Even if you only stay one night, there’s plenty to see and do in downtown Belize City for the day—including an introduction to the country’s past colonial history, its Creole culture, and some of the tastiest Creole dishes in Belize. Just go with an open mind and take in this truly unique Central American city.
Hop in a taxi and start your morning at the Museum of Belize (8 Gabourel Ln., tel. 501/223-4524, 9am-4:30pm Tues.-Fri., 9am-4pm Sat., US$5)—with fascinating collections of Mayan artifacts, in addition to rotating exhibits. Head to the Belize House of Culture (tel. 501/227-3050, 8:30am-5pm Mon.-Thurs., 8:30am-4:30pm Fri., US$5). This colonial building turned museum houses an interesting selection of period items, including silverware, glassware, and ancient utensils. Don’t miss taking a stroll on the sprawling sea-facing lawn at the back of the building, where functions are often held. Cross the street and marvel at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, the oldest Anglican church in Central America.
From there, walk back up Regent Street toward the city center, and head to Deep Sea Marlin’s Restaurant & Bar (Regent St. W., tel. 501/227-6995, 7am-9pm Mon.-Sat., US$4) for a Creole lunch of stew with rice and beans, river views, and local tunes.
After your meal, walk toward the Swing Bridge, stop for a refreshing chocoholic milkshake from Belizean cacao expert Moho Chocolate Cafe (158 N. Front St., tel. 501/626-1941, 8:30am-6pm Mon.-Sat., US$3) or a cold beer at Spoonaz Photo Cafe (89 N. Front St., tel. 501/223- 1043, 6:30am-6:30pm Mon.-Thurs., 6:30am-8pm Fri.-Sat., 6:30am-3:30pm Sun., US$1-6) on its outdoor riverside deck, if you need it, then continue walking to the nearby historic Fort George area, where you can quickly view the Fort George Lighthouse, facing the Caribbean Sea.
Just outside Belize City, you’ll find plenty of nature and wildlife to explore. Head to The Belize Zoo (Mile 29, George Price Hwy., tel. 501/822-8000, 8:30am-4:30pm daily, US$15 adults, US$5 children)—an educational treat for all ages, where Belize’s species are on display, including the tapir and all five wild cats. Continue on to the village of Burrell Boom for a hike at the Community Baboon Sanctuary (tel. 501/622-9624, email@example.com, 8am-5pm daily, US$7), where you’ll spend an hour hiking the rainforest and spotting birds and howler monkeys. Or arrange for a drive farther north to explore the picturesque and birding hot spot Crooked Tree Village, one of Belize’s authentic Creole villages.
Back in the city, head for a seaside dinner at Bird’s Isle Restaurant (90 Albert St., tel. 501/207-2179, 10am-midnight Mon.-Sat., US$5-13) for more local fare, or end up at the Radisson Fort George Hotel’s Baymen’s Tavern bar for happy hour treats (5pm-10pm) and a live DJ on Fridays.
Up for a late night? Shake your buns at the city’s latest dance spot, Sit & Sip (10 Fort St., tel. 501/223-2453, 10pm-3am Thurs.-Sat.), where the millennial crowd parties to the latest international tunes.
Excerpted from the Twelfth Edition of Moon Belize.