Going on vacation soon? Take a look at these strange laws in Caribbean countries, and make sure you don’t break ’em!
Whenever you travel to a foreign country, it’s important to obey the law. In most cases, laws are pretty similar from country to country– stopping at red lights, no stealing, no violence, etc.
However, in a few cases, some countries implement laws that are completely different from those in other nations. This can happen because of specific cultural beliefs, or even because of religion.
In general, laws in the Caribbean are similar to those in North America. Nevertheless, a few nations in this region have laws that range from just plain weird, to downright offensive to some.
1. No swimwear in Grenada
No swimwear outside of the beach, that is. On the Caribbean island of Grenada, it’s illegal to walk the streets in nothing but your itty bitty bikini. In fact, you could even be fined $270 for doing so. So make sure you bring some clothes to cover up if you’re planning on hitting the streets after a swim.
2. Don’t air your dirty laundry in Trinidad & Tobago
You might think we’re talking about refraining from sharing your personal secrets– but we’re referring to actual laundry here. There is a law in Trinidad & Tobago that prohibits people from hanging their laundry out to dry in the street. The clothes can’t hang over any part of a street, or even be placed on any wall that faces a street.
Those who decide to air out their laundry anyway could be liable to a two hundred dollar fine. In addition, this Caribbean island has a host of other “don’ts”. It’s illegal to:
- Sleep in public places
- Tell fortunes
- Roll a hoop (an old children’s game) out in the street
- Be drunk in public
- Allow a naked child over 5 years old into the street
- Have a mongoose as a pet
- Wash or repair a car on the street (unless it’s an emergency repair)
- Beat or mistreat an animal
3. Leave your camo at home for these islands
Camouflage clothing may be fashionable, but it’s illegal in some Caribbean countries. Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Antigua have all banned it. However, they had a good reason to do so: the law was enacted in the 80s to prevent gang members from posing as soldiers.
4. Get a permit in Cuba
If you’re planning on traveling to Cuba, keep in mind that foreigners need a special permission to stay at a resident’s home. If you don’t have one, police could fine your host.
In addition, only government-owned restaurants are allowed to serve lobster. So, if you’re looking for a tasty lobster bisque, keep in mind that it will rarely be on the menu.
Perhaps one of the strangest laws of all has to do with customs. It’s actually illegal for someone in Cuba to buy more than 24 artificial fingernails from abroad.
5. Your kid needs a license in Belize
In Belize, you had better get your kid a fishing license if you’re planning on taking him out on a fishing boat. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Belize passed a law stating that everyone on a boat equipped for fishing must have a license, even if not everyone is going to fish. Odd, right? Well, the strangest part is that no one needs a license to fish if they’re just wading.
6. No cursing in St. Kitts
Of all the strange laws in Caribbean countries, this one may take the cake for the hardest to comply with– for some at least.
You’ll have to come up with some substitute phrases if you have a habit of swearing and you’re planning on traveling to St. Kitts. Cursing is illegal on this small Caribbean island.
If you think this law won’t be enforced, think again. In fact, 50 Cent had to pay a $1,100 fine in 2016 because he let some profanity slip during a concert. Both he and DMX were arrested (the incident with DMX occurred in 2003) and both men had to post bail.
7. Limit your PDA
As most people know, “PDA” stands for “public display of affection”. Although hand holding and kissing are not illegal in Caribbean countries, keep in mind that such behavior can attract unwanted negative attention. In addition, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago both have laws against homosexual behavior.
8. Keep your feet on the pedals in Mexico
Parts of Mexico that are considered “Caribbean” include the Yucatan Peninsula, where the tropical city of Cancun welcomes thousands of spring breakers each year. However, for Mexicans Spring Break is known as “Semana Santa”, or the Holy Week. Catholic tradition prohibits outlandish, boisterous behavior during the most important week in Christian and Catholic tradition. Therefore, the law prohibits revelers from throwing fireworks by hand during that week.
In addition, keep both your feet on the pedals if you choose to ride a bike while on vacation, as it’s illegal to let them hang free.
9. Prepare for tan lines in Barbados
Topless sunbathing in Barbados is illegal, so you’ll just have to deal with any tan lines that may result. In addition, most gambling is illegal in Barbados, with the exclusion of slots and lotteries.
Like we mentioned above, wearing camouflage is illegal in Barbados. But this island takes things a bit farther– you cannot even carry an item made of camouflage material.
10. Be kind in St. Lucia
On the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia, you had better keep your insults to yourself. If you so much as threaten someone with an unkind word or gesture in a public place, you could be fined $1,000.
Have you heard of any other strange laws in Caribbean countries? Let us know in the comment section below!
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