Belize City, Belize | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
Average: 9 (1 vote)

Belize City, Belize

Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of former British Honduras. It is located at the mouth of the Haulover Creek, which is a tributary of the Belize River. The Belize River empties into the Caribbean Sea 5 miles from Belize City on the Philip Goldson Highway on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and industrial hub. Several cruise ships drop anchor outside the port and are tendered by local citizens. The city was almost entirely destroyed in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie swept ashore on October 31. It was the capital of British Honduras (as Belize was then named) until the government was moved to the new capital of Belmopan in 1970.


Belize City was founded as "Belize Town" in 1638 by British... Read more

Belize City, Belize


Belize City is the largest city in Belize and was once the capital of former British Honduras. It is located at the mouth of the Haulover Creek, which is a tributary of the Belize River. The Belize River empties into the Caribbean Sea 5 miles from Belize City on the Philip Goldson Highway on the coast of the Caribbean. The city is the country's principal port and its financial and industrial hub. Several cruise ships drop anchor outside the port and are tendered by local citizens. The city was almost entirely destroyed in 1961 when Hurricane Hattie swept ashore on October 31. It was the capital of British Honduras (as Belize was then named) until the government was moved to the new capital of Belmopan in 1970.


Belize City was founded as "Belize Town" in 1638 by British lumber harvesters. It had been a small Maya city called Holzuz. Belize Town was ideal for the British as a central post because it was on the sea and a natural outlet for local rivers and creeks down which the British shipped logwood and mahogany. Belize Town also became the home of the thousands of African slaves brought in by the British to assist in the forest industry. It was the coordination site for the 1798 Battle of St. George's Caye, won by the British against would-be invaders, and the home of the local courts and government officials up to the 1970s. For this reason, historians often say that "the capital was the Colony" because the center of British control was here.

This sentiment remains true today. Even though people like Antonio Soberanis, George Price, and Evan X Hyde all lobbied to take their movements outside, and other ethnic groups such as the Garifuna and Mestizos sprang up elsewhere in the country, people looked to Belize Town for guidance.


Belize City features a tropical monsoon climate, with warm and humid conditions throughout the course of the year. The city has a lengthy wet season that runs from May through January and a short dry season covering the remaining three months. However, as is the characteristic of several cities with tropical monsoon climates, Belize City sees some precipitation during its dry season. March is Belize City's driest month with only 48 mm of precipitation observed, a somewhat unusual month for a city with this climate type. Typically the driest month for a city with a tropical monsoon climate is the month after the winter solstice, which in Belize City would be January. Average monthly temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the course of the year, ranging from 23 °C to 28 °C.

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Belize City, Belize: Port Information

Due to the shallow waters near Belize City, most cruise ships will dock roughly 4 miles away to the Southeast. Tender boats will bring passengers from the cruise ship to the pier. The drop-off pier will be at the Tourism Village along Fort Street. Walk inland, past the covered shops, to reach Fort Street.

Get around Belize City, Belize


Use a taxi. If you want to get out of Belize City, use the taxi, bus, or even the little airplanes which take you to other destinations in Belize.

On foot

If you arrived via cruise ship, walk past the shops in the Tourism Village to reach Fort Street. You can walk downtown by turning left on Fort Street, turning left again on Front Street, and crossing the swing bridge once you reach Queen Street.

The Cayes

Getting to and Around the Cayes Belize is undoubtedly the “it” place in travel and tourism in Central America and the Western Caribbean. Not only is the culture attractive for foreigners as an English speaking nation, navigating to and around the Cayes of Belize has become very easy. For those wanting a truly Belizean experience, take the water taxis from destination to destination. San Pedro Water Taxi departs from the Brown Sugar Terminal in Belize City with 10 scheduled runs per day to San Pedro and Caye Caulker.

Departure to Caye Caulker and Belize City from San Pedro Town pier on Black Coral Street next to Wahoo's Bar and Grill and departs 10 times per day, starting from 6:00 am.

There are boats departing from Caye Caulker to both Belize City and San Pedro Town and they leave from the pier in front of the Basket Ball Court. Caye Caulker to Belize City runs 9 times per day, and Caye Caulker to San Pedro runs 9 times per day. The schedules are posted in numerous locations.

What to see in Belize City, Belize

  • Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts. The largest cultural center in Belize and also hosts the National Art Collection of Belize.
  • Eco-museum Belize

    , Mile 14.5, Western Highway. A living museum of Belize tropical treasures. Here, they show you how Belizeans utilize and recycle natural resources in the construction and decoration of the museum. The is dedicated to showing visitors the beauty of nature in harmony with the Belizean culture.
  • Government House

    . Once the residence of the British Governor General, this is now a "House of Culture" that is open for visitors.
  • Image Factory

    . An independent gallery and cultural center with changing exhibitions and a small book shop. Probably the best place in Belize to learn about contemporary local art.
  • The Museum of Belize (City center, walking distance to water taxi terminals as well as the "Tourism Village"). A former prison and now the national museum of Belize.
  • Old Belize, 5 miles Western Highway, Belize City, Belize, ☎ +501 222 4129. Old Belize is a landmark attraction, offering a total Belize experience for locals and tourists. At its heart is the Old Belize Exhibit, a stirring, large as life, cultural and historical display taking visitors back in time to various defining segments of Belize’s past, with authentic relics from key periods, a haunting introductory teaser to the Mayan legacy in Belize, an eerie depiction of the Belize City of Colonial days, an intimate glimpse into 18th century logging camps, and more. Old Belize also features the only beach in Belize City, the Old Belize Marina, a full-service restaurant, plus conference facilities and banquet hall. Old Belize is located at Mile 5 on the Western Highway.
  • St John's Cathedral. An Anglican cathedral that was built in 1812. The cathedral is a landmark of Belize and one of the oldest remaining buildings in the city.
  • Yarborough Cemetery (Next to St. John's Cathedral). This cemetery was in use from 1787 to 1896. It was renovated in 1999 and has been designated an archeological reserve in 2009.

What to do in Belize City, Belize

Belize City is the cultural center of the country and offers a comparably large number of cultural attractions.

  • The Belize Museum is a former goal located on the corner of Gabourel Lane and Queen Street. It houses displays on the Mayan civilizations, insects, the battle of St Georges Caye and the development of Belizean independence. The Museum also has a small but interesting gift shop.
  • Government House/House of Culture Museum. Originally, the Government House was the first colonial building in Belize. Now, it is the House of Culture museum. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  • There are also many tour minutes, or a couple of hours away from the City, many tour operator in the area or at the Cruise Terminals are more than ready to take you to this destination. Tours and Activities include Mayan Ruins, The Belize Zoo or Nature Trail on ATV.
  • Belize Grand Jaguar Tours is one of many tour operators in the city, that can provide you with tour service to these attractions.
  • Zip-lining and Cave Tubing Touring spectacular network of caves that contain layers of limestone in this part of the region has eroded through the course of time, leaving magnificent geological formations below the surface. Zip lining is an exhilarating experience with spectacular views and a perspective you won't get anywhere else in Belize.

What to eat and drink in Belize City, Belize


  • Mama Chen, Eve Street (near Queen Street). It's not a guesthouse anymore, but it is a nice Chinese restaurant with a familial and friendly atmosphere. 
  • Vegetarian Restaurant, Mile 14.5, Western Highway, Orchid Garden Eco-Village: Delicious Food, Nature at its best.
  • Neris II, Regency Street: great conch soup, but the season ends on the first of July.
  • Big Daddy's Diner, Central Market: Reasonably priced, very local, and a great view of Haulover Creek, home to much of the city's modest fishing fleet.
  • Dit's Cafe: Great watermelon juice and wonderful pastries.
  • Smoky Mermaid, Fort George area: Upscale dining.
  • Harbourview, Fort George area: Very upscale dining, with a great chef.
  • Marva's: a small family-run restaurant serving good, hot breakfast within walking distance from the water taxi terminal


  • Riverside Tavern. Tu-Su, 11:00-24:00. Owned by Belize's only brewery you can get the freshest and coldest draft beer. Also great hamburgers, and other food available.
  • Spoonaz Photo Cafe, 89 North Front Street. Coffee shop near the water taxi terminal. Has a nice patio and A/C inside. Great place to spend some time waiting for the ferry or a night bus. Free wifi.

Shopping in Belize City, Belize

All places accept US dollars. If you are traveling to the cayes, stock up on your cash at the central bank, as the ATMs on the islands often run out of money on weekends.

If you want to shop there is a tourism village in the Fort George area which has jewelry shops like Diamonds International and lots of gift shops. Fort George is located on a boardwalk.

Albert Street is the main street in the Commercial District and features many shops and small shopping centers.

  • Tourism Village. Created to boost cruise ship tourism in Belize City, the Tourist Village is only open when a cruise ship is in town and features a variety of shops and restaurants.
  • Cave Tubing (Belize Cave Tubing) – enter an exciting realm where rivers disappear into the underworld as you float on inner tubes with only your headlamp to lead the way. tours are scheduled to fit within the port time of the cruise ships arriving in Belize City.

Safety in Belize City, Belize

Although Belize City has a bad reputation, both the Commercial District and the Fort George District are safe during the day. Virtually all sights, as well as the water taxi docks, are in this area and tourist should not be worried about exploring these neighborhoods while waiting for a bus or water taxi. Other neighborhoods in Belize City have a very high crime rate and you should take a taxi if you have to leave the city center.

Most locals will warn you that Belize City is only safe in the northern part (approximately the part north of the river). The city has been the subject of several gang-related turf wars with shootings and violent crime, happening mostly at night in the southern part of the city. Don't go around alone and try to always use a taxi if you absolutely must go to the southern parts of the city


Language spoken in Belize City, Belize

English is the official language.

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