - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Anguilla - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the British territory.

Antigua and Barbuda - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Antigua and Barbuda - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the popular cruise ship destination.

Aruba - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Aruba - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island, which is part of the Netherlands.

Barbados - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Barbados - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department lists Barbados as a Level 1, but warns that travelers shouldn't travel to Crab Hill, St. Lucy; Ivy, St. Michael; Nelson Street, Bridgetown (at night); Wellington Street, Bridgetown (at night); and Jolly Roger and Buccaneer Cruises (at night) due to crime. The agency also recommends exercising increased caution in Black Rock, Deacons, Carrington Village, Green Fields, New Orleans, and Pine because of crime.

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the Netherlands territory.

British Virgin Islands - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

British Virgin Islands - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the British territory.

Cayman Islands - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Cayman Islands - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island chain that's a British territory.

Costa Rica - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Costa Rica - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department recommends increased caution in Limon, Liberia, the Desamparados neighborhood in San Rafael, and the Pavas and Hospital neighborhoods in San Jose due to crime.

Curaçao - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Curaçao - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the Netherlands territory.

Dominica - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Dominica - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island.

French West Indies - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

French West Indies - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the French West Indies, which include the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy.

Grenada - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Grenada - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island.

Montserrat - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Montserrat - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the British territory.

Saint Kitts and Nevis - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Saint Kitts and Nevis - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the islands.

Saint Lucia - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Saint Lucia - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the island chain.

Sint Maarten - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

Sint Maarten - Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions

The US State Department doesn't have any alerts set for the Netherlands territory. Sint Maarten shares an island with Saint Martin, which is part of the French West Indies.

The Bahamas - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The Bahamas - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime throughout the island chain, and notes that violent crimes, including burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, occur even during the day and in tourist areas. Most of the crime occurs on the islands of New Providence and Grand Bahama islands.

The agency also warns of un-maintained watercraft and reports of jet-ski operators sexually assaulting tourists.

Read more: The US government is warning Americans that if they visit the Bahamas they could be at risk of sexual assault and violent crime

Belize - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Belize - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of violent crime, including sexual assault, home invasions, armed robberies, and murder, which are common even during the day and in tourist areas. The south side of Belize City is particularly notorious for such crimes.

The agency also notes that most crime is gang-related and that local police don't have the resources or training to respond to serious incidents, so most crimes go unprosecuted.

Colombia - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Colombia - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime, terrorism, and kidnapping throughout Colombia. Terrorists operate in some areas, and violent crime is possible.

Parts of the country are a Level 4 advisory, with the agency recommending Americans don't travel to Arauca, Cauca (except Popayan), Chocó (except Nuquí), Nariño, and Norte de Santander (except Cucuta) due to crime and terrorism.

The following areas are a Level 3 advisory, and the State Department recommends Americans reconsider traveling to them: Antioquia north of Medellin, Caquetá, Casanare, Cesar outside of Valledupar, Cordoba outside of Montería, Guainía, Guaviare, Meta, Putumayo, Valle del Cauca outside of Cali and Palmira area, Vaupes, and Vichada.

Cuba - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Cuba - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of sonic attacks that targeted US Embassy workers in Havana, and recommends avoiding Hotel Nacional and Hotel Capri.

Dominican Republic - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Dominican Republic - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault. The agency also notes that while the country has its own tourist police force and that resort areas are generally safer, urban areas like Santo Domingo aren't very well policed, and drugs, weapons, a weak criminal justice system are a concern throughout the country.

Furthermore, at least five American tourists have died in the DR in 2019 so far. Two died in a car crash and three died of what authorities said was respiratory failure.

Guatemala - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Guatemala - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime throughout the country, with heightened risk of violent crime — including armed robbery and murder — in Guatemala City, Escuintla, Chiquimula, Quetzaltenango, Izabal, and Petén.

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are the three Northern Triangle countries where the majority of migrants are fleeing to come to the US via Mexico.

Jamaica - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Jamaica - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime throughout the island, recommending Americans don't travel to Kingston, parts of Montego Bay, and Spanish Town. The agency notes that home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides are common — even at all-inclusive resorts.

Read more: The US government is cautioning Americans that if they visit Jamaica they could be at risk of sexual assault and homicide

Mexico - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Mexico - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime and kidnapping throughout the country.

"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread," the advisory reads. "The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Mexico as travel by US government employees to these areas is prohibited or significantly restricted."

The government recommends Americans don't travel to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas.

The advisory warns that Tamaulipas state is particularly dangerous:

"Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common. Gang activity, including gun battles and blockades, is widespread. Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments. Federal and state security forces have limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state."

Trinidad and Tobago - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Trinidad and Tobago - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime, terrorism, and kidnapping, and doesn't recommend traveling to Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, or the interior of Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain.

Turks and Caicos Islands - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Turks and Caicos Islands - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The US State Department warns of crime throughout the British territory, with the majority of it occurring in Providenciales.

El Salvador - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

El Salvador - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The US State Department warns that violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common, and that gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and trafficking, is widespread.

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are the three Northern Triangle countries where the majority of migrants are fleeing to come to the US via Mexico.

Honduras - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Honduras - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The US State Department warns of crime throughout the country, with increased risk of violent crime and gang activity in Gracias a Dios.

Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are the three Northern Triangle countries where the majority of migrants are fleeing to come to the US via Mexico.

Nicaragua - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Nicaragua - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

The US State Department warns of civil unrest, crime, limited healthcare availability, and arbitrary enforcement of laws, and that violent crime, including sexual assault and armed robbery, is common.

People pretending to be police known as para-police are also dangerous, the agency warns, and road blocks may prevent food or fuel from reaching some areas.

Venezuela - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Venezuela - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department warns of crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and the arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens. The agency ordered government employees and their families to leave the country in January 2019.

Read more: Water from sewer pipes, cooking with tiny candles, and a Happy Meal that costs a month's pay: Photos by ordinary Venezuelans show life under an economic meltdown

Haiti - Level 4: Do Not Travel

Haiti - Level 4: Do Not Travel

The US State Department warns of crime, civil unrest, and kidnapping. In February 2019, the agency ordered all non-emergency US personnel and their families to return to the US.

Royal Caribbean operates a private cruise port called Labadee on the island, and the area is fenced in under tight security.

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