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How is the situation on the ground in Belize City of late, would walking around and hitting these spots during the day be pretty safe overall, from your perspective? Otherwise, are there potentially local tour guides that would be willing to take you on a route similar to this for perhaps a nominal fee (like 20-25$ pp. for 2 hours?) I personally think it would be great fun, however I have unique tastes as I understand it, and most tourists that go there aren't going for the architecture and the history. I want to see a proud former capital of a country, and see how it has adjusted since the hurricane, and how it has and can use it's major tourist amenity (Mayan ruins/barrier reef), to transition itself into a cool and relaxing little base town for adventures. That said, if anyone also has recommended food stops, coffee shops, etc. I'm interested in that as well as most places in town have a limited number of Google reviews. FWIW, I may be doing an excursion here and not even have time to explore the town, but at the same time, I'd like to have the option as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for your input! I certainly will take that into account then. Out of curiosity, was this from the cruise itself, and how long ago were you given this guidance? I certainly believe whoever said it, but I wanted to make sure this was the most recent situation on the ground. That said, I'm not sure the risk vs. reward for a place like Belize City is all that great, as it's downtown likely doesn't have as much character even as a decent sized American coastal town like Beaufort or Galveston (roughly the same, maybe), let alone some of the Great Latin American cities/capitals I've had the chance to visit even right in the Caribbean (like San Juan). I'm very much leaning towards perhaps doing ruins here like say Xunantunich, though I have heard the barrier reef can be quite outstanding here. Is the reef snorkeling here much better than in Cozumel? Or could I just do that there and enjoy just as well? Belize City looks to have the best selection from a ruins standpoint.

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We ported in Belize last summer, just before the hurricane stuff hit. We never book excursions through the cruise line because they are overcrowded and over priced. When researching things to do (I was looking for water activities since it was August and they needed to be fairly cheap since we don’t want to spend a ton of money on excursions for a 5yrold and 7yrold), it was difficult to find things that were somewhat close to the ship. Since we'd never been before, I didn’t think trusting a local to take me 2 hours away would be a good idea. So, we decided to just get off and see what we found and see what excursions were offered by locals.

It was a big mistake. As soon as we were out of the port area, we were confronted by the normal locals trying to get you to buy their excursion. But I didn’t get a good feeling from any of them, so we decided to walk around and see the ‘sights’.... The city is very dirty and the streets were busy. We weren’t messed with too much on our walk, but the smells and sights were bad. We made it up to the downtown area and then came back to the ship. If anything, it was a lesson to our kids that not everyone lives the life they live, and they should be grateful for what they have.

With all of that said, I wouldn’t recommend winging it and planning to buy an excursion when you get off the ship. Find something you like before hand and book it.

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Thank you for your input! Yeah, that seems to be a 2 for 2 for the fact that doing the self guided walk here:




...is not the best idea. I have been around other LatAm and Caribbean port cities (Nassau, San Juan, etc.) on walks like this and I haven't had much trouble, but I'm getting the impression the city isn't as safe and pedestrian friendly or with as many noteworthy sites as these have.


That said, I know that the cruise excursions might be somewhat overpriced, but whether I do cruise excursion or independent company excursion, I will sign up for something in advance. I haven't decided which yet, though for certain. I know in one of Cozumel or Belize City I would like to a ruin tour, and in the other of the two I wouldn't mind doing something on the water, but I'm not sure which. I'm leaning towards booking an excursion to Xunantunich in Belize City, and doing something water related or just eating at a few places and walking around in Cozumel, but that is not set in stone yet, either.

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  • 1 month later...

We have toured some of the ruins available while in Belize and have used some of the private tours (available through the folks at the terminal area) that went throughout the general city areas - both "good" and "bad" areas. All with positive results. Never felt unsafe or uneasy. Had an enjoyable time. I took a quick look at the URL you shared. My knowledge of the geography of Belize City is far from intimate but my memory tells me that the tour, as suggested, would be very long and difficult. From a safety point of view I think it would be a personal decision. If you carry yourself well and are not afraid of "casual conflict" I would guess you would be OK but it will still be unnecessary. Too many "easy" ways to see the city. Just my opinion.

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My experience. I hired a local guide to show our family of four the 'real' Belize. It was a joke. I don't remember his name, but I did a review to save others.

When we got back and dropped off at the cruise terminal, the other three wanted to walk around and look at some of the vendors outside the gate. I advised against it. If we were there more than five minutes, I would be surprised. It was like being swarmed by insects. Literally three or four deep with people yelling at us. Others might have a different view/experience. Would I give it a go again, sure. But we were there last January and none of us took the tender to go ashore and enjoyed the ship being less crowded. Notice I said "less crowded". We were definitely not the only ones who stayed on the ship.

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