Old Belize and Cucumber Beach
In addition to Cucumber Beach, a swimming lagoon, a zip line, a waterslide, and other water sports, Old Belize (Western Highway, tel. 501/222-4153, www.oldbelize.com. US$2.50 museum tour, US$20 zip line) also features the impressive Cultural and Historical Center (10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. daily), a 45-minute tour through a thousand years of Belizean history.
It’s kind of like a walk-through museum, but with all kinds of fascinating relics and simulations. Some of the displays from the former Maritime Museum are now housed here and include models of boats used in Belize, as well as photos and bios of local fishers and boat builders.
On cruise ship days (usually Tuesday and Thursday), a Belizean cabaret showcases the dances and songs of Belize’s cultural groups. There’s also a boat marina, a helipad, and an excellent restaurant, bar, and grill (11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily).
It’s five miles out of Belize City on the Western Highway and gets more Belizean clients than foreign tourists; it’s definitely worth the trip. A snorkel pool containing ocean water, a manmade reef, and exotic fish is being planned. Bring a bathing suit and plan to spend half a day or more.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition