Belize City – Belize

belize-city-1327717_640

Belize is the second smallest country in Central America, bordering on Mexico & Guatemala, mainly covered in dense forests. The capital city of Belize City is where cruise ships port. While in spots there is some quaint colonial architecture, Belize City has many unsafe neighborhoods, so the port is typically used as a hub for excursions outside of the city.

There are over 150 miles of islands (cayes) and reefs off the coast of Belize making it a diver's paradise and a couple of the larger islands, Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are the resort areas of Belize. Belize also has many Mayan ruins, making for great excursions.

Currency: Belizean Dollar, but the US Dollar is widely accepted, just make sure you get American back in change. ATMs are available at the port.

Wireless Internet: Widely available throughout Tourism Village

Languages: English

Where You Dock in Belize City – Belize

Tourism Village BelizeShips anchor off the coast of Belize and tender their passengers into the port, about a 20 minute, often choppy, ride. The port itself, called Tourism Village is quite small, with souvenir shops and Diamonds International and restaurants offering cheap drinks and Caribbean specialties. There is a high guarded fence around Tourism Village which they don’t recommend tourists venture outside of by themselves.

Getting Around Belize City – Belize

Taxis – are easy to come by at Tourism Village. Look for the green licence plates as these are the licensed taxis. Agree on a fare before getting in the taxi as they are not metered.

Water Taxis – these leave from the Marine Terminal and travel to islands such as Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. Make sure you leave enough time to get back to the dock in order to catch a tender back to your ship. It takes about an hour and a half to reach San Pedro on Ambergris Caye and 45 minutes to Caye Caulker.

Flights – Tropic Air and Maya Island Air offer flights from Belize City to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The flight to Caye Caulker takes less than 10 minutes and only 20 to Ambergris Caye but will run around $75 per person, one way to either location. Be aware that the planes are very small – 5 people – but the views are amazing.

Shopping In Belize City – Belize

You’ll find the typical cruise port shopping destinations, Diamonds International, Del-Sol, Pirhana Joe, within Tourism Village. Look for the souvenir shops offering hand-made goods such as mahogany or rosewood carvings, or baskets. Note: don’t buy items that are made from sea turtle shells, Triton’s trumpet shells or black coral.

Moho Chocolate & Cafe – stop here for some wonderful local chocolate, made in small batches. They also offer specialty hot beverages and a couple of small tables. Watch them roast the cacao beans on their front porch.

Pharmacy Express – the hot-spot for inexpensive over-the-counter medication

National Handicrafts Sales Center (2 South Park Street near Tourism Village) – artwork and crafts

Dining In Belize City – Belize

2014-12-08 12.08.56

There are a few restaurants located within Tourism Village such as the Bearded Clam, or the Grill at the far end of the village or the Wet Lizard. Try Belikin, the local beer.

If you want to try some local cuisine outside of the port gates:

The Smoky Mermaid -(The Great House, 13 Cork St) great seafood with a Caribbean twist. Everything on their lunch menu is under $10 USD.

Bird’s Isle – just a short walk from the port, this restaurant gets great reviews for its authentic Belizean cuisine at great prices and with wonderful ocean views

Terry’s Caribbean Grill – Caye Caulker, on the beach by The Split – where the locals eat! Great grilled seafood and Caribbean cuisine

Things To Do in Belize City – Belize

Top Tours & Excursions In Belize City – Belize

Photo credit: si_si_ay / Foter / CC BY-SA

Goff Caye Beach Break with Snorkeling Board a powerboat to the unspoiled island of Goff Caye, which sits atop one of the best reefs in the Caribbean, perfect for snorkeling. Goff Caye is not your luxury resort experience, but is a small isle with rustic charm and basic amenities, like the Caribbean used to be....

Duration: 4.5 hours Activity Level: Moderate Note: test Wheelchair Accessibility: test Food: test Tour Includes: test
Photo credit: Deanna Keahey / Foter / CC BY-ND

Belize Cave Tubing After you arrive at the Caves Branch River, you’ll grab your tube and take a 45 minute jungle hike to the underground cave system. You’ll get a miner’s light to see the amazing sights inside the caves as you float along with the gentle current....

Duration: 5 hours (2 hours activity duration) Activity Level: Moderate
Photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) / Foter / CC BY-SA

Altun-Ha & Belize City Overview As you take the 45 drive through the Belize countryside, your guide will tell you all about the mysterious Mayans. Tour the ruins dating from 1000 BC, before heading back for a tour of Old Belize City....

Duration: 4 hours Activity Level: Moderate