Safety in the Cayo
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Safety in the Cayo
Although most visitors report feeling completely safe in the Cayo, in 2005 and 2006, and again in early 2009, there was a series of robberies by armed bandits. Alleged ringleaders of the gang operating in 2005-2006 were caught in Guatemala and turned over to Belizean authorities. At this writing, the U.S. Embassy had issued a warning about highway banditry on unpaved roads near the Guatemala border, and trips to Caracol may be made only in convoys accompanied by Belize Defence Forces soldiers. Ask locally about any recent incidents before starting road trips to remote areas.
Being close to Guatemala's El Petén region, thousands of Cayo visitors take short trips across the border to view the fantastic ruins of Tikal. Its proximity to this tourist attraction is a boon for the Cayo but also a burden, as the poverty-stricken population of northern Guatemala spills over into relatively affluent Belize. On several occasions armed gangs from Guatemala have robbed tourists around San Ignacio, especially near the El Pilar Mayan site. However, most visitors to the Cayo say they feel quite safe. As a visitor, you're unlikely to encounter any problems.
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