21 May, 2009

Belmopan – The Smallest Capital of the World


Belmopan is the capital city of Belize. It has 7,100 residents and is considered to be the smallest capital in the world. The locals say that this is actually an advantage as everything is very close by. The city was established in 1961, after the destruction of the former capital, Belize, by the Hurricane Hattie. In 1970 almost all offices and governmental building moved to the city which became the financial and administrative centre of the Belize Island. However, its close proximity to the former capital, only 23 kilometres away, makes commerce very easy.

The city of Belmopan features numerous buildings and sites that are worth visiting; in fact most of the tourists who travel here are amazed by the amount of sites and attractions in such a small place. The independence plaza is the place to start. It is the centre of the city and where most of the governmental buildings are. From the plaza, and in short walking distance, are several business areas and headquarters of many international corporate groups. The University of the Island, embassies and the campus are also close by and can be reached by a well appointed network of pedestrian walkways.

Belmopan features also the Market Square, the commercial hub of the city. Although Belize is still the commercial hub of the island, this capital is becoming increasingly popular among professionals and businessmen. Legal applications, commerce and business are expected to sky rocket in the coming years, overshadowing the city of Belize.

Belmopan boasts the most scenic road and setting of the island; the Hummingbird Highway is supposed to be an unprecedented visual experience. The street carved through the slopes and foothill of the Mayan Mountain and connects the city to Stann Creek. There are numerous places to stop during the way, as well as the biggest hiking and picnic spot, the Blue Hole, which features an impressive underground river.

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