Belize City, Largest City in Belize
Don’t be frightened off by the urban atmosphere, Belize City is truly a gem in the history of Belize. Explore the many sites and attractions the city has to offer. Whether you love history, architecture, art or simply a little local charm, you’ll find all of that in Belize City.
On the Caribbean Coast
Belize City was first founded in the early part of the 18th century, and for most of its existence was under British rule. Today it is the largest city in Belize, boasting a population of over 70,000 people. It’s situated directly on the east coast of the country, with easy access to the Caribbean. It was once the nation’s capital, but thanks to swampy land and frequent catastrophic hurricanes, the capital was moved further inland to the city of Belmopan.
Old versus New
But there are some stark differences between the two cities, Belize City and Belmopan. Belize City is the country’s most popular, urban area. By contrast, Belmopan is incredibly small, with only about 7,100 people. In fact, it’s the smallest capital city in the entire world!
While you’re visiting Belize City, don’t stress about the urban environment and lack of pristine wildlife. While it may be the most populated area in the country, lacking some of the charm of more secluded locations, there are still plenty of local sights and attractions you won’t want to miss. From architectural marvels to creative cultural attractions, Belize City is certainly an enticing destination.
Must See Attractions
Ironically, despite the seemingly urban atmosphere, there are plenty of chances to experience the wide-eyed wonder of being a tourist during your stay in Belize City. While you visit, here are a few of the most popular hot spots you won’t want to miss!
St. John’s Cathedral
St. John’s Cathedral is the oldest Anglican Church in all of Central America. Built in 1812, this magnificent cathedral isn’t home to just religious history, but cultural history too. In fact, in the past, two Mosquito Coast Kings held their coronations there!
The Governor’s House
Just across the street from St. John’s Cathedral, you’ll spy a beautiful sprawling Colonial estate that dates back to 1814. Its history is nearly as rich as the Cathedral’s. Today, this Colonial mansion is the residence of Belize’s Governor General.
If its history that interests you, there’s one spot in Belize City where you can literally walk through it – the Yarborough Cemetery. With graves dating as far back as 1781, each and every headstone tells a tale of the country’s rich, eventful history. It’s also a great place for all of you ghost hunters and paranormal buffs.
The Swing Bridge
Going across town, don’t forget to check out the Swing Bridge. While you may be tempted to argue that a bridge is just a bridge, this is no ordinary bridge. Actually, it’s the world’s only manual swing bridge. It’s a real novelty you won’t find anywhere else.
The Marine Terminal
The new Marine Terminal (which used to be the city’s fire station) is Belize City’s newest coastal and maritime museum. Take some time to stop in and explore the history of Belize’s coastline. There are pirates, buccaneers, British naval officers and local oceanic heroes with plenty of stories to share.
Belize City not only appeals to architectural, historical and maritime fans, it’s also a fantastic location for art lovers. The Image Factory is Belize City’s answer to a contemporary art gallery. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new, unique piece or simply want to talk shop with local artists, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the Image Factory.
These are just a few of the amazing sites and attractions you can discover in Belize City. What else will you uncover?