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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 should always 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 bought the historical past of Mayan ruins to expertise at websites like Altun Ha. Mainly, we completely perceive why you wish to go to. Belize is in a league of its personal.

Sadly, you will have to take some additional security precautions, although. Staying protected in Belize requires you to transcend the standard “verify basic journey recommendation and e book primary journey insurance coverage.” The nation has fairly a number of cases of crime, gang violence, and medicines, which may leak into vacationer areas.

On this information, we’ll put together you for staying protected in Belize. We simply returned from a go to to Cay Caulker, Ambergris Cay, and San Ignacio and felt actually protected. When you take the correct precautions you’ll be able to get pleasure from 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 to know.

Is Belize Secure? A Fast Abstract

We all know that not everyone has the luxurious of time. When you’re in a rush, take a look at these primary bullet factors for a fast overview of security in Belize.

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

Journey Advisories: Formally Talking, Is Belize Secure?

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

Formally talking, Belize is feasible to go to and never barred as a “purple record nation” or “don’t journey” space by the USA , Canada or the UK. As a substitute, it’s broadly suggested to take elevated warning in case you go to Belize.

The US Journey Advisories for Belize counsel that you just train elevated warning all through the nation, escalating its considerations particularly for Belize Metropolis. It advises that you just “rethink journey”, marking the town as a Degree 3 zone regardless of the remainder of Belize securing a milder Degree 2 warning.

The US advisory acknowledges that gang violence in Belize Metropolis tends to happen beneath the Haulover Creek River and barely crosses into vacationer areas. Nonetheless, as an entire, 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 sensible to take excessive security precautions when touring all through Belize.

The Canada Journey Advisories for Belize are fairly just like the US advisories. Belize generally has an Train a excessive diploma of warning warning on account of excessive ranges of violent crime all through the nation. There’s additionally a warning to Keep away from non-essential journey to Southside Belize Metropolis, south of the Haulover Creek River, on account of gang and drug-related violence, together with murders and shootings.

Vacationers shouldn’t even enterprise to this a part of Belize metropolis. Gang warfare is admittedly prevalent right here, and it’s straightforward to be caught within the crossfire.

The UK journey advisories for Belize echo an nearly equivalent sentiment. They advise that Belize has “one of many highest homicide charges on the earth” and trace at insufficient policing, saying that “police capability is proscribed and lots of crimes stay unsolved.” Just like the US and Canada advisory, they notably emphasize the damaging nature of journey round Belize Metropolis, 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 threat 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 Metropolis, which is liable to gang-related violence. It has an total crime index of 53.15, notably greater 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 commonest crimes in Belize are:

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

Furthermore, there are considerations 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 Metropolis experiences a disproportionate quantity of gang-related violence and crime, so guests ought to train a excessive diploma of warning. Whereas gang members sometimes function out of vacationer areas, affected areas are shut sufficient to the town middle that unsuspecting vacationers could wander into hassle, 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. Properly, you already know that the final consensus with the Belizean police is that they’re typically underfunded and lack the capability to really punish or react to many prison circumstances.

Native authorities and retailers are overrun. Your greatest technique of safety from petty crime is great journey insurance coverage.

On a barely totally different observe, you need to just remember to are sticking to the correct aspect of native legal guidelines, like holding an IDP in case you hire a automotive and avoiding any unlawful medicine.

Pure Disasters in Belize

Natural Disaster Safety in BelizeNatural Disaster Safety in Belize

Belize has a foul rep in the case of pure catastrophe threat. The nation has a shoreline that opens onto the Caribbean Sea, so you need 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 typically experiences flooding and sea stage rises. There’s the specter of tsunamis, however there has by no means been one in current historical past, just a few warnings a number of years again.

We suggest making an attempt to not journey throughout these months or no less than subscribe to climate warning alerts. On common, the nation experiences seven hurricanes a 12 months, so it pays to keep away from the season solely.

How To Keep Secure in Belize in Case of Pure Catastrophe

When you determine to go to Belize throughout this high-risk interval, we’d counsel visiting pre-armed with a listing of the way to remain protected in case of pure disasters. Listed below are a number of ideas you need to use to maintain protected within the face of disasters like flooding and hurricanes:

1. Have an Evacuation and Shelter In Place Plan

It’s sensible to have a plan to evacuate (this may very well be journey insurance coverage to get compensation if you must e book 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 together with your lodging to see what help they provide.

2. Know The Space

Do some primary analysis on the realm you’re staying in beforehand. It’s best to know the place the closest police stations, hospitals, and sensible locations like the best floor (in case of flash floods) are. Figuring out this structure will make it easier 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 firms just like the Nationwide Hurricane Middle Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration.

Climate in Belize

Weather in BelizeWeather in Belize

In fact, one of the simplest ways to grasp the chance of seasonal pure disasters is to grasp the climate in Belize. Figuring out the nation’s climate breakdown by season can actually assist decrease the dangers of journey.

General, you need to know that Belize has a subtropical local weather, principally break 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 Could. Temperatures sit between 70 and 90 levels Fahrenheit all 12 months spherical.

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

Spring: March to Could

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

Summer time: June to September

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

Fall: October to November

Fall continues to be just a little iffy, with frequent rain regardless of the drop within the threat of hurricanes. Temperatures hover at round 75 to 85 levels Fahrenheit, however you need to nonetheless count on a slight chill within the blustery coastal areas. Just a few vacationers hassle visiting at the moment of 12 months, because the rain may cause flooding and, generally, doesn’t make for a pleasing keep.

Winter: December to February

Winter marks the start of the dry season—hooray! December is all the time a sluggish begin, with the rain dragging its ft just a little earlier than disappearing. Nonetheless, 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 good for sightseeing. A win is a win, proper?

5 Suggestions For Staying Secure in Belize

Tips for staying safe in BelizeTips for staying safe in Belize

As talked about, journey insurance coverage alone gained’t minimize it when visiting Belize. A good way to remain protected is to tick all of the fundamentals (journey insurance coverage will be extra useful than ringing 911 if a digital camera will get swiped). Nonetheless, as a basic rule, you should construct on the fundamentals with extra specialised methods to remain protected in Belize.

1. A Spare Pockets is Your Finest Pal

When visiting Belize, carrying a spare pockets with previous (or lesser-used) playing cards and free money is a good thought. That is principally 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?

It’s best to by no means resist a mugger. So, as an alternative, supply another that doesn’t actually affect you.

2. Don’t Scrimp on Transportation

There are such a lot of international locations the place you’ll be able to minimize prices by taking public transport. Belize isn’t certainly one of them. Skip low-cost transportation and all the time select the safer choices. We opted for personal transfers which have been safer and sooner. That is non-negotiable in Belize, particularly in the case of issues like night time buses.

3. Depart Your Luxurious Trend Sense At Dwelling

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

4. If In Doubt, Skip Belize Metropolis

Belize Metropolis is by far the riskiest place within the nation. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re feeling assured taking lively security measures, simply skip it. There are simpler locations to remain protected in Belize, like Caye Caulker. It’s straightforward sufficient to chop it out of your itinerary.

5. Do Your Season Analysis

Lastly, do your season analysis. As you discovered within the part above, Belize’s local weather adjustments on a month-to-month foundation regardless of its total dry versus moist season. It’s greatest to keep away from the height hurricane threat months.

You also needs to remember that rainier and low season months entice fewer vacationers. This implies fewer crowds and extra remoted vacationer areas, which may really put you at extra threat of opportunistic crime. It’s a little bit of a catch-22 when heavy crowds tempt pickpocketing. Nonetheless, generally, peak months are higher to keep away from being remoted for extra violent crimes.

Belize Emergency Numbers

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

Is Belize Secure for Households?

Is Belize safe for familiesIs Belize safe for families

We’d say that areas like Caye Caulker and Ambergris Cay are protected for households with travel-savvy mother and father. If you’re an skilled traveler and are spending the cash to remain in extra-secure, beautifully-located lodging with respected excursions and transfers, Belize is protected for households. Simply remember that it might be a greater vacation to take with older kids who you’ll be able to clarify primary security precautions to.

For households with out that pre-existing journey expertise, we suggest selecting a unique place to go to. Save Belize for just a little later after you’ve had a number of apply runs.

Suggestions:

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

Is Belize Secure for Solo Vacationers?

Belize Safety Tips for Solo TravelersBelize Safety Tips for Solo Travelers

Belize is a little bit of a problem for these visiting solo, however equally very rewarding. When you’ve had loads of solo journey expertise, you’ll discover it manageable, and there’s a fantastic hostel scene for making new mates. Skilled solo vacationers are sometimes much more acutely aware of security precautions than these in a gaggle, so Belize can really be higher suited to solo journey in that sense.

Nonetheless, as a basic rule, Belize is greatest skilled in a gaggle to restrict the chance of muggings and extra sinister crimes like sexual assault. You possibly can e book issues like group excursions and guided day journeys that can assist you keep protected whereas touring to Belize alone. If visiting solo, keep away from non-essential journey at night time, take care in rural areas, and don’t take pleasure in extreme alcohol consumption.

Suggestions:

Take group excursions the place potential and keep away from strolling alone at night time.
Select well-located lodges or hostels.

Is Belize Secure to Take Public Transportation?

Public transportation safety in BelizePublic transportation safety in Belize

Public transportation is comparatively protected in Belize, however be ready for an intense expertise. So-called hen buses are brightly painted public buses working in suburban and concrete areas. They’re sometimes packed however an inexpensive technique to get round. Be just a little aware of pickpocketing, altercations, and bag snatching, however in any other case, this technique of public transportation is protected.

At night time, throw all that out the window. It’s best to keep away from public transportation at night time in any respect prices, because it creates a a lot greater threat for violent crime. Get a registered taxi as an alternative, or keep away from pointless night time journey.

The most secure technique 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 develop into your subsequent greatest buddy. You undoubtedly need a registered taxi driver, because it presents an additional safety layer. It’s a good suggestion to take a look at the Authorities Of Canada’s suggestion on public transport.

You can even hire a automotive and drive round Belize in personal autos comparatively simply. Nonetheless, you need to train a excessive diploma of warning at night time, ideally avoiding all nonessential journey after darkish. You also needs to be ready for normal police checkpoints, the place you should show a type of ID and your Worldwide Driving Allow. Be aware of solely ever utilizing official border crossings and concentrate on the chance of armed robberies at locations like site visitors lights in city areas or opportunistic crime on distant roads.

Are Medical Amenities Secure in Belize?

Medical safety in BelizeMedical safety in Belize

Medical services in Belize are combined. There are two varieties of services: private and non-private hospitals. Personal hospitals are typically a greater choice as they’re higher funded, so that they have higher medical provides and extra to put money into adequately skilled professionals. Nonetheless, entry to both may be severely restricted, particularly in case you’re staying in rural areas.

We’d counsel checking the place your nearest hospitals are earlier than visiting. Guarantee you’re up-to-date with all of your vaccinations and routine well being checks earlier than departure. And be sure you have good journey insurance coverage if it turns into a greater thought to fly dwelling. That is notably the case if the hospital doesn’t have a particular, area of interest kind of treatment or therapy out there on rapid demand. Belize’s greatest hospitals are nice for minor accidents, however when you’ve got a extra significant issue, it might be advisable to hunt therapy elsewhere.

Is Belize Secure? Prime FAQs

We’ll depart that query as much as you—do you’re feeling assured utilizing all the knowledge above to plan a protected journey? Belize receives almost one million guests annually, the overwhelming majority of whom journey the nation with no points. It’s all about selecting locations the place you really feel snug taking duty on your security, and everyone knows some international locations make this tougher than others. Belize is difficult however not not possible. We like it.

Listed below are a number of frequent FAQs to assist clear the query of “do you have to, shouldn’t you” up.

Is Mexico or Belize safer?

Mexico and Belize are roughly on a par. Mexico has some Degree 4 areas (marked as “don’t journey”) however has a clearer space for protected tourism in Cancun and alongside the Mayan Riviera shoreline. Belize has just one Degree 3 space (“marked as rethink journey”) however much less clearly marked areas for protected tourism. It depends upon the place you propose to journey.

Is Belize or Costa Rica safer?

Costa Rica is marginally safer, as it is just marked as Degree 2 by the US Journey Advisory. In distinction, Belize Metropolis is marked as a Degree 3. Nonetheless, each Belize and Costa Rica are flagged for violent crimes, together with sexual assault. It’s greatest 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 probably the most storms and hurricanes, which may be harmful. It’s smack in the midst of hurricane season.

What’s the most secure a part of Belize?

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

So, Is Belize Secure To Journey In?

Belize Travel SafetyBelize Travel Safety

No, Belize isn’t a historically protected place to go to. Nonetheless, there are ranges to the dangers you are taking; are you planning a visit to Southside Belize Metropolis or Caye Caulker? Are you visiting on a tour? Or are you going solo? How a lot journey expertise do you might have? What are the present updates, and what time of 12 months are you going?

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

Keep protected and luxuriate in. The most effective security precaution is data, and we hope you might have a implausible time.

Extra Belize Sources For Planning Your Journey