Is Belize safe to visit? The short answer is; it depends on what you are traveling for and where you are going to stay. If you are on vacation and staying at popular locations, then it is actually safe. But, if you are staying at not so popular areas or in crime-ridden parts of the country, then you might not be as secure.
After spending a lot of time doing research on this particular topic, I arrived to the following.
To begin with, this exceptional country has areas that are considered safe and areas that are not so safe. It is essential that any tourist looking to travel to this nation do his or her due diligence beforehand. In Belize, you get the good with the bad.
The good, Belize has a reputation as one of the Caribbean and Central American top travel destination. Every year over 1.5 million people travel to this beautiful tropical country on vacation.
But on the other hand, the bad. Belize consistently ranks among the top countries in the world for homicides. On average approximately 40 murders occur per 100,000 people.
As an illustration, “Is Belize safe to visit” is one of the most searched phrases on the internet about this country. It does make sense that safety searches are this high for such a small country. Because of crime statistics and what is on the news, travelers are more concern about their safety when traveling to this nation.
Let’s begin and get into more of the details about safety when traveling to Belize.
Is Belize Safe for tourist – Violent Crime.
If I go more in-depth about statistics on violent crime in Belize. A more clear picture comes into focus.
Firstly, the vast majority of these violent crimes are relegated to specific areas of the country and a particular group of people.
Secondly, the majority of violent crimes in Belize. Involve gangs and traffickers battling for territory control. Few, if any incidents are targeted at tourists.
Drug and human trafficking is a big business for gangs and traffickers. Therefore, they will protect their interest at whatever cost is necessary.
Additionally, it is a reality that Belize, just like other countries in Central America are in the traffic route to the US.
Finally, It is important to point out that in some instances. Violent crimes occur among locals as a way of solving personal conflicts. It is a fact that some locals look at violence as a way to settle the score.
Is Belize Safe for tourist – Petty Crime.
Theft, pick-pocketing and purse-snatching are some of the most common petty crimes travelers will encounter.
A few simple tips to avoid petty crimes as a tourist are: do not flash cash around, take only the money you’ll use for the day, and keep documents and money hidden from plain view.
In conclusion, it makes me sad to say it, but petty crime in Belize is just like petty crime in most Central American travel destinations.
Is Belize safe for tourist outside the larger cities?
Outside of Belize City and other larger cities, things get much safer. For the most part, travelers report mostly positive experiences.
The most common threat outside urban areas is petty crimes. Burglars do lurk around tourist places. However, the best prevention is always to be vigilant.
Staying Safe in Belize.
It is imperative that travelers keep a watchful eye out when in both rural and urban locations. It is important to take precautions, avoid being targeted by criminals.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while traveling Belize.
Avoid Belize City dangerous areas.
I am in no way saying that Belize City should be avoided at all. I am just saying that while in the city be extra careful about which areas you venture into it.
When traveling Belize city or other urban areas, use the same level of precautions you would use in any other major city.
Remember, Belize city is just like any other big city. It has areas that visitors should avoid at all cost.
Avoid secluded areas.
When visiting secluded areas. Practice common sense, do not put yourself in dangerous situations by going into these areas. Unsupervised beaches should be avoided, especially at night.
Travel in groups.
When visiting archeological sites or venturing into natural parks. Try for the most part doing it as a group. You are more likely to become a target if you are alone than if you are in a group.
Use reputable, experienced tour guides. Do your research, do not just go with the first available option.
After dark, instead of walking, use taxis. But only use registered taxis with green license plates.
Renting a Car.
If renting an automobile, park your vehicle in well-lit areas of your travel destination. Never leave valuables inside the car unattended.
Avoid doing things at night.
Do more during the day. It’s easier to see where you are going, and it is less likely that you will be a target of a crime during the day.
Make copies of valuable info and documents including drivers license, passport, and credit card information, and keep this documents in a safe location.
Follow the Law.
Avoid illegal activities. Buying, consuming, or transporting drugs is illegal and is punishable by law.
Is Belize Safe to visit
It is essential to point out that in Belize. The police force is typically understaffed and poorly equipped. Even though crimes against visitants are taken seriously, the ability of police to respond is limited.