Things to do in Belize City
Belize City is a unique place, full of energy and adventure, but also down-to-earth and - some might say - gritty. With easy access to Mayan ruins, native wildlife, and spectacular diving, Belize City is the gateway to it all. So, whether you arrive on a cruise, or decide to venture away from the idyllic Cayes, Belize City will reward you with a friendly welcome and memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re into history, Belize City is sure to keep you riveted. Home to heritage buildings that reflect both its Caribbean and British past, it’s a place to explore, soaking up the blend of new and old, and enjoying the vibrant colors all around. Spend a morning on a Belize city tour exploring downtown, admiring the world’s oldest manual swing bridge, and learning about Belize’s checkered history in the Belize City National Museum.
There are also plenty of Belize City excursions to the Mayan ruins and we recommend you join one if you can, as they’re fascinating. Altun Ha is the closest to Belize City and is well worth a look. Caracol, Lamanai, and Xunantunich are the most popular and well-excavated ruin sites and are super atmospheric places to explore on [Mayan ruins tours].
Belize City is also a great jumping-off point for [Belize wildlife tours] - and Belize has plenty of them to tempt you. Manatees live close to the city, sharks and stingrays are just off the shoreline, and the famous Belize Zoo is only an hour away.
About Belize City
Belize City is a coastal city located in Belize’s midsection. Although it was once the country’s capital city, following extensive storm damage in the 1960s, Belmopan was built as the new capital. However, Belize City is very much still the cultural heart of the country and most of its commercial activity is based here.
Belize City has a diverse population, with residents of Mayan, Garifuna, and Creole descent, amongst others. There are a number of languages in use, with Kriol and Spanish being commonly spoken, alongside English which is the official language of Belize. This cultural diversity is reflected in the food scene, which, although simple, is flavorful and unique.
Belize City is home to some grand resorts, but it doesn’t have so many of the sleek, ultra-deluxe resorts found elsewhere. However, there are plenty of comfortable places to stay, making Belize City popular with independent travelers.
Belize City also has an active cruise port, with over 300 liners docking each year. This has created a busy Belize City excursions trade, and cruisers are well looked after, usually being collected directly from the cruise port.
Although Belize City suffers from a questionable safety record, it has thankfully shed the no-go-zone reputation it once struggled with. The country has put in place extra police presence in key tourist areas, which has increased visitor confidence. But, like any world city, while most of Belize City is safe, there are areas best avoided - for example, the southside. However, don’t let that put you off - Belize City is a special place that’s worth your vacation time.