Belize District is the most populous of Belize's six districts and encompasses more than 13 different constituencies, including Belize City, the largest metropolitan area in the country.
Approximately 120,000 people live in Belize District, some 80,000 of which live in or around Belize City. Belize District encompasses several villages, including Hattieville, Crooked Tree, Ladyville, Burrel Boom, Corazalito and Maskall Village as well as several islands, including Ambergris Caye (and its capital of San Pedro), Caye Caulker, and St. George's Caye.
Belize District is located in east central Belize and serves as the primary transportation hub for the country. All international flights land at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville (approximately nine miles/17 km from Belize City), and two major highways connect Belize City to points west and north. There is also a large bus station and water docks for connections onwards to the island of the Belize Barrier Reef.
The landscape of Belize District is primarily swampy on the coast transitioning towards savannah farther inland. As such, there is relatively little agriculture in Belize District, but several rivers, creeks and inland lagoons make it a good place for fishing and as a habitat for birds. The lagoons are also where manatees thrive, a protected species in Belize.
Several conservation areas are located in Belize District, including the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Belize Zoo which functions as an educational facility and animal rescue and rehabilitation center.
One of the most iconic ancient Maya ruins is found in the Belize District. Now named Altun Ha (Mayan for "Rockstone Water"), its close proximity to Belize City makes it a popular tourist site. The image of a large building now known as the Temple of the Masonry Altars is used as the official logo for Belikin Beer, Belize's only domestic brewery.
Today, the majority of the inhabitants of Belize District are the Creole people who were enslaved Africans brought to the area during the colonial era. Belize City was founded in 1638 and served as the capital until 1970. Belize District is the region of the country first inhabited by Europeans, primarily English loggers who used the rivers and creeks to transport valuable mahogany timber and logwood used make dyes.
Many of the first settled estates in Belize District were named "Bank," referring to their location on the bank of a river, and several villages in Belize District such as Davis Bank and Flowers Bank got their names from this custom.
If you’re interested in exploring the Belize District on your vacation, be sure to stay at the Belize Boutique Resort and Spa. Located just a few miles from the Belize international airport, the resort offers travelers just 16 elegantly appointed rooms and suites in a luxury, 1,000-acre jungle enclave.
The resort also organizes adventure tours such as visiting ancient Maya sites, outdoor adventures on the mainland, and snorkeling and scuba diving on the Belize Barrier Reef.