Belize City is a storybook of culture and history that definitely can’t be appreciated by its cover. Thought to be built on a foundation of rum bottles, logwood chips and loose coral sitting barely inches above sea level, Belize City gives up ground to the encroaching Caribbean every year.
Visited by more than its fair share of natural disasters, one has to admire the persistence with which Belizeans maintain this hub as their commercial and social center.
The city is split into two areas: North side Belize City, bounded by the Haulover Creek and ending in the east at the Fort George area, and Belize City South side, extending to the outskirts of the city.
Belize City limits reach out to Mile 8 on the Western Highway and Mile 14 on the Northern Highway, at the Haulover Bridge that spans the mouth of the old Belize River where it disgorges into the Caribbean Sea, Belize City features good hotels, historical landmarks, a casino and the Museum of Belize which are located in that zone as are the cruise ship and marine terminals.
The Southside has a couple of tourist attractions, namely historic St. John’s Cathedral and the House of Culture.
With a population of 70,000, it’s now home to over a quarter of all Belizeans who themselves have a love hate relationship with their former capital city.
Since the hurricane in 1961 the government moved further inland to Belmopan hoping the people would follow, but they didn’t.
Instead they chose to stay, and though they complain about it constantly they somehow crave its bustle and pace, not to mention the opportunity for commerce and socializing presented by such a large concentration of people.