Diverse and joyously discordant, Belize City is a place of beachside luxury, colonial pomp and authentic ramshackle streets. While no longer the official capital of Belize, it remains the country’s busiest and most populated city. Listen closely to the hum of chatter from the locals, and chances are you’ll only pick out fragments of the sentences exchanged, as the languages in this diverse location have merged and diverged over the years. Various creoles are spoken, adding extra colour and vitality to this lively, multicultural destination.
Belize Tourism Village’s leaning wooden huts and swaying palm trees invite you ashore, and you can share a welcome drink by the waves, or shop for hand-carved souvenirs. Offshore, gorgeous beaches and sparkling marine life await at the gorgeous Turneffe Atoll. A little further out still sits the Great Blue Hole - a mysterious inky eye that sinks deep into the turquoise Caribbean and has been fascinating experienced divers for years. From Belize City, adventures amid the dense jungle beckon, or you can kick back and sample local restaurants, tasting everything from delicious lobster tail to fresh lionfish. Cucumber Beach gives you space to unwind and soak up the sun’s generous rays nearby.
Belize City itself is split in half by Haulover Creek, which flows through the city and is spanned by the landmark Belize City Swing Bridge. A delightfully antiquated piece of engineering, it requires the elbow grease of four operators to open it and make way for taller ships to pass. The Museum of Belize brings the country’s history to life, pulling no punches in its treatment of the brutal slave history, and exploring the fascinating ancient Mayan civilisation, which thrived here around AD 250.