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Things to do in Belize City

Animal lovers looking for things to do in Belize City can’t miss the Belize Zoo, which is home to more than 45 species that are native to the country. Spider monkeys, wildcats, scarlet macaws and toucans are among the creatures you’ll encounter at this eco-friendly park.

For a dose of history, head to St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest surviving building of Belize’s colonial period. With stained glass windows, an antique organ and mahogany pews, this is the oldest Anglican church in Central America. Across the street, the Government House frequently holds art exhibits, concerts and performances. One of the most popular things to do in Belize City is checking out the well-preserved jail cells at the Museum of Belize, which is housed inside what was once her Majesty’s Prison. The space holds a collection of historic and artistic objects, like an original Queen Victoria stamp from 1837 and artifacts from the Buena Vista Mayan site.

Explore the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha, located 30 miles north from the city. Two main plazas and thirteen buildings make up this site, including the Temple of the Sun God and the Temple of the Masonry Altars. The area surrounding Altun Ha is also rich with wildlife–from squirrels and bats to deer and tapirs.

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  • Baymen's Tavern

    With its wicker armchairs, hanging vines, and vintage botanical prints, the Radisson Fort George Hotel's cocktail bar has a colonial-chic vibe. The... More
  • Belize Zoo

    Founded in 1983 by an American biologist who had 17 semi-tame animals on her hands after filming a documentary about rain forests, the Belize Zoo i... More
  • Brodies

    The 120-year-old dry-goods store is still the go-to emporium downtown. Its atmospheric interior has cast-iron Doric columns, and aisles are stocked... More
  • Cucumber Beach

    Belize City has no naturally sandy stretches, but the man-made Cucumber Beach, five miles outside of town, is a sugary expanse that's worth a visit... More
  • Fort George

    Wander the streets of Fort George, a residential neighborhood of clapboard houses on stilts and yards lush with banana trees and bougainvillea. Loo... More
  • Habano Cigar Store

    This small, trim shop has a no-nonsense atmosphere: two desks, four humidors, and one smoking chair, which keeps the focus squarely on cigars. Many... More
  • House of Culture Museum

    The stately oceanside mansion was the British governor's residence from 1812 to 1961; it now offers a look at an elegant, bygone era. Cases filled ... More
  • Image Factory Art Foundation

    Run by a nonprofit group promoting contemporary Central American and Caribbean artists, this shop features an impressive range of work, from quirky... More
  • Museum of Belize

    Small but jam-packed, the excellent museum has a native butterfly collection, historic photographs, and rare Mayan artifacts, such as geometric-pat... More
  • National Handicraft Center

    Skip the predictable coconut-shell earrings and head straight for this souvenir store's real draw: locally made condiments and spirits. Pick up jug... More
  • Record Shack

    Reggae music blares from the speakers outside this tiny store; inside there's an assortment of Caribbean-music CDs. Look for Belize-based label Sto... More
  • Riverside Tavern

    The improbable location—a fenced-off riverside lot, across from a power plant—is a downside worth overlooking at this swish sports bar–style spot. ... More
  • St. John's Anglican Cathedral

    Set on a tranquil plot dotted with teak trees, the steepled 1826 church is the oldest in Central America, and the only Anglican building outside of... More
  • Swing Bridge

    The hand-cranked drawbridge across Haul Over Creek, known as Swing Bridge, is the unofficial center of town. On the southern side of the bridge, yo... More

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