Health and Safety

In San Pedro Town and nearby, the water comes from a municipal water system and is safe to drink, although most people including local residents prefer to drink filtered water. On North Ambergris, water may come from cisterns or wells. On Caye Caulker the water, sometimes from brackish shallow wells, may smell of sulfur. A new village reverse osmosis system began operation in 2011, but not everyone is on it. If in doubt, drink bottled water. On other remote cayes, the water usually comes from cisterns; stick to the bottled stuff, unless you're assured that the water is potable. To be green, you can buy water in large one- or five-gallon bottles and refill your carry-around bottle; you’ll save a little money, too.

In terms of crime risk, the cayes are among the safest areas of Belize. However, petty thefts—and sometimes worse—do happen. With some 20,000 people on Ambergris Caye, if you count tourists and itinerant workers, the island has the same crime problems, including rapes and murders, as any area of similar population. There are drugs, including crack cocaine, on both Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. Ignore any offers to buy drugs, even marijuana, which, while widely used in Belize, is still illegal, and police do make arrests for weed.

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