Far from the overcrowded beaches of Ambergris Caye and the hustle and bustle of Belize City lies Toledo District, the southernmost region of the country. Home to just 35,000 people, Toledo District measures more than 1,800 square miles (4,700 square km) and is home to some of the most pristine rainforests, cave networks, and rivers in Belize.
The capital of Toledo District is Punta Gorda, often referred to just by its initials (PG), an eclectic city of some 5,000 people that is home to a wide range of cultures, including two different tribes of Maya, the Creole, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people), German-speaking Mennonites, and the descendants of Confederate soldiers who emigrated to Belize after the American Civil War.
Several rivers run through Toledo District, including the Sarstoon River and the Moho River, both of which are popular with canoeists and kayakers because of their relatively sluggish currents and shallow depths. There are also some ancient Maya sites located in southern Belize, including Uxbenka, Nim Li Punit, Pusilha, and Lubaantum, which are still being excavated by archeologists.
Southern Belize is also an important agricultural region of Belize, and many people come to this region in order to visit cacao farms. Cacao is the principal ingredient of chocolate, a sacred food used by the Maya for thousands of years. Today, manufacturers such as Maya Gold export their chocolate products around the world. Other food crops grown in southern Belize include milpa (the ancient trio of beans, squash, and corn), peppers, rice, beans, and several traditional varieties of corn (maize). Almost all farmland in southern Belize is in the form of small, family-run affairs.
For travelers who prefer not to drive, Uncharted Jewel Belize also offers private ground transfers and door-to-door shuttle service to and from anywhere in the country, including hotels, eco-lodges, and AirBNB residences. Uncharted Jewel Belize also organizes tours in southern Belize, including trips to ancient Maya ruins, national parks, outdoor adventures, and cultural homestays in local villages.
For all of your travel needs in southern Belize, you can rely on Uncharted Jewel Belize.