Planning a trip to Central America? What could be a better place than Belize?
The beautiful country offers a coastline along the Caribbean Sea. Belize is located between Mexico and Guatemala. This exotic country offers plenty of places for visitors through its mesmerizing beauty and wide range of beaches. The Belize Barrier Reef is lined with several islands including the Cayes. These islands are home to a variety of marine life. Apart from the beaches, there are dense jungles in the country as well. In these jungles, the rich culture and history can be seen at the Mayan ruins like Caracol which is known for its pyramids at the lagoon-side Lamanai.
While planning a trip in the summers, a country with beaches such as Belize is ideal. You can go swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and exploring beautiful and exotic reefs. Take your kids to explore the dense jungles of Belize to discover the different plants and animal species.
Belize seems to be an ideal destination for a vacation but unfortunately, the country has low incomes and poor infrastructure, leading to the rise of crimes in the country. So, while planning a trip to Belize, there are some things to be considered to keep yourself safe and secure. This blog post will be your complete guide about the current crime situation in the country, places that are safer, whether it is safe for solo travelers and much more. We are here to answer all your concerns and make your trip worthwhile, so sit back and start reading.
Is Belize Safe Enough to Visit?
With so much to offer visitors, from beaches to jungles, Belize is considered a great place for tourists. However, the poor economy and inequality between the rich and the poor have led to the rise of crime rates in the country. The risk for petty crimes is the highest and other crimes like homicides, and human and drug trafficking are also common. These crimes are usually committed by the gangs present in different cities.
However, it must be noted that Belize might not be so dangerous for tourists. The targets of such crimes are usually the citizens of Belize who are already involved in some kind of dispute. So, if you are only a visitor who is not a part of any gang and not involved in the crossfire, you are most likely to be safe in this country. Some areas in the country are considered more dangerous, including the north of Belize City. This specific region has high crime rates because of a lot of gangs residing there. Moreover, there are some tensions on the Guatemala border and it is better to avoid going there.
How is Belize to Travel Alone?
Belize is safe enough to travel alone it is just important how you travel. While traveling alone it is important to be extra vigilant and prepared for every situation. Do your research and choose the best-reviewed hotels. It is always better to stick to safe places while on vacation with families. If you are foreign and don’t know the English language that well, you do not need to worry. Knowing a simple phrase in the local language can help you get anywhere. It is preferable to stay in busy areas and avoid walking alone in the streets. Blend in the crowds as much as you can.
Is Belize Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Belize is safe for solo female travelers but there are special precautions for them. While being a solo female traveler, make sure that you avoid the activities that make you uncomfortable, try saying no to whatever you think is inappropriate. Stay alert to the surroundings and avoid talking to strangers. For this, it is better to avoid going out at night. They can ask the locals for restaurants and other places that are safe and fun. Avoid drinking alcohol, especially at night you do not want to get unconscious while you are on a solo trip. Muggers and robbers target the victims in secluded areas. It is advised that the ladies should stick to the busy areas.
Is Belize Worth Visiting for Families?
If you are traveling with your family, Belize is a very good choice as there are so many activities for the kids. From swimming and scuba diving to making sand castles at the beaches, kids have an awesome time here in Belize. Tourism companies have made great travel packages for families that offer a memorable trip at affordable rates. Some many resorts and hotels are safe for families but before making a plan do your research and find the best and safest places to visit. Belize offers stunning views and scenic beauty like no other place. But make sure to check the weather before planning a trip with family to Belize. You don’t want to ruin your plans because of rain or a storm.
What are the Safest Places in Belize?
When choosing an area to stay in the country, it is important to select a safe area. You don’t want to end up in a shady area with your family. We have mentioned some of the safest places in the country where you can stay comfortably without any concerns.
It is a small island located on the coast of Belize. It is 8.2 kilometers in length with a population of 1300. It is a budget-friendly place where you can enjoy a comfortable stay at cheap prices. Apart from being budget-friendly, the island of Caye Caulker is safe and offers plenty of activities for its visitors, from relaxing on the beach to enjoying the wild nightlife. Don’t miss out on this exciting place while planning a trip to Belize.
San Pedro is another famous island in Belize City. It offers visitors great experiences of scuba diving, snorkeling, and mesmerizing views. San Pedro is rather safe than other parts of Belize City. Although there are some cases of petty crimes, they can be avoided by simply staying alert.
Corozal is one of the safest places in Belize. It has a tourism-friendly vibe and people from all over the world love to visit with families. Only pickpocketing is common but otherwise, this area is quite secure and a very pleasant place to visit with family. Make sure to check it out while being in Belize.
Places to Avoid in Belize
A country has both good and bad places, you must do your research before embarking upon a journey to Belize to be safe. To make this easier for you go through the list below to find out some of the dangerous places in Belize. It is better to avoid these places while on your vacation. The former capital, Belize City is a risky place to stay in, and to be specific there are only a few areas of the city that are dangerous. These areas include George Street and Kraal Road. It is advised to avoid going anywhere in this city at night. The regions around the borders especially around the Guatemala border are always considered dangerous. So, try to stay away from the borders as much as possible.
What is the Crime Condition in Belize?
There are several violent crimes in the country. It has the highest rate of murders in the world per capita. Gang activities are also common around the country. Some common crimes are:
- Armed robberies
- Petty crimes
- Credit card frauds
Tourists are not primarily the target of crimes but petty crimes are often happening in resorts and hotels. Petty crimes such as purse snatching, pickpocketing, and mugging are common. Some gangs are known to operate in the forests and the Belize City and they are likely to attack. It is important to stay aware of the surroundings. Tourists are not involved in these gang-related activities and are unlikely to become the target of these disputes between the gangs. But they might be affected if they get caught in the crossfire. In case you become a victim of any crime, you must report it to the police immediately.
How is the Food in Belize?
Belize offers a wide range of cuisines of different cultures. The food here is safe to eat and enjoy. Not only safe, but it is very tasty. You can get a variety of options of rice, beans, and spices that will literally enhance your food taste. Street food is also safe to eat, it is prepared on the spot for you and is fresh and hot. You can research and find out the best restaurants in the country. Avoid eating unpeeled and unwashed fruits, they can have germs on them. Besides, everyone can get access to over-the-counter drugs, if in case, you get ill after eating local food.
Is Drinking Water Safe in Belize?
Drinking water in Belize is not considered 100% safe, it might have bacteria and viruses from different natural disasters or industrial waste. Tap water can be used for washing clothes, dishes, and showering but avoid drinking tap water. Stick to bottled water to be safe or you can bring your bottles and fill them up at the filters.
Is There a Risk of Zika Virus in Belize?
Zika virus was quite prevalent in the past in Belize but recently there has been no news of any outbreaks. But it is important to take the necessary precautions while traveling. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent yourself from the virus:
- Apply mosquito repellants on your skin to prevent mosquito bites
- Sleep under mosquito nets
- Get yourself vaccinated before visiting Belize
- Wear full clothes to cover your arms and legs
- Keep windows shut and doors closed especially during the night
- Couples who are trying to conceive a baby should consider talking to the doctor before traveling
By following all these tips, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the Zika virus or any other sort of virus that is transmitted through mosquitos.
Is Public Transport Safe in Belize?
Overall, public transport is safe here, there are so many options you can choose to travel. Buses are known as chicken buses and are famous here. They are cheap and cover large distances. Because they are cheap, they can get very crowded, so be aware of your surroundings and protect your belongings while on the bus. Water taxis are not safe, most of them don’t come with life jackets. They can also be very crowded and traveling on them can be a struggle.
Is Driving in Belize Safe?
Belize is known for cruising and is not a great place to take a road trip. The road conditions are not perfect here but as the cities are not that big, you can get around everywhere by simply renting a car. These rental cars might not be in ideal condition. So, make sure that you check the tires and keep a spare with you to avoid any trouble. You can get stopped at different checkpoints, just show your ID and move along. There is nothing to worry about it. Instead of having huge highways, there are two-lane country roads.
Is Belize Vulnerable to Hurricanes, Storms, and Flooding?
There are possibilities of natural disasters here in Belize. The common natural disasters that can hit the country are floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and droughts. These disasters can destroy agriculture and the worst damages can occur during the hurricane seasons. The hurricane season in Belize lasts from June to November. It is advised that you plan your trip per the weather conditions to avoid any kind of trouble.
13 Safety Tips for Visiting Belize
Although the country is safe for visitors but still it is advised to travel smartly so you can avoid any kind of trouble and have a wonderful stay here. To travel smartly, we have gathered a list of tips that you can follow and be safe on your trip to Belize. So, go through the list carefully and try to follow all the tips while traveling anywhere.
Avoid Secluded Areas
It is the most obvious and best advice for travelers and especially solo travelers, it is better to avoid walking through the secluded areas as there are higher chances of crime and you can become a target very easily. Try to stay among crowds in this way you cannot be targeted by muggers.
Be Aware of the Surroundings
While being in the crowds you might become the target of petty thefts such as pickpocketing. It is advised that when you are sticking to the crowds just be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in a secure place.
Having too much alcohol can make you lose consciousness and can make you an easy target for the mugger or robbers. So, while you are out on the streets, especially at night, avoid drinking too much alcohol as you need to stay alert to protect yourself.
Avoid Wearing Flashy Items
Petty theft is most common here so it is better to blend in as much as possible. The best way to blend in is that avoid wearing anything flashy such as expensive jewelry or a watch. Don’t keep your phone in your hand or in any pocket where it is visible as you can be seen by the pickpockets and can become a target of a pickpocketing.
Hand Over the Valuables
In case of an armed robbery, it is best that you surrender to the robbers and hand over all your valuables to them as your life matters more than these goods. These things can be replaced your life can’t so avoid resisting or fighting back.
Avoid Leaving Items Unattended
If you are going for a swim at the beach, make sure that your valuable items are not left unattended as the locals or even the tourists can easily swipe off your things. Keep your valuables at the hotel in a secure place or if you are there with your friends then take turns while swimming so that one of you can keep an eye on the things.
Hire a Guide
The country has numerous dense jungles that you would love to explore on your trip but make sure to hire a guide while you go trekking in the jungles. They will guide you every step of the way and in this way, you will not be lost in the jungles.
Learn the Local Laws
While going to any new country it is important to learn all about their local laws. This can help you to avoid any fines or troubles with the police.
Do Research Before Travelling
Before going on a vacation, it is advised that you do your research and make a proper plan for your whole trip. Make a list of all the places you want to see and how you will get to these places. Research always helps to make your trip smooth and safe.
While traveling to a new country, find out all the possible diseases that are common there and make sure you get vaccinated for them. You would not want to get sick on your trip so it is better to take precautions.
Check Weather Updates
Hurricanes and storms are common in Belize, make sure that you check the weather updates before going out on the beach or anywhere in the country. You would not want your day ruined by the weather.
Avoid Public Transport at Night
Thefts have become very common at night, especially on buses. So, try to avoid using buses at night and if you do need to use public transport then take care of your belongings and stay alert.
Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is considered to be a must while going on a trip. This not only protects you in case of any emergencies or injuries but also helps you in case of any delayed flights or cancellations. This is a very good investment if you travel frequently.
The Bottom Line
Belize is a country with great beaches and jungles. Tourists coming from worldwide prefer visiting Belize to enjoy the scenic beauty and experience the adventurous activities of scuba diving and snorkeling. However, people usually have safety concerns while traveling to any place. No location is completely safe, and you may have a good or bad experience literally everywhere! Similarly, Belize has secure zones such as Corozal, Caye Caulker, and San Pedro. But if you plan to visit the country alone or with family, it is critical that you take the necessary precautions and stay safe. Overall, it is safe to visit, so don’t hesitate while choosing this as your next vacay-destination.
Diana was an active fitness model in the past. She has had numerous shoots done at different locations and found out that her true interest was in exploring the world! Later on, this passion motivated her to write multiple tarvel blogs about whatever place she visited and discovered, and here it is! Enjoy reading a variety of blogs by Diana to get a lively experience of several places.