Belize is attractive. 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 obtained the historical past of Mayan ruins to expertise at websites like Altun Ha. Principally, we completely perceive why you need to go to. Belize is in a league of its personal.

Sadly, you’ll need to take some further security precautions, although. Staying secure in Belize requires you to transcend the standard “test basic journey recommendation and ebook fundamental journey insurance coverage.” The nation has fairly just a few cases of crime, gang violence, and medicines, which might leak into vacationer areas.

On 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. When you take the precise precautions you possibly can 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 is advisable know.

Is Belize Secure? A Fast Abstract

We all know that not all people has the luxurious of time. When you’re in a rush, try these important bullet factors for a fast overview of security in Belize.

  •  Belize experiences a notably excessive crime fee for violent crime, together with murder, sexual assault, and armed theft.
  •  Belize has a variety of gang violence, which often ends in 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 variety 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?

Belize Travel Safety Travel advisories

Formally talking, Belize is feasible to go to and never barred as a “crimson checklist nation” or “don’t journey” space by the USA , Canada or the UK. As an alternative, it’s extensively suggested to take elevated warning in the event you go to Belize.

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

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

The Canada Journey Advisories for Belize are fairly just like the US advisories. Belize typically has an Train a excessive diploma of warning warning as a consequence 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, as a consequence 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 basically prevalent right here, and it’s straightforward 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 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 harmful 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 danger of sexual assault and rape, too, warning in opposition to 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 susceptible to gang-related violence. It has an total 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 widespread, and sadly, it looks as if it’s going to remain.

The most typical crimes in Belize are:

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

Furthermore, there are issues over policing, too:

  • Corruption and bribery
  • Lack of inefficiency of police response

We’ll focus on police effectiveness in a second, however many crimes go unsolved. Corruption could also be concerned in your police interactions, though you possibly can 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 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. Nicely, you already know that the final consensus with the Belizean police is that they’re usually underfunded and lack the capability to truly punish or react to many legal circumstances.

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

On a barely completely different observe, you must just be sure you are sticking to the precise facet of native legal guidelines, like holding an IDP in the event you hire a automotive and avoiding any unlawful medication.

Pure Disasters in Belize

Natural Disaster Safety in BelizeNatural Disaster Safety in Belize

Belize has a nasty rep in terms of pure catastrophe danger. The nation has a shoreline that opens onto the Caribbean Sea, so you must 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’s 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 suggest attempting to not journey throughout these months or not less than subscribe to climate warning alerts. On common, the nation experiences seven hurricanes a yr, so it pays to keep away from the season completely.

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 secure in case of pure disasters. Listed below are just a few suggestions you need to use to maintain secure within the face of disasters like flooding and hurricanes:

1. Have an Evacuation and Shelter In Place Plan

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

2. Know The Space

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

Climate in Belize

Weather in BelizeWeather in Belize

After all, one of the simplest ways to grasp the danger 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.

Total, you must know that Belize has a subtropical local weather, largely 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 Might. Temperatures sit between 70 and 90 levels Fahrenheit all yr spherical.

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

Spring: March to Might

March to Might in Belize is generally dry, with temperatures between 75 and 90 levels Fahrenheit. Might 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 remains to be slightly iffy, with frequent rain regardless of the drop within the danger of hurricanes. Temperatures hover at round 75 to 85 levels Fahrenheit, however you must nonetheless count on a slight chill within the blustery coastal areas. Only some vacationers trouble visiting right now of yr, because the rain could cause flooding and, typically, 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 gradual begin, with the rain dragging its toes slightly earlier than disappearing. Nonetheless, January and February are notoriously dry and are the months when tourism picks up once more.

Temperatures are gentle, between 70 and 80 levels Fahrenheit, however the barely cool, drier climate is right 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 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). Nonetheless, as a basic rule, you have to construct on the fundamentals with extra specialised methods to remain secure in Belize.

1. A Spare Pockets is Your Finest Buddy

When visiting Belize, carrying a spare pockets with outdated (or lesser-used) playing cards and unfastened money is a good thought. That is largely for in case you are 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 is best to by no means resist a mugger. So, as an alternative, supply an alternate that doesn’t actually impression you.

2. Don’t Scrimp on Transportation

There are such a lot of international locations the place you possibly can reduce prices by taking public transport. Belize isn’t one in every of them. Skip low-cost transportation and at all times select the safer choices. We opted for personal transfers which have been safer and sooner. That is non-negotiable in Belize, particularly in terms of issues like evening buses.

3. Depart Your Luxurious Trend Sense At House

Flashy jewellery and even notably eye-catching outfits would possibly look wonderful, however we’d advise leaving them at house. You need to keep away from drawing consideration to your self with something designer or expensive-looking. As an alternative, gown down and make your objective 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 secure 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 realized 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 danger months.

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

Belize Emergency Numbers

  • Police (Countrywide): 90/911
  • Hearth 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 secure for households with travel-savvy dad and mom. 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 secure for households. Simply take into account that it might be a greater vacation to take with older kids who you possibly can clarify fundamental security precautions to.

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

Suggestions:

  • Take lodging severely when touring as a household, and chorus from scrimping on safety or location. 
  • Select your vacation spot in Belize rigorously, deciding on historically “secure” 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 an ideal hostel scene for making new pals. Skilled solo vacationers are sometimes much more aware of security precautions than these in a bunch, so Belize can truly be higher suited to solo journey in that sense.

Nonetheless, as a basic rule, Belize is greatest skilled in a bunch to restrict the danger of muggings and extra sinister crimes like sexual assault. You possibly can ebook issues like group excursions and guided day journeys that can assist 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.

Suggestions:

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

Is Belize Secure to Take Public Transportation?

Public transportation safety in BelizePublic transportation safety in Belize

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’re sometimes packed however an affordable option to get round. Be slightly 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. It is best 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 an alternative, or keep away from pointless evening journey.

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

You may as well hire a automotive and drive round Belize in non-public autos comparatively simply. Nonetheless, you must train a excessive diploma of warning at evening, ideally avoiding all nonessential journey after darkish. You must also be ready for normal police checkpoints, the place you have to show a type of ID and your Worldwide Driving Allow. Be conscious of solely ever utilizing official border crossings and concentrate on the danger of armed robberies at locations like visitors lights in city areas or opportunistic crime on distant roads.

Are Medical Services Secure in Belize?

Medical safety in BelizeMedical safety in Belize

Medical amenities in Belize are blended. There are two forms of amenities: 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 educated professionals. Nonetheless, entry to both might be severely restricted, particularly in the event you’re staying in rural areas.

We’d counsel checking the place your nearest hospitals are earlier than visiting. Guarantee you might be 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 house. That is notably the case if the hospital doesn’t have a particular, area of interest sort of remedy or therapy accessible on speedy demand. Belize’s greatest hospitals are nice for minor accidents, however when you have 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 secure journey? Belize receives practically 1,000,000 guests every year, the overwhelming majority of whom journey the nation with no points. It’s all about selecting locations the place you really feel comfy taking accountability to your security, and everyone knows some international locations make this more difficult than others. Belize is difficult however not not possible. We adore it.

Listed below are just a few widespread FAQs to assist clear the query of “must you, shouldn’t you” up.

Is Mexico or Belize safer?

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

Is Belize or Costa Rica safer?

Costa Rica is marginally safer, as it’s only marked as Stage 2 by the US Journey Advisory. In distinction, Belize Metropolis is marked as a Stage 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 possibly can expertise probably the most storms and hurricanes, which might 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 identified for being comparatively “secure” throughout the nation.

So, Is Belize Secure To Journey In?

Belize Travel SafetyBelize Travel Safety

No, Belize isn’t a historically secure place to go to. Nonetheless, there are ranges to the dangers you’re 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 will have? What are the present updates, and what time of yr are you going?

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

Keep secure and luxuriate in. The very best security precaution is information, and we hope you will have a incredible time.

Extra Belize Sources For Planning Your Journey

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