Monday, April 18, 2011
Where to Live in Belize? Punta Gorda and Southern Belize
This week on "Where to Live in Belize?", we are looking at Punta Gorda and the Toledo District. I know you have heard stories about Punta Gorda being the end of the earth, but PG does have some hidden gems to be discovered.
Punta Gorda, known locally as PG, is the town of the Toledo District in southern Belize. PG is a colorful and friendly town with a population of about 6,000 people. Although Punta Gorda is a Spanish name, its inhabitants are mostly Kriol/English speaking, primarily of Garifuna, East Indian, and Kriol descent.
Punta Gorda is 210 Miles by road from Belize City. The road into town follows the shoreline. There are five streets that run parallel inland. Fruit trees line the streets. Most small homes are made of wood on stilts.
Punta Gorda is putting the Toledo area on the map as the "Unforgettable" corner of Belize, rather then the "Forgotten" corner. The majority of Toledo District's attractions are found in the form of remote villages, caves, waterfalls and offshore cayes. Looking for something off the beaten path, then this area is worth checking out.
PG has a small airport which serves domestic flights from Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. James Bus line is based in Punta Gorda and offers a regular service to Independence, Dangriga, Belmopan, and Belize City. Water taxis offer daily service to Livingston, Puerto Barrios, and Guatemala. Punta Gorda is a gateway to and from Guatemala with immigration and customs office located near the town dock.
Wednesdays and Saturdays are the biggest market days. Mayan vendors sell wild coriander, yellow or white corn, chili peppers, tamales wrapped in banana leaves, star fruit, mangoes and much more. The woman and children bring handmade crafts to sell at market.
Reasons to Live in Punta Gorda and Southern Belize
1. Diverse mix of Maya, Garifuna and other cultures.
2. Excellent Fishing.
3. Beautiful, lush tropical areas.
4. Increasing interest in area for tourism due to completion of Southern Highway.
5. Land is reasonable priced.
6. Close to Guatemala.
7. Seeking a quiet area in Belize to live.