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The main road to the Deep South is the newly paved Southern Highway, which runs 100 mi (164 km) from the intersection of the Hummingbird Highway to Punta Gorda (PG). Only a 5-mi (8-km) section near Big Falls is unpaved, and the remaining stretch is being prepared for paving, which should be completed by early 2010.
As you travel south on the Southern Highway, the Great Southern Pine Ridge is on your right, starting at about Mile 55. Farther in the distance are the Maya Mountains. On your left (though not visible from the highway) is the Caribbean Sea, and farther south, beyond Punta Negra, the Gulf of Honduras.
Branching off the Southern Highway are mostly unpaved roads, some barely more than muddy trails, that go to small villages.
Punta Gorda. Many of the handful of restaurants and shops in PG open and close at the whim of their owners, and therein lies some of the charm of this little town. It's a sleepy, friendly, overgrown village with a beautiful setting on the bay.
The Maya Heartland. Nothing in Belize is quite like the Maya Heartland, where contemporary Mayan villages sit next to ancient ruins. Here also you'll see verdant rain forests, rice plantations, and cacao farms.
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