Belize Is Safe (But You’d Be Wise to Read These Important Tips)
No country is ever 100% safe and free from problems, but Belize is one of the most stable, peaceful, and open societies in the world. Belize is one of the few countries in the world where the term “melting pot” truly applies, a harmonious blend of different cultures, languages, and lifestyles, including a thriving expat community.
Nonetheless, many people considering retiring or purchasing property in Belize want to know what precautions to take and what the situation on the ground is like. This article will help assuage your fears as we outline the risks and dangers of visiting or living in Belize.
Certainly, aggravated assaults, robberies, and other forms of violent crime do exist in Belize. But it’s important to remember that Belize is a largely rural society with just 360,000 inhabitants spread out across a territory roughly the same size as Vermont. Almost all serious crimes occur in Belize City, and in fact one area of Belize City the only large urban area in the country, and are usually the result of local feuds.
After long centuries of warring European powers, the border between the modern nation of Belize and Guatemala the western border was often in dispute. Today, occasional disagreements do occur between police and other government forces in some areas of the border, but these rarely, if ever, involve either expats or tourists. Regular travel between these two countries is generally considered safe, especially during the daytime at common border crossings.
With tourism to Belize skyrocketing to record numbers, it is inevitable that petty thefts, pickpockets, and other minor crimes involving foreign visitors will occur, however a special department Tourism Police are there for you.
Belize is considered a sub-tropical country with weather not dissimilar to southern Florida, so there is a slight risk for exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and dengue fever. Folks facing into the sea breeze, like those at Cerros Sands don’t concern themselves as the bugs do not like the breeze. Folks out in the bush or in wet areas use insect repellent and stay in buildings with mosquito screens, netting, and/or air-conditioning generally have a very low risk of being infected.
The major roads in Belize are paved and in good condition, but it is always possible to encounter an issue on the roadways. Use common sense, and avoid driving on smaller, rural roads during bad weather or immediately after heavy rains.
Where is the safest place to live in Belize? The answer is Corozal District
Many people who are considering moving to or investing in Belize get misled by somewhat confusing crime statistics. In reality, Belize is an incredibly safe country, especially for visitors, as the vast majority of untoward incidents occur between locals in a few key areas in and around Belize City. Belize is primarily a rural country with 360,000 people spread out across a country the size of Vermont, with plenty of beautiful nature and close-knit, safe communities.
Perhaps the most popular and safe place to live in Belize is the country’s Corozal District. Located directly adjacent to both the island of Ambergris Caye and Belize’s border with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Corozal District has a thriving expat community, modern infrastructure, and access to world-class health care facilities.
Corozal is conveniently located just 90 miles from the international airport in Belize City and about 386 km from the international airport in Cancun across the border in Mexico. With major airlines like Delta, United, Southwest, WestJet, and American Airlines offering non-stop service to major cities across the United States and Canada, it’s easy for expats and retirees to stay in touch with friends and family or manage businesses back home.
Belize’s Corozal District enjoys some of the best weather in the country, enjoying cooling breezes from more temperate latitudes during the hotter months. The area is also brimming with exciting attractions, including ancient Maya sites to explore, wildlife and birds to spot in the Shipstern Nature Reserve, and access to the sea via the beautiful Chetumal Bay. Across the bay is the tourist hotspot of Ambergris Caye as well as the world-class scuba diving and snorkeling destinations of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.
Corozal Town, the capital of Corozal District, is a great place to sample Belizean cuisine. The center of the town has a beautiful water fountain and large park that is a popular gathering point for expats. Corozal has all the churches, libraries, farmer’s markets, shops, and restaurants to make expats feel right at home. And just across the border in Mexico are familiar low-cost retailers like Wal-Mart, Sally’s Beauty Supply, and Sam’s Club.
Expats in Belize can look forward to enjoying plenty of fresh air, sunshine, gorgeous nature, exciting adventure attractions, as well as the simple pleasures of life that come from good food, friendly neighbors, and a thriving expat social community.
Residents of Cerros Sands always enjoy peace of mind and security. Built and designed for expats, Cerros Sands is a master-planned, gated community with water on three sides to ensure the safety and integrity of all of the residents.
Visit www.cerrossands.com to learn more about how you can retire and live in Belize!