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Located on the east coast of Belize at the mouth of the Belize River, Belize City sits on a peninsula jutting into the Caribbean Sea. As the nation's main port, the city is a hub for cruise ships and is often a jumping-off spot for excursions to other parts of Belize, including the Cayo District's caves and Maya archaeological sites along the Macal and Belize rivers. Belize City boasts the only manual swing bridge in the world and the oldest Anglican cathedral in Central America.
Gateway to Belize, Tikal in Guatemala and the numerous Río Bec ruins, Chetumal is the capital of Quintana Roo state. Buses connect major cities, including those in Belize (hired cars cannot be taken across the Belize border). The busy city's old town boasts a Caribbean feel. The excellent, interactive Museo de la Cultura Maya offers fascinating insights to anyone planning to follow the dramatic Río Bec ruin route. The vine-strewn ruins are rich in wildlife and give the sense of stumbling upon a Lost World.
Located near the Mexico-Belize border, a true paradise awaits travellers in Bacalar. The town sits on the Lagoon of Seven Colours, a lake nicknamed for its beautifully coloured water, which makes it the perfect place for stunning sunsets, fresh seafood, and cenote swimming.
Love culture, not crowds? Leave the bustle of Belize City for quieter Dangriga, at the end of the Hummingbird Highway. The town is a suitable base for exploring the Stann Creek district: visit the Maya centre and the world's first jaguar preserve, explore the beach and try snorkeling at the reef a few miles out.
Smaller and more intimate than popular resort areas such as San Ignacio and Belize City, the modest capital of Belmopan is nonetheless a vibrant city surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. Next to the bustling Market Square, Independence Plaza is home to the prime minister's offices, various pedestrian pathways and the National Assembly Building, designed to resemble a Mayan temple. Outside the city lay the spectacular Guancaste Park as well as the astonishing Hummingbird Highway.