Away from the cosmopolitan cities, Belize shows its true roots. Mayan ruins hide deep within areas of dense jungle that are also home to many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Where there are protected areas, common inhabitants include howler monkeys and jaguars. The coast is dotted with tropical beaches that the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea gently wash over. One of the country’s proudest and most famous features is Belize Barrier Reef, which attracts scuba divers and snorkellers from all over the globe.
Popular Ports in Belize
Belize City Port
The port of Belize is located in Belize City, which sits on the eastern, Caribbean coast of the country. Tender boats are required to bring cruise ship passengers to the city harbour, as the water in the harbour is too shallow for the ships to dock, and so they anchor a few miles off shore. Belize City is a lively place to enjoy a few hours of browsing various sites and attractions.
There are a couple of museums that tell the story of the country’s history and how this has influenced Belize’s diverse culture, with the Museum of Belize being of particular interest. Also worth visiting is St John’s Cathedral and Baron Bliss Lighthouse, which sits next to the colourful ‘Belize’ sign. Popular foods here include panades, which are Belize’s take on empanadas and are often served with salsa, tamales made with plantain leaves and Creole-style rice and beans.
What are the best cruise ships for a cruise to Belize?
Enjoy a cruise to Belize and you’ll be treated to a luxurious and unforgettable experience that will keep you both relaxed and entertained for the entire duration of your journey.
Marella Discovery 2
Come on board Marella Discovery 2 for a cruise experience like no other. All Inclusive comes as standard, meaning most meals, drinks and activities are included, letting you enjoy value for money as well as peace of mind. You’ll love the choice on offer at meal times, as the ship boasts a total of seven restaurants. Cuisines range from Asian to Italian, with even a surf and turf steakhouse eatery serving comfortably familiar dishes.
Evening entertainment is just as varied, with West-End style shows performed at the Broadway Show Lounge and an open-air cinema experience with Movies by Moonlight. The kids will love Splash Live, an interactive show with songs and games, as well as the clubs that run during the day.
Shore excursion ideas
Keep the adventure going by heading ashore to explore everything that Belize has to offer, including intriguing historical buildings, Mayan ruins and exotic areas full of natural beauty.
Discovering Belize City’s past
Belize Museum was once Belize City’s prison during British rule in the Victorian era. It was closed down in 1992 then 10 years later it was transformed into an art and history museum. It’s located in the Fort George area of downtown Belize City, making it an easy walk from the harbour. You can see a large selection of Mayan artifacts exhibited here, including carvings and paintings, as well as many Colonial objects. During your sightseeing tour, also be sure to visit the Anglican St John’s Cathedral that was built in the early 19th century.
Community Baboon Sanctuary
The howler monkey, or baboon, is one of Belize’s many native animals. And there are more than 3,500 of them at the Community Baboon Sanctuary, which is around 45 minutes away from the centre of Belize City. It’s a community-based organisation run by a local Women’s Conservation Group that works to protect these beautiful and intelligent mammals. There are also more than 250 species of bird here.
The guides are very informed about the monkeys and delight in talking about their habits and behaviour. As well as spotting the monkeys in the trees, you may also get to feed them.
Explore the Altun Ha Ruins
Around a one-hour bus ride from Belize City are the Altun Ha Ruins. They are some of the most well-known Mayan ruins in the whole country and by far the easiest to reach from the centre of Belize City. They are comprised of temples and other intriguing structures, some of which you may be able to climb, depending on your tour guide’s instructions. The views from the ruins are simply spectacular.
Your knowledgeable tour guide will also talk about Mayan culture, giving you an excellent understanding of their history and why they built the very ruins you’re exploring today.
Top ports of call in this destination
- Belize City