Belize City, Belize
Favorite thing: Other than some of the downtown shops and the high-end cruiseship tourist facilities around Fort George and the north side of Haulover Creek, Belize City generally gives the impression of a tired and rundown old colonial city. This building, located at the hub by the swing bridge, is the government Administration Building, housing offices of the Ministry of Finance & Treasury. Although located in the downtown core and very close to the cruiseship disembarkation areas, even this building looked very unkempt. The sides of the building looked like they could stand a good paint job to get rid of the mould and the big pile of trash on the street by the clump of trees did not help matters any. I guess it is just indicative of the lack of cash for infrastructure upkeep in Belize, maybe something that will improve as it more and more becomes a tourist destination. That being said, none of the other places we visited in Belize showed a lack of upkeep anywhere near like Belize City.
Fort George Light - Belize City
Population= c. 50,000
I have seen other reports saying that Belize City is a dangerous place. I did not find that to be the case. During the day the small downtown area can get quite congested with traffic. I found people to be friendly. When driving I stopped several times for directions, and met only friendly and enthusiastic people. Perhaps at night it is best to stay indoors, just like most places. There have been reports of rival gangs, but I don't think tourists are in danger from them.
Belize cty is the biggest city of the country and was the former capital. Few years ago the governement decided to move the capital to Belmopan because of the many natural disasters in Belize city.
So now this city is not anymore a capital, but it is still the biggest city with only 60,000 people. Lying just at the ocean and with the many canals it is very charming. Though it is not Venice!
Belize, previously known as British Honduras, lies on the East coast of Central America, bordering on Mexico to the North, Guatemala to the West and South, and flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the East.
The first settlers of Belize were Mayan Indians. After the area was abandoned by the Mayas, in the late 1600's, English pirates began to settle where Belize City is now located.
Belize City has a unfortunate history, as the city was devastated by fires in 1804, 1806 and 1856 as well as by epidemics of yellow fever, smallpox and cholera. In 1931 Belize was struck by a hurricane flooding the city and killing about ten percent of the population. In 1961, Belize City was devastated by Hurricane Hattie, with its 160mph winds taking hundreds of lives and leaving many homeless.