The ten mile drive from the Phillip Goldson International Airport to Belize City takes you along the historic Belize River. In Belize’s colonial past, tens of thousands of mahogany logs were set afloat from camps up river as part of their journey to European buyers. Rumor is a number of the valuable logs sank en route and are still sitting on the riverbed waiting to be reclaimed.

As a sea port, the city built itself from the east inwards so most of the older colonial structures are near the coast. Efforts are ongoing to preserve several of these buildings, such as Belize’s Supreme Court, the Government House (once the home of the British Governor) and the oldest Anglican Church in Central America, St. John’s Cathedral (a popular attraction). These impressive structures have survived direct hurricane hits and the threat of devastating city fires. Traffic is an adventure in Belize City as many streets were only designed to accommodate bicycles and “mule and carts”, a once popular mode of transporting goods. The city is cut in half by the downtown Swing Bridge. The bridge is still swung manually regularly to give sailboats and sloops access to calmer waters further from the coast. When in the city, do take advantage of a city tour, or visit the Museum of Belize, and the House of Culture.

Cruise ship passengers disembark in Belize City, so there is a growing culture that caters for day visitors. Small cafes, restaurants and gift shops, as well as craft vendors await visitors on cruise ship days.  Live music and cultural performances are the norm in the Fort Street area where the cruise terminal is located. Small as it is, Belize City is the country’s most populated municipality and does have many of the same challenges as growing cities. Heed advice from your tour operators and hoteliers about where to go in the city.  Be sure to apply the same common sense, care and attention as you would to stay safe at home or in any city environment.

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Just as Belize City built up around the port, the rest of the Belize District built itself along the highways. The George Price and Phillip Goldson Highways (formerly called the Western and Northern Highways respectively) might appear populated from a car, but a fly over reveals extensive savannahs, broadleaf forests and wetlands in the interior. During the dry season, thousands of migrating birds descend in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. The black, white and red colours of the impressive Jabiru storks stand out in the sea of feathers. From the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom village, visitors can spot the noisiest animal in Belize—the Black Howler Monkey. Day trippers can also travel to the village of Maskall for panoramic views from atop an ancient Maya temple, Altun Ha. For a truly serene setting, visit the tiny village of Gales Point, which sits on a narrow peninsula jutting out into a lagoon. Visitors get to watch the sun rise over the Caribbean Sea, and in one turn, take in majestic mountain views.

No matter what part of the Belize District you choose to explore, it promises to be a beautiful part of your Belize adventure.

Getting Here

International flights land at the Phillip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville. From there, visitors can rent a car or hire a taxi to get into the city. Local airlines Maya Island Air and Tropic Air offer connecting flights from the international airport to Belize City and other national destinations.

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