A 16-mile long peninsula. Home to three communities: Maya Beach, Seine Bight and Placencia Village. The village has the narrowest main street in the world according to the Guinness World Book of Records. Lobsterfest is a popular celebration in June as well as Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival in February. April and May see the arrival of the magnificent whale sharks. Diving or snorkeling with them is a not-to-be-missed treat and adrenaline rush. From here you can explore Monkey River and The Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve (the only one in the world!) or sail to many of the outer cayes. Laughing Bird Caye National Park is just 11 miles off the coast and it’s a fun family excursion.
Home to the Garifuna, a unique culture and ethnic group, Dangriga is famous for its cultural roots, drums, and Punta music. South Water Caye, Tobacco Caye, and Glovers Reef Atoll are a short boat ride from here. Hopkins is a quaint, quiet fishing village. The surrounding marsh landscape is resplendent with Jabiru Storks and other interesting birds. Stretching across nearly five miles of sandy palm strewn beach, Hopkins is home to thousands of Garifuna families, and the Garifuna language is widely spoken. Here you have the best of land and sea, with easy accessibility to the Mayan Mountains and The Belize Barrier Reef.
The main town on Ambergris Caye, the most northerly and largest of the 200 cayes off the coast of Belize. It is a world-class diving and snorkeling destination with dive sites on the barrier reef, just a 20-minute boat ride away. Hol Chan Marine Reserve is abundant with fish and a snorkeler's dream. The clear, shallow waters and prevailing winds are ideal for fishing, windsurfing, sailing and kite surfing. North of the island, the Bacalar Chico Reserve is an adventurers’ paradise. The lagoon on the leeward side provides an excellent opportunity for kayaking and birding. San Pedro has a unique feel and offers sophisticated international cuisine in beachside restaurants, mixed with local cafes serving traditional Belizean food. The streets bustle with local artists and craftsmen displaying their pieces.
PUNTA GORDA AND THE TOLEDO DISTRICT
PG, as the locals call it, is the largest town in the Toledo District, and the gateway to lush rainforest, Maya sites, waterfalls and rivers, extensive cave systems, and numerous national parks and protected areas teeming with wildlife. The offshore cayes in the sparkling waters of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve and the Sapodilla Cayes offer snorkeling and diving, and the world-class fishing grounds see fly-fishermen return year after year. Toledo is home to a wide range of cultures, from the inland Maya villages to the thriving Garifuna culture in PG and Barranco Village. Toledo’s rich cultural heritage is celebrated annually with the chocolate-themed Toledo Cacao Festival in May, and the Garifuna Battle of the Drums held each November.
This is where to go if you’re looking for inland adventures, pristine waterfalls, exciting wildlife, and plenty of natural beauty. The Mountain Pine Ridge is one of the highlights as you travel from the jungle into a pine forest hidden in the hills of Cayo. Here you will find The Thousand Foot Falls, Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave, a butterfly farm and beautiful rivers. Cayo is also home to some of the most famous Maya sites in Belize. Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, and Caracol are all worth a visit. Extreme adventurers should check out the Ruta Maya River Challenge in March. Other attractions include the inland Blue Hole, horseback riding, canoeing underground rivers, hiking, cave tubing, zip-lining, mountain biking, and birding.
The epitome of the laid back island lifestyle. Situated 21 miles northeast of Belize City and 11 miles south of Ambergris Caye, it is the second largest of approximately 200 small islands off the coast of Belize. End of June/July is famous for the Lobsterfest, celebrating the opening of the lobster season when people flock to the island to enjoy lobster delicacies. Front Street is full of brightly-colored wooden houses interspersed with shops, restaurants and small hotels. The reef is visible. Swimming with the sharks and rays at Shark Ray Alley is highly recommended.
The hub of transportation, commerce, and culture. The Museum of Belize and House of Culture both showcase stunning ancient artifacts and historic memorabilia. The latter is housed in a 19th-century building that was once the residence of colonial governors. St. John’s Cathedral is the oldest Anglican cathedral in Central America. For local art, visit the Image Factory. Watch sailboats rock gently near the hand-cranked Swing Bridge. On the outskirts of Belize City, see exhibits of Maya sites, rain forests, waterfalls, caves, and industry at Old Belize. For a short excursion, get close to jaguars and other native species at the Belize Zoo, or climb the 60 ft. Temple of the Sun God at Altun Ha. Offshore, take a boat to St. George’s or Goff’s Caye for snorkeling and manatee sightings. There are two airports: the Belize Municipal, in downtown Belize City, and the Philip Goldson International Airport, 12 miles from the city.