Belize City

The Victorian Museum of Belize
The Swing Bridge
Electrifying Caribbean rhythms

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Belize City

A Tribute to Peter Wallace, the Pirate

For those who spend some time in Belize City during an MSC Caribbean cruise to Belize, this town will reveal a distinguished history, several superb sights and fascinating cultural spectacles. The city’s astonishing energy comes from its 76,000-plus inhabitants, who represent every ethnic group in the country, with the Creole descendants of former slaves and British Baymen forming the dominant element and generating an easy-going Caribbean atmosphere.

This relaxed attitude blends with an entrepreneurial flair, for Belize City is the country’s business capital; banks, offices and shops line the main streets, while fruit and fast-food vendors jostle for pavement space with others selling plastic bowls or cheap jewellery. The jubilant September Celebrations, which pack the already full streets with music, dancing and parades, culminate in Carnival, with gorgeously costumed dancers who shimmer and gyrate through the city to electrifying Caribbean rhythms.

A holiday to Belize will show you two of the very best colonial structures carefully restored which are open to visitors; the former city jail, built in Victorian times, now the Museum of Belize, and the even earlier Government House, a museum and cultural centre. The city is divided neatly into north and south halves by Haulover Creek, a delta branch of the Belize River.

The pivotal point of the city centre is the Swing Bridge, always busy with traffic and occasionally opened up to allow larger vessels up and down. The surrounding Belize District, which extends north, west and south of the city, is tailor-made for excursions and includes some of the country’s top sights, including the Altun Ha Maya site, the splendid Belize Zoo and the Community Baboon Sanctuary.

Must see places in Belize City

Discover our excursions

13 results found

  • ADVENTURE OF THE LOST CRYSTAL CAVES & ZIP LINE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ06

    Your excursion begins at the pier where you’ll board your air-conditioned transportation for the drive into the jungle. Your tour guide will give a brief history of Belize, its people and culture along the way, as you drive through savannas and quaint villages to Jaguar Jungle Camp. Upon arrival, trained staff will fit you with your harness and give you a safety briefing before you start your zipline adventure. Throughout your visit, survey the incredible natural beauty, acknowledging that this is one of the sacred spaces of the ancient Mayans whose underworld of caves and tree canopies were used to send offerings to their gods. You’ll take a short winding trail through thick jungle, where the towering cohune palms dwarf you, to a limestone cliff that is your launching pad to zipline. Feel the rush as you fly 500 feet across the jungle for a bird’s eye view of a cavernous opening to one of the Maya’s ancient ceremonial caves. Your next traverse takes you to an unrivalled 700 feet across the jungle. With your adrenaline pumping, you’ll switch gears from harness to life vests as the second leg of your quest begins, putting you up close and personal in the environment of the crystal caves phenomenon. Your tube ride finds you floating through a chamber where you will marvel at the crystal-stalactites cave formations. You’ll leave your tube and walk inside the crystal chamber to explore the sacred underworld of the Mayans. Notice the pottery used by the Maya in ancient sacrificial ceremonies dating back to 300 to 900 A.D. Your path takes you through a tiny passage where you’ll find yourself in front of a frozen waterfall column and glittering rim stone dam that is simple amazing. Once back on your tube, you’ll make your way to an underground lagoon, listen and relax to the sound of the water streams throughout the cave system signaling the end of your subterranean adventure. You’ll walk back to base camp where you’ll change to dry clothes, enjoy a Belizean Lunch or do some shop for souvenirs before your transportation takes you back to the pier.Please note: Pregnant women, guests with neck, back, shoulder and knee injury, heat trouble, seizure disorders, asthmatic as well as guests with disabilities such as blindness and balance disorder are not allowed to participate on this tour. What to bring: Swim suits, dry clothing, towel, repellent, cash/credit card and sunscreen. Water shoes and lockers are available for rent. Minimum age to participate on tour is 8 years and minimum height 48 inches tall.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      6:30 h

    • Adults£95.00Price per person

    • Children£89.00Price per person

  • AIRBOAT SAFARI RIDE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ10

    You will be met at the tender pier and board an air conditioned bus for a 35 minutes guided partial city tour of historical Belize while heading out to the Airboat Outpost. Your tour guide will acquaint you with the rich history of the city from its establishment by shipwrecked British sailors in 1683 to modern day. This transfer takes you up the George Price Highway to Almond Hill Lagoon, where you receive a short orientation and safety briefing before boarding your airboat. Skim across Almond Hill Lagoon before cutting the engine to drift near a feeding site for endangered manatees. Then cruise to Indian Creek and explore a pristine marsh lined with mangroves. Only inches deep, the marsh is home to brightly colored water lilies, wading birds, turkey buzzards, and even crocodiles. After your marsh adventure, cruise back to the Airboat Outpost where you can purchase your tour pictures, cold drinks and a snack at an additional cost.Please note: Wildlife sightings, while common, are not guaranteed. A liability waiver must be completed prior to participating on this tour. The minimum age to participate in this tour is 5 years old. Pregnant women are prohibited from participating in this tour. Guests with prior or current neck injuries, or who have difficulty with or limited mobility, and any guest with disabilities such as blindness or balance disorder are prohibited from participating in this tour. Guests should wear insect repellent.
    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      2:30 h

    • Adults£69.00Price per person

    • Children£62.00Price per person

  • BACAB ECO PARK HORSEBACK SAFARI

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ12

    Discover the natural beauty of Belize while exploring the tropical forest on horseback. You'll have a 40 minute air-conditioned bus ride to Bacab Eco Park where you will be paired with a horse that matches your riding skills. Mounting your horse is easy as mounting mounds are provided elevating your position for easy access onto your horses back. Follow your guide into the forest on horseback and listen as you may hear Black Howler Monkeys and parrots call out across the forest. Gaze across the river and see the iguanas taking refuge on the treetops. Ride your horse back to the Eco-Park and enjoy a typical Belizean lunch. Afterwards, kick up your heels and relax in one of our many hammocks in the shade of a Buttonwood tree or cool down in our exotic free form pool with sculptured water fall and water slide. If relaxing isn't your speed, then learn about the many medicinal uses of our native plants on Ixchel's Walk, a self-guided botanical/medicinal trail.Please note: The minimum age to participate in this tour is 8 years old, while the maximum age is 75 years. The maximum weight is 235 lbs. Pregnant women and persons with any back, neck, or hip injury are not permitted on this excursion. Closed toe shoes, sunscreen, insect repellant, swimwear and a towel are recommended. Safety helmets are provided.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£75.00Price per person

    • Children£69.00Price per person

  • BACAB ECO PARK KAYAK CREEK EXPEDITION

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ11

    This dual excursion combines the thrill of kayaking through pristine jungle with a relaxing day at an Eco Park. After your briefing, don your life jackets and climb into your 2-man kayak. Your one hour Kayak creek expedition begins in a narrow creek shaded by the swamp Kaway trees and lined with arrow head plants and water lilies. The creek then widens into the tranquil waters of a small lagoon which when clear, many tropical fishes may be seen. Search overhead where sometimes parrots, Boat Billed Herons, Coatis and Howler Monkeys share the canopy. Keep an eye out for turtles, juvenile crocodiles, and possibly a lizard with an extremely long tail skimming across the surface of the water, upright! Return to the Park and enjoy a typical Belizean lunch. Afterwards, kick up your heels and relax in one of our many hammocks in the shade of a Buttonwood tree or cool down in our exotic free form pool with sculptured water fall and water slide. If relaxing isn't your speed, then learn about the many medicinal uses of our native plants on Ixchel's Walk, a self-guided botanical/medicinal trail. Before boarding your transportation for the return ride back to your ship you'll have time to visit the gift shop where you can find a variety of handicraft and souvenirs to serve as a memento of this fun filled day.Please note: The minimum age to participate in this tour is 8 years old, while the maximum age is 75 years. The maximum weight is 235 lbs. Pregnant women and persons with any back, neck, or hip injury are not permitted on this excursion. Closed toe shoes, sunscreen, insect repellant, swimwear and a towel are recommended. Life jackets are provided.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults£72.00Price per person

    • Children£65.00Price per person

  • BARRIER REEF SNORKEL & STARFISH PRIVATE ISLAND GETAWAY

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ14

    Enjoy your snorkeling adventure onboard the Angel Ray or Coral Blue, boats specially designed to enhance your snorkeling experience and provide comfort and safety. Travel through crystal clear waters to your snorkeling destination, the Great Barrier Reef, (approximately 30 minutes) for an enjoyable and exciting experience. See the multi-color coral formation artistically displayed providing shelter and safety to the abundant reef life such as aquarium fishes, snappers, barracudas, sting rays, lobster, conch and many others. Your guide will assist you with your gear and show you a few simple techniques to make your snorkeling adventure, safe, fun and exciting. Enjoy the rich, pristine waters, abundant reef life and magnificent coral formations. After your snorkeling adventure, sit back and enjoy a drink of Starfish Island Rum Punch while you travel leisurely to Starfish Private Island. Sunbathe, swim, enjoy the beach, music, amenities of the island and sit under the large shaded palapa relaxing the time away before heading back to your ship.Please note: This is a guided "follow the lead - guide" tour assisted by tour guides in the water, life rings and kayaks for those who need special assistance. Snorkel mask, snorkel, fins and floatation device provided for your use and included in the cost of the tour. Food and additional drinks are available to purchase at an additional cost. Guests are recommended to bring an underwater camera, sun protection, towel, water shoes, sunglasses and a hat.
    • Drink included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£62.00Price per person

    • Children£52.00Price per person

  • BELIZE CAVE TUBING ADVENTURE

    ACTIVE & ADVENTURE

    BLZ09

    Your excursion begins at the pier where you’ll board your air-conditioned transportation for the drive into the jungle. Along the way, your tour guide will share a brief history of Belize, its people and culture on an approximately 90-minute drive through savannahs and quaint villages to your destination at Jaguar Jungle Camp. Upon arrival at Jaguar Jungle, you’ll be greeted by trained staff, outfitted with your gear, and given a safety briefing before hiking down to the clear waters of the Caves Branch River. Jump into your tube and feel the excitement as you float into mysterious limestone archways beckoning you into the mouth of centuries old caves that hold untold stories of Mayan rituals. Explore the many awe-inspiring formations that adorn these caves. Learn about the flora and fauna that surrounds them. Enjoy the refreshing cool water as it takes you down small rapids, letting the meandering currents guide you where they will. Just relax and sit back in your tube, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the jungle, and let go as your guide leads you through the currents that continue to carve and shape these natural wonders. Exhilarated and energized from your adventure, make your way out the river and up to the Bushcamp Café where you can purchase and enjoy a delicious Belizean Lunch, cold beers and tour pictures or shop for souvenirs. On your ride back to the pier, where your ship awaits, reflect on the marvelous expedition you’ve just completed.Please note: The minimum age to participate on this tour is 8 years old and the minimum height is 48 inches tall. Pregnant women, guests with neck, back, shoulder and knee injury, heat trouble, seizure disorders, asthmatic, are prohibited from participating on this tour. Also, Guests with disabilities such as blindness and balance disorder are prohibited from participating on this tour. Lockers are available for rent for additional cost of $5 USD for small, and $7 USD for large. Water shoes are also available for rent at an additional cost of $5 USD each. At tour location guests cannot leave their personal belongings on bus. Guests must be in good physical condition and able to do a 30 minute hike to the cave entrance. A liability waiver must be signed prior to participating on this tour. Guests should bring their swimsuit, towel, insect repellent, cash for additional purchases and sun protection.
    • Drink included

    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      5:30 h

    • Adults£69.00Price per person

    • Children£59.00Price per person

  • CALYPSO TRAIN TOUR

    CITY TOUR

    BLZ07

    Step aboard the Calypso Train and explore Belize City’s colorful sights, sounds and history on your open-air trolley tour. Enjoy the cool ocean breeze as your experienced guide details the rich history and cultural diversity of this former British colony. You will travel downtown through the old city quarter, the hub of present day commercial activity and yet you will feel you have stepped back in time. Built in horse and buggy time, these narrow streets are lined with quaint shops and small boutique hotels. Enjoy the fine examples of Colonial architecture, a delightful blend of old and new. Then on to travel the contrasting city districts, from the former British Governor’s Mansion and affluent residential areas to the working class neighborhoods that brim with daily tropical life along the street sides. You will see the first Anglican Church in Central America, built by slaves using ballast bricks from merchant ships. St. John’s Cathedral was constructed in 1812 and has survived two hurricanes to become the oldest building in Belize. No tour of Belize City is complete without a trip over the Swing Bridge, said to be the only manually operated bridge of its kind still in operation. Built in 1922, it is swung open by a team of four men every morning and evening to allow the sailboats through. Your guided tour returns to the Tourism Village where you will be able to browse for local handicrafts and souvenirs before returning to your ship.Please note: Should inclement weather be forecast be sure to bring a rain poncho or other rain gear. Guests are recommended to bring their camera.
    • Snack included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      1:25 h

    • Adults£29.00Price per person

    • Children£29.00Price per person

  • LAMANAI & THE NEW RIVER SAFARI

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    BLZ02

    A 45-minute drive up the Northern Highway brings you to Tower Hill, where you will board a riverboat and head up the New River. While traversing the many little creeks and lagoons, sightings of hawks, kites and falcons are common. Dainty Jacanas lightly walk on the lily pads while crocodiles bask in the morning sunlight. At the entrance to the New River Lagoon, the ruins of Lamanai (Mayan for "Submerged Crocodile") rise into view. While touring this site, huge masks depicting dead rulers and gods seem to materialize out of the rainforest, amid the chatter of birdlife and the haunting call of the Howler Monkeys. Your experienced guide will point out sites of importance and interest as well as detailing a full history of the Lamanai site. This tour includes a full buffet lunch on site at Lamanai.Please note: Sightings of wildlife are not guaranteed. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility, trouble walking or for guests using wheelchairs, scooters or strollers as the trails are bumpy and cannot accommodate them. The climbing of the Temples is optional, however no climbing will be permitted if there is rain and the temples are wet.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      7 h

    • Adults£82.00Price per person

    • Children£75.00Price per person

  • HOWLER MONKEY SANCTUARY & BELIZE ZOO

    NATURAL WONDERS

    BLZ08

    Your excursion begins at the pier where you’ll board your air-conditioned transportation for a driving tour of Belize City. Belize City, the Capital, is the country’s only genuine urban area. It is also the commercial and cultural center of the country. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, learn about the economic, historic and cultural aspects of Belizean life. View the significant landmarks and beautiful colonial buildings as your guide calls out the various points of interest around town. You’ll continue on into the country for a visit to the Community Baboon Sanctuary, a pioneering project in voluntary grassroots conservation by the local villagers. See the Black Howler Monkey (known as the "Baboon" in the local Creole dialect) in their natural setting of the rainforest where they can be protected in a sustainable environment. An American primatologist, Dr. Robert Horwich, along with a local landowner named Fallet Young, founded the sanctuary. Started in 1985 with the initial participation of 12 landowners, it has grown and now helps to ensure the protection of not just Black Howler Monkeys, but many species of flora and fauna in the area. Today, the population of the Black Howler Monkey in the sanctuary is thriving with more than 2,000 monkeys in residence. After this portion of the tour is finished you will be treated with a few cultural demonstrations; Flybrush Making, Rice beating and you will also be able to do cashew wine tasting. After your sanctuary tour, it’s time for lunch. Your transportation will transfer you to a local favorite called "Iguana Stop" for a delicious sit-down meal. Enjoy a traditional Belizean banquet of rice and beans, stewed chicken and coleslaw. Then board your transportation as you’ll travel to The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. Located on 29 acres of tropical savannah, this animal preserve features more than 125 animals that are native to Belize. The zoo’s inhabitants consist of orphaned offspring, animals born in captivity, rehabilitated animals, or those sent to the Belize Zoo as gifts from other zoological institutions. Here, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the unique wildlife of Belize on a guided tour. At the end of your zoo tour, be sure to stop at the gift shop for a memento of your visit before heading back to the pier.Please note: The minimum age to participate in this tour is 5 years old. This tour involves a considerable amount of standing and walking. A liability waiver must be completed prior to participating on this tour. Pregnant women are prohibited from participating in this tour. Guests with prior or current neck injuries, or who have difficulty with or limited mobility, and any guest with disabilities such as blindness or balance disorder are prohibited from participating in this tour.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      6 h

    • Adults£69.00Price per person

    • Children£62.00Price per person

  • A TALE OF TWO CITIES: ALTUN HA & BELIZE CITY

    SCENIC ROUTE

    BLZ01

    This fascinating half-day tour focuses on the contrast between the ancient Mayan city of Altun Ha and modern-day Belize City, highlighting 1000 years of development. A guided tour of Altun Ha (Mayan for "Rock Stone Water") will show you how this site thrived as a trading post to the Mayan World during the Post Classic and Classic periods. The site was made world famous by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum on his finding the largest carved Jade Head depicting the Sun God "Kinich Ahau". Weighing in at almost nine pounds, this has been Belize's most valuable find. Belize City today is home to about 35% of the country's population and remains the commercial capital of the country, the official capital was moved in 1971 to Belmopan in the interior. Your tour will pass by historical sites such as the Redbrick St. John's Cathedral, where Kings from the Mosquito Coast were crowned, and the colonial mansion once occupied by British Governors. You will note the colonial wooden architecture of many of the houses throughout your tour. The tour ends with a complimentary drink being served before walking a short distance back to the pier along with your guide.Please note: Walking is done on flat terrain. The climbing of the Temples is optional, however no climbing will be permitted if there is rain and the temples are wet. Should you wish to return directly to the ship and not partake of the included beverage you will be dropped off by bus at the pier.
    • Drink included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£49.00Price per person

    • Children£39.00Price per person

  • STARFISH PRIVATE ISLAND GETAWAY

    SEA & SUN

    BLZ13

    Sun bathe, swim, relax, play volley ball or a game of tug of war, kayak, boogie board the waves, play in the kiddies playground, enjoy great music or have your favorite ice cold local beer, mixed or frozen drink at the Barracuda Bar while you are entertained by an Elvis Presley impersonator. So many options for you to enjoy while relaxing the day away on this private island getaway. A 15 minute boat ride from the cruise ship anchorage brings you to a gentle beguiling scene that radiates a sense of calm excitement. A sandy beach covers the entire breadth of this magnificent private island as lapping waves rob it of its glowing jewels with every whooshing visit ashore. Starfish go about their merry way in the shallows scattered around the island. You can even interact with them in the starfish pond. Coconut trees, palm trees and mangrove brushes drizzle over the entire island creating a sense of isolated yet civilized ambiance. Small private palapas dress the beach, as the turquoise, blue, green waters invite you in. Visit the Barracuda Bar with its flaunting music, ice cold local beers, frozen margaritas, coladas and exotic drinks all available for purchase at an additional cost. Leave your cares behind as you enjoy your day on this private island getaway.Please note: Guests are recommended to wear comfortable beach attire and swimsuit, and are recommended to bring a camera, towel, water shoes, sun protection and a hat.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£52.00Price per person

    • Children£45.00Price per person

  • Van with Driver and Guide 3-6 pax YC

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    BLZ89YC

    Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals. The price is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Larger vans can be arranged upon request.
    • No guide available

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults£389.00Price per person

    • Children£389.00Price per person

  • Van with Driver and Guide 3-6 pax YC

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    BLZ90YC

    Disembark in the port and have a vehicle with a professional guide and driver waiting for you, your family and friends. Create your own tour and enjoy your day with a vehicle at your disposal. Please note: Vehicle, driver, guide and gasoline included. The price does not include any entrance fees or meals. The price is per vehicle and not per passenger. If you want to set a customized itinerary and add entrance tickets to any of the tourist attractions, please contact your shorex excursion staff on the ship. Larger vans can be arranged upon request.
    • No guide available

    • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Easy

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults£509.00Price per person

    • Children£509.00Price per person

The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
 
Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Belize

A pre-Columbian civilization
A pre-Columbian civilization

A cruise to Belize offers a phenomenal range of experiences: snorkel the longest barrier reef in the Americas; dive the inky depths of the Blue Hole; and embark on thigh-aching treks up soaring Maya pyramids. And while geographically it may belong to Central America, at heart Belize is Caribbean, a combination that serves to create a unique blend of both cultures. Wedged into the north-eastern corner of Central America, Belize features some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the Caribbean.

Throw in vast archaeological sites and wildlife to rival any destination in the region, and it’s easy to see why the number of visitors is steadily rising year upon year. Belizean territory comprises marginally more sea than land, and for most visitors the sea is the main attraction. An astonishing natural wonder lies just offshore – the dazzling turquoise shallows and cobalt depths of the barrier reef.

Beneath the surface, a brilliant technicolour world of fish and corals awaits divers and snorkelers, while a chain of islands known as cayes, scattered along the entire reef, protects the mainland from the ocean swell and holds more than a hint of tropical paradise. Beyond the reef lie the real jewels in Belize’s natural crown – three of the only four coral atolls in the Caribbean.