Far from the huge crowds and maddening thongs of popular attractions like Ambergris Caye, southern Belize is an oasis of undeveloped land, pristine nature, and wildlife. Seven large parks and numerous nature reserves protect the lush rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, and wetlands of the south, making the area a great place for visitors to explore the untamed beauty in southern Belize.
Here are a few of the best places to explore in southern Belize:
Measuring 16 miles from north to south, Placencia Peninsula is a thin strip of beautiful beaches along the Caribbean coastline of southeastern Belize. Ideally situated just a few miles from the best snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing sites on the Belize Barrier Reef, Placencia still maintains plenty of old-world charm and the relaxed pace of village life.
Villages like Seine Bight on the Placencia Peninsula and the nearby village of Hopkins are home to the Garifuna people. Recognized by the United Nations for their unique language, music, and oral traditions, the Garifuna are hailed throughout Belize for their delicious traditional foods and exciting music, including the use of drums made with local hardwoods and animal skins.
Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve
The world’s only dedicated jaguar reserve, the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve contains more than 150 square miles of trackless wilderness where tapirs, monkeys, and tropical birds thrive.
Punta Gorda and Toledo District
The color village of Punta Gorda is the capital of Toledo District and gateway to the region’s lush cocoa farms, pristine rivers ideal for canoeing, seven national parks, and half a dozen magnificent waterfalls.
This lively town is known as the cultural capital of Belize. Situated at the mouth of the North Stann Creek River where it meets the Caribbean, Dangriga is an excellent place to hear Garifuna music and experience Garifuna dishes like hudut and cassava bread.
Barefoot Rentals and Services, a locally-owned and operated company in Placencia village, offers a complete range of vehicles for rent to allow travelers to explore and discover southern Belize. Barefoot rents SUVs, vans, golf carts, and motor bikes to make it easy for visitors to explore the hidden byways and scenic side roads in Belize.