In 2019 I spent 9 days in Belize, traveling from Belize City to Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, and Placencia. This information is based on online data and my own experiences in Belize. Learn about the things nobody tells you about Belize here.
Belize City Safety
The only time I did not feel safe was in Belize City, partially because I had read that this location has the third highest rate of murder in the world. However, that’s partially because the population of Belize is so small.
Everything I read suggested that as long you get out of Belize City before dark, you’ll be okay. It definitely felt more sketchy than the other cities because the area was clearer poorer. We drove through Belize City and got gas at several stations there without issue.
If you’re a tourist, chances are you’ll be carrying some cash on you and may be wealthier than the average Belizean person. For this reason, common crimes include hotel room theft, pickpocketing, credit/debit card skimming at ATMs, and burglary. These are pretty standard for most countries with heavy tourism.
How to Avoid Being A Victim
To avoid these, be smart and use common sense.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you (over $100 USD)
- Lock your valuables in a safe in your hotel room
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or anything that looks expensive
- If you have expensive camera equipment, be cautious of where you are using it
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where the exits are
Where to Get Help
Should you need assistance in Belize, know where to go before you need to know!
There is an American embassy in Belmopan, which is in the middle of the country about an hour from Belize City. They can help you with safety or passport issues.
To call emergency services in Belize call 911. Here’s a list of more emergency numbers.
Safety for Women
If you’re a woman, I recommend not traveling alone in the San Ignacio, Belmopan, and Belize City areas. I met several groups of 2-6 women traveling together and they had no safety issues. In the Cayes (islands) it feels much safer, I felt very comfortable walking around alone on Caye Caulker.
A Note on Belizean Men
In America, we are used to the men being less sexually aggressive than in most other countries. In Belize, I noticed that the men are not afraid to walk by and tell you that you’re cute, that you have great legs, or that a girl like you shouldn’t be without a good man (actual quotes). They walked by and kept walking after making those comments.
I traveled with my boyfriend, and the few times he wasn’t with me I got hit on shortly after he left. Nothing aggressive, no catcalling, just little comments as they walked by me. I never felt sexually threatened. When traveling to Belize just know that the men there will be more forward.
Tips for Women
- Wear a fake engagement/wedding ring if you’re concerned about sexual harassment. I like the one below.
- Have something available to cover yourself up, like a sarong or kimono, so you’re not always walking around in a bikini. YES LADIES, you can wear whatever you want, but don’t make yourself a target by wearing too little, even when it’s 90 degrees.
- RESEARCH. Book your hotels ahead of time and know how to hail transportation like water taxis and cabs.
- Avoid carrying an expensive-looking purse or wallet!
- Consider getting travel insurance.
- Know what you need to do before you travel internationally, like figuring out how you’ll withdraw cash.
Overall Belize Safety
Overall, Belize is a stunningly beautiful country with generally nice people. Avoid the Belize City area, be smart, and you’ll likely be completely fine. For more Belize tips, visit our blog.