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Road conditions in Belize

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Feb 19th, 2014, 11:18 PM
  #1
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Road conditions in Belize

Is a 4-wheel drive necessary? Which roads should be avoided?
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Feb 20th, 2014, 05:19 AM
  #2
 
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Certainly yes for off road driving. We do not have enough roads to avoid any of them, except the Coastal Highway-take the Hummingbird hywy
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Feb 20th, 2014, 08:12 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2005
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topes, topes, topes; even on the well-paved roads, these can rock your world.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 08:14 AM
  #4
 
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All the main highways are paved, two-lane and well signposted (visitors might disagree about the signposting). A four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary unless you plan to get way off the highways.

Avoid the Coastal Road.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 08:43 AM
  #5
 
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Agree with Katie. I'm sure she's been on every inch of every road in Belize.

The unpaved Coastal Highway (which really isn't on the coast) is best avoided unless you 're going, say, to Gales Point.

Four-wheel-drive is always good insurance, as is a vehicle with high ground clearance. Roads like those into the Mountain Pine Ridge can be incredibly rutted and rough and packed sand roads like the one to Sarteneja can become bogs after heavy rains.

And speaking of insurance, check with your credit card companies and home insurance company to see if they cover CDW, sometimes called LDW. Car rental companies charge US$14-$20+ a day for this, and it's not even real insurance.just a waiver of part of the cost if your rental vehicle is damaged. (Liability insurance is normally included in your car rental rate.) But note that some credit cards won't cover CDW for big 4WD SUVs or if you're in a truck or driving off of paved roads. That makes the coverage almost useless in Belize.

In my opinion, the best main road in Belize is the Southern Highway, followed by the Placencia Road and the new San Antonio Road in Toledo (the part that's completed). The Hummingbird Highway is pretty good, and the most scenic in Belize. The Phillip Goldson (formerly Northern Highway) is okay. The George Price Highway (formerly Western Highway) is paved but tricky, especially after rain. Lots of traffic accidents on that highway. It is supposed to be upgraded. The Old Northern Highway is rough with broken pavement in places. Most other secondary roads like the ones to Copper Bank and Sarteneja can be okay or very bad, depending on rain. Ditto roads from Orange Walk to Blue Creek and Gallon Jug and to Lamanai. Most streets in Belize City, Belmopan City and the major towns and villages are fair to good. Lot of street improvements have been made recently in Belize City.

Again, 4WD with road clearance is good insurance, even if you never have to use it. Many times I've pulled into what I thought was a decent parking area and it turned out to be soft sand or mud that I couldn't have gotten out of without 4WD.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 10:14 AM
  #6
RAC
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Driving to Caracol should be avoided at all costs. So many potholes that police pull over people who drive straight, because all the sober drivers have to swerve all over the road (at a very slow speed) to avoid destroying their cars.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 10:23 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: May 2007
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The main roads that we were on were in pretty good shape, but when we pulled off onto smaller roads or to get to our hotel, we got what our driver called "a free butt massage" - bumpy!
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Feb 28th, 2014, 10:26 PM
  #8
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Thank you all. Lots of great info!
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