Playing tourist in Belize City

Princess Hotel and Casino bay viewDay three in-country, we returned to Belize City for an overnight stay at the Princess Hotel & Casino. Besides being convenient for catching our flight home the following day, being in the city also allowed us to meet up with Tea, who happened to be on a cruise with her family that had a port stop there.

There were beautiful views of the sea from our hotel room, but we didn’t have time to enjoy it yet – just dropped our luggage and headed for the port.

It felt a little strange to surrender our passports in exchange for visitor passes into Tourism Village, which is the enclosed area where the cruise ship passengers come ashore, packed with shops selling tourist trinkets, tropical-themed clothing, and duty-free items, as well as an array of good-time bars andwet-lizard restaurants.

We connected with Tea at an establishment called The Wet Lizard and shared a few Bellikins as we got to know each other. I’m glad we had the chance to meet in person, as it helped make our house-sitting arrangement with her more personal and I hope gave her some peace of mind that her property will be well-cared for.

After only a few hours, we saw her off to the smaller boat that ferried passengers in from the cruise ship docked in the bay at anchor and then, since we were there, explored some of the shops ourselves.

But it was hot and we were tired Princess Hotel and Casino back viewand looking forward to a shower, so we exchanged our visitor passes for our passports and caught a taxi back to the hotel.

We saw just a brief buzz of life outside of Tourism Village as we returned, and also the next day on the way to the airport, but probably didn’t really experience Belize City.

Again, we felt a reminder of Guam – the area around the hotel was reminiscent of the hotel we stayed out when we shipped in there (and later, when we shipped out, too). There was a beautiful pool as well, which we never got around to, unfortunately.

Princess Casino and Hotel view The next morning we had a little time to chill before we needed to head for the airport and were just hanging in the hotel room when we heard what sounded like a parade. We opened the door and, lo and behold, it WAS a parade, heading right down the street in front of the hotel.

Besides some marching bands, it appeared to be a throng of many Belizians wearing orange shirts. Our hotel neighbors joined us on the balcony to watch, and a maid told us that it was a celebration – “20,000 Strong National Women’s Empowerment Rally.”

Belize City parade 220,000 strong shirtsWe enjoyed the heavy drum beat as they went by and saw some of the marchers later down in the lobby at check-out.

Guess you just never know what you might see next in this place!

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