The Southern Coast Feature

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Top Reasons to Go to The Southern Coast

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.

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.

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.

Updated: 2013-12-03

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