The whole point of a beach vacation is to leave your worries far behind.

Yet alarm bells of concern were ringing recently with the release of a U.S. State Department report detailing its Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Bahamas. The notice urges visitors to exercise increased caution due to a surge of violence in certain neighborhoods of Nassau and Freeport, two big cities on larger islands. Specifically, there were 18 fatal shootings in January, most all gang-related and involving local residents.

Now people are asking, "Is Eleuthera still safe? What if I have a vacation already booked?"

In short: Yes. Eleuthera is VERY safe. Always was. Still is.

This advisory is NOT a reflection of the safety situation in Eleuthera - or even the Bahamas as a whole.

"A Small Glimpse of a Larger Picture"

The crimes detailed in the state department's report are undoubtedly sobering. Our hearts are with those most closely affected by these senseless acts. We wish justice for the victims, solace for their families and peace for all Bahamians.

It's important that we keep in mind, though, that this is a small glimpse of a larger picture.

People tend to think of "The Bahamas" as a single place. In reality, it's an archipelago of nearly 700 coral islands. Roughly 30 of those are inhabited, and 16 are tourist destinations.

Eleuthera is a tourist destination, but its population is less than 4% of the nation's total, which is more than 400,000.

While all Bahamian islands share common threads of culture and history, there are also stark differences among them.

Comparing crime rates on the crowded, bustling streets of New Providence to the wide open roads and empty shorelines of Eleuthera would be a little like comparing New York City to Casper, Wyoming.

Help Us Spread the Word: The U.S. State Dept. Bahamas Travel Advisory Is NOT About Eleuthera

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"Eleuthera is as safe as it ever was," said Matt Simon, President of Eleuthera Vacation Rentals, Inc.

"There are only 8,000 people on the island and everyone knows everyone. We have no gangs, no shootings, no muggings, no street harassment. In fact, I know I am much safer on Eleuthera than I am any place in the U.S."

Furthermore, the Level 2 designation isn't even new.

Bahamas Has Had Level 2 Designation For Years

The Level 2 Bahamas Travel Advisory has actually been in place for years. Lower tier Level 1 and 2 designations are reviewed by the state department annually, while higher tier Levels 3 and 4 advisories are reviewed every six months. The new report reflects the most recent review - which changed nothing, but triggered splashy headlines in part because it included details of more than a dozen back-to-back shootings. Retaliatory gang violence was the primary motive in those cases, according to the U.S. embassy in Nassau.

Worth noting: Many other popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean and throughout the world have similar designations. Usually, it's because of a high concentration of crimes in certain areas. Most visitors tend to shy away from those spots anyway (especially if they have a heads-up) and go on to have safe, enjoyable vacations.

Example: Jamaica has had a Level 3 designation since 2022. But as the Jamaica Tourist Board pointed out in a statement to NPR, crime against tourists barely clears 0.01%.

Another important point: The advisory doesn't solely consider crime, but rather considers public safety as a whole. So the designation also factors in things like boating injuries and drownings.

Bottom line: Eleuthera was not the focus of this report. It has been and continues to be safe and welcoming for everyone. Anyone with questions or concerns, feel free to get in touch with our knowledgeable, responsive team at Eleuthera Vacation Rentals!

Easy-Going in Eleuthera:

What Visitors Say About Safety

"Overall, Eleuthera is very safe. ... Most visitors feel very safe and confident exploring. You spend much of your trip not even seeing other people in Eleuthera at all, depending on where you're staying."


"There's an Eleuthera group on Facebook, and one of the first questions newcomers ask is whether Eleuthera is safe. My favorite answer is, 'Eleuthera is safer than wherever you’re coming from.' And, it’s true! I live in a middle-class neighborhood in Dallas, and I feel safer in Eleuthera."


"Eleuthera is generally a safe destination for solo female travelers. The locals are friendly and crime rates are relatively lower compared to other destinations."


"In general, Eleuthera is extremely safe. Like, I-hitchhiked-alone-as-a-young-female safe. Like, park-your-car-and-leave-your-keys-in-the-ignition safe. ... The Bahamians who live here are friendly and hospitable ... and are happy to give whatever help/conversation/friendship/advice they can."

-Michelle, HeadAlongWithHeart.com

Eleuthera - Feel the Love!

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