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Belize City is the largest city in Belize. It offers the visitor an unusual combination of rustic, old-fashioned Caribbean charm and bustling modernity. The Belize River meanders through the middle of the city; and twice a day, the city’s swing bridge closes to allow sail boats to pass. There are many traditional street vendors selling fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts in the city’s public squares, especially in the colonial marketplace on Saturday mornings. Visitors can purchase handmade wood furniture made by the Mennonite community and many kinds of craft items from the National Handicraft center, as well as from vendors who congregate near the Belize Commercial Center. Belize City is an excellent starting off point for visitors wishing to explore the country by car (or 4-wheel drive). There are several major tourist attractions an hour’s drive or less from Belize City, such as the Belize Zoo, Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bermudian Landing Community Baboon Sanctuary, and the Mayan ruin site at Altun Ha.

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