December 14th 2017

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Belize City Belize City Belize City

 

Continent: South America. Country: Mexico. City: Belize City.

Belize City

By Steve Wright - Manager Worldchoice Travel

For me, the port of Belize City, and indeed the country as a whole, perfectly sums up the beauty of a cruise above and beyond many land based holidays. Belize is a country that myself or my family knew very little about prior to our recent cruise. Similarly, the country is not really on the main tourist maps or routes, therefore not somewhere we would really have considered visiting on a regular holiday itinerary.

During our somewhat brief stop in Belize, we learnt so much about this very interesting and diverse country. Our cruise ship moored five miles out at sea and we enjoyed a very exhilarating and Belizean speedy boat ride into the harbour area. The trip takes about 20 minutes each way. On arrival, we firstly had a stroll around the harbour front which houses the usual array of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and jewellery shops. With such wonderful weather, we took time out for a cold drink before joining up with others for our city tour. 

Each of us were given a snack and a welcome bottle of cold water for our journey, before we were taken to our open air vehicle. The tour itself was so interesting and the knowledgeable tour guide made us all feel so welcome and her narration throughout the trip was excellent. Having a great sense of humour made her all the more enjoyable. She also managed to keep the story relevant for all age groups on the journey. 

Belize is a small country in Central America, sharing land borders with Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the West and South. The shores of the Caribbean Sea lie to the East. The country has a population of approximately 350,000. There are many languages spoken here, English is the official language (the only country in the region with this) although Spanish and the local Creole dialect are both widely spoken throughout. Belize has had such a rich and varied history. The Mayans were the first known people to inhabit the country in 1500BC. Christopher Columbus reached the region in the early 1500's. The 1630's saw the first European settlements when the English arrived. And then over the next couple of centuries, more and more Europeans continued settle there. In the mid 1800's the country became British Honduras right through until 1973 when the name was changed to Belize. Then, in 1981, Belize became an independent country, however it still remains a full Commonwealth country with Queen Elizabeth still standing as Head of State to this day. 

Our tour continued on with various stories about the different areas we travelled through, from the rich, affluent areas to the poorer, more disadvantaged regions. All were very interesting and some, quite moving. Much of the architecture in the area looked very European with churches and other old buildings that wouldn't look out of place in the British countryside. 

Weather wise, Belize is pretty much in line with all the Caribbean area, where our Winter months offer the finest weather. February to May or predominantly the driest months. The people we met were all so friendly and welcoming, everyone had that typical Caribbean, "laid back" style which we find infectious. 

For those people with more time to spare, there are an abundance of other sightseeing opportunities available. For bird lovers, there are over 500 species of birds resident in Belize, including the Toucan. For history lovers, a visit to Altun Ha is a must. A Mayan site consisting of several temples and palaces. Divers and snorkelers have some great reef diving options. For a more relaxed visit, a 5 mile long beach is just a short ride away.  

Our particular tour concluded all too soon back in the port area and we had spare time to wander around and spend some money. For the shoppers out there, locally produced wooden jewellery and other artefacts are a good buy. In the port area, there is a local brewery that produces a beer called Belikin, which, as you can see was sampled and I would highly recommend. Very welcome after a hot day sightseeing! This day was definitely a major highlight of our holiday and we were soon back on our shuttle boat heading back to the cruise ship and onwards to our next Caribbean destination. I do love Cruising!

Keywords: Cruise Belize, Mexico Cruise,