Belize City

Belize City: Belize’s Caribbean Coast


Belize City is located at the mouth of the Belize River, on the Caribbean Coast. This area was settled by the Maya centuries before the arrival of European pirates and loggers in the mid-1600s.

Belize City served as the capital of British Honduras from 1892 until 1970, when administrative control was moved inland to Belmopan in an effort to avoid hurricanes.

Although Belize City is the nation’s largest metropolis, it has fewer than 100,000 residents and feels a bit like an overgrown town.

Few structures are higher than two stories, many of the homes and shops are painted in bright pastels, and the city’s most famous bridge is still operated by hand-crank.

Altun Ha

Most visitors pass through Belize City quickly, their sights set on the nearby islands, beaches, and mountains.

If you have more time, visit St. John’s Cathedral—constructed in 1812 from ballast bricks—or the excellent Belize Zoo, a forested wildlife rehabilitation facility located 30 miles west of the city.

Day trips can also be arranged to Altun Ha, a Maya Classic Period city located 30 miles northwest of town.

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is located in the nearby community of Ladyville, eight miles northwest of the city center. Regional flights connect Belize City with Ambergris Caye, Placencia, Corozal, Punta Gorda and Flores (Tikal), Guatemala.

Most international flights to Belize from the USA connect in Houston (2.5 hours), Miami (two hours), Dallas (three hours) or San Salvador (60 minutes)

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“Don’t call the alligator a big-mouth till you have crossed the river.”

Belizean proverb