Belize City, Belize

Location:

As ships are moored or anchored in this port, you will be tendered ashore.

All passengers disembark at cruise terminal docks in Belize’s Tourism Village. Small and OK for an hour or so, not a destination in itself.

Sightseeing:

Belize is blessed with a multitude of natural attractions, from:

  • The longest barrier reef in this hemisphere, home to the Great Blue Hole, hundreds of islands, snorkel and dive locations.
  • Hundreds of ancient Maya sites both excavated and jungle-covered,
  • Lush tropical rain forest with many species of birds, and exotic tropical flora and fauna.
  • Cave Tubing. Only for the fittest and preferably in the rainy months as the water levels are higher. There are several companies who offer this.

Tours/Excursions/Transportation:

Belize City’s downtown hub is compact and easy to navigate on foot. However, the city has a rather nasty reputation for being unsafe for visitors, and you’d be wise to stick to the busiest sections of downtown and obvious tourist districts.

All taxis in Belize are licensed and easily identifiable by their green number plates. They operate from special ranks in the center of all mainland towns and, particularly in Belize City, drivers will call out to anyone they suspect is a foreigner. There are no meters, so you’ll need to establish the fare in advance, though within the towns a US$2.50 fixed rate should apply.

Get off your ship as early as you can to catch a Water Taxi to Caye Caulker. Research the Water Taxi times before you go on cruise and note that Belize time is an hour earlier then ship time. You can use the same taxi both ways or one each way, whatever works best to get back to ship on time. Give yourself at least an hour to get back.

Once at Caye Caulker proceed to the Split and set up camp at the Lazy Lizard. Lots of cold drinks at awesome prices. From there you can walk the Island to see the sights and have lunch. A very relaxing and stress free day. Water taxi will cost between 15 and 20 per person for round trip.

If you are looking for things to do in Belize, Cave Tubing should be on the top of your list. There is no other country or island in all of the Western Caribbean and perhaps in the entire world that offers anything quite like this.

Nearby Places:

The largest of the cayes, Ambergris Caye , draws more than half of all tourists to Belize, their main destination being the resort town of San Pedro . To the south, Caye Caulker is the most popular of the islands amongst independent travelers. Many of the less developed cayes are becoming easier to reach, and organized trips are available to the atolls of Lighthouse Reef and Glover’s Ree.

Shopping and Food:

The Tourism Village is the city’s main shopping area with a variety of stores, shops and restaurants. The city’s downtown area and the Marine Terminal are about five minutes away on foot, and there’s always a line of taxis waiting adjacent to the Tourism Village.

Since the cruise ships are such a big market for local merchants, many adjust their hours to specifically coincide with cruise-ship traffic and their particular shore times.

Seafood is almost always excellent. Red snapper or grouper is invariably fantastic, and you might also try a barracuda steak, conch fritters or a plate of fresh (though usually farmed) shrimp . In San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Placencia the food can be exceptional, and the only concern is that you might get bored with lobster , which is served in an amazing range of dishes: pasta with lobster sauce, lobster and scrambled eggs, lobster chow mein or even lobster curry.

Currency:

Belizean dollar (exchange rate is roughly $2 Belize to $1 U.S.

US dollars are accepted everywhere. Be sure you get change in U.S. currency.

Communication:

English is Belize’s official language.

The “Click & Sip” Internet Cafe is located inside the Belize Tourism Village.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

It’s difficult to be specific about opening hours in Belize but in general most shops are open 8am-noon and 1-8pm. The lunch hour – noon to 1pm – is almost universally observed and it’s hopeless trying to get anything done then. Some shops and businesses work a half-day on Saturday, and everything is liable to close early on Friday.

January 1 New Year’s Day
March 9 Baron Bliss Day
Good Friday  
Holy Saturday  
Easter Monday  
May 1 Labour Day
May 24 Commonwealth Day
September 10 National Day
September 21 Independence Day
October 12 Columbus Day (Pan America Day)
November 19 Garífuna Settlement Day
December 25 & 26 Christmas
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Place Categories: Cruise Ports

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