A Tribute to Peter Wallace, the Pirate
For those who spend some time in Belize City during an MSC Caribbean cruise to Belize, this town will reveal a distinguished history, several superb sights and fascinating cultural spectacles.
The city’s astonishing energy comes from its 76,000-plus inhabitants, who represent every ethnic group in the country, with the Creole descendants of former slaves and British Baymen forming the dominant element and generating an easy-going Caribbean atmosphere.
This relaxed attitude blends with an entrepreneurial flair, for Belize City is the country’s business capital; banks, offices and shops line the main streets, while fruit and fast-food vendors jostle for pavement space with others selling plastic bowls or cheap jewellery. The jubilant September Celebrations, which pack the already full streets with music, dancing and parades, culminate in Carnival, with gorgeously costumed dancers who shimmer and gyrate through the city to electrifying Caribbean rhythms.
A holiday to Belize will show you two of the very best colonial structures carefully restored which are open to visitors; the former city jail, built in Victorian times, now the Museum of Belize, and the even earlier Government House, a museum and cultural centre. The city is divided neatly into north and south halves by Haulover Creek, a delta branch of the Belize River.
The pivotal point of the city centre is the Swing Bridge, always busy with traffic and occasionally opened up to allow larger vessels up and down. The surrounding Belize District, which extends north, west and south of the city, is tailor-made for excursions and includes some of the country’s top sights, including the Altun Ha Maya site, the splendid Belize Zoo and the Community Baboon Sanctuary.