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Posted by
451 posts

I have been to islands just off the coast. They were amazing. You might want to look at Lonely Planet and check out their Thorntree forums.

Posted by
8655 posts

In absence of any recent comments, I'll mention that the last thing I heard a few years ago about San Pedro Sula was that it had the highest murder rate anywhere in the western hemisphere. I'd been through there once in the '90s so it caught my eye. Lonely Planet may be your best bet for info.

Posted by
8655 posts

ilja, I retract my comment. I was thinking Kevin meant San Pedro Sula in Honduras, which experiences a high degree of drug-related gang violence, responsible for a lot of that illegal immigration of children to the US. Apologies Kevin.

Posted by
78 posts

My husband and I have been traveling to Belize for the last 12 years and have seen many changes as it grows to accommodate more tourists. We own a condo just south of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye but have travelled most of the country. Ambergris Caye is quite safe for tourists but the crime rate among residents has increased over the years. Basically, it is best not to frequent the clubs in San Pedro late at night. Otherwise, it is a fun, laid back destination. Belize City is the least attractive location for tourists, due to poverty and crime.

Posted by
369 posts

Daughter and SIL spent their honeymoon in Belize in December. Belize City was only recommended as a fly in and fly out - no time spent in the city. Lots of crime and no reason for tourists to be there other than the airport.

Posted by
6788 posts

Agree with the others - Belize City is a pit, there is no good reason to spend any time there and lots of good reasons to not. Pass through the airport/port if needed, but otherwise it is to be avoided.

Note: lots of confusion about "San Pedro" here. San Pedro is a town name, often used interchangeably with the island it's on, Ambergris Caye. It's a fairly popular and touristy island destination (in fact, probably the #1 destination for Americans going to visit Belize).

San Pedro Sula is a city in Honduras. That's a connection/jumping off point for the "Bay islands" off Honduras' Caribbean coast (Roatan, etc.). San Pedro Sula has a nasty reputation for violent crime.

Posted by
1379 posts

Thanks again everyone! We ended up booking a flight to St. Thomas USVI due to convenience for only a 6 day getaway.

Posted by
7906 posts

I have traveled to 70 foreign countries and widely in my own country, the USA.

The subject of crime does come up from time to time on travel websites and many times when concern is indicated for a particular country like Belize, there is always a response about crime in the USA.

This type of response is not wrong, crime in the USA is alarming, but like crime in the USA, crime in other countries may be largely focused on WHERE the crime is taking place.

I have lived in the USA most of my life as well as Germany and Saudi Arabia.

I have never been in a situation personally, where I was confronted by violence or even seen a violent crime take place.

It doesn't take a genius to understand that crime in some place in the USA depending largely on where. I must say VERY LARGELY where. I live in a neighborhood in Georgia where you can probably count the felonies in the last 10 years on one finger, perhaps none. I tried to find such a case, but was unable to find a record. I read the crime reports in my local paper and for the last ten years no crime has been reported in my neighborhood. However, many crimes, in fact hundreds of crimes have been reported on my county in a particular neighborhood. Sure, crime is particularly bad in certain neighborhoods in Chicago, but NOT in the area where tourist routinely visit.

What should be of concern is specifically, where is the person on a travel site planned to visit in what country.
Sure, there are a few countries where almost the entire country is a concern, like Venezuela or Afghanistan, but for most the key is the neighborhood.

Of course, small countries have fewer areas and with a high murder rate, potential tourists should be concerned.

Central America is of some concern. Countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize have very high crime rates and perhaps few areas that are safe for tourists.
Mexico is particularly unsafe on the US border due to the dominance of the drug cartels, but Mexico City is safe to visit.

Here are some crime stats
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

With some research, I planned a cruise that included ports in Honduras and Belize. Fortunately, I found that those places were relatively safe. I wanted to visit ancient Mayan sites and could not find anything specific, but it was my sense that travel to those sites was safe enough. Still, I was a bit concerned.

Even in countries with very low crime rates like Saudi Arabia, the specific crime can be a concern. I lived there and it was almost free of violent crime, due to the quick and deadly judicial system there. However, I was told by our Army Provost Marshal that one crime was of great concern, that being abduction of children. I was told never to let my children play on the street without active security presence.

So, anyone planning on visiting Chicago, just find out were Not to go. Most Americans already know those areas.

Posted by
32269 posts

Kevin,

The crime rate in Belize is something that should be considered, especially in Belize City. Several weeks ago a Canadian woman and her American boyfriend (retired U.S. Marine) were brutally murdered.

You might want to have a look at the government travel warnings from the U.S. State Dept. and Government of Canada.....

Check the Safety & Security section especially, but also have a look at the Health section for information on vaccinations you'll need for that area.

I'm not suggesting that you avoid Belize, but rather that you make sure you're well informed if you go there.