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Exercise increased caution in Belize due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

Exercise increased caution in Belize due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as sexual assault, home invasions, armed robberies, and murder – are common even during daylight hours and in tourist areas. A significant portion of violent crime is gang related. Due to high crime, travelers are advised to exercise caution while traveling to the south side of Belize City. Local police lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Most crimes remain unresolved and unprosecuted. 

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Belize.

If you decide to travel to Belize: 

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Avoid walking or driving at night. 
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. 
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs. 
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.  
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Country Security Report for Belize.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Belize City – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to Belize City. Historically much of the violent crime in Belize occurs in the Southside of Belize City and is gang related. This area (south of Haulover Creek Canal and continuing south to Fabers Road) does not overlap the typical tourism areas. All visitors should maintain an elevated level of due diligence and reduce their exposure to crime-related risks by practicing good safety and security practices.     


Embassy Messages


Quick Facts


Length of stay


One page per stamp


Not required for stays of 30 days or less







Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Belmopan

4 Floral Park Road
Belmopan, Belize
Telephone: +(501) 822-4011
Emergency After-Hours telephone:+(501) 610-5030
Fax: +(501) 822-4012

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You must have a U.S. passport valid for the length of your stay, proof of an onward or return ticket, and sufficient funds to cover the cost of the length of stay. If you enter Belize by land, you will be charged different fees depending on whether your stay is less than or more than 24 hours. Belize does not require specific immunizations for visitors; vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found at Belize vaccinations.

If you are visiting as a tourist, you do not require a visa. Visitors planning to stay more than 30 days must have their passport re-stamped by a local immigration office and pay an additional fee for every additional month they wish to stay, up to six months. For visits longer than six months, you may need to provide further documentation to the local immigration office explaining the reason for a longer stay, and you may need to pay additional fees. Visit the Embassy of Belize to the United States website for the most current visa information.  

Traveling with Minors: If you are traveling with children, you may be asked by immigration officials to show U.S. birth certificates for each child. When children are not traveling with both parents, immigration officials often request documentation to establish the children are traveling with the permission of both parents. Documentation may include notarized letters from the parent(s), custody decree, adoption papers, or death certificates in situations where one or both parents are deceased.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: We are unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Belize. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Belize before you travel.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. 

Safety and Security

Belize is rated high for crime and has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world. Gang members and other criminals use violent means to resolve disputes. Visitors should exercise caution throughout Belize, particularly in the south side of Belize City and remote areas along Belize’s borders due to high crime.

Crime: Crime may occur anywhere in Belize, and criminals frequently target tourists, including those at resorts and on the roads and river ways. Crime, including sexual assault, armed robbery, and murder remains high and is distributed evenly throughout the country. Sexual harassment and/or assault of persons traveling alone or in small groups have been reported. 

Most crimes remain unresolved and unprosecuted. A lack of capacity, resources, and training impedes the ability of local police to effectively investigate crime and apprehend offenders.

Thefts of cash and credit cards happen frequently in some areas of Belize. It is believed several credit card fraud rings are currently active in Belize, particularly in San Pedro.

Scams occur in Belize, especially in resort areas. Tourists, in general, are particularly vulnerable to these crimes, resulting in visitors being pick-pocketed, robbed and/or extorted. See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at 822-4011. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes. While the Embassy stands ready to assist the Belize authorities with any requests for technical assistance, the Embassy is not a law enforcement agency, cannot provide U.S. citizens with protection or investigate crimes against U.S. citizens, and has no jurisdiction to intervene in police or judicial processes. See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical
  • support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and help arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Embassy in Belize for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities may not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unavailable outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: The Belizean government in September 2016 conceded the decriminalization of homosexuality, but is questioning a section of a July 2016 Supreme Court ruling that made “sexual orientation” a protected class. The Immigration Act prohibits “homosexual” persons from entering the country, but immigration authorities have not enforced that law. 

There continues to be significant hostile sentiment towards individuals who identify themselves as LGBTI. Tourist friendly areas, including San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, remain relatively open and welcoming to the LGBTI community. Outside of these areas, LGBTI persons, especially males, are reluctant to display affection in public (including holding hands) because incidents of verbal or physical assault have been reported. There have been some instances of violence reported against LGBTI individuals, and LGBTI groups have reported that the police at times refused to accept reports of crime from LGBTI persons.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues: While in Belize, individuals with disabilities will find accessibility and accommodation very different from in the United States. The law does not expressly prohibit discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, air or other transportation, access to health care, or the provision of other state services. The law does not provide for accessibility to persons with disabilities. Most public and private buildings and transportation are not accessible.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Women traveling alone or in small groups are targets for sexual assault, even in tourist areas. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


Emergency services will be either unavailable or significantly delayed. Serious injuries or illnesses normally require evacuation to another country.

Medical care for minor ailments is generally available in urban areas. Advanced medical treatment is very limited in Belize City or Belmopan and is extremely limited or unavailable in rural and remote areas. Pharmacy services are generally acceptable in larger cities. Specialized prescription medications may be completely unavailable. If you bring your own prescription medications, you must carry a current doctor’s prescription for each medication. Please contact the Belize Customs Department at (501) 223-7092 or via e-mail at for more information.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Veteran’s Administration health benefits do not apply overseas.

Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on overseas insurance.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Zika Virus: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies Belize as a Zika risk area. The Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For additional information, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website

The following diseases are also prevalent in Belize:

For further health information, go to:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions in Belize range from two-lane paved roads to dirt or gravel tracks. Roads often lack markings, reflectors, and shoulders, which can contribute to cars overturning. Even in urban areas, most streets lack lane markings and contribute to chaotic conditions. Bridges on the major highways are often only a single lane. The Manatee Road (Coastal Road), leading from the Western Highway east of Belmopan to Dangriga, is mostly unpaved, easily flooded after storms and without services. Driving at night is strongly discouraged.

Roadside assistance can be difficult to summon as there are no public telephones along the road and emergency telephone numbers do not always function properly. While cell phone service is fairly reliable, reception in remote areas is spotty or non-existent.

Traffic Laws: Drivers operate vehicles on the right side of the road. Valid U.S. or international driver’s permits are accepted in Belize only for a period of three months after initial entry.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, contact the local police and explain the emergency. If you or someone with you is critically injured, then go to the nearest hospital. If there are no injuries or risk of life, do not move the vehicles and wait for the police to arrive. If possible, take pictures before any vehicles are moved. Do not leave the scene if there are no injuries. If you hit someone on the road, stop and give assistance; contact the local police and report the accident.

Bicycles are numerous and constitute a regular part of traffic. Cyclists, like drivers, do not always obey basic traffic laws. They commonly fail to obey red lights or stop signs and often ride against traffic. Cyclists and pedestrians often do not have any reflectors or bright clothing and can be difficult to spot traveling along Belize’s poorly lit roads.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.

Public Transportation: Taxis are prevalent in cities but not as common in rural areas. Taxis are identified by green license plates. Most visitors will need to call a taxi service to summon a taxi. Buses are used to travel between cities and are not common for short commutes. Uber and Lyft are not available in Belize. Secondhand and/or salvage vehicles and buses are often used for public transportation and may not have security features such as seatbelts and airbags. We suggest that you visit the Belize Tourism Bureau website.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Belize, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Belize’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Belize was cited in the State Department’s 2022 Annual Report to Congress on International Child Abduction for demonstrating a pattern of non-compliance with respect to international parental child abduction. Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Belize. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: February 28, 2023

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Belmopan
4 Floral Park Road
Belmopan, Belize
+(501) 822-4011
+(501) 610-5030
+(501) 822-4012

Belize Map