Is Belize Safe for Tourists?
While no country is completely free of risks to the international visitor, in general, travel in Belize is very safe. Visiting Belize offers some unique challenges and it is a good idea to be prepared ahead of time to ensure that your visit to the country goes smoothly.
Statistics about incidences like armed robberies and murder can be a little misleading when it comes to Belize. Belize is a largely rural country and almost all incidences of violent crime are restricted to Belize City, the nation’s largest municipality. Almost all of these crimes involve local gang feuds and tourists are very rarely targeted. .
Due to historical disputes stemming from the colonial era, the occasional flare-up of violence on the border between Belize and Guatemala has been documented. These incidents usually involve the confrontations between governmental forces and rarely involve tourists or civilians. Visitors crossing from Belize into Guatemala are advised to stick to common transportation routes and travel in the daytime only.
With hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists entering the country every year, there is always a small chance that a visitor may become the victim of a minor crime like pickpocketing, purse snatching or burglary. Visitors are advised to never confront or resist a criminal and to immediately report all such incidences to the police.
As a tropical country, Belize is more prone to contagious diseases. Mosquito-born illnesses like dengue fever occasionally experience sporadic outbreaks. Visitors to Belize are advised to use insect repellant when outdoors and to stay in facilities protected with mosquito screens and nets at night. There have been only a few isolated cases of the Zika virus in Belize, an illness primarily transmitted by mosquitos.
Due to poor infrastructure, road accidents can pose a risk to anyone traveling in Belize, especially on rural roads. Public buses and some taxis are often in poor condition and may lack critical safety equipment. Visitors are advised to travel with modern vehicles only. By law, all registered taxis in Belize have to display a green license plate.
Some water taxis are poorly maintained and do not have sufficient safety equipment. Some boat captains may sail in bad weather or with too many passengers on board. Visitors are advised to sail only in calm weather aboard modern vessels containing a full range of safety gear. All boat captains and dive tour operators are required to be licensed by the government of Belize. Visitors are encouraged to verify licenses, references and equipment before boarding any boat.
Contact us and we will provide you with Belize safety tips and the best information on where to stay and things to see and do in the country.