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Overview

Bustling Belize City is the political, economic, and cultural hub of the country, but remains mostly a transit point for foreign visitors; some bypass it altogether, connecting directly for internal transport to the Cayes or points south. The city's small scale and local (some say ramshackle) flavor make for some interesting exploring however, with gardens and parks interspersed among typical colorful Caribbean architecture (including one of the world's last wooden embassies, owned by the US) and loads of cultural centers. Bridges figure large in daily life, with many locals commuting to work by walking across the Swing Bridge, while kids ...

Bustling Belize City is the political, economic, and cultural hub of the country, but remains mostly a transit point for foreign visitors; some bypass it altogether, connecting directly for internal transport to the Cayes or points south. The city's small scale and local (some say ramshackle) flavor make for some interesting exploring however, with gardens and parks interspersed among typical colorful Caribbean architecture (including one of the world's last wooden embassies, owned by the US) and loads of cultural centers. Bridges figure large in daily life, with many locals commuting to work by walking across the Swing Bridge, while kids romp and play on Bird Island, across a picturesque footbridge. The city has taken its knocks in the past — mostly from hurricanes and a crack cocaine epidemic — but improved law enforcement has helped temper the latter. Alas, hurricanes remain a reality from September to November (official hurricane season is June-November). Although this is Belize's biggest and most lively city, it's not the capital; that distinction is held by Belmopan, a government-constructed "civic city" built in the late '60s after Hurricane Hattie leveled most of Belize City.

Conner Gorry
About the Expert

Conner Gorry is a contributor to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks and is the lead writer for Lonely Planet's Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala guides.

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Conner Gorry for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: East Coast Belize, Central America
  • Language: Spanish, Creole, Mayan, English
  • Currency: Belize Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Springtime, when it's not raining and you can catch the Belize Film Festival (early March)