When we go on vacation, we go to see new sights, to live it up in the unique nightlife, to taste foreign cuisine, and to lay out by the water. The Caribbean is one of the top places to visit on everyone’s bucket list. After hearing some of these stories though, we aren’t sure we want to travel much of anywhere anymore.
The countries and territories in the Caribbean have tens of thousands of visitors each year. Statistically speaking, the chances of you getting robbed, mugged, or worse, aren’t skyrocketing through the roof. Just like anywhere in the world, there is an abundance of crime. It’s just sort of sad to see it happen in a place that is often referred to as paradise. Thankfully, there are precautions and good choices you can make while vacationing abroad that will make your trip a whole lot safer and a ton more enjoyable. Just make sure to do your research before you leave.
Even some of the best laid plans go awry, like in pretty much every one of these stories. Some may say that their trip left them permanently scarred while others barely got away with more than their lives, but every person in these horror stories would say they had a vacation from hell. White sandy beaches and crystal blue water may be extremely enticing, but you have to be aware of who lurks a few feet away, or else the mistake could cost you. These 15 places may be beautiful, but they can also be deadly.
15 The Bahamas - The Fyre Festival
When hipster kids from around the world lined up to purchase the ridiculously expensive tickets to the super exclusive Fyre Festival, they didn’t realize that their dream vacation was going to be a horror story for all the world to see. No one died in this shocking turn of events, but if you take a bunch of rich kids and drop them on an island that resembles a disaster relief site, things are going to get ugly. The huge problem was that nothing was done, nothing was there on the island, and nothing was set up. The entire festival was a disaster. There wasn’t enough security, hardly any food or water, not even basic amenities. They all made it back home safely with their tickets refunded but for them, it was some of the worst moments of their lives.
14 Cuba - Forced To Retract Theft Accusations
When you secure your valuables in a hotel room safe, you pretty much assume your precious items are safe. A family was on vacation and when they came back to their hotel room a few days into the trip, the wife found that money and both her engagement ring and her wedding band were missing. When they went to the front office to report the theft, the staff didn’t believe them and thought that they were making the whole thing up. After being questioned for a few hours, the hotel staff said that they could only return to their room and to their belongings if they retracted the report they had filed. They ended up retracting the statement so that they could leave. They never got their belongings back, and nothing was ever done about it.
13 St. Martin - Beaten And Bloodied
A woman and her mother just wanted to enjoy some sunlight and each other’s company when they caught a flight to the beautiful island of St. Martin. Unfortunately for them, their vacation soon turned into something out of a nightmare. A few days into their trip, they decided to have some dinner at a nearby restaurant. After they had finished eating and were walking away from the place, a black car pulled up behind them and several men got out and started to attack. While her mother was screaming in disbelief, throwing herself at the attackers, the men were trying to pull her daughter into their car. After literally fighting for their lives, the four men decided they weren’t worth the fight and they got in their car and left. After not receiving any actual help from local law enforcement, they eventually made it back to the U.S. beaten and bloodied with a hell of a story to tell.
12 Dominican Republic - Money Scams And False Accusations
A family planned a trip to visit the Dominican Republic as a gift for the son's graduation. What was supposed to be an awesome getaway turned into something that ended up costing them big. They were driving down a road at night when they saw a figure lying in the road. After a lot of confusion, the husband got arrested and was held for two nights because authorities said they had hit a man on a motorcycle even though they didn’t hit anyone and there was never a motorcycle in sight the night they found the man on the road. He and his family ended up having to pay $1,500 in court fees to plead his case. Even though the U.S. Embassy came the next day to bring them home, they could have been stuck there forever. Apparently, money scams and fake accidents like this happen all the time to tourists here; they’re just trying to take anything and everything you have, by any means possible.
11 Puerto Rico - Knife Attack
This horrifying night involved a woman, her husband, their two baby girls, and her parents. The group had just finished eating at a place right down the street from where they were staying. Seeing as the beach was on the short walk back, the family decided to stop for a few minutes to let the little girls play. The woman’s mother was sitting by herself on a wooden platform when a man came up behind her and held a knife to the poor old woman’s throat. He and his accomplice wanted money. The mother who tells this story says that she grabs both her girls and runs for the street to keep them out of harm’s way. Her mother, who was being held at knifepoint, didn't realize her assailant had a weapon and when he began to choke her, she fought back. Both men managed to get money out of the family but in the end, no one was killed. The woman’s mother just had a few scrapes and bruises.
10 The Virgin Islands - Permanently Paralyzed
When this family decided to spend their spring break relaxing in The Virgin Islands they didn’t realize some of them wouldn’t be able to walk again. They were paying almost $900 a night for a swanky hotel that happened to be fumigating the rooms below the family’s with a pesticide that contained methyl bromide, which is very toxic to humans. Just two days later the family fell ill and the father and two sons lost feeling in their legs. Not all of them recovered. The parent company that was responsible for the toxins sprayed in this nightmare was forced to pay the family $10 million dollars because of the injuries they sustained. If you notice you’re near someplace that is getting sprayed with pesticides, leave immediately or face the consequences.
9 The Cayman Islands - The Dead Among Us
This next story is of a man who ventured into town to get some coffee and a cigar. After enjoying his morning, he hopped on a bus headed back to his resort. A few stops after he got on, he saw a girl laying on the road, not moving and thought it was strange. No one did anything and the bus began to pull away, this time, with the passengers grieving for the dead girl. Hours later, the bus driver had to swerve to avoid hitting a man that was lying in the road, in the middle of the rain, with his mouth open. He was just like the girl and didn’t seem to be breathing. The bus driver wasn’t concerned and neither was the hotel staff when he finally got back to his room. They all said that those people were just drunk, but he wasn’t convinced. He said they looked dead to him.
8 Jamaica - They Put Their Tooth Brush WHERE?!
When this couple had things stolen from their hotel room, they thought that it was peculiar that they thieves left their cameras and their toothbrushes. Considering themselves lucky enough to have had their vacation pictures saved, they didn’t look into it at the time. Long after they returned home, they decided to finally have the rolls of film developed. Although they knew what to expect from the majority of the pictures, since they took them themselves, they were rather surprised to find a few more pictures had been taken, just not by them. The pictures showed the left and forgotten toothbrushes stuck up one thief's rear end. It’s safe to say they went to the store for toothbrushes, mouthwash, and as much bleach as they could carry.
7 Costa Rica - Student Murdered
One woman traveled down to Costa Rica to study abroad. She had just gotten off the phone with her mother for the last time. Hours later, her mom received another call, this time from Costa Rican authorities. They regretted to inform her that her daughter had been stabbed to death just a little ways aways from her host family’s home. Her body had been found simply dumped on a nearby airstrip access road. The mother spent years and over $100,000 trying to bring her daughter’s killer to justice. She ended up losing her job and going into tremendous debt. Even though Costa Rica took away what she loved most, she chose to honor her daughter’s memory and the love her daughter had for the Central American country by opening a school in the town where she was killed.
6 Panama - Too Much To Handle
A promising star athlete got his life cut short while on spring break in Panama City. This young man had both promising college and football careers ahead of him once he had been recruited to the University of Notre Dame. He, like most vacationers, was having a good time, perhaps too good of a time. He wouldn’t stop drinking. His altered state of mind coupled with the flailing actions one tends to possess when they’re drunk only helped to intensify what happened next. At 6:30 PM, he fell from the balcony of the hotel where he was staying and landed on the ground five stories below. He died instantly.
5 Columbia - Don’t Travel Alone
We all know that if you are a woman, especially in a foreign country, you need to take extra care to protect yourself. After hearing how much this woman was harassed when she vacationed in Colombia all by herself, it was a wonder that she stayed there as long as she did. First, she was yelled at by a man that had just beaten his wife. Then another man blocked her path back inside to her room and forced her to walk around him while he stared. She had a Skype conversation with a friend that abruptly ended when yet another man jumped in front of the screen to shout “I love you, I love you,” over and over. There are a few other accounts from random and strange men, each one leaving her feeling more and more violated than before. To be honest, though, you wouldn’t catch us dead in another country by ourselves. That seems to be asking for trouble. It’s sad to say, but it’s true.
4 Barbados - A World Of Crime
There are some reports of guided tourist groups in Barbados getting held at gunpoint more than once. There are also severe warnings to all tourists to not travel alone, to take a cab back to your hotel room after a night of bar hopping, and to avoid panhandlers and beggars. Not only do you have vendors in your face urging you to buy fake or stolen things, but you have pimps trying to sell you drugs or prostitutes as well. If you don’t think that’s scary then you try to tell a pimp you don’t want his “hoe.” Let us know how that works out for you. Basically, there are too many horror stories from Barbados to include them all here. Just like with traveling anywhere, you need to be very careful and extra cautious.
3 Aruba - Forever A Mystery
You might remember an Alabama high schooler that disappeared during a trip in Aruba. The worst part about this story is that she went missing back in 2005 and she still hasn’t been found and no one really knows what happened to her. She was last seen outside of a bar with a man that has since been locked up after he killed another student on the five-year anniversary of the first girl’s disappearance. The imprisoned killer has confessed to killing the Alabama teen too, but her mother thinks it’s only for publicity. Although the mother wants to see him rot in an American prison, she is currently content to see him spend the next few dozen years in prison in Peru.
2 Caribbean Cruise Ship - Horror On Open Water
Back in 2009, a fourteen-year-old girl and her family were on a Carnival Caribbean Cruise Ship for what they thought was going to be a lot of fun. One night when the young girl had trouble sleeping, she left her parent’s cabin and took her journal to the top deck to write. One of the ship’s employees, seeing her there, attacked and raped the poor young girl. The horrific problem with crimes like this that it happens while in open waters which means the United States can usually do very little to prosecute since it happened in foreign territory. The man responsible for this heinous crime did get caught and charged, but he only faced a 37-month sentence, not nearly long enough for torturing a teenage girl.
1 Grenada - Raped And Murdered
A man and his wife were just trying to have fun on vacation in Grenada. They were walking along the shore of the beach when a man with a cutlass jumped out and attacked them both. After a scuffle that ended up killing his wife, the man managed to escape and run for authorities. But, once they had run back to the scene of the crime, there was just his wife’s lifeless body along with the evidence that her body had been raped when he had run for help. The suspect was thought to be an ex-con that had recently been released. Although not every place in the Caribbean will have psychos running around with swords, it’s still extremely important to be aware of your surroundings, even while you’re on vacation.