Swing Bridge

Top choice

in Belize City

Belize City, Belize, Belize, Central America

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

This heart and soul of Belize City life, crossed by just about everyone here just about every day, is said to be the only remaining manually operated bridge of its type in the world. The bridge, a product of Liverpool's ironworks, was installed in 1923, replacing an earlier bridge that had opened in 1897.

These days it is rarely opened except to allow tall boats to pass in advance of serious storms, but if you're lucky, you might get to watch the procedure that brings vehicles and pedestrians in the city center to a halt.

The Swing Bridge is a favorite hangout for hustlers looking to part tourists from their valuables. You are likely to be approached by seemingly friendly sorts with outstretched hands asking, 'Where you from?' Be advised that the chances of said encounter resulting in a mutually beneficial cultural exchange are slim to none. Downstream from the bridge, Haulover Creek is usually a pretty sight, with numerous small yachts and fishing boats riding at anchor.