Belize Risk Report

Security travel advice for Belize

Security information

Threat level: Medium
Travellers to Belize should be wary or the higher than average crime rate that the country is experiencing, however providing safety measures are taken, your trip should be trouble free. Hazardous natural weather events can cause some issues with travel disruptions and plans.

Recent Security Risk Events
Belize has the world’s third highest murder rate, most recently an American female had been murdered in January 2016 with lacerations to her head and neck.

Belize has suffered an increase in violent crime, with armed robberies occurring near the western border with Guatemala, also near Caracol. Incidents have occurred in the mountain pine ridge area and the ruins near the Guatemalan border.

Security Risks
It is best to keep a low profile when travelling within Belize, due to the high rate of robbery and theft it is recommended that jewellery and valuables are kept out of sight, to prevent muggings, especially in Belize City where it is prevalent.

As with most countries in this region of the world there is a problem with gun and gang related crime, with incidents of violent crime around the areas of George street and Kraal Road.

Visitors should travel in groups and only in daylight hours, it is also best to book accommodation in main and popular tourist sites, as the security will be favourable.

Tourists may contact the Belizean tourist police unit as well as the main police office for assistance.

Most demonstrations are peaceful in the area, however some have been known to turn into disarray.

International Relations
Belize had established its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981. It has close ties with Latin America and the Caribbean, however has had ongoing disputes with its neighbouring Guatemala.

It has had ongoing troubles with drug trafficking and organised crime in the area, which has led to it being blacklisted by the United States of America having failed demonstrably in its fight against this type of organised crime.

It also has inherent troubles with human sex trafficking and forced labour, which has hindered international ties.

Travel considerations
It is best to only use recognised border crossings, as the ongoing conflict develops between Belize / Guatemala.

The road conditions in Belize are not favourable due to the local standards of driving and weather conditions making the roads unstable, slippery and prone to flooding.

Hurricane season is from June through to November, during this time your safety may be at risk and it is recommended that precautions are taken as well as monitoring the local news feeds.

There is a risk of large scale flooding, during the latter part of the year, travel precautions are advised during this time.

There are health and safety issues with regards to public transport, boats and rental cars, these of which may not be up to standard. If possible check references for transport and activities prior to use.

General information

Capital: Belmopan
Official languages: English
Religion: Christianity
Currency: Belize Dollar
Time now in Belmopan:

Visa requirements
British and United States of America Passport holders do not need a travel visa to enter Belize. for further information, see: Visa requirements Belize

Single parents or adults travelling with children under the age of 18 are required to provide notarised documentary evidence of parental responsibility, or consent to travel from those with parental responsibility. Such documentation is often required before being allowed to enter Belize and, in some cases, before permitting children to leave the country.

Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Belize are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. You should ensure that you have been further vaccinated against diseases such as Tetanus, which is usually administered when you are a young baby.

Although there is no direct risk of Yellow Fever in Belize, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of the disease, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.

Other health risks
The medical facilities are very good in Belize, more so in the cities. In rural areas it is advised to get to the nearest city and not attend local medical centres.

There have been some reports of Schistosomiasis (parasitic infection also known as bilharzia) being present in Belize, so contact with fresh water including activities such as swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams is advised against.

There have been confirmed cases of the Zika virus, Chikungunya fever and Dengue fever in Belize and suitable precautions are advised. All three diseases are transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and although there is no vaccine at present, taking precautions against bites can prevent contraction in the first place.

You can find more about the Zika virus here: Zika virus facts
More information on Dengue fever, see: Dengue Fever facts
Information about the Chikungunya Fever, see: Chikungunya Fever facts

Consular information

U.S. Embassy Belmopan
4 Floral Park Road,
Belmopan,
Belize
Telephone: +501 822 4011
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +501 610 5030
Email: ACSBelize@state.gov

British High Commission Belmopan
North Ring Road/Melhado Parade,
(Entrance via North Ring Road),
PO Box 91,
Belmopan,
Belize
Telephone: +501 822 2146
Telephone: +501 822 2147
Telephone: +501 822 2717
Email: brithicom@btl.net

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    Other useful info

    Police, Fire, Ambulance emergency: 911
    Belize City Police: 227 2222
    San Pedro Police: 226 2022
    San Ignacio Police: 824 2022
    Punta Gorda Police: 722 2022
    Orange Walk Police: 223 2022
    Independence Police: 523 2022
    Dangriga Police: 522 2022
    Corozal Police: 422 2022
    Caye Caulker Police: 226 2022
    Benque Viejo Police: 823 2038
    City Of Belmopan Police: 822 2222