- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
From the north, two roads lead to the Southern Coast: the Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan, and the Coastal Road from La Democracia. The Hummingbird is paved, and the most scenic drive in all of Belize. The Coastal Road is unpaved, dusty, or muddy depending on the amount of rain. Despite the name, it does not hug the coast; in fact you never glimpse the sea from it. The loose gravel roadway is an accident waiting to happen. In short, if you're driving, take the Hummingbird.
Off the spine of the Southern Highway, various shorter, often unpaved, roads lead to villages on the coast and inland: from the highway, it's about 4 mi (7 km) on a partly paved road to Hopkins; 25 mi (42 km) to Placencia Village, with paving currently under way; and 5 mi (8 km) to Big Creek.
Gales Point and Dangriga. Gales Point is a small Creole village, with a beautiful waterside setting, known for the manatees in nearby lagoons. Dangriga is the largest Garífuna settlement in Belize, and a jumping-off spot for several offshore cayes. Hopkins is the most accessible and friendliest Garífuna village in Belize, with good beaches and a growing tourism industry. It's similar to what Placencia was like 15 years ago.
Placencia Peninsula. The Placencia Peninsula has the best beaches on the mainland. With the paving of the Placencia road, real estate development and tourism are taking off, bringing more high-quality accommodations and dining, along with problems associated with rapid development.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe