Belize City Travel Guide
Belize City, or "BC" as it is popularly known, is among the happiest places on Central America's Caribbean coast, where practically everyone wears a smile. Indeed, it is a refreshing jumble of disparate peoples and races, black, brown and white, and a colorful mélange of grand colonial mansions ringed by palms and bougainvillea and ramshackle tin-roofed shacks propped up with large wooden vats rigged to collect rainwater from the roofs. The city has its fair share of museums, churches, parks and interesting restaurants. It is, besides, the commercial and cultural hub of the small, tropical nation, and, too, its premier port where cruise ships routinely dock to add to the city's growing tourism economy.
Belize City is situated at the mouth of the Belize River on the Caribbean coast in the northeastern part of the country. It is 269 miles (433 km) southwest of Cancún, Mexico, or 251 miles (404 km) northeast of Guatemala City, Guatemala. From Tegucigalpa, Honduras, it is 243 miles (392 km) to the northwest.
In Belize City, the main visitor interest lies in Fort George, the city's foremost colonial neighborhood, which has in it the Bliss Lighthouse, Memorial Park, and the Museum of Belize. Of interest, too, are the city's principal downtown streets, Regent and Albert, the latter with the 19th-century St. John's Cathedral at one end of it, which has the distinction of being the oldest Anglican cathedral in the Caribbean and the only one outside England where kings were once crowned; and Swing Bridge, which spans the Belize River where it drains into the Caribbean Sea, and is one of the world's only manually-operated bridges still functioning. Swing Bridge, by the way, was built in 1922 and featured in the 1980 film, The Dogs of War, starring Christopher Walken.
Nightlife options in Belize City are limited. Still, south of the Haulover Creek are the low-end dives, while in the area north of the Swing Bridge are a handful of upscale venues, notable among them Club Calypso at the waterfront Princess Hotel and Casino, which has live music and is a popular haunt on the weekends. There are also a few loud, boisterous, risqué road houses near the airport for the intrepid lot.
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