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Belize is one of my most sought after vacation spots.
The cayes, the jungles, the reefs, and the fact that you get double for your U.S. dollar all made me aware of this destination a few years back.
I was supposed to go to Ambergris Caye for my 30th birthday, but the trip was postponed due to my husband recovering from surgery. No biggie -trips can always be rescheduled and we had a $0 cancellation fee with all money back for our hotel.
I did however get to make visit Belize City for one of my work trips, and it only made me want to reschedule my vacation even more! While my dates are not set, a week long trip to Belize and its cayes are happening this year.
For now, I have the memories of Belize City which many travelers decide to visit (for usually two days) prior to them hopping a seaplane.
If you are thinking of adding Belize City to your itinerary, here is why you should:
Explore Downtown Belize City
The capital of Belize City is small compared to other capitals, but you can see and do a lot within a small radius.
Take a walk along the waterfront where you will catch the sunrise. Some great attractions to see include St. Johns Cathedral, the Government House, and Regent Street in the heart of downtown.
When I first saw Belize City, I sort of experienced a culture shock. For me, I was surprised. My impression was that it was run down. However, it is lively, it is beautiful, and there are people everywhere. Families line the blocks and everyone loves to eat – even when it’s late!
Grab yourself a pastry or seafood (for cheap compared to US prices), and relax. It is worth it to go out in the city and don’t be afraid!
Day Trip to the Ruins
If you have a long day, book a tour to go to the Maya Ruins in Belize.
Roughly one hour away from the city, you can even do a half day if you like. Most travelers book tours as it is easier to get driven than go through the hassle of renting a car or parking.
There are more than two dozen ancient sites. Xunantunich is the most famous ruin in Belize. It was where the largest royal tomb was discovered.
When you look into tours, some include extra stops along the way. You can stop by a jungle or a village so bring clothes that are acceptable for adventure and getting dirty.
Price: Average $60-75 USD
Day Trip to a Local Beach
The cayes in Belize require a stay overnight as they are not that close to the mainland.
However, you can still visit a beach during your stay in Belize City.
About 5 miles south in Old Belize, is a man made beach. It looks natural (at least to me) and is only about a $25 USD cab ride to get there. By bus, you can pay $1 each way.
The beach is called Cucumber Beach – and it has a water slide and a trampoline!
Grab some fresh snapper and a beach chair and you’re set.
For the cayes – St. George’s Caye is the closest at about a 30 minute ferry ride from Belize City.
Price: $25 USD for cab
Admission: Free for beach
Snorkeling Excursions for Less
Even though you are not staying on the cayes, you can still book a snorkeling trip.
The reef is only about 10 miles out in sea. There are many tour companies that offer day trips out to the reef. Belize City is a port for cruises therefore book in advance to make sure you have a spot secured for you.
Most snorkel trips are about 3 -4 hours long. Bring your own mask and goggles if you prefer to have the best equipment that is not shared with others.
Price: Average is$50 USD. Try to negotiate where you can!
A Day at the Museum
For history seekers, spend a day at Belize Museum.
There, one can experience history and art. Visit an old jail cell.
There are permanent and temporary exhibits. Learn about Mayan culture, ancient carvings, and visitors such as previous queens.
There is an Art Class you can attend along with lectures and special tours.
Admission: $10 Belizean dollars or $5 USD
Day Trip to the Jungle
Go river rafting and zip-lining in the Belizean jungle.
The jungle is close to Belize City – you won’t need to travel more than 2 hours away.
If you have time, book yourself a jungle lodge to stay on the grounds. There are many activities you can sign up for, whether it is a day trip or not.
Activities include kayaking, visiting caves, bird watching, horseback riding, clImbing, and mountain biking. The list goes on and on.
Bottom line – you can find practically any activity you want in the jungle in Belize.
Price: Differ based on tour and activites. Range from $50 USD to $100 USD.
See the Belize Sign Monument
Photo via Flickr by Prayitno
Located on Sea Shore Drive by the waterfront, you can see the Belize Sign Monument.
Head to the corner of Independence Dr to get the best view.
The sign started out as a beautification project and now is one of the best attractions for visitors. A great spot for photos, why not make a stop here?
Where else have you explored in Belize City?