Travelling to Toledo by air is by far the most convenient. Two local airlines, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air, have multiple daily flights to Punta Gorda either from the Belize International Airport or the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City.
The flight takes about an hour to an hour and a half from Belize City or the International Airport, with stops en route at Stann Creek and Placencia. Their schedules work well with both international flights and other domestic connections. Contact any local travel agent for tickets or reservations, or visit them online at Maya Island Air or Tropic Air.
Three major highways -- the Western, the Hummingbird, and the Southern Highways --connect Belize City to the South. With the exception of 9 miles, the Southern Highway is now completely paved, significantly reducing the traveling time to approximately 4 hours. The Coastal Road, an alternate route to the Hummingbird Highway, is an unpaved dusty gravel road that can save about a half hour.
Paved portion of Southern Highway to Punta Gorda
The flat, straight paved roads make the 220 mile road between Belize City and Punta Gorda an easy drive. Only the scenic Hummingbird is hilly and curvy as it winds its way through limestone hills, small villages and citrus groves. Not to be left outdistanced, the picturesque Southern Highway treats its visitors to mountain silhouettes, riverine and pine forests, savannah grasslands, banana farms and citrus groves.
Only a few gas stations, separated from each other by forty mile stretches, service the Southern Highway so be sure to fill up at the station outside Dangriga before heading south to Independence and Big Falls. While refuelling, take advantage of the convenience stores where you can stock up on drinks and snacks.
Reliable bus service links Belize City, Belmopan (the country's capital) and Dangriga to Punta Gorda several times daily. Buses leave from Belize City as early as 6:00 am daily. The buses make frequent stops, extending the travel time to six hours but this certainly is an economical option. When in Belize City request bus departure times from your local hotel.
Several auto-rentals are located at the Belize International Airport. The Northern Highway goes straight to Belize City-about 20 minutes. From Belize City, the entire drive to Toledo can take anywhere between 5-6 hours depending on which route you take. The drive down the Hummingbird Highway, Coastal Road, and Southern Highway, is fairly isolated. Do not pick up hitch hikers.
Requena's Charters offers daily boat services to and from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, directly to Punta Gorda. The crossing takes about an hour. They leave PG at 9:00 am and return at 2:00 pm daily.
Departure Fees for International Passengers by Sea
Although it is always convenient to have your own vehicle, the small town of Punta Gorda can easily be explored by foot. The town is safe, even at night. Locals mostly walk around town and are very helpful with directions to any of the hotels or restaurants. Cab drivers are also available for quick transportation.
Public bus services to the Maya villages leave the main plaza in Punta Gorda at noon on market days. Each Maya village has its own bus. Transportation is not needed to get around within the small villages.
Departure from each village varies depending on the distance it takes to arrive in Punta Gorda. Village buses leave as early as 5:00am in the morning. It is always wise to check with the villagers about departure times.
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