- Reviewed: 25 September 2018, 11:55 NZST
- Still current at: 20 January 2019
Exercise increased caution
Exercise increased caution in Belize due to violent crime.View Larger Map Close/Open map
In September 2018, the government of Belize declared a state of emergency for two neighbourhoods in Belize City, namely the George Street and Ghost Town areas, as a result of a significant increase in violent crime. Police were deployed to the area in an attempt to stabilize the situation.
There are incidents of violent crime in Belize, including muggings, sexual assault, armed robbery and murder. There is a risk of gang-related gun violence in southern parts of Belize City, particularly in the George Street and Kraal Road areas.
Crime also occurs at known tourist areas such San Pedro, Caye Caulker, San Ignacio Corozal, Placencia, and Mayan archaeological sites. Tourists around Caracol and the border area with Guatemala have been targeted by criminals for their personal belongings. You should avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as mobile devices, cameras and jewellery, as this could make you a target for criminals.
Always travel in groups and avoid isolated areas, including unsupervised beaches, especially at night. Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers due to the potential for drug spiking. We also advise against accepting drinks or food from strangers or recent acquaintances as they may contain other substances.
We advise New Zealanders travelling in Belize to exercise vigilance at all times, particularly in popular tourist destinations and public transport hubs including airports and bus stations. You should avoid travelling alone at night and only use official licensed taxis. Offer no resistance if you are the victim of a mugging or armed robbery as this could lead to an escalation in violence. Monitor the media for security updates.
Demonstrations and strikes take place occasionally in Belize and may disrupt local public services and transport. While protests are generally peaceful, New Zealanders in Belize are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations and political marches as they may turn violent with little warning. You should follow the instructions of the local authorities and exercise a high degree of personal security awareness at all times.
General travel advice
Belize has an ongoing border dispute with Guatemala. New Zealanders are advised to only use officialy recognised border crossings if travelling between Belize and Guatemala.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.
The possession, sale and export of artefacts without a permit may carry heavy penalties.
New Zealanders in Belize should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Belize are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand High Commission Bridgetown, Barbados is accredited to Belize
Street Address Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados Postal Address PO BOX 676, Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados Telephone +1 246 622 7800 Fax +1 246 622 7808 Email NZHCBarbados@mfat.govt.nz Web Site https://www.mfat.govt.nz/barbados Hours Mon - Thur 7:45am - 4.00pm Fri 8.00am - 1pm
The New Zealand Embassy Mexico City, Mexico is accredited to Belize
Street Address Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510 Telephone +52 55 5283 9460 Fax +52 55 5283 9480 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/mexico Hours Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs
See our regional advice for Central/South America
Accredited New Zealand High Commission Barbados
Lower Collymore Rock, Bridgetown, BB11000,Barbados
Telephone: +1 246 622 7800
Fax: +1 246 622 7808
Hours: Mon - Thur 7:45am - 4.00pm Fri 8.00am - 1pm
Accredited New Zealand Embassy Mexico
Jaime Balmes No 8, 4th Floor, Los Morales, Polanco, Mexico D.F. 11510
Telephone: +52 55 5283 9460
Fax: +52 55 5283 9480
Hours: Mon - Fri 0930 - 1400, 1500 - 1700 hrs