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Toledo District, Belize

Maya, Rainforest & Coral Reef...


Toledo, the southernmost district of Belize, is 1669 square miles of rainforest, mountains, rivers, and Maya Villages. Toledo is certainly not for the ordinary tourist. However, for those with the spirit to venture off the beaten track, the natural and cultural diversity of Toledo makes a visit to a Southern Belize a unique adventure. The land is blanketed with some of the most pristine rainforest in Belize. The uplands to the Northwest consist of the foothills of the Maya Mountains bordered by limestone outcrops - rugged, unexplored territory. The coastal lowlands consist of softer grounds, formed from the flood deposits of the many rivers draining the uplands. Towering riverine forests line the rivers and flood plains, while pine ridge savannahs and mangrove surround coastal lagoons. Trade winds and the Caribbean Sea caress the eastern coastline of Toledo. Coastal lagoons are prominent, providing a rich habitat for an abundance of wildlife, and the last stretch of the 186 mile Belize Barrier Reef lies 40 miles offshore from the mainland.




HISTORYPUNTA GORDAACTIVITIESSELECT ACCOMMODATIONS


HISTORY


While the rugged terrain of Toledo provides a challenge for the adventurous, it is the people of Toledo which softens nature’s rough edges. At least five distinct ethnic groups have settled in Southern Belize, the Mopan and Kekchi Maya, Garifuna, Kriol, East Indians, and Chinese.

The earliest known inhabitants of southern Belize were the ancient Maya. Great Maya cities and ceremonial centers grew and flourished throughout the region. Uxbenka ("The Old Place"), is one of the oldest settlements known, perched on a hill outside of Santa Cruz village. Nim Li Punit ("Big Hat"), wasn't discovered till the 1970's and is known for its variety and number of stele. And Lubaantun ("Place of the Fallen Stones") is thought to have been the regional capital, acting as the religious, administrative, political and commercial center of the region.

While the town of Punta Gorda consists of many cultures, 64% of the population in the Toledo District is made up of the Mopan and Kekchi Mayas living in over 30 different villages. Come experience a touch of their rich heritage. English is spoken as their second language, and visitors can communicate clearly with the people for a genuine cultural exchange.



PUNTA GORDA


Punta Gorda, known locally as P.G., is the southernmost town in Belize and the capital of the Toledo District. Maya Island Air and Tropic Air both have several flights daily in and out of Punta Gorda. The journey from Belize City to Punta Gorda usually includes a brief stop-over in Placencia and Dangriga and takes about 1 hour.

With its cool sea breezes and friendly people, Punta Gorda is a pleasant and interesting town. The pace of life is slow and easy-going. Traffic is minimal on the streets. People hang out on street corners chatting, while school children play chase in the school yards. The town springs to life on holidays and market days-Saturday and Wednesday mornings- when the villagers and Guatemalans from across the border pour in to buy and sell hand-crafted produce and simple household goods around the clock tower.



ACTIVITIES


Toledo is blessed with a multitude of natural attractions, including caves, sinkholes, and waterfalls strewn throughout the rainforest. Jungle-covered ruins still exist as if just discovered. Five major protected areas have been declared wildlife reserves. These natural treasures abound with wildlife and over 2000 species of flowering plants. The Sapodilla Cayes offer great snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and diving. Some of the best fly-fishing in the country is done in the nearby rivers.

Toledo Disctrict, Belize Activities Hiking is truly the best way to experience what a tropical forest is. Your senses will be inundated. You will see every shade of green; smell life and decay; fe... >>


SELECT ACCOMMODATIONS


We have carefully chosen the most exquisite accommodations that have met our highest standards for comfort and style to assure your stay on Ambergris Caye is an unforgettable one.

Belcampo Lodge From $330/night – Punta Gorda, Belize Perched in the verdant hills above the Caribbean coast of southern Belize, the lodge is a self-contained sanctuary from the everyday world. Belcampo lodge (former Machaca Hill) is Southern B... >>
Belcampo Lodge From $330/night – Punta Gorda, Belize





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Toledo District, Belize: Maya, Rainforest & Coral Reef... . Please note: Information on this sheet is believed to be correct but not guaranteed

 

Toledo District, Belize








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