Overview of Belize City, Belize
Although all international flights arrive in Belize City, few visitors stop and tarry in the city before heading to other destinations in the country. As the nation’s largest municipality, Belize City offers a sharply contrasting experience to the natural mainland and offshore destinations that are more widely popular with visitors. An additional impetus for hastening their departure from the area is Belize City’s reputation for endemic poverty and a high crime rate.
Local residents and tourists who have taken the time to explore the city’s charm note that despite its cultural vibrancy and urban energy, Belize City is perhaps the lone exception to the laid-back, easygoing rhythms that mark the rest of the country. In an effort to promote tourism, the government of Belize has taken steps to battle crime and improve visitor safety.
Founded in 1638 by British loggers, Belize City served as the British colony’s capital until the government was relocated to Belmopan in 1970. With more than 70,000 residents, Belize City is easily the largest municipality in the country and still serves as Belize’s industrial and financial capital. Although some of the historic buildings are still intact, much of the city was leveled in 1961 by Hurricane Hattie.
Top Things To See And Do In Belize City
- St. John’s Anglican Cathedral – Once used to crown five different kings.
- The Belize Museum – A former prison, the museum showcases the rich culture and history of the country.
- Battlefield Park – The town square where food vendors vie for the business of locals who use the area to give stirring political speeches.
- Fort George Lighthouse – Built to the specifications of the country’s greatest benefactor, Baron Bliss.
- The Marine and Coastal Zone Museums – With interactive displays about the reefs and their rich abundance of marine flora and fauna.
Highlights of Belize City
- Enjoy the never ending Caribbean breeze at the famous Sea Wall. Take a stroll downtown on Albert Street & meet some wonderful locals.
- When visiting Belize City be sure to take a city tour and see old Colonial structures.
- Visit the Belize zoo and meet Buddy and Lucky Boy.
- See the hustle and bustle of the Metropolitan Center of the country.
- Not up for walking? Take a lovely horse and buggy tour of the city.
Tour Down Town Belize City
When to go to Belize City
There is plenty to tempt visitors all year-round in Belize City but one of the most popular sporting events of the year is held every year on the day before Easter. Known as the Cross Country Cycling Classic, the grueling bicycle race features hundreds of competitors who ride in a loop from Belize City to San Ignacio Town and back. Baron Bliss Day, held every year on the closest Monday to March 9, is celebrated with a regatta in the harbor.
History of Belize City
Belize City stands on land inhabited by Maya people, explorers and colonizers. At one time, it served as Belize’s capital. This city’s history is filled with twists and turns that may surprise you.
You don’t have to be a historian to appreciate the importance of prominent cities that have done so much to change the way mankind has evolved over time. Just two centuries ago, only 3-percent of all people lived in cities, notes Richard F