Belmopan is the capital of Belize, nearer the geographic center of the country than (former capital) Belize City. It was established following the massive damage that occurred when Hurricane Hattie struck Belize City in 1961; an inland location was deemed a safer location for the national government than the low-lying seaside metropolis of Belize City.
Getting in to Belmopan is easy; two highways serve as a entrance to Belmopan: the Hummingbird Highway and Western Highway. Travel from Belmopan to Belize City using the novelos or the batty bus lines is less than US$6 (BZD12) per person.
Buses to and from Belize City leave on or close to the hour. Express buses take an hour to an hour and a half, whilst non-express buses can take up to two hours to travel between the cities.
You can get around Belmopan by car or taxi, but Belmopan is a small city. Walking can get you around and really show you the true city.
There is a taxi rank at the Belmopan bus station in Market Plaza. Always agree on the price before getting into a taxi. Most taxi fares within Belmopan will cost between $5-10 Belizean dollars, longer trips will incur a larger fee.
There is The Artbox, an art gallery which is great for tourists.
Belmopan is a good place to walk around the neighborhoods and market plazas. It is a great place to discover, as it has a low crime rate and is very laid back and relaxing.
The Belize Zoo is only a few miles down the road from Belmopan and can be reached by bus or by taxi. The zoo houses a wide range of wildlife native to Belize, most of which have been rescued.
Caves Branch is also a short distance from Belmopan and offers cave tubing and zip lining tours.
Things to buy in Belmopan include Belizean groceries and gifts from the gift shops. Angelus Press is a great place to shop for gifts where you can buy flags, maps, books and Belizean trinkets.
Every Tuesday and Friday there is a market day held in the center of the city. Many locals set up booths selling inexpensive clothes, DVDs, trinkets, food, and produce. Many Belizians from surrounding towns and villages ride the bus to get to Belmopan's market day so it is a great way to experience the culture. If you want to experience it at its busiest point, plan to come early, because many booths close downs during the hottest part of the day.
There are a lot of clean Chinese-owned restaurants in Belmopan that make great Belizean food.
A number of small food stalls can be found in Market Square near the bus station.
Corkers restaurant (also near the bus station) offers a wider variety of western foods than most.
Drink only the bottled water.
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