Belize City, located on the Central Coast, has become the most commercial hub and populated city in the country. Since becoming the endearingly nicknamed “old capital” after the destruction of Hurricane Hattie in 1916, the city has rebuilt to now house the Belize Tourism Village as a cruise port, Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) just 15 minutes on its outskirts, and Sir Barry Bowen Municipal Airport (TZA) for regional and domestic flights. Not to mention, getting to the islands is easy from the coast; daily water taxi charters are available from downtown Belize City through carriers like San Pedro Belize Express. Here are 10 ways day-trippers can experience the best of Belize City.
1. Take a 15-minute immersive tour with Old Belize Adventure’s historical Train Ride on-site.
Take a step back in time to see the history of Belize in this unique and charming train ride tour, located about 4 miles outside of the city. After your tour, enjoy the Kukumba Beach and Marina where you can relax and soak up the sun for the rest of the day at the only beach in town. Old Belize Adventure‘s updated hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM; entry is $10 for adults.
2. Sightsee downtown on foot
A must stop: the Museum of Belize. Built between 1854 and 1857 as Her Majesty’s Prison while the area was still a British colony, it was a replacement for a wooden prison nearby. The Museum was the Belize City Prison until 1993, when prisoners were then transferred to the Hattieville Prison; in 2002, the building was restored and renovated into a national museum.
Next, head to the oldest Anglican Church in Central America – St. John’s Cathedral – the only place outside England where kings were crowned. If it’s a warm day, be sure to grab a cool cone at The Ice Cream Shoppe just around the corner from the Museum, or at their pop-up spot in Battlefield Park downtown.
3. A spirited tour at Travellers Liquors
Enjoy stories of history and culture while tasting award-winning rum at the Travellers Heritage Centre Museum, one of Belize’s most historic distilleries.
4. Coastal Photo-Ops
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Admire the coastal monument of the Baron Bliss Lighthouse before getting a photo-op with the neighboring and colorful BELIZE sign.
5. End the day in Belize City with Happy Hour on the Highway
Enjoy Happy Hour with rum punch and more at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Best Western Plus’ tropical outdoor terrace.
6. Meeting the locals
Visit The Belize Zoo to get up close and personal with Belize’s rescued or rehabilitated wildlife.
7. A Leisurely River Cruise
Cruise the Belize River and keep your eye out for boisterous howler monkeys and sweet-tempered manatees.
8. Admiring Maya Relics
Explore the nearby Maya Site of Altun Ha, where the largest jade carving in the Maya world was discovered.
9. Roaming a RAMSAR Site
Enjoy a Birding and Boat Cruise on the lagoons of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.
10. Pou’s versus Dario’s?
Try delicious and locally-loved meat pies for breakfast.
Find somewhere to spend the day or night in Belize City here. Header photo courtesy of Old Belize & Kukumba Beach.
Editor's Note: This article was first shared on February 3rd, 2021