• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Safe to travel in Belize?

#1
Hi folks. My wife and I are planning on taking a cruise and spending a little time in Belize. (We heard that it's not real safe - any advice from people who have been there?)
 

skrufy

Active Member
#2
Been to Belize 2 times and both times have been warned not to travel into the countryside alone, could be harmful to your health.
 

Jeanie

Well-Known Member
#4
#6
We didn't feel safe outside the port gates in Belize (and were advised not to exit the gates). We were bombarded by several locals with the "up in your face" high-pressure sales for cigs, hair braids, drugs etc. They also kept trying to get us to go to this house around the corner, but we constantly refused and asked them to leave us alone. Kinda funny, but eventually my wife flipped out on them and started darting back to the gates and security. Funny part was that she kept trying to go in the exit gate despite security, me, AND the locals trying to turn her to the entrance. She just kept shoving them away until i calmed her down. It was HER idea to leave the confines of the port, go figure... ;)
 

George C

Well-Known Member
#8
we had a cab driver give us a tour and he showed us a rather large knife that he said he always carried just to be safe, interesting tour.
 
#9
I think it's pretty localized around Belize City. My wife and I got married in southern Belize in 2002. Flew in to Belize City, transferred by puddle jumper to Dangriga, and went the rest of the way by van to Hopkins, a small village in the Stann Creek District. We stayed at Jaguar Reef Resort (absolutely amazing), and the 10 days we were there, we rode the resorts bicycles in to Hopkins. The people (Garifuna) were wonderful, friendly, never tried to accost or sell us a single thing - ever. To get married, we had to get a marriage licence, and had to apply in person in the capital city of Belmopan. We borrowed the resort owners personal jeep and drove the 2 hours to Belmopan ourselves, spend the day there (fairly poor city) but again, zero trouble, zero issues. The road to Belmopan took us through the mountains and jungle of the interior (Belmopan is on the western side of the country) and it is equally as beautiful as the coast. Turquoise blue waterfalls and lush green jungle, and little plantations carved into the middle of it all. After 10 days at Jaguar Reef Resort, we transferred to Mopan River Resort on the border of Guatemala for the last 5 days so we could visit some Mayan Ruins. Again - never had any problems, and we were no in any kind of gated community ever.

You can go and live your life in fear, or you can realize there's good and bad everywhere. There are neighborhoods in Detroit, Buffalo, Boston, NYC, Miami - you name it - that I would never go. No different than Belize City. But are you going to say that the "USA" is not safe? I wouldn't think so.

Get outside of the "Cruise Cattle" mentality, and explore your Ports of Call.
 

Mbandy

Well-Known Member
#10
We didn't feel safe outside the port gates in Belize (and were advised not to exit the gates). We were bombarded by several locals with the "up in your face" high-pressure sales for cigs, hair braids, drugs etc. They also kept trying to get us to go to this house around the corner, but we constantly refused and asked them to leave us alone. Kinda funny, but eventually my wife flipped out on them and started darting back to the gates and security. Funny part was that she kept trying to go in the exit gate despite security, me, AND the locals trying to turn her to the entrance. She just kept shoving them away until i calmed her down. It was HER idea to leave the confines of the port, go figure... ;)
I pretty much agree with this post. We had a similar experience. We never felt unsafe the one time we ventured outside the tender pier but we did feel really annoyed by the locals. :madd:

Seems like this old post has a new life :biggrin:
 

MisterD21

If you take me serious, it's your problem
#11
Ha... i just noticed this post and had to respond.

I have been to belieze several times. I have rented an Suv on all occasions and driven throughout the countryside. I, aside from the locals whom try and get your attention rather agressively outside(and i mean right outside)the port doors, have only encountered friendly, nice people no matter where i happened to stop. be it a gas station, roadside restaurant, or attraction the people are friendly and polite. With the exception of belize city, the rest of the country i have visited is rather calm and beautiful. in most any environment it is key to remember to be polite, don't speak down to the people, treat them as you would want someone to treat you, and most of the time everything will be fine. As with travel in any unfamiliar place you need to be aware of your surroundings and people. stay alert, don't expect something bad to happen(as it will keep you from having a good time), but be prepared in the event something does. Yes most of the caribbean ports of call are in poor countries, and crime on tourists can and do happen. This should not keep you from having a good time exploring a new culture and country.

By the way... for anyone who would like to know, the Hertz rental car office is located to the right of the tourist shops. just go out the rightmost set of doors(i notice that there are less people outside that door harassing tourists) walk to the right to the end of the bus pick up lane. there is a street there(can't remember the name). up that street about 200-300 feet, on the left is the hertz rental office. It doesn't look like much, and they don't have many options to choose from(as most of their fleet is at the belize airport), and you may have to be shuttled to the airport office to get the vehicle(i had to do this once). Now i know what you're saying... you're a grown man, in his fourty's... to which i say true, but i have done this with my 65 yr old mother as well. believe me... the people at the tourism center doors are agressive, but safe. if you are firm, but polite... they lose interest in you especially after they see you aren't going to give them any of your money. Keep this in mind, they are simply trying to make a living. They do not want to jeopardize being allowed on the property, or worse... being arrested and put in jail.
 

MisterD21

If you take me serious, it's your problem
#12
sorry i almost forgot... i would advise anyone to avoid doing anything in downtown belize city. having driven around much of it i can say that there were few police, many locals just hanging around the shops. i think it safe to say the is a greater potential for crime in the larger cities like belize city, belmorpan, san ignacio,and possibly orangewalk. in the smaller cities/villages it is safer because simply put, these people have a very hardscrabble life and have enough on their plate providing for their families. while driving i have seen many of the people carrying water to their houses as most of the rural villages still do not have public water systems. and usually only have a centrally located well where they purchase their water. these people aren't a threat to you, they have to spend the majority of their time just gathering needed resources and food for their families to consider robbing you. however, if asked... most of them will stop and answer a question you might have. like i said they are polite and generally willing to share their culture with an occasional tourist.
 

AliciaA

Bahamas Specialist
#13
Belize is one of the stop on my cruise in less than two weeks. I signed up for the River Wallace excursion. Has anyone done that one?

Also, for the excursions I paid for online through the Carnival site, will someone meet us at the port entry to take us where we need to go, or do we have to figure it out on our own?
 

MisterD21

If you take me serious, it's your problem
#14
Belize is one of the stop on my cruise in less than two weeks. I signed up for the River Wallace excursion. Has anyone done that one?

Also, for the excursions I paid for online through the Carnival site, will someone meet us at the port entry to take us where we need to go, or do we have to figure it out on our own?

while i have not done this excursion myself, i do believe they will explain where you meet the tour guide that will escort you to the buses. The evening before the port day just go to the purser's desk(or customer service/excursions counter) and someone will be glad to explain what you need to do. they will even tell you where you will need to go in the morning for the priority tender to the port.
 

suer182

Forum Manager
Staff member
#16
Alicia-If you booked your tour with Carnival, your tour ticket will be in your cabin. On that ticket it will say where to meet and at what time.