- Type: Neighborhood/Area
- Time to Spend: More than Full Day
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Belize City, the country's business epicenter, splits into two distinct areas: the North and the South. Haulover Creek separates the two regions; however, travelers can pass between the North and South by crossing the Swing Bridge. On the southern side of the bridge, you'll find a lively market and shopping area. North of the bridge lies Fort George, an upscale neighborhood that beams with tropical banana trees and a lighthouse overlooking the harbor. Most of the action in Belize is oriented around the city's peninsula, which extends outward to the Caribbean Sea and peers over the northern cays. You'll likely want to spend minimal time in the inner city and instead use the area as a base for exploring nearby rural rainforests, cays, and Mayan ruins.
Recent visitors praise Belize City's close proximity to the cays and atolls, but highlight two major drawbacks: little activity within the city and a heavy crime rate. One VirtualTourist user advises, "For tourism activities, you can use this as a hub, but there's not much to do in Belize City itself." While Belize City's crime rate remains high, it has decreased significantly over the past 10 years. Although crimes against tourists are uncommon, those venturing into the inner city should avoid flashing any expensive objects. At night, opt to take a taxi or rental car rather than exploring on foot. Taxi fares start at about $6 BZD (roughly $3 USD). For further details, consult our guide to Getting Around Belize.