Fire and rescue services
Call 911 or go to the hospital.
Call 911 or go to the nearest police station.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Violent crime sometimes happens in tourist hotspots, including:
Gang-related violence occurs in the southern parts of Belize City, especially around George Street and Kraal Road.
Muggings are common, especially in Belize City and other urban centres.
Armed robberies can happen around the Mayan ruins at Caracol and near the border with Guatemala.
Your risk of harassment and violent sexual assault increases when you travel alone. Security risks increase after dark.
To protect yourself from violent crime:
To reduce your risk of crime when taking a taxi:
If you're a victim of violent crime, especially rape, get immediate medical attention. Belize has a high HIV/AIDS infection rate.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Transport and tour operators may not meet Australian safety standards, and may not maintain safety equipment, including for scuba diving.
There has been several injuries and fatalities from these activities, including snorkelling and scuba diving.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Medical facilities can't handle major emergencies. Be prepared to evacuate at short notice. Keep your travel documents up to date.
To protect yourself in case of a natural disaster:
Make sure your travel insurance covers trip cancellation or interruption.
The Caribbean hurricane season is June to November. Although tropical storms and hurricanes can happen in other months. The direction and strength of hurricanes can change suddenly.
Landslides, mudslides and flooding can also occur.
The low-lying coastal islands of Belize are vulnerable. They may be cut off from communications and outside help during hurricanes.
If you’re travelling to Belize during hurricane season, check if severe weather has affected tourist services.
If there's a hurricane or severe storm:
Severe weather may also affect:
To protect yourself if a hurricane is approaching:
Belize is in an active earthquake zone.
A tsunami can arrive within minutes of a tremor or earthquake. Be alert to warnings.
To receive tsunami alerts, register with the Global Disaster Alert and Co-ordination System.
If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities, or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to take medication, check if it's legal in Belize. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
You could be refused entry or prosecuted if you arrive without a prescription for your medication.
Cases of Zika virus occur in Belize.
If you're pregnant, the Australian Department of Health recommends that you:
The risk of contracting insect-borne illnesses increases in the wet season from April to November.
More chikungunya cases are reported.
Malaria is a year-round risk, except in Belize City.
Other insect-borne illnesses include:
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection is high.
Take appropriate precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Medical facilities in Belize City are basic. Medical facilities are very limited or non-existent in rural areas.
You may need to pay cash before doctors and hospitals will treat you, even in an emergency.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to the US. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
Belize has one decompression chamber in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison sentences in local jails. Marijuana is illegal.
Serious crimes, such as treason and murder, can attract the death penalty.
Illegal activities in Belize include:
Check with local authorities before taking photos.
There are strict penalties for possessing unlicensed firearms or unlicensed ammunition, including large fines and mandatory jail sentences for repeat offenders.
In Belize, LGBTI travellers have experienced harassment and verbal or physical abuse.
Same-sex relationships were decriminalised in 2016. LGBTI travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Belize.
Consider avoiding public displays of affection.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Belize recognises dual nationality.
You need a visa to enter Belize.
If you're visiting as a tourist, you can get a tourist visa on arrival. This visa is valid for 1 month. To be eligible you must have:
If you stay more than 30 days in Belize, the local immigration office must re-stamp your passport. You must pay a fee.
If you're not visiting as a tourist, you need to apply for a visa before you arrive.
Entry and exit conditions can change. Contact the Consulate of Belize for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
If you're travelling through the US to Belize, you must also meet US entry or transit requirements.
The cost of your airline ticket usually includes an entry tax. You must pay a departure tax in cash.
You may need extra documents if only one parent or guardian is travelling with a child. Contact the Consulate of Belize to confirm this.
All travellers over 1 year arriving or transiting countries with a risk of yellow fever need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Belize. Some airlines may want to see one when you leave.
Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
There's no Australian embassy or consulate in Belize. If you need a replacement passport, it will take time and money.
The local currency is the Belize Dollar (BZD). US dollars are also accepted.
You can travel with up to $BZ10,000. You must declare higher amounts.
You can only use credit cards and traveller's cheques in large tourist facilities.
Before you travel, check with your bank whether your cards will work in Belize.
Belize has an ongoing border dispute with Guatemala. When crossing the border:
After heavy rains and flooding, you can become stranded in the jungle.
If you plan to visit the jungle, use a reputable tour operator and check local weather conditions.
To drive in Belize, you need an International Driving Permit (IDP). This permit is valid for 3 months.
You must get the IDP before arriving in Belize.
For longer stays, apply for a local driver's licence from the Belize Department of Traffic.
Driving in Belize can be dangerous. You're 4 times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Belize than in Australia.
There are no emergency road services. Fuel stations aren't common and close on public holidays.
If you plan to drive in Belize, always keep your fuel tank full in remote areas.
Check you have adequate travel insurance cover before driving.
Avoid using motorcycles because maintenance standards are poor.
Your travel insurance policy may not cover you when riding motorbikes, quad bikes or other vehicles.
Always wear a helmet.
Licensed taxis in Belize have green licence plates. Only use licensed taxis. Arrange taxis or limousine services through your hotel to avoid unlicensed operators.
If using public transport, be aware that buses may be poorly maintained. Service may be unreliable in rural areas.
Water taxis operate between the islands (cayes), barrier reef attractions and the mainland.
They can be overloaded, poorly maintained or lack necessary life-saving equipment.
Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.
To reduce your risk, ensure any vessels are carrying proper safety equipment and life jackets for all passengers.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Belize's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, you could contact your:
Call 911 or go to the hospital.
Call 911 or go to the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Belize. For consular assistance, contact the Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago.
18 Herbert St, St Clair
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: +1 868 822 5450
Fax: +1 868 822 5490
Facebook: Australia in the Caribbean
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.