Belize City / Belize

Belize City / Belize


With Belize we get to know a country located on the Caribbean Sea. It borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. During our school days we got to know the former British crown colony under the name British Honduras.

Belize City - Haulover Creek in front of us

Belize City - Haulover Creek in front of us


Unlike the other Central American countries, Belize does not have direct access to the Pacific Ocean. This circumstance explains the motto in the country's coat of arms “Sub Umbra Floreo”, which means something like “I bloom in the shade”. Belize lies in the “shadow” of its neighboring countries.

Belize – some history

Before the beginning of colonization, the country was populated by Mayans, who created important centers with huge buildings. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquerors, who were omnipresent at the time, tried to take possession of the country. However, the land seizure did not go as planned. For many years the country remained a lawless area dominated mainly by pirates. From the beginning of the 19th century, the country was de facto under British protection. Even later, in the second half of the 19th century, the British established the legal form of a British crown colony.

Mayan site Lamanai - the high temple

Mayan site Lamanai - the high temple


This continued until 1981. In September of that year, the “crown” granted the country independence in the legal form of a parliamentary monarchy. British Honduras was renamed Belize. The head of state is the English king, who is represented locally by a governor general. Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and is the only English-speaking country in Central America.

Belize in numbers

To get an idea of ​​Belize, let's compare its size with that of the federal state of Hesse. In terms of area, Belize, with 22.965 square kilometers, exceeds Hesse by almost nine percent. However, when it comes to population, the countries are worlds apart. In 2023, Hesse will have more than 6,3 million inhabitants. Belize, on the other hand, had just 2011 citizens in the 312.000 census. Official estimates for 2021 put the population at just over 430.000. The country is divided into six provinces. The population density of 23 people per square kilometer is definitely the lowest in Central America and one of the lowest in the world.

Belize's dominant economic sector is - as in colonial times - the timber industry. Belize is best known for its mahogany wood extraction. It formed the economic basis of the British colony in the 18th and 19th centuries. Agriculture is less important, contributing around 20 percent of the gross domestic product. A growing industry now and in the future is tourism.

The cruise destination Belize City, the country's largest city, is home to 66.000 people (July 2021 estimate). Other cities only have 10.000 to 15.000 inhabitants. This also applies to the inland capital Belmopan. As of July 80, around 2021 residents live in the government headquarters, which is around 27.000 kilometers from Belize City.

Cruise ship Carnival Legend in anchorage off Belize

Cruise ship Carnival Legend in anchorage off Belize


Belize – the country of natural parks and reserves

In this sector, the country benefits from its largely untouched nature. Tropical rainforests cover 40 percent of the country's area. By establishing nature parks and reserves, the landscape, which was worthy of protection, was enhanced and protected from negative influences. The variety of plants is amazingly diverse. More than 200 species of orchids and over 500 native tree species thrive in the country. The wildlife is varied and interesting. Monkeys, armadillos, jaguars, river crocodiles and tapirs, among others, live in the rainforests.

On the road in the rainforest of Belize


On the road in the rainforest of Belize


Belize - fed spider monkey in the nature park


Belize - fed spider monkey in the nature park 


The second largest coral reef in the world stretches off the coast. It extends from Cancún in Mexico in the north through Belize to Honduras. Belize also claims three of the four atolls in the Caribbean. There are also many dream islands off the coast. Water sports enthusiasts, especially divers and snorkelers, will get their money's worth in Belize.

Belize – destination for cruise ships

The destination of the cruise ships heading to Belize is Belize City. The port city does not offer any berths for cruise ships. More than 200 ships are moored off Belize City and bring their passengers ashore in tender boats at Belize's Tourism Village. The “tourist town” offers its visitors shops, restaurants and tour providers. Belize City is the starting point for shore excursions and water sports. The city itself is not comparable to destinations like Key West, Cozumel and similar cruise destinations.

Belize City - Waterfront

Belize City - Waterfront


We list the most attractive places for cruise tourists Belize attractions .

Update May 2024