Central America | Belize – Belize City
It was raining when we landed in Belize City. Belize City is nowhere near as grotty or threatening as I was led to believe. There are those that still claim it’s a completely different animal at night. I don’t know.
Ramshackle is a good way to describe it, with crumbling colonial architecture. Kind of Bahamas meets New Orleans housing style, but on a smaller scale. There’s a sizable Asian population, a lot of Chino-Latino cuisine, including at our hotel. The Belizeans in Belize City are Caribbean in terms of speech accent but being in Central America there’s very much a latin sensibility.
We stayed at the Chateau Caribbean, a pink victorian style house. The hotel is described as having seen better days. This is a fair description but I liked the place. The hotel’s dining room and bar area are rundown but offer great views of the water. There’s no actual beach to overlook, just water up to the street level. The lobby at the Chateau is cozy with wicker furniture. Very atmospheric. The rooms are nice. The food in the dining room is excellent. Great banana french toast in the morning. For those traveler’s preferring more upscale accomodations, there’s the Radisson Fort George down the block, or the Colton House, which looks cute from the outside.
Walked around a bit once the rain let up. Found many small food stalls featuring fried chicken with rice and beans. There’s also a lot of Chinese food, as stated earlier. Some swank restaurants (ie, the HarborView). Met the world’s most intellectual homeless man on our wander. He knows every state and country capital and is incredibly knowledgable about both Belize and England’s history. I did wonder if he used to be a school teacher. Also passed a lot of medical clinics and an interesting looking cappucino place.
Note to future traveller’s to Belize: Traveller’s checks are widely accepted. ATM’s do not accept foreign bank or credit cards. You can, however, get cash advances on credit cards at banks. If you use a credit card to buy something sometimes there’s a 3%-5% processing fee attached. I did not bring traveller’s checks on this trip because on all my other trips I bring them back untouched but in Belize they are a good way to go, so FYI.