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Belize City was founded in the mid-17th century by British lumber jacks. Before the arrival of the British the Mayan city of Holzuz had been here. The city was located on the sea, at the mouth of several rivers and creeks used by the lumber industry. It slowly grew into what is now the economic and cultural centre of the country, with a population of about 70,000 people. It is no longer the capital, as Belmopan became the capital in 1970 after a devastating hurricane destroyed most of the city.
The city is divided into two main areas. The Northside is bordered by Haulover Creek and bordered to the east by the Fort George area. The Southside extends to the outskirts of the city and the Port area, which includes downtown. Politically the city is divided into ten constituencies but most people just talk about the Northside and the Southside.
Belize City has a tropical climate with generally warm to hot weather with high humidity. Temperatures usually hover around 30 °C during the day and 23 °C at night. December to April is the best time to visit because it is the dry and sunny season, while from June to November it is rainy season with occasional hurricanes possible from August onwards.
|Avg Max||27.6 °C||28.3 °C||29.5 °C||30.7 °C||31.8 °C||31.3 °C||31.1 °C||31.3 °C||31 °C||30.2 °C||29.1 °C||28 °C|
|Avg Min||19.5 °C||20.1 °C||21.8 °C||23.1 °C||24.2 °C||24.7 °C||24.3 °C||24.2 °C||23.9 °C||22.7 °C||21.3 °C||20.4 °C|
|Rainfall||137.9 mm||72.6 mm||59.2 mm||51.7 mm||104.6 mm||257.6 mm||243.5 mm||186.9 mm||286.5 mm||254.6 mm||182.8 mm||175.6 mm|
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) is the largest airport in the country and is undergoing an expansion that should be completed by 2015. Once the expansion is completed the airport should be able to handle direct flights from Europe. Due to the number of tourist flying in and out of this airport there are several airlines that have direct flights to quite a few cities in North America and Central America.
Philip S. W. Goldson is about 20 minutes drive from Belize City's centre, in Ladyville. The best way to get to and from the city centre is via taxi.
A taxi to Belize City costs BZ$50.00 and takes 15 to 25 minutes depending on traffic. Although an airport bus service exists, it is very infrequent and unreliable. There is also a Shuttle Service. Another option is to walk or taxi from the airport to the Northern highway (about 2.5 km) and wait for a bus.
|Bachelor Inn||5931 Bachelor Ave. West Landivar||GUESTHOUSE||70|
|Seaside Guesthouse||#3 Prince street||Apartment||64|
|The Red Hut Inn||90 Bella Vista||Hostel||63|
|Maya Kingdom Resort-Hostel||Alton Ha Rockstone Pond||Hostel||-|
Internet cafés can be found at most major tourist destinations around Belize. Wi-Fi is also increasingly common, and many hotels are offering it for free. Rates at cybercafes run between BZ$2 and BZ$10 per hour.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency number is 911. The country calling code to Belize is 501 and to make an international call from Belize, the code is 00.
Belize has a standardized seven-digit phone numbering system. There are no city or area codes to dial from within Belize.
Payphones are the most common public phones and accept pre-purchased phone cards.
If you bring your own cell phone, avoid roaming charges, as the bill for internet can add up quickly. Instead, use only wifi or buy a local SIM card.
Belize Telecommunications Limited (BTL) and their cellular division DigiCell have a virtual monopoly on cellular service in Belize. Luckily, DigiCell does have affordable packages for SIM card activation.
Belize's postal service provides services throughout the country. Services are not very reliable though and it might take weeks for a postcard or letter to arrive at your destination. Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 5:00pm, with a one hour lunch break starting around noon.
Most hotels will post a letter for you, and there are post offices in the major towns. It costs BZ$.80 to send a letter to the United States, and BZ$1 to send a letter to Europe. Postcards to the same destinations cost BZ$.40 and BZ$.50 respectively. If you want to send a package, it's better to use international companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx, as they are fast, reliable and not too expensive.
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