Car Travel

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Car Travel

The paving of the Hummingbird and Southern highways has made the journey to Punta Gorda much shorter and more pleasant. The drive from Belize City to PG can be done in around four hours, all on paved roads. Off the Southern Highway most Toledo roads, excepting the new San Antonio Road, are unpaved. In dry weather they're bumpy yet passable, but after heavy rains the dirt roads can turn into quagmires even for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Most tertiary roads are not well marked, so you may have to stop frequently for directions. Despite this, expensive taxis and infrequent bus service to and from the Mayan villages and elsewhere in Toledo are arguments for renting a car. There are no major car-rental companies in Punta Gorda. Your best option is to rent at the international airport in Belize City, where there are about 10 rental car companies, or in Placencia, especially if you’re staying there on your way south. Bruno Kuppinger at SunCreek Lodge about 14 miles (22½ km) northwest of Punta Gorda has a few cars available to rent. Belize City–based Budget has a satellite office in Placencia and charges BZ$250 to drop a rental car from its Placencia fleet in PG. Barefoot Services in Placencia also will bring a vehicle to PG for a similar drop fee.

Barefoot Services. Barefoot Services will deliver rental cars to Punta Gorda and elsewhere in Toledo. A one-time drop fee applies. Check with Barefoot for current drop rate. Weekly rentals are around BZ$375 to $425, plus 12.5% tax and 2.5% service fee. Main St., Placencia. 629/9602. www.barefootservicesbelize.com. Sun.–Fri. 7–5:30. Closed Sat.

Budget Belize. This satellite office of Budget's main offices at the Belize international airport and on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City will deliver a vehicle to Punta Gorda for a one-time drop fee of BZ$250. High-season rates are around BZ$450 to $570 a week, plus 12.5% tax. Live Oaks Plaza, South of Placencia airstrip, Placencia. 523/3068; 800/284–4387 toll-free number outside Belize. www.budget-belize.com. Weekdays 8–5, Sat. 8–1.

Sun Creek Lodge. Bruno Kuppinger at Sun Creek Lodge, about 14 mi (23 km) northwest of Punta Gorda, usually has a few cars to rent. Call ahead to confirm. Off Southern Hwy., San Marcos. 604/2124. www.suncreeklodge.de.

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