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U.S. State Department Issues New Travel Advisory For Belize

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With as much chaos the world has seen in recent years, and even more so in recent months, it's no surprise more travel warnings have been issued.

Whether it be threats of terrorism in France or the need to avoid certain Middle Eastern countries, traveling comes with risks, at least according to the U.S. government.

belize beach

Heck, there's even a rare worldwide advisory right now. Ultimately, it's up to travelers to do their due diligence and determine if they feel safe traveling to their destination of choice.

The latest travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department is for the beautiful country of Belize, where travelers love to go for a blissful beach getaway.

Let's take a look why the U.S. government felt the need to warn travelers about taking a Belize vacation.

Belize City – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Not many travelers have Belize City on their bucket list. In fact, it's safe to assume it's quite possible no one does.

the blue hole in belize

Belize as a country is entirely bucket-list worthy, but the largest city in the nation is often just used as a gateway to other awesome attractions.

There are not many attractions within the city limits, except for nice hotels here and there and the opportunity to experience Belizean life through food and small markets.

The city is deemed the most dangerous area in the country. Those who fly in or have Belize on their cruise itinerary will most likely set foot in this small, yet bustling city.

Therefore, it's important to keep your head on a swivel. Of course, many places like Belize rely on tourism, so visitors are not often affected.

group of snorkelers in belize

Travelers should know there has been an increase in violent crimes to the point of the U.S. State Department blatantly expressing, “U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to Belize City”, in the new advisory.

Most reported crime happens in the Southside of the city and is oftentimes gang-related. Tourists would not typically visit this region as it does not overlap with common points of interest.

What About The Rest Of The Country?

According to the latest advisory, anywhere outside of Belize City is considered Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.

palm tree lined shores in belize

Seeing as it's labeled less of a threat than the country's largest city doesn't mean tourists should go about their day all willy-nilly.

There has been an alarming uptick in crime across the country with confirmed reports of violent acts, such as sexual assault, armed robberies, home invasions and even murder.

While tourists aren't typically targeted, it's important to keep your eyes peeled as you never know when you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

One major factor in criminal activity is the country's lack of resources. The police force is simply not well-equipped to handle these types of situations in a timely manner or even at all.

beach chairs in san pedro belize

Many crimes often go unresolved and are not prosecuted. With no repercussions, criminals are getting away with whatever they want.

The State Dept. notes these crimes do trickle into common tourist areas. Although, they did not list which specific areas have been affected.

Tips To Stay Safe In Belize

The U.S. State Department uses a 4-level system to signify a country's safety level. Belize falls in the middle with Level 2 being on par with many popular destinations, while Belize City itself is a higher risk.

hiker at belize waterfall

These are some of the important tips provided by the State Dept. to stay as safe as possible when traveling to Belize right now:

  • Do not resist an attack
  • Be extra watchful around banks and ATMs
  • Do not shows signs of wealth (hide valuables)
  • Avoid walking and driving after dark
  • Read through the Country Security Report

Crime can happen anywhere, including popular tourist areas. However, travelers almost always make it back home unscathed.

Belize has some truly jaw-dropping attractions, such as the famous Blue Hole, tranquil beaches and lush jungles with waterfalls and historical Mayan ruins.

mayan ruins in belize

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