Belize City Belize
Though Belize City Belize may have had it's capital city status revoked, it's still the country's all-purpose cultural, financial and transportation capital. Past hurricanes in Belize City were largely influential in the decision to move the governmental seat inland to Belmopan, but the city still remains the most populated and busy urban area in the nation. In fact, you'll find that one-quarter of the Belizean people live here. That's some 71,000 folks, give or take a few, so you can get an idea of how small of a country Belize is. Though some visitors skip out of town immediately after arriving to Belize City on cruises or international flights, there is definitely enough to see and do here to make a stay of at least a couple of days worth it. Belize City travel is certainly ideal for those looking to mix a little Belizean art and entertainment into their Belize vacation, since you'll find more of that here than anywhere else. Also, since the country is so small, it's really a good base for trips to interesting destinations all over the place.
You'll find an interesting, if not somewhat odd, mix of colonial mansions, shacks, parks, and shopping areas in Belize City. Basically, the town is cut in two by Haulover Creek, with the Swing Bridge and Market Square basically serving as the Belize City Belize hub.
Belize City Belize became what it is today because of its location. Found on the Caribbean Sea, it rests nicely at the harbor where Haulover Creek empties. Originally known as Belize Town, Belize City Belize was founded by British lumber harvesters known as Baymen round about the mid 1650"s. Before the arrival of the British, Belize City was the site of a Mayan settlement named Holzuz. To aid in their foresting industry in Belize, the British brought in a good amount of slaves from Africa, which contributes to the country's ethnic diversity today. Belize Town cemented its importance in 1798 when the British fended off Spanish advances in the area. This heralded achievement is known as the Battle of St. George's Caye.
It wasn't hard for the British to make Belize Town their prime establishment in the region. With rivers and creeks flowing this way to sea, it was perfect for their logging shipments. In its early days, Belize City was certainly no more than a simple logging port, and as the story goes, it would grow and spread out over a landfill of rum bottles and mahogany chips deposited by the Baymen. Supposedly, during the Belize rainy season, the Baymen would head to Belize City and the coast to ship much of their harvested lumber overseas. Plenty of rum was bought with the funds they received. It must have been a pretty interesting place indeed during those days. Unfortunately for Belize City, it's history has seen more than its fair share of calamity in the way of hurricanes and fires, with the 1961 Hurricane Hattie being among the most destructive. It would be Hurricane Hattie that would more or less be the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of the push to move the capital to Belmopan. This move was executed in 1970. For two decades after that, Belize City would struggle to establish its identity, with drug-related issues among the woes. The booming 21rst century Belize cruise industry has certainly done a lot to bring tourists and tourist dollars into Belize City in recent years. Many cruise ship passengers head downtown to perhaps enjoy a little sightseeing, shopping and dining, while others head further inland to enjoy a featured attraction or two.
Since it's pretty much always warm enough to hit a beach or enjoy the water in Belize, those enjoying a Belize City vacation might consider hopping on either a water taxi or a plane to hit one of the nearby cayes. Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are both easily reached from Belize City, and at both destinations, you can expect to take advantage of some of the best Belize fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Back in Belize City, a couple of the attractions you might include in your Belize City vacation are the Museum of Belize, which gives insight into Belize history, and St. John's Cathedral (1812), which is Central America's oldest Anglican cathedral. Another great place to learn about Belize history during your Belize City vacation is at Old Belize. If a Belize City tour of any kind piques your interest, there are 45-minute guided ones at Old Belize that help you learn even more about the city and the country.
Walking tours are another Belize City tour option, and since a good amount of the city's attractions are pretty much within walking distance of one another, you won't necessarily need to hire a guide for your own, personal walk. Towards the center of town, the House of Culture is surely somewhere you'll want to spend a bit of time during your Belize City vacation. There is a nice museum at the House of Culture you'll want to check out, and the mansion that this place is housed in is pretty impressive itself. Belize City travel can see you enjoying a nice dining experience, as this town has quite a selection of satisfying eateries. Seafood and Belizean cuisine are the most prevalent at the city's restaurants, though there are some nice options for international fare as well. There are some pretty good Belize City hotel picks, with the Fort George Lighthouse area being a top part of town to consider for lodging. At night, you'll find an ample nightlife scene here, with hotel bars and a few clubs among the most popular dark-hour hangouts. Whether you hang around to enjoy an extended Belize City vacation or not, you'll likely spend at least a little bit of time here during your Belize trip. This means you'll probably get a chance to enjoy a little bit of what it has to offer!
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