While most tourists seek to avoid Belize City entirely -- and I almost advise as much in this book -- if you plan properly, Belize City can actually serve well as a good base if you only have a few days in the country.

Day 1: Getting to Know the City

Begin your day early at the Fort George Lighthouse and Baron Bliss Memorial, and follow the walking tour. When you reach the Commercial Center, be sure to stop in for a coffee and some fry jacks at Big Daddy's Diner (2nd floor, Commercial Center, Booth 54; tel. 227-0932). After you finish the walking tour, take a taxi out to Old Belize (Mile 5, Western Hwy.; tel. 222-4286), an attraction that offers a peek into various facets of the natural, cultural, and political history of the country. Have lunch at the ocean-side open-air restaurant here.

Take a Break --Wet Lizard

Have a sunset drink and some conch fritters at the Wet Lizard, 1 Fort St. (tel. 223-2664). This might just hold you over for the night.

After night falls, head to the Radisson Fort George Hotel and see if there's any live music at their poolside Stonegrill Restaurant & Bar. Even if music isn't on the agenda, this remains one of the main gathering spots for locals and tourists alike. If the food at the Wet Lizard doesn't hold you over, grab something to eat at the restaurant here.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.