Belize is a small country, but because it isn’t well-known by outsiders, a lot of visitors want to know if it is safe to visit. Of course, no country is ever going to be completely safe from crime and other risks, but Belize is an incredibly safe country for foreign visitors.
Tourism is an important part of the Belizean economy. With over one million visitors a year to a country smaller than the state of Massachusetts, the government of Belize takes visitor safety extremely seriously. As such, the vast majority of visitors to Belize enjoy a wonderful, safe, and incident-free vacation.
Belize is primarily a rural country. The only relatively large urban area is Belize City. Formerly the capital, Belize City is still the largest metropolis in the country with around 75,000 inhabitants. Some areas of the outskirts of Belize City are very poor and where most of the serious crimes in the country occur. But because these are far from the normal tourist spots, these incidents rarely impact foreign visitors.
As a visitor, the easiest way to protect yourself from crime and injuries is to avoid getting excessively drunk. The warm weather and abundance of delicious cocktails lead some visitors to overindulge. If you do decide to partake in adult beverages, be sure to have a taxi or shuttle drive you back to your hotel or resort. Be aware that drinking alcohol out of a glass bottle is illegal in public.
If you’re visiting one of the islands or beach destinations on the mainland like Placencia, don’t leave your phone, camera, or other valuables unattended when you go swimming. Most businesses in the country accept credit and debit cards, so you’ll only need a small amount of cash for things like tips. All legal and licensed taxis in Belize have a green license plate. If you’re renting a car, make sure you park it in a secure location, and never leave valuables in plain sight.
Because few roadways in Belize are properly illuminated, it is best to avoid all driving at night. Animals, pedestrians, and bicyclists can all be present on the road, so be sure to use caution when crossing the street. Prostitution, marijuana, and narcotics are all highly illegal in Belize and can land you in jail.
Last, but definitely not least, the climate in Belize is very sunny and warm so be sure to drink lots of water and minimize your direct exposure to the sun with hats and suntan lotion.
If you do experience an emergency, you can dial 911 from any local phone.