After Hurricane Hattie clobbered Belize City in 1961, the decision was made to move the capital and government offices inland. The town now called Belmopan, part of the Cayo District, was built and became the landlocked capital of Belize. Just an hour from Belize City, and equally close to San Ignacio, Belmopan is a calm, area that has markets, coffee shops, restaurants and bus stations. That said, the town is slowly developing into a beat of its own, with more schools -- including the University of Belize -- restaurants and conveniences, thanks to many more visitors than before through here on the way to San Ignacio.
In Belmopan itself are some of Belize’s greatest attractions, including the Blue Hole National Park (not to be confused with the Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef Atoll), home to St Herman’s Cave and to a beautiful, green turquoise cenote known as the Blue Hole. Also in Belmopan is one of the country’s most acclaimed adventure lodges and companies, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch. There are enough outdoor activities to keep one occupied in this area such as spelunking, “cave tubing” (floating down the river and caves in a tube) and horseback riding among others.