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Is Belize Safe To Visit In 2024? Your Guide To Belize Travel Safety

Is Belize Safe To Visit In 2024? Your Guide To Belize Travel Safety


Belize is beautiful. We ought to know; we simply returned from a two-week journey. The mainland is roofed in a dense, tropical jungle, whereas offshore, it has the Belize Barrier Reef—an acclaimed spot to scuba dive and snorkel. As if that wasn’t sufficient, you’ve additionally obtained the historical past of Mayan ruins to expertise at websites like Altun Ha. Basically, we completely perceive why you need to go to. Belize is in a league of its personal.

Unfortunately, you will want to take some additional security precautions, although. Staying secure in Belize requires you to transcend the same old “check general travel advice and book basic travel insurance.” The nation has fairly just a few cases of crime, gang violence, and medicines, which may leak into vacationer areas.

In this information, we’ll put together you for staying secure in Belize. We simply returned from a go to to Cay Caulker, Ambergris Cay, and San Ignacio and felt actually secure. If you’re taking the correct precautions you’ll be able to take pleasure in this nation worry-free like we did. So, don’t rule out scuba diving and sightseeing Mayan ruins simply but; right here’s what it’s essential know.

Is Belize Safe? A Quick Summary

We know that not everyone has the posh of time. If you’re in a rush, try these essential bullet factors for a fast overview of security in Belize.

 Belize experiences a notably excessive crime charge for violent crime, together with murder, sexual assault, and armed theft.
 Belize has a number of gang violence, which sometimes ends in shootings in public locations.
The border areas, Caracol, and Belize City (notably the inner-city area of Southside Belize City) all expertise a excessive crime density.
Belize has a number of pure disasters like hurricanes, so guests ought to take warning when touring throughout hurricane season.
Road requirements in Belize are thought of poor by worldwide requirements.
There have been incidents with water actions ensuing from poor security procedures and measures.

Travel Advisories: Officially Speaking, Is Belize Safe?

Officially talking, Belize is feasible to go to and never barred as a “red list country” or “do not travel” space by the USA , Canada or the UK. Instead, it’s broadly suggested to take elevated warning in case you go to Belize.

The US Travel Advisories for Belize recommend that you just train elevated warning all through the nation, escalating its issues particularly for Belize City. It advises that you just “reconsider travel”, marking the town as a Level 3 zone regardless of the remainder of Belize securing a milder Level 2 warning.

The US advisory acknowledges that gang violence in Belize City tends to happen under the Haulover Creek River and infrequently crosses into vacationer areas. However, as a complete, it advises that dangers are excessive, particularly given the historic crime within the metropolis.

The advisory emphasizes that violent crimes like sexual assault and armed theft can – and do – happen in daylight, even in public areas. It’s clever to take excessive security precautions when touring all through Belize.

The Canada Travel Advisories for Belize are fairly much like the US advisories. Belize basically has an Exercise a excessive diploma of warning warning attributable to excessive ranges of violent crime all through the nation. There can also be a warning to Avoid non-essential journey to Southside Belize City, south of the Haulover Creek River, attributable to gang and drug-related violence, together with murders and shootings.

Tourists mustn’t even enterprise to this a part of Belize metropolis. Gang warfare is basically prevalent right here, and it’s simple to be caught within the crossfire.

The UK journey advisories for Belize echo an nearly an identical sentiment. They advise that Belize has “one of the highest murder rates in the world” and trace at insufficient policing, saying that “police capacity is limited and many crimes remain unsolved.” Like the US and Canada advisory, they notably emphasize the harmful nature of journey round Belize City, particularly the Southside.

The UK advisory additionally warns of muggings throughout Belize, together with San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Placencia, and San Ignacio. It highlights the growing danger of sexual assault and rape, too, warning towards solo journey and venturing down quiet streets.

Violent Crime in Belize

As you now know, Belize has a reasonably nasty mixture of crime scattered all through the nation, notably in Belize City, which is liable to gang-related violence. It has an general crime index of 53.15, notably larger than the US at 49.34 and the UK at 47.61. Most regarding is the truth that this crime ranking has elevated over the previous three years. Crime in Belize is frequent, and sadly, it looks like it’s going to remain.

The most typical crimes in Belize are:

Dealing of medication
Theft from property, which incorporates motels and vacationer lodging
Sexual assault
Murder and grievous bodily hurt
Verbal or bodily abuse
Muggings and armed theft

Moreover, there are issues over policing, too:

Corruption and bribery
Lack of inefficiency of police response

We’ll talk about police effectiveness in a second, however many crimes go unsolved. Corruption could also be concerned in your police interactions, though you’ll be able to nonetheless name 911 for help from native authorities in an emergency.

Belize City experiences a disproportionate quantity of gang-related violence and crime, so guests ought to train a excessive diploma of warning. While gang members sometimes function out of vacationer areas, affected areas are shut sufficient to the town middle that unsuspecting vacationers could wander into bother, or battle could spill over.

The remainder of Belize nonetheless requires you to train warning, with excessive ranges of theft and opportunistic crime, a few of that are violent.

Police in Belize

Onto the police in Belize, as promised. Well, you already know that the final consensus with the Belizean police is that they’re usually underfunded and lack the capability to really punish or react to many prison circumstances.

Local authorities and retailers are overrun. Your finest methodology of safety from petty crime is great journey insurance coverage.

On a barely completely different observe, it is best to just be sure you are sticking to the correct aspect of native legal guidelines, like holding an IDP in case you hire a automotive and avoiding any unlawful medication.

Natural Disasters in Belize

Natural Disaster Safety in Belize
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Belize has a nasty rep relating to pure catastrophe danger. The nation has a shoreline that opens onto the Caribbean Sea, so it is best to train warning throughout hurricane season, between June and November, notably from August to October.

These months are fraught with hurricanes and extreme storms. As a knock-on impact, Belize usually experiences flooding and sea stage rises. There is the specter of tsunamis, however there has by no means been one in latest historical past, just a few warnings just a few years again.

We advocate attempting to not journey throughout these months or at the least subscribe to climate warning alerts. On common, the nation experiences seven hurricanes a yr, so it pays to keep away from the season fully.

How To Stay Safe in Belize in Case of Natural Disaster

If you resolve to go to Belize throughout this high-risk interval, we’d recommend visiting pre-armed with an inventory of how to remain secure in case of pure disasters. Here are just a few suggestions you should utilize to maintain secure within the face of disasters like flooding and hurricanes:

1. Have an Evacuation and Shelter In Place Plan

It’s clever to have a plan to evacuate (this may very well be journey insurance coverage to get compensation if you must guide an early flight dwelling or a “go-bag” to evacuate to a unique area in Belize). You also needs to have a shelter plan, checking forward of time along with your lodging to see what assist they provide.

2. Know The Area

Do some fundamental analysis on the world you’re staying in beforehand. You ought to know the place the closest police stations, hospitals, and sensible locations like the best floor (in case of flash floods) are. Knowing this structure will provide help to in case of emergency when each minute issues.

3. Subscribe to Alerts

Subscribe to alerts from the US Embassy in Belize, native media, and disaster-related alerts from corporations just like the National Hurricane Center Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration.

Weather in Belize

Weather in Belize
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Of course, one of the best ways to grasp the chance of seasonal pure disasters is to grasp the climate in Belize. Knowing the nation’s climate breakdown by season can actually assist decrease the dangers of journey.

Overall, it is best to know that Belize has a subtropical local weather, principally cut up right into a dry and wet season. The wet season lasts from June till November, coinciding with its hurricane-prone season. The dry season runs from February till May. Temperatures sit between 70 and 90 levels Fahrenheit all yr spherical.

We’ll take a more in-depth look, although.

Spring: March to May

March to May in Belize is usually dry, with temperatures between 75 and 90 levels Fahrenheit. May is the warmest selection, whereas late March to early April is the busiest time with all of the spring break crowds.

Summer: June to September

This is Belize’s official moist season. Despite temperatures sitting at their highest between 80 and 90 levels Fahrenheit, coastal areas could discover a drop with all of the winds. This is when Belize has its highest dangers of hurricanes and floods. We’d advocate giving it a swerve.

Fall: October to November

Fall continues to be somewhat iffy, with frequent rain regardless of the drop within the danger of hurricanes. Temperatures hover at round 75 to 85 levels Fahrenheit, however it is best to nonetheless anticipate a slight chill within the blustery coastal areas. Only just a few vacationers hassle visiting at the moment of yr, because the rain may cause flooding and, basically, doesn’t make for a pleasing keep.

Winter: December to February

Winter marks the start of the dry season—hooray! December is at all times a sluggish begin, with the rain dragging its toes somewhat earlier than disappearing. However, January and February are notoriously dry and are the months when tourism picks up once more.

Temperatures are delicate, between 70 and 80 levels Fahrenheit, however the barely cool, drier climate is right for sightseeing. A win is a win, proper?

5 Tips For Staying Safe in Belize

Tips for staying safe in Belize
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As talked about, journey insurance coverage alone gained’t reduce it when visiting Belize. An effective way to remain secure is to tick all of the fundamentals (journey insurance coverage will be extra useful than ringing 911 if a digicam will get swiped). However, as a common rule, you need to construct on the fundamentals with extra specialised methods to remain secure in Belize.

1. A Spare Wallet is Your Best Friend

When visiting Belize, carrying a spare pockets with outdated (or lesser-used) playing cards and unfastened money is a superb thought. This is usually for if you’re touring within the bigger cities. Mugging can get everybody. There’s no assure you gained’t fall foul of this unfortunate crime, so why not be ready?

You ought to by no means resist a mugger. So, as a substitute, supply another that doesn’t actually influence you.

2. Don’t Scrimp on Transportation

There are so many international locations the place you’ll be able to reduce prices by taking public transport. Belize isn’t certainly one of them. Skip low-cost transportation and at all times select the safer choices. We opted for personal transfers which had been safer and sooner. This is non-negotiable in Belize, particularly relating to issues like evening buses.

3. Leave Your Luxury Fashion Sense At Home

Flashy jewellery and even notably eye-catching outfits would possibly look wonderful, however we’d advise leaving them at dwelling. You need to keep away from drawing consideration to your self with something designer or expensive-looking. Instead, costume down and make your purpose to mix, not catch eyes.

4. If In Doubt, Skip Belize City

Belize City is by far the riskiest place within the nation. If you might be uncertain whether or not you are feeling assured taking energetic security measures, simply skip it. There are simpler locations to remain secure in Belize, like Caye Caulker. It’s simple sufficient to chop it out of your itinerary.

5. Do Your Season Research

Finally, do your season analysis. As you discovered within the part above, Belize’s local weather modifications on a month-to-month foundation regardless of its general dry versus moist season. It’s finest to keep away from the height hurricane danger months.

You also needs to take into account that rainier and low season months appeal to fewer vacationers. This means fewer crowds and extra remoted vacationer areas, which may truly put you at extra danger of opportunistic crime. It’s a little bit of a catch-22 when heavy crowds tempt pickpocketing. Still, basically, peak months are higher to keep away from being remoted for extra violent crimes.

Belize Emergency Numbers

Police (Countrywide): 90/911
Fire and ambulance (Belize City solely): 90
Police (Belpoman): 822-2222

Is Belize Safe for Families?

Is Belize safe for families
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We’d say that areas like Caye Caulker and Ambergris Cay are secure for households with travel-savvy dad and mom. If you might be an skilled traveler and are spending the cash to remain in extra-secure, beautifully-located lodging with respected excursions and transfers, Belize is secure for households. Just take into account that it could be a greater vacation to take with older youngsters who you’ll be able to clarify fundamental security precautions to.

For households with out that pre-existing journey expertise, we advocate selecting a unique place to go to. Save Belize for somewhat later after you’ve had just a few follow runs.

Tips:

Take lodging severely when touring as a household, and chorus from scrimping on safety or location. 
Choose your vacation spot in Belize rigorously, choosing historically “safe” areas like Caye Caulker.

Is Belize Safe for Solo Travelers?

Belize Safety Tips for Solo Travelers
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Belize is a little bit of a problem for these visiting solo, however equally very rewarding. If you’ve had loads of solo journey expertise, you’ll discover it manageable, and there’s an important hostel scene for making new associates. Experienced solo vacationers are sometimes much more acutely aware of security precautions than these in a bunch, so Belize can truly be higher suited to solo journey in that sense.

Still, as a common rule, Belize is finest skilled in a bunch to restrict the chance of muggings and extra sinister crimes like sexual assault. You can guide issues like group excursions and guided day journeys that will help you keep secure whereas touring to Belize alone. If visiting solo, keep away from non-essential journey at evening, take care in rural areas, and don’t bask in extreme alcohol consumption.

Tips:

Take group excursions the place doable and keep away from strolling alone at evening.
Choose well-located motels or hostels.

Is Belize Safe to Take Public Transportation?

Public transportation safety in Belize
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Public transportation is comparatively secure in Belize, however be ready for an intense expertise. So-called rooster buses are brightly painted public buses working in suburban and concrete areas. They are sometimes packed however an affordable method to get round. Be somewhat conscious of pickpocketing, altercations, and bag snatching, however in any other case, this methodology of public transportation is secure.

At evening, throw all that out the window. You ought to keep away from public transportation at evening in any respect prices, because it creates a a lot larger danger for violent crime. Get a registered taxi as a substitute, or keep away from pointless evening journey.

The most secure method to get round Belize is by registered taxis, which you’ll be able to acknowledge from inexperienced license plates. Uber doesn’t exist right here, so inexperienced license plates will undoubtedly grow to be your subsequent finest buddy. You undoubtedly desire a registered taxi driver, because it provides an additional safety layer. It is a good suggestion to take a look at the Government Of Canada’s advice on public transport.

You may also hire a automotive and drive round Belize in non-public automobiles comparatively simply. However, it is best to train a excessive diploma of warning at evening, ideally avoiding all nonessential journey after darkish. You also needs to be ready for normal police checkpoints, the place you need to show a type of ID and your International Driving Permit. Be conscious of solely ever utilizing official border crossings and concentrate on the chance of armed robberies at locations like visitors lights in city areas or opportunistic crime on distant roads.

Are Medical Facilities Safe in Belize?

Medical safety in Belize
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Medical amenities in Belize are combined. There are two varieties of amenities: private and non-private hospitals. Private hospitals are typically a greater possibility as they’re higher funded, in order that they have higher medical provides and extra to spend money on adequately educated professionals. However, entry to both may be severely restricted, particularly in case you’re staying in rural areas.

We’d recommend checking the place your nearest hospitals are earlier than visiting. Ensure you might be up-to-date with all of your vaccinations and routine well being checks earlier than departure. And ensure you have good journey insurance coverage if it turns into a greater thought to fly dwelling. This is especially the case if the hospital doesn’t have a particular, area of interest kind of medicine or therapy obtainable on rapid demand. Belize’s finest hospitals are nice for minor accidents, however you probably have a extra major problem, it could be advisable to hunt therapy elsewhere.

Is Belize Safe? Top FAQs

We’ll go away that query as much as you—do you are feeling assured utilizing all the data above to plan a secure journey? Belize receives almost 1,000,000 guests every year, the overwhelming majority of whom journey the nation with no points. It is all about selecting locations the place you really feel comfy taking accountability on your security, and everyone knows some international locations make this tougher than others. Belize is difficult however not not possible. We adore it.

Here are just a few frequent FAQs to assist clear the query of “should you, shouldn’t you” up.

Is Mexico or Belize safer?

Mexico and Belize are roughly on a par. Mexico has some Level 4 areas (marked as “do not travel”) however has a clearer space for secure tourism in Cancun and alongside the Mayan Riviera shoreline. Belize has just one Level 3 space (“marked as reconsider travel”) however much less clearly marked areas for secure tourism. It is determined by the place you propose to journey.

Is Belize or Costa Rica safer?

Costa Rica is marginally safer, as it’s only marked as Level 2 by the US Travel Advisory. In distinction, Belize City is marked as a Level 3. However, each Belize and Costa Rica are flagged for violent crimes, together with sexual assault. It’s finest to method each international locations with elevated warning.

When to not go to Belize?

August and October are the worst instances to go to Belize. These are the months when you’ll be able to expertise essentially the most storms and hurricanes, which may be harmful. It is smack in the midst of hurricane season.

What is the most secure a part of Belize?

Caye Caulker and San Pedro are the darlings of Belize, two areas recognized for being comparatively “safe” throughout the nation.

So, Is Belize Safe To Travel In?

Belize Travel Safety
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No, Belize isn’t a historically secure place to go to. However, there are ranges to the dangers you’re taking; are you planning a visit to Southside Belize City or Caye Caulker? Are you visiting on a tour? Or are you going solo? How a lot journey expertise do you could have? What are the present updates, and what time of yr are you going?

For these prepared to take water-tight security precautions, Belize vastly rewards your additional efforts. There’s no denying the nation is gorgeous. We have a excellent one-week itinerary right here in case you’d like some inspiration.

Stay secure and revel in. The finest security precaution is data, and we hope you could have a unbelievable time.

More Belize Resources For Planning Your Trip



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