Belmopan is the capital of Belize. Belmopan was constructed just to the east of Belize River, 80 km (50 miles) inland from the former capital, the port of Belize City, after that city’s near destruction by hurricane Hattie in 1961. The government was moved to Belmopan in 1970, and its National Assembly Building is designed to resemble a Pre-Columbian Maya temple.
After Hurricane Hattie, with winds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (190 mph), and following the destruction of approximately 75% of the houses and business places in Belize City, the government of the day proposed to encourage and promote the building of a new capital city. This new capital would be situated on better terrain, would entail no costly reclamation of land, and would also provide for an industrial area. In 1962, a committee chose the site now known as Belmopan, located 82 kilometers (51 miles) west of the old capital of Belize.
The climate at night is cool. The city is located off of the Hummingbird Highway. Two and a half hours south of Belmopan, by road, is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.