Belize City is one of the furthest west of all of the Caribbean Cruise Ports. Although located deep within Central America, residents of Belize actually speak English as their official language. The area was colonized by Britain up until 1981, so expect fun accents from the locals you’ll encounter.
The Belize economy is still considered as “developing.” You’ll likely see elevated levels of poverty as you interact more with the community. Some reports warn cruise passengers about local crime in Belize. To stay safe, we recommend participating with organized excursions rather than venturing off on your own.
As one of the Caribbean’s most popular port, Belize City receives roughly one million cruise passengers annually.
What to do in Belize City, Belize
During your Belize City port stop, you’ll find some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world. Located just offshore is the “Belize Barrier Reef,” part of the second largest reef in the world next to the Great Barrier Reef. If you’d like to enjoy the warm waters without strapping something to your face, you’ll find an abundance of water sports to choose from. For a more relaxed experience, you can explore the local wildlife or learn about the rich Mayan history and even visit the ruins.
The warm waters and white-sand beaches make for a great opportunity to rent some toys and to explore. Hop on a paddle board, jet ski, kayak, horse, para-sail, or other fun option to see as much of the island as you can.
Can you say, “stalagmites?” Cave tubing is one of the most popular things to do while in Belize City Cruise Port. And for good reason. You’ll site back, relax and float through cave systems while experiencing all of the natural embellishments of these dark and mysterious structures.
Belize has some great options for our nature-loving cruisers. There you’ll find hundreds of animals all native to Belize. You can expect everything from pigs to crocodiles to jaguars. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for kids. If you’re partial to feathered animals, consider going “birding.” The popular Belize City tour of “Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary” will introduce you to many fine-feathered friends. And finally, the Community Baboon Sanctuary is a fun option.
The Mayans’ rich cultural history is fascinating. For instance, did you know that they’d built their own saunas and ball courts? These can still be seen in the ruins today. You’ll find a number of excursions focused on exploring the rich history of the Mayans.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
It’s not often you get to dive the second largest reef in the world. We advise you take advantage of this underwater playground. You’ll find many tours offering access to the the “Belize Barrier Reef.” This 300 kilometer piece of reef makes up 1/3rd of the renowned Mesoamerian Barrier Reef. Nearly half of the annual visitors to Belize City come specifically to scuba or snorkel. It’s that good.
Shopping in Belize City, Belize
For shoppers hunting for big-ticket items or named brands, we’d advise that you save that purchase for another cruise port. Shopping in Belize City is best for souvenirs and locally crafted goods.
Within established stores, feel free to use your credit card. When doing business with smaller vendors, expect to use cash. They’ll accept USD but will likely give you back change in their local currency (which could be a fun souvenir in itself). Bargaining is somewhat expected with market vendors, but not common at larger retailers.
Tourist Village Flea Market
Find all kinds of locally created goods under vendor tents and lining table after table. Expect to find handmade jewelry, woven items like blankets and bags, and also carved wood. Be prepared to bargain. Vendors here will put the pressure on as you’re making your rounds. On cruise days, the flea market will be booming with excitement.
Directly across the street from Punta Langosta Port is the accompanying mall. Here you’ll find Starbucks (yay internet), Diamonds International, and other more prominent retailers. There’s also a Hooters, Hard Rock, Carlos n’ Charlies, and Senior Frogs if you’re interested in a bar tour. Just don’t miss the ship.
National Handicrafts Sales Center
Here you’ll find local artwork, handmade jewelry, pottery, coffee, chocolate and mahogany bowls among other crafts. The National Handicrafts Sales Center is located right in Belize City at 2 South Park St.
Beaches in Belize City, Belize
You'll find a couple great beach options nearby Belize City Cruise Port. You can't go wrong with either of these suggestions included below.
This is not just any beach. It’s a tropical island beach getaway. Caye Caulker is an island situated directly within the Belize Barrier Reef. On the island, you’ll find a magnificent beach to relax and take in the Caribbean. You’ll also have access to bathroom amenities, shopping, food and drink. Caye Caulker is only accessible via water taxi as it’s small-plane airport is currently closed. You’ll find numerous tours on Gangwaze with transportation to this exotic island.
For a phenomenal beach day, consider heading to Ambergris Caye from Belize City. It’s a bit of a hike, but well worth the trip. Ambergris Caye is Belize’s largest island and surrounded by white sand beaches. You’ll find multiple options to visit Ambergris Caye via organized tour.
Attractions in Belize City, Belize
Belize City offers all of the typical water-sport activities found in a beautiful Caribbean destination. You’ll have numerous options to enjoy the beaches and warm waters that surround the island. Here are some of the most popular (and lesser known) beach getaways from your cruise port.
Best cruise excursions in Belize City, Belize
We've analyzed tens of thousands of cruise tours to find your ideal attraction while in port. Based on these reviews, here are the Best Cruise Excursions in Belize City, Belize
If you’ can’t picture Belize’s location, think about it this way. Stand on the very southern tip of Florida and look directly south. Now turn right (west towards California) about 45 degrees. You’re now looking towards Mexico, Belize, and Honduras (about 500 miles in the distance).
Belize is the first country south of Mexico and is about the size of New Hampshire. Belize City is on the coast and located in the northern half of Belize. It has a population of roughly 75k (a quarter of the country’s as a whole).
Belize City, Belize Cruise Port Terminals
Belize City Port cannot accommodate cruise ships docking directly at the terminal. For that reason, you’ll need to “tender” into port. Your ship will dock a couple miles off the coast and smaller vessels will shuttle you in. The process will take roughly 20 minutes once you’re on board. Just make sure your watch is set to the proper time so you don’t miss the last tender back!