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The Southern Coast Travel Guide

Plan Your Southern Coast Vacation

As always in Belize, the transition from one landscape to another is swift and startling. As you approach the Hummingbird Highway's end in coastal Dangriga, the lush, mountainous terrain of the north gives way to flat plains bristling with orange trees. Farther south the Stann Creek Valley is where bananas, the nation's first bumper crop, and most other fruit is grown. Equally startling

is the cultural segue: whereas San Ignacio has a Spanish air, the Southern Coast is strongly Afro-Caribbean.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Beaches. The mainland's best beaches are on the Placencia peninsula and around Hopkins. Although they're narrow ribbons of khaki rather than wide swaths of talcum-powder sand, they're ideal for lazing in a hammock under a coco palm. And you don't have to fight the crowds for a spot—at least not yet.
  2. Jaguars. The world's first and only jaguar preserve is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Chances are you won't actually see one of these big, beautiful cats in the wild, as they roam the high bush mainly at night, but you may see tracks or hear a low growl in the darkness.
  3. Water Sports. Anglers won't be disappointed by the bonefish, tarpon, and other sportfishing. The Barrier Reef here is generally 15 miles (25 km) or more off the coast, so it's a long trip out, even with the fast boats the dive shops use. However, there are patch reefs around closer islands, with excellent snorkeling. Serious divers will find two of Belize's three atolls, Turneffe and Glover's, within reach. In a charter sailboat you can island-hop in the protected waters inside the reef.

When To Go

When to Go

The weather on the Southern Coast is similar to that in central and northern Belize, only a little wetter. On average, for example, the Cayo Distr...

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