In an emergency, call 911 nationwide, or 90 in Belize City only. There are police stations in Belize City and in Belmopan City, in the towns of Benque Viejo, Corozal, Dangriga, Orange Walk, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio, and San Pedro, and in Placencia Village and a few other villages. Police try to respond quickly to emergencies, although lack of equipment, supplies, and training may sometimes reduce their effectiveness.
Police are generally polite, professional, and will do what they can to help. In Belize City and in most tourist areas, including Placencia and San Pedro, there are special tourist police whose job is to patrol areas where visitors are likely to go and to render any assistance they can, including providing directions.
There are checkpoints on most major highways in Belize, especially near border areas and around Belize City. Police officers may ask for your driver’s license or passport; just as frequently, they will wave you through.
Most Belizeans are extremely solicitous of the welfare of visitors to the country. In an emergency, it's likely that bystanders or people in the area will gladly offer to help, usually going out of their way to render any assistance they can.
Your hotel can provide the names of nearby physicians and clinics. You can also go to the emergency room of public hospitals in Belize City and major towns. Don't worry about payment—in an emergency, you'll be treated regardless of your ability to pay, though after being treated you may be asked to pay what you can. Private hospitals (there are two in Belize City and one in San Ignacio) may ask for some guarantee of payment.
Guatemala police, overwhelmed at times by the amount of crime—in 2012 there were more than 400 murders a month in Guatemala—may not be able to respond effectively to emergencies. For tourist assistance in Guatemala, dial 1500 from any phone, or dial the equivalent of 911—either 120, 122, or 123. The good news is that the serious crime rate in both Belize and Guatemala has declined in recent years.
Embassy of the United States in Belize (Floral Park Rd., Belmopan City. 822/4011 during office hours Mon.–Fri.; 610/5030 emergency number after office hours. firstname.lastname@example.org. belize.usembassy.gov. Mon.–Fri. 8–noon, 1–5.)
FODOR'S GO LIST
These are the top 25 trips we're looking to book right now -- and we hope you'll join us!More
View deals in Belize for vacation packages, hotels, airfare, and more from our partners!More