Belmopan is the capital of country Belize and one of the safest cities in Belize. It’s a useful base for exploring nearby caves, national parks, the Hummingbird Hwy and most of the attractions in
eastern Cayo. There is a wide variety of interesting caves, ruins, and jungle trails. 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. 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.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Belize is from late November to mid-April, during the country’s dry season.
Top Places to Visit in Belmopan
1. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve. It is also known for its spectacular waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of neotropical birds. People who understand the value of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary know that it is much more than a natural area set aside for jaguars. The area was also designated to protect the upper watersheds of important river systems that deliver ecosystem services to people. This Sanctuary is a reservoir for biodiversity. Hundreds of species of plants with exotic leaves and flowers, colorful insects, singing birds, furry mammals, scaly reptiles, and wide-eyed amphibians live in this complex tropical forest community.
2. Guanacaste National Park
Belize’s smallest national park was declared in 1990 and is named for the giant Guanacaste tree on its southwestern edge. The tree survived the axes of canoe-makers but has now died naturally, though it still stands in its jungle habitat. The 51-acre park, off the highway at the Belmopan turnoff, is framed by Roaring Creek and the Belize River, with 2 miles of hiking trails that will introduce you to the abundant local trees and colorful birds. Birding is best here in winter, when migrants arrive from North America.
3. St. Herman’s Cave
Exploring a remote cave once used by the ancient Mayas for ceremonial purposes. Hundreds of pieces of Mayan pottery chard’s can be seen inside the cave. The cave is approximately a mile long and is adorned with beautiful stalactite and stalagmite making this a beautiful place for photographs.
4. Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Outpost: Take the road in Georgeville to Mountain Pine Ridge, drive 50-60 minutes and turn at the large brown sign on the left to Barton Creek Archaeological Reserve. It’s about 4 miles from there.
Biggest ruin in Belize, yet mostly un-excavated, so you really feel like you are in a national park on a ruin. Ca’ana, place of the sky, is one of the biggest and most massive temples in the Mayan world. Definitely a must-see ruin, and it comes with stops at Rio On Pools and Rio Frio Cave too.
6. Jaguar Paw
Located near the heart of Belmopan, Jaguar Paw Jungle Resort welcomes tourists interested in staying in this town or in the immediate vicinity. Locate at the edge of the Caves Branch River, Jaguar Paw is a unique upscale resort that caters to both independent adventure travelers and families. Whether it’s exploring the dense tropical rain forest or simply hanging out with the little ones at resort’s butterfly farm, there is a choice to appeal to every member of the family.
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.
There are a lot of clean Chinese-owned restaurants in Belmopan that make great Belizean food.