Belize Warnings and Dangers
Belize is a nice country for those adventure types who want to explore it; however, it has plenty of dangers. These warnings are the most common things reported by visitors to look out for in order to avoid harm.
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Belize is very tropical and that means it has way too many insects. Mosquitoes are vicious in their attacks and they carry a variety of diseases, like malaria and dengue. Some may be deadly depending on the person who is bitten. There are also biting botflies, stinging ants, wasps, scorpions, ticks, cockroaches, and “no-see-ums.” No-see-ums are so small they cannot be seen; yet still, make itchy red welts. It is best to cover up all exposed skin, especially at dawn and dusk when the insects are more active, and use plenty of insect repellant.
There are plenty of snakes in Belize and they can even sneak into rooms at night. Most are not harmful; however, the coral snake is very poisonous. If you see a snake just give it plenty of room and it will usually slither away to escape from you. The troubles happen when you do not see a snake and step on one by accident.
Belize City Dangers
Crime is rampant in Belize City under normal conditions. When elections are held there is an escalation of violence. The city has a population of around 75,000. One visitor that went to Belize during 2012 and arrived after the elections reported that there were ten murders in Belize City during the week he was there.
It is not safe to go out at night and certainly not to walk around, especially alone. Even the locals are afraid to go out at night. If you must go out, take a taxi even if the distance is short. Tourists who want to enjoy the country of Belize will have a better time if they stay out of the capital, go to a resort and avoid the more dangerous areas of Belize City altogether.
One visitor reported that when entering the country, he was asked by the Customs official to let the official inspect his wallet and count the money he was bringing into Belize. The visitor reported that the Customs official stole US$1,200 of his money while counting it. The local police may make up a reason (even a false one) to insist that you pay a bribe or go to jail.
Tour Guide Scams
If you make pre-arranged tour plans with a certain company, be careful upon arrival that you meet up with the correct representatives from that company. Others will try to impersonate them and divert you to another facility where you will have to pay more to stay there. Before you arrive, be sure to get a confirmed reservation number. If anyone approaches you saying that they are the correct tour guide, make them give you the correct reservation number before going anywhere with them.
It is not safe to drive at night. When driving, you may encounter holes in the road that are hard to see at night. You may see men in the road that attempt to make you stop. They may look like they need assistance. They may even block the car by standing in the road waving frantically. Drive around them and do not stop. This is a classic method of a carjacking and how they rob people.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Where to Stay in Belize: Lodging Tips
- Belize Travel Guide: What to Do in Belize
- Unbelievable Diving in Belize
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Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Belize.