Often referred to as "the forgotten land", the Toledo District is the southernmost district of Belize and is the least visited destination in Belize. However, Since the paving of the Southern Highway, travelers have been able to access the area more easily, and for those with the spirit to venture off the beaten path, the natural and cultural diversity of Toledo makes a visit to this district an opportunity for a rich cultural experience, along with some high adventure.
Punta Gorda is the largest town in Southern Belize and gateway to lush rainforest, waterfalls, rivers, extensive cave systems and numerous protected areas teeming with wildlife. Known locally as "PG", the inhabitants are typically Garifuna and East Indian who speak a creole dialect.
Things To Do
Experience the Maya Culture
For an authentic cultural experience, spend time in a Maya Village and sample "Caldo", a tasty Maya-made meal of hearty chicken soup made with homemade corn tortillas. Here visitors can actively participate in daily routines such as cooking and farming; listen to storytelling.
Cacao is grown extensively in the surrounding areas and has gained a measure of fame by becoming the sole supplier for "Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate", with it’s own award winning "Maya Gold" brand. Visitors can walk the chocolate trail at Cyrila's Chocolate Factory and tour the organic cacao orchards, while learning about the historic and modern day connections with chocolate -- the food of the Gods!
Toledo is dotted with ancient Maya sites. Lubaantun, the largest one in the Toledo District, is known for its unique construction, with the stones cut and set in place entirely without the use of mortar. Nearby Nim-li Punit is notable for the number of stelae found at the site, including the largest carved stelae found in Belize ... more
Experience the beauty and tranquility of the Moho or Rio Grande Rivers. Wind your way through tropical forests, mangroves and savanna until you reach the sea. Be on the look out for howler monkeys and iguanas in the trees and gibnut, coatimundi and tapirs on the ground. A great opportunity for birdwatchers to see many of the 500 species recorded in Toledo.
Blue Creek Cave - The Maya name is "Hokeb Ha" which translates to "where the water enters the earth" and is located within the Blue Creek 200-acre rainforest preserve and wildlife sanctuary. This very large cave begins near the village of Santa Cruz, where the river rushes underground, resurfacing five mile later near the village of Blue Creek. To reach the cave, you’ll hike approximately twenty minutes over mostly easy terrain. As you approach the cave, the river breaks into small waterfalls and clear pools for swimming.
Headlights in place, life jackets on, you clamber over the rocks of a dry creek bed to reach the river emerging from the cave. You have entered the mysterious underworld of the Maya; then hike/swim to a waterfall inside the cave. Along the way are pristine crystal-clear mineral pools and lagoons. Keep going as far as you can, spending about an hour inside the cave and then enjoy the cave's colossal beauty as you float out.
* This excursion, when done from Placencia, is often preceded with a stop at the Maya Archaeological sites of Lubaantun or Nim Li Punit.
Tiger Cave - The cave is also referred to as the San Miguel Cave because it is about a 1.5-hour walk from the Mayan village of San Miguel. The trail passes through second growth forest and corn milpas and offers an opportunity to learn about the diversity of the rain forest and a first-hand view of Maya farming practices.The cave consists of several chambers that vary from flat to craggy, to full of vegetation to completely dry. Near the entrance, large gaping holes in the ceiling of the cave give way to shafts of sunlight that reveal huge vaulted ceilings, called “The double skylight”. No streams or creeks run through the entrance chamber, although, deeper into the cave, you will have to cross water.
Rio Blanco Falls
Falling 15 feet into a deep pool, the falls make an excellent recreational spot for nature lovers. Managed by residents of Santa Cruz and Santa Elena Villages, the park covers 500 acres and makes for a great location for spotting wildlife.
Visit and enjoy Belize with duPlooy Travel as part of a
Jungle & Reef Holiday Vacation Package to Belize ...
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