Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Belize City Travel Information
Door to the Caribbean
A must to see upon arrival in this 17th century city is the bridge over the Hawlover Creek, the only manually-operated turning bridge in the world. One wonders why this coastal city has such a structure and owns the oldest Anglican Church in Mesoamerica, San Juan Cathedral. Belize served as the country's capital until 1970, status lost as a consequence of the constant hurricanes and swampy soil. However, it is still the country's most important city and has surely a lot to offer.
It became the country's heart thanks to its port. A great deal of its culture and people shows itself on the streets daily life, an incredible ethnic and language mix. Mayans, Creoles, Mulattos, Mennonites, Chinese and Lebanese make up the national population, speaking mostly English but also Spanish and 'Kriol', a fusion of Spanish and English.
The houses here resemble those built in the Caribbean islands, another difference from the rest of the region's countries. The most outstanding architectonic attractions are: the afore-mentioned San Juan Cathedral from 1812; Yarborough Cemetery, a real tour through Belize's past and the colonial mansion from 1814 that at present hosts the governor's residence.
History and Art have also earned a place. Pirate stories and memorabilia are to be found in the museum at the new marina. The best of the live local art is exhibited in the gallery called Image Factory. The National Handicraft Center, with its crafts stalls and Belize's Museum top the city's interesting itinerary. The latter stands in the city's oldest section, Fort George, next to Memorial Park.
Nature spreads beyond the urban limits. A sample of the fauna to be seen in the jungle and the mountains is shown in the zoo, 32 km south of the city.