Is Belize Safe? Travel Advisory 2023

Belize is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central America. However, this does not mean that there are no safety concerns for visitors who go to the country and experience what it has to offer as tourists.

In general, visitors should be quite cautious when they visit Belize, but it is certainly possible to enjoy a safe tourist trip to the country.

Tourists should follow some guidelines and avoid certain areas of the country when they visit Belize, though. As with any country, there are certain areas of Belize that are safer than others.

Read on to learn what to know about visiting Belize safely.

Suggested: Is safe to visit Guatemala?

How Much Crime Happens in the Nation of Belize?

Belize is quite a small country by its total land area, with only 8,867 square miles of territory. This means that Belize is smaller than the state of Maryland in the United States and ranks as only the 152nd largest country in the world.

The nation of Belize is small in terms of its population, as well. The total population of Belize is only about 400,000 people. 

Despite these facts, Belize actually has quite a high murder rate. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime puts Belize as one of the five countries with the highest rates of murder in the entire world.

This is a consistent ranking for the nation of Belize, too. The most recent data puts the murder rate in the nation of Belize at 29 murders per every 100,000 inhabitants of the country in 2021. 

Murder is not the only common type of violent crime in the nation of Belize, either. Armed robberies are also pretty common in the country, as are home invasions and other crimes.

These violent crimes don’t just take place at night or in bad neighborhoods. One has to be careful even during the day in a safer neighborhood, as well. 

Check out the latest Level 2 Travel Warning of the U.S. Department Of State

LATEST UPDATES / NEWS from BELIZE:

August 23 – The leader of the opposition urges government to take action against crime

Moses “Shyne” Barrow, the leader of the opposition, has urged the government to tackle the crime problem following a series of murders and the arrest of suspected drug traffickers. Two men and two minors were killed over the weekend. Three of the men were killed by gun violence, Barrow said, showing that GOB is failing.

The LOO claims that, to make matters worse, a new threat is currently developing in the north. Barrow commented today on the arrest of suspected sicarios in Corozal and what he perceives as a lack of urgency by the government in dealing with the situation.

“We have a prime minister who is the chairman of the National Security Council. In every other nation that is developing, even in our region, the prime minister takes citizen security to heart. It is a priority. I believe this is the first prime minister that I don’t know when he has met with his National Security Council. Whenever we have crises, when we have emergencies, like with the state of emergency on the South Side current, he says nothing…” said Barrow.

July 13 – Belize tourism launches travel agent rewards

In an effort to “give something back” to the industry, the Belize Tourism Board has developed its first rewards program for travel agents.

Travel agents can earn points for each booking that includes at least one night’s stay in Belize, with 100 points per night available.

Points will be awarded on the day of departure and a booking confirmation must be posted on the Tourism Board’s website.

After that, points are valid for another 24 months and can be used to purchase merchandise and hotel room nights.

June 9 – JetBlue to expand Caribbean network with Belize flights

JetBlue Airways announced Tuesday that it will add new routes and fly to two new locations: Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Belize City, Belize, and Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) in St. Kitts and Nevis.

On Dec. 6, the airline will launch a new route from JFK to Belize City. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, JetBlue will operate three flights per week. Flight 2781 will leave New York at 8:29 a.m. and arrive in Belize at 12:14 p.m. Flight 2784, the return flight, will take off at 13:30 and arrives at 19:00. JetBlue will be the sole operator on this route.

April 19 – Haitian and Jamaicans have lost their entry privileges to Belize

Due to new immigration regulations, Haitians are no longer permitted to enter Belize without a visa, while Jamaicans must now show proof that they have paid for their accommodation before entering the country.

this was announced by the Belizean government following a cabinet meeting to discuss how citizens of the two Caribbean Community island nations use Belize as a transit country for illegal entry into the United States.

“After a thorough discussion on the increasing number of visitors who are using Belize as a transit country to reach the United States, Cabinet determined that Belize will invoke Article 226 (a) of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which will allow for the Minister of Immigration to immediately impose a visa requirement for Haitians wishing to visit Belize and to require Jamaican nationals to provide evidence of fully paid non-refundable hotel reservations prior to boarding flights to Belize,” the government said.

Dangerous Areas To Avoid

As previously stated, there are some areas in Belize that are more dangerous than others. This is the case with any country, but it is even more true when it comes to the nation of Belize.

The neighborhoods that are located to the south of Belize City and close to Belize’s border with Guatemala are generally fairly unsafe, especially for tourists.

Tourists should avoid these dangerous neighborhoods so that they have the best chance of staying safe. 

What Are the Safest Parts of Belize?

While there are some dangerous areas in Belize, there are also a number of safer areas, as well. One of the safest areas in Belize for tourists is the island of Caye Caulker.

In addition to its safety, tourists with a smaller budget will also like this island because they can travel well without spending too much money. It is also worth pointing out that Caye Caulker is one of the more relaxing parts of Belize due to its lower costs and generally high level of safety.

One should keep an eye out for pickpockets, though. 

Corozal Town is another area of Belize that is quite safe for tourists. Quite a few foreign residents live in Corozal Town and this is one reason that it is one of the safer areas in the country of Belize.

Corozal Town is Belize’s northernmost municipality.

Many tourists enjoy visiting Corozal Town when they come to Belize due to the high level of safety and the laid-back, peaceful nature of the area. One should still keep an eye on their possessions, though.

Despite the overall safety of Corozal Town, pickpocketing can still happen if one is not careful. 

Final Thoughts

Belize can be an enjoyable place for tourists to visit. While there are some dangers in the country, tourists can generally remain safe if they avoid bad neighborhoods and traveling at night.

One should also make sure only to take a properly licensed taxi. As long as tourists follow safety guidelines and keep their wits about them, they can have a great and safe time in the country of Belize. 

Update Archives:

March 15 – The Belize Tourism Board has launched a Civic Pride Jingle contest with a prize of $3,000

Last week, the BTB launched the competition, stating that the jingle needed to be between 30 and 45 seconds long in MP3 format, highly recognizable or “catchy,” and have the words “Civic Pride” and “Belize” in the lyrics.

“Тhе саmраіgn еnсоurаgеѕ vаluеѕ ѕuсh аѕ рrіdе аnd аррrесіаtіоn fоr Веlіzе, nо lіttеrіng, rеѕресt fоr оur nаtіоnаl аnthеm аnd flаg, рrоtесtіоn оf оur flоrа аnd fаunа, аnd rеѕресt fоr еасh оthеr,” thе ВТВ ѕаіd.

“Аll ѕubmіѕѕіоnѕ muѕt bе ѕubmіttеd еmаіlеd tо рr@bеlіzеtоurіѕmbоаrd.оrg wіth thе ѕubјесt:”ВТВ ЈІNGLЕ СОМРЕТІТІОN” vіа еіthеr Gооglе Drіvе, WеТrаnѕfеr, оr Drорbох аnd thе lуrісѕ ѕhоuld bе рrоvіdеd іn а ѕераrаtе dосumеnt.”

Тhе dеаdlіnе іѕ Арrіl 17.

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