U.S. Issues New Travel Advisory For Belize Amid Increased Crime Rates

U.S. Issues New Travel Advisory For Belize Amid High Crime Rates

Like many other major cities around the world, Belize City has crime, and several travel advisories for Belize refer primarily to the city. Nonetheless, exploring the nation can be a very safe experience if you pay attention to your surroundings and travel with caution.

U.S. Travel Advisory: Belize – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Due to the high crime rate in Belize, you should exercise increased caution. There is a higher risk in some places.

Even during the day and in tourist destinations, violent crimes such as sexual assaults, home invasions, armed robberies, and murder are commonplace. Gang-related crime accounts for a significant proportion of violent crime. Travelers are advised to exercise caution when visiting the southern region of Belize City as the crime rate there is high. The resources and expertise of the local police are not sufficient to combat major crimes. Most crimes remain unsolved and go unpunished.

Belize City – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Americans should stay away from visiting Belize City. In the past, violent crime related to gangs has mainly occurred on the south side of Belize City. In this area, which extends south of the Haulover Creek Canal to Fabers Road, there is no overlap with the usual tourist areas. By observing sound safety precautions, every visitor should exercise a high level of due diligence and reduce their exposure to the dangers associated with crime. 

Safety Tips for Belize

  1. Steer clear of secluded areas – Being in isolated locations, especially during the night and in urban areas, heightens the risk of potential robberies.
  2. Stay vigilant in crowds – Popular tourist spots often attract pickpockets. Be mindful of your surroundings and ensure your valuables are securely stored when exploring crowded areas.
  3. Keep a low profile with your belongings – Given the prevalent issue of petty theft in Belize, it’s advisable to refrain from wearing conspicuous items such as jewelry or watches and to exercise caution with your phone.
  4. Avoid nighttime bus travel – Opt for taxis when traveling at night for enhanced safety. Arrange for a reputable taxi through your accommodation to ensure a secure journey.
  5. Don’t do drugs – The influence of cartels in Belize has negatively impacted the local population. Refrain from supporting illegal activities by avoiding drug consumption. Additionally, drug penalties in the region are severe, and it’s crucial to avoid legal complications.

Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if you plan to visit Belize so that you can be alerted and be found more easily in an emergency.