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Is Belize Safe?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Ilysa Barcenas



When it comes to travel, ensuring your safety and well-being should always be a top priority. This is especially true when visiting a foreign country, where unfamiliar surroundings and potential risks can make one feel uneasy. As a popular tourist destination, Belize offers a wealth of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences. However, like any destination, it is important to evaluate the safety factors before embarking on your journey.


Belize, situated on the eastern coast of Central America, is known for its stunning beaches, lush jungles, ancient Mayan ruins, and vibrant marine life. With its tropical climate and friendly locals, it has become an attractive option for travelers seeking a unique and adventurous getaway. However, it is essential to understand the safety situation in Belize to mitigate any potential risks.


As with any country, Belize does have crime rates that should be taken into consideration. While the country overall has a lower crime rate compared to some of its neighboring countries, it is still important to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, can occur in crowded tourist areas, so it is best to keep your belongings secure and be cautious of your surroundings.


Tourist safety in Belize is a priority, and the government has implemented various measures to promote security and protect visitors. The Belize Tourism Board works closely with hoteliers and tour operators to ensure that appropriate safety measures are in place. Additionally, there is a tourist police force dedicated to assisting and protecting tourists, providing a helpful resource for any concerns or emergencies that may arise.


While it is important to be aware of potential risks, it is equally essential to remember that millions of travelers visit Belize each year without incident. By taking necessary precautions and following the advice of locals and authorities, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to this beautiful country.


Crime Rates in Belize

When evaluating the safety of a destination, understanding the crime rates is crucial. Belize, like any country, has its share of crime, but it is important to put it into perspective. While Belize does have higher crime rates compared to some other countries in the region, the majority of crimes occur in specific areas that are not typically frequented by tourists.


Violent crimes, such as robberies and assaults, do occur in Belize, particularly in urban areas and remote parts of the country. However, it is important to note that the majority of visits to Belize are trouble-free, and millions of tourists enjoy their trip without incident.


It is recommended to exercise caution and practice common sense to minimize your risk of being targeted by criminals. Avoid displaying flashy jewelry or large amounts of cash, and secure your belongings when exploring crowded places. It is also advisable to stay in well-established tourist areas and use trusted transportation options to minimize your exposure to potential risks.


In recent years, the Belizean government has made efforts to improve safety and security for residents and visitors alike. The police presence has been increased in popular tourist destinations, and there have been initiatives to enhance security measures in hotel areas and public spaces.


Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the Belize Tourism Board and local authorities are continuously working to educate and train hotel staff and tour operators in practices that prioritize the safety and security of tourists. Many accommodations and tour companies have implemented security measures, such as surveillance cameras and security personnel, to ensure the well-being of their guests.


While it is essential to be aware of the crime rates in Belize, it is equally important to remember that taking precautions and staying informed can greatly reduce the likelihood of encountering any issues while visiting this beautiful country.


Tourist Safety in Belize

Ensuring the safety of tourists is a top priority in Belize, as the government recognizes the importance of a positive and secure travel experience. The country relies heavily on tourism, and measures have been implemented to ensure the well-being of visitors.


Belize is known for its warm and welcoming locals who are accustomed to receiving travelers from all over the world. The people of Belize take pride in their reputation for being friendly and helpful, which contributes to a welcoming and safe environment for tourists.


Popular tourist areas, such as Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and Placencia, have a strong police presence to maintain law and order. It is not uncommon to see officers patrolling the streets and interacting with visitors, providing reassurance and assistance.


It is advisable to stick to well-established tourist areas and resorts, as they generally have security measures in place to ensure the safety of their guests. These measures may include gated entrances, security guards, and surveillance cameras.


Engaging in water activities, such as snorkeling or diving, is a common highlight of a visit to Belize. Safety standards are typically high for these activities, with experienced guides and instructors ensuring that proper equipment and procedures are followed. It is recommended to book tours with reputable companies that prioritize safety and have a good track record.


As with any destination, it is essential to be cautious of potential scams targeted at tourists. Exercise common sense and be wary of anyone offering unsolicited help or deals that seem too good to be true.


The Belize Tourism Board has a dedicated team that monitors and investigates any reported incidents involving tourists. They provide assistance and support to travelers who may require help, ensuring that their safety concerns are addressed promptly.


In terms of health and sanitation, Belize has made significant progress in recent years. Tap water is generally safe to drink in urban areas, but it is advisable to drink bottled or filtered water in more remote locations. Mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever and Zika virus, are a concern in certain regions. It is recommended to take precautions, such as using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing, especially in areas with a higher mosquito population.


By staying alert, following local advice, and using common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience exploring the wonders of Belize.


Safety Precautions for Travelers in Belize

While Belize offers a wealth of natural beauty and adventure, it is always important to take necessary precautions to ensure your safety while traveling. By following these safety tips, you can have a more secure and enjoyable experience in this beautiful country.


1. Research and Plan Ahead: Before your trip, familiarize yourself with the local customs, laws, and potential risks in Belize. Take note of any travel advisories or warnings issued by your government. This will help you make informed decisions and be prepared for your journey.


2. Stay in Well-Established Accommodations: Choose reputable hotels and resorts that have security measures in place, such as gated entrances, security guards, and surveillance cameras. These establishments prioritize the safety and well-being of their guests.


3. Be Cautious of Your Belongings: Avoid displaying valuable items, such as expensive jewelry or large sums of cash. Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or on public transportation.


4. Use Reliable Transportation: When exploring Belize, use licensed taxis or reputable transportation services. Avoid using unmarked vehicles or accepting rides from strangers.


5. Stay Vigilant in Crowded Areas: Tourist hotspots can be magnets for petty theft. Keep an eye on your belongings and be cautious of pickpockets or bag snatchers. Consider using a money belt or a secure bag to keep your valuables safe.


6. Follow Local Advice: Listen to the guidance and advice of locals, hotel staff, and tour operators. They have valuable insights into the safest areas to visit and potential risks to be aware of.


7. Respect the Environment: Belize is home to diverse ecosystems and protected areas. Follow all rules and regulations when visiting natural sites, such as national parks or marine reserves. Be mindful of wildlife and avoid touching or disturbing them.


8. Stay Hydrated and Protected: Belize has a tropical climate, so stay hydrated by drinking bottled or filtered water. Apply sunscreen regularly to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, and use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.


9. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation. Your safety is paramount, and it is always better to be cautious.


10. Stay Connected and Informed: Keep important contact numbers, such as the local emergency services and your embassy’s contact details, easily accessible. Stay informed about any changes in the local situation or weather conditions that may affect your travel plans.


By following these safety precautions and being aware of your surroundings, you can have a more secure and worry-free experience exploring the wonders of Belize.


Natural Hazards in Belize

As a tropical country, Belize is subject to various natural hazards. Understanding these hazards and taking necessary precautions is important to ensure your safety while exploring this beautiful destination.


1. Tropical Weather: Belize experiences a tropical climate, which includes a rainy season from June to November. During this time, heavy rain showers and thunderstorms are common. It is advisable to check weather forecasts and be prepared with appropriate rain gear and waterproof containers for your belongings.


2. Hurricane Season: Belize falls within the Atlantic hurricane belt, and the official hurricane season runs from June to November. While the risk of a direct hit is low, it is essential to stay informed about any potential storms or hurricanes that may affect the region. Follow the guidance of local authorities, and if a hurricane is predicted, follow evacuation orders and seek shelter in a safe location.


3. Flooding: The heavy rainfall during the rainy season can lead to localized flooding in low-lying areas. Be cautious while driving or walking in flooded areas, as water levels can rise quickly and pose a danger. Avoid crossing flooded roads or bridges, as they may be weakened or washed away.


4. Mosquito-Borne Illnesses: Mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya, are present in Belize. Take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in accommodations with screens or air conditioning.


5. Wildlife Encounters: Belize is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including reptiles, insects, and marine creatures. While encounters with wildlife can be exciting, it is important to keep a safe distance and avoid touching or feeding animals. Some species, like venomous snakes or jellyfish, can pose risks if provoked or handled incorrectly.


6. Mesoamerican Barrier Reef: Belize is home to the largest barrier reef system in the northern hemisphere, known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. While snorkeling or diving along the reef can be a thrilling experience, be cautious of the coral formations and marine life. Avoid touching or stepping on the coral, as it is a fragile ecosystem that requires protection.


7. Geological Hazards: Belize is relatively free from major geological hazards such as earthquakes and volcanic activity. However, it is still important to stay informed about any seismic activity or changes in the volcanic landscape in neighboring countries.


Being aware of these natural hazards and taking necessary precautions can help ensure your safety while enjoying the natural wonders of Belize. Stay informed, follow local advice, and make responsible choices to make the most out of your experience in this tropical paradise.


Health and Medical Facilities in Belize

When traveling to Belize, it is important to be aware of the health and medical facilities available in the country to ensure your well-being during your trip. While Belize has made significant improvements in its healthcare system in recent years, it is recommended to take necessary precautions and be prepared for any medical needs that may arise.


1. Medical Facilities: Belize has public and private healthcare facilities throughout the country. The larger towns and cities have hospitals and clinics with modern equipment and qualified medical professionals. However, in more remote areas, medical facilities may be limited, and it is advisable to seek medical attention in larger urban centers if necessary.


2. Health Insurance: It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that includes medical coverage when visiting Belize. This ensures that you are financially protected in case of any medical emergencies or treatment required. Confirm with your insurance provider and understand the coverage provided for your trip.


3. Prescription Medications: If you take prescription medications, ensure you have an ample supply for the duration of your trip. It is advisable to carry the medications in their original packaging, along with a copy of any prescriptions or a note from your doctor. Inquire with the Belizean embassy or consulate about any restrictions or requirements for bringing medications into the country.


4. Vaccinations: Prior to your trip, consult with a healthcare professional or a travel medicine clinic to understand the recommended vaccinations for Belize. Routine vaccines, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and tetanus, should be up to date. Additionally, certain vaccines such as hepatitis A and typhoid may be recommended depending on the duration and nature of your trip.


5. Mosquito-Borne Illnesses: Belize is home to mosquitoes that can transmit diseases such as dengue fever, Zika virus, and chikungunya. Take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, such as using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in accommodations with screens or air conditioning. If you experience symptoms such as high fever, rash, joint pain, or persistent headache, seek medical attention promptly.


6. Water and Food Safety: While some urban areas in Belize have safe tap water, it is advisable to drink bottled or filtered water, especially in more remote locations. Additionally, practice good hygiene and opt for well-cooked food to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.


7. Emergency Services: In case of a medical emergency, dial 911 or the local emergency number in Belize to request immediate assistance. Save important contact numbers, such as the location of your embassy or consulate and your insurance provider’s emergency helpline, in your phone or on a written note.


By considering these health-related factors and being prepared, you can enjoy a safe and healthy trip to Belize. Prioritize your well-being, take precautions, and seek medical assistance if needed to ensure a smooth and memorable travel experience.


Transportation Safety in Belize

Getting around in Belize can be an adventure in itself, with various modes of transportation available to explore the country’s diverse landscapes. While transportation options in Belize offer convenience and flexibility, it is important to prioritize safety during your travels.


1. Road Safety: When driving in Belize, exercise caution and be aware of the local traffic rules. Road conditions can vary, with potholes and uneven surfaces in some areas. It is advisable to drive defensively, obey speed limits, and be cautious of pedestrians, cyclists, and animals on the road.


2. Rental Vehicles: If renting a vehicle, ensure it is from a reputable company and that you have a valid driver’s license. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle’s features, including seatbelts and safety equipment. Keep your valuable belongings locked in the trunk or out of sight.


3. Public Transportation: Utilizing public transportation in Belize can be an affordable and convenient option. Buses, known as “chicken buses,” travel between towns and cities, but they can be crowded and may have limited schedules. Exercise caution with your belongings and be aware of pickpocketing in these busy environments.


4. Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Belize, and it is recommended to use licensed taxis from established taxi stands or have your hotel arrange a reputable taxi service for you. Confirm the fare with the driver before starting the journey.


5. Water Transport: Belize has many breathtaking islands and coastal areas that can be reached by water transport, such as water taxis or boat tours. Ensure that the operators have the necessary permits and safety equipment. Follow the instructions provided by the crew during boat rides and wear life jackets when required.


6. Air Travel: Domestic flights in Belize are available for traveling between major destinations and remote areas. Ensure that you choose reputable airlines and follow the instructions of airport staff and crew members.


7. Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety: If walking or cycling in Belize, be cautious of traffic and follow pedestrian laws. Use designated paths where available and wear bright or reflective clothing to increase visibility, especially at night.


8. Local Knowledge: Seek local advice on transportation options and safety concerns specific to the areas you plan to visit. Locals can provide valuable insights into the most reliable and safe transportation choices.


9. Plan Your Travel Time: It is important to allow ample time for your travel plans to avoid rushing or driving in unfamiliar areas during nighttime. Plan your itinerary with realistic timeframes to ensure a stress-free journey.


By being aware of transportation safety considerations and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy a smooth and secure travel experience in Belize. Whether you choose to drive, take public transportation, or explore the country’s waterways, prioritize your safety and make informed choices to make the most of your time in this beautiful destination.


Emergency Contacts in Belize

It is important to be prepared and have access to emergency contacts while traveling in Belize. Knowing who to reach out to during an emergency can provide peace of mind and ensure prompt assistance when needed. Keep the following emergency contacts readily available:


1. Police: In case of a crime or emergency, dial 911 to contact the police in Belize. They are responsible for maintaining law and order and can provide assistance, guidance, or connect you to the appropriate authorities.


2. Fire and Ambulance Services: For fire emergencies or medical assistance, dial 911 to reach the Belize National Fire Service and the ambulance services. They are equipped to handle medical emergencies and will dispatch the necessary resources to your location.


3. Hospitals and Clinics: Familiarize yourself with the locations of local hospitals and clinics near your accommodations or the areas you plan to visit. Some well-known medical facilities in Belize include the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City and the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan.


4. Embassy or Consulate: If you are a foreign visitor and require assistance from your home country’s government, contact the nearest embassy or consulate. They can provide consular services, such as passport replacement, assistance in legal matters, or help in case of an emergency involving a citizen of your country.


5. Tourist Police: Belize has a dedicated tourist police force that focuses on the safety and well-being of visitors. They are trained to assist tourists and offer support during emergencies. The tourist police can be reached through local police stations or the non-emergency police hotline.


6. Travel Insurance Provider: If you have travel insurance, keep the emergency contact number of your insurance provider easily accessible. In case of medical emergencies, lost or stolen belongings, or travel disruptions, reach out to your insurance company for guidance and support.


7. Local Contacts: It is always helpful to establish local contacts who can assist you during your stay. This can include the staff at your accommodation, tour operators, or local friends/acquaintances. They can provide valuable advice, assistance, and help coordinate with local authorities if needed.


Remember, during an emergency, staying calm and acting promptly is essential. Provide clear and concise information when contacting emergency services, and follow their instructions closely. It is recommended to save emergency contact numbers in your phone, as well as keep a written copy in case of any technology failures or power outages.


By being prepared and aware of the appropriate emergency contacts in Belize, you can ensure a quick and effective response during any unexpected situations that may arise.



Visiting Belize can be an incredibly rewarding experience, with its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. While it is important to be mindful of safety considerations, it is equally important to approach your trip with a sense of adventure and an open mind.


Belize has taken steps to prioritize the safety and security of its tourists. From increased police presence in popular tourist areas to the efforts of the Belize Tourism Board in promoting safe travel practices, the country is committed to providing a secure environment for visitors.


By taking necessary precautions, such as being cautious of your belongings, following local advice, and staying informed about potential risks, you can minimize the chances of encountering any issues during your trip. Remember to research and plan ahead, choose reputable accommodations and transportation options, and have emergency contacts readily available.


While no destination is completely risk-free, it is important to remember that millions of travelers visit Belize each year without incident. By being aware and attentive, you can enjoy the wonders of Belize, whether it’s exploring ancient Mayan ruins, snorkeling along the barrier reef, or immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture.


Traveling to Belize offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, discover cultural treasures, and create lasting memories. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the beauty of the country, and cherish the experiences that await you in this tropical paradise.