The height of the rainy season in Toledo is June through August with a gradual decrease to January. Most tourists prefer to travel to Toledo during the months of the dry season which is November through May. At this time, the villages are less muddy, eco-trails are easier to hike, and rivers and waterfalls are calmer.
The climate in Toledo is relatively cool all year round. Bring short pants, T-shirts, and sturdy sandals to wear during the day. Sometimes the temperature drops at night, so bring something warm to cover up with. Protective clothing and footwear such as long pants, long sleeved shirts and tennis shoes or other sturdy footwear are necessary for hiking. Keep in mind that laundromats are not available in the villages, and laundry can only be washed in nearby rivers. Do not depend on village stores to buy your necessities. They mainly provide canned food and other basic goods. It is essential to bring the following:
Snacks and bottled water are easily accessible in Punta Gorda. However, purified water is not sold in the villages, and snack variety is very limited. Cold, bottled soft drinks are sold in most villages.
The currency exchange in Belize is $2.00 Belize to $1.00 U.S. dollar. All businesses accept U.S. currency. Some smaller places do not accept credit cards so bring travelers checks or cash. The only bank in Toledo is in Punta Gorda. The villagers do not accept credit cards, travellers checks or personal checks. Be sure to have small denominations of US or BZE dollars.
The crime rate in the south is relatively low. Most communities are closely knit and live together peacefully. Although it is always best to be cautious, problems rarely arise. Check with your village contact for local conditions.
Punta Gorda has a steady supply of electricity and telephone usage. Although most villages do not have access to electricity or private phones, many do have a community telephone that is accessible during daylight hours and for emergency purposes.
The living and health conditions of the villages are primitive compared to western standards. However, the villages are clean and the people are healthy. All cooking and drinking water is drawn from pump wells. Host families boil drinking water. Each village has a trained community health worker. The villages are in various stages of improving their social and economic circumstances.
Gas stations are few and far in between Belize City and Toledo. It is best to gas up your car in Belize City and Belmopan. A couple more stations are located just before the cut off to the Southern Highway and in Dangriga Town. After Dangriga the next gas station on the Southern Highway, known as "The Dump", is about 14 miles before Punta Gorda. Gas stations are also available in Punta Gorda.
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