Capital of Belize from 1970; situated in central Belize, 80 km/50 mi inland in Central America, between the Belize and Sibun Rivers; population (2014 est) 18,300. It is 80 km/50 mi southwest of Belize City, near the junction of the Western Highway and the Hummingbird Highway to Dangriga. Principal exports from the region are sugar cane, citrus fruits, bananas, and coconuts. Belmopan was established in 1970 in the mountainous interior to replace Belize City as the administrative centre of the country following hurricane damage to the latter in 1961. The traditional Maya-style architecture prevails.
In 1985, in the nearby Valley of Peace, a camp for refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala was made a permanent settlement.