Info on Belize City

Old Jan 26th, 2002, 05:21 AM
Brenda Douglas
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Info on Belize City

Taking a cruise that includes Belize City..
should I take my camera or get a disposable?
We travel quite and bit and I realize one should always use common sense..but is Belize City one of the more aggressive areas?..(I've been to Jamaica and hated that..don't need 200 cab drivers trying to drag me off (too much work on vacation!)
Also what is the best things to do?? we enjoy snorkeling, animals and beautiful country...would appreciate any advice!!
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 06:49 AM
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Try the website It's a real informative site that Tony Rath has been doing for several years. We were in Belize several years ago, so things have probably changed some, but we were told to be very careful in Belize City-we only were at the airport for a transfer to our resort. Wonderful counry with extremely nice people.
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 07:28 AM
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I don't know what the excursion options are or whether you can arrange once you get there. But if you have a chance, go snorkeling, Belize is near the second largest barrier reef in the world (Great Barrier Reef bing the largest). We went on a day trip that included snorkeling at a reef, lunch on the island and then a visit to Shark/Ray alley where you can snorkel with rays and nurse sharks, not nearly as dangerous as it sounds.

We didn't spend any time in Belize City, we had heard that it was a bit dangerous so we stayed over on Ambergris Caye.

We also took a couple of other excursions-one to see the ruins at Lamanai and another to see manatees. Out of the three excursions, I'd definitely do the snorkeling trip. The ruins at Lamanai were interesting but if you've seen other Mayan ruins such as Tikal or Chichen Itza, this site isn't nearly on that scale.

You might be better off with a disposable camera, not necessarily because of theft but if you're on the water and your camera gets wet, you'd rather it be the disposable. You might also pick up an underwater camera if you do the snorkeling.
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 11:42 AM
Skip It
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Belize City makes Jamaica look like Disney Land.

Not so much that there are agressive touts, just a very unsafe/unsavory feeling.
Old Jan 27th, 2002, 02:08 PM
Lan Sluder
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You will not experience the kind of aggressiveness by taxi drivers and such as you find in some other countries. Belizeans are much too laid back.

Belize City does have a crime problem, but it rarely affects tourists. The Fort George area where your cruise ship will dock -- you'll be carried in on a tender -- is interesting and generally safe. It is patrolled by tourist police. The last thing the Belize government wants now is for a cruise ship passenger to be a victim of crime. You should know also that Belize has an "instant justice" system so that if a visitor, who might not normally be able to hang around for a trial, is a victim of a crime and the perpetrator is arrested, the perp is tried and, if found guilty, sentenced and sent to prison the SAME DAY.

You can carry your camera without concern other than routine precautions such as not leaving it unattended somewhere. I wouldn't wear a lot of diamonds or flash wads of hundred dollar bills around, but otherwise just the usual traveler cautions apply.

While, contrary to what some will tell you, Belize City merits some time, as its rickety and rafish charm are fast disappearing in the homogenized world we live in, you may also want to do a cruise tour or a tour to one of the Maya sites (to Xuxantunich or Altun Ha, the Belize Zoo a birding trip to Crooked Tree or a cave tubing trip.

Don't worry -- you'll have a great time in Belize City and elsewhere in Belize.

--Lan Sluder <I've been traveling in Belize for 12 years and have written or co-written six books on the country and have never been a victim of any crime in Belize>

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