Belize is a gorgeous, untamed country brimming with exotic wildlife and flowering plants. One of the best places to experience pristine nature at its finest is in southern Belize. The two southernmost districts (equivalent to a state or province) in Belize are Stann Creek and Toledo. Once far off the beaten path, today, they are becoming top destinations for visitors who want to get the best of both the beach and the jungle.
Destinations such as Placencia on the coast offer golden beaches and easy access to the reef while Dangriga and Hopkins serve as an excellent introduction to the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture, recognized by the United Nations in 2001 for their language, music, food, and dance. Both southern districts are home to vast national parks, animal sanctuaries, and a plethora of ancient Maya sites such as Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum.
Much of southern Belize is agricultural. Fertile valleys are home to vast citrus orchards, cacao plantations, and other farms. The forested foothills of the Maya Mountains are dotted with small Maya villages where traditional lifestyles still prevail. Several pristine rivers crisscross the area, perfect for activities such as canoeing, rafting, and boat safaris.
Toledo District is the heart of Belize's chocolate makers and cacao growers, and some of the finest chocolatiers ply their craft here, using millennia-old techniques developed by the Maya. Other options to enjoy in southern Belize include horseback riding, bird watching, and hiking.
Other popular destinations in southern Belize include visiting the trackless Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, home to the world's only jaguar conservation program. The Sanctuary is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including hundreds of bird species, margays, jaguarundis, ocelots, pumas, tapir, deer, and peccaries.
Placencia, on the coast, serves as the gateway to the vast Belize Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the Northern Hemisphere. The islands and atolls of the reef are a popular choice for activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, sailing, fishing, and windsurfing.
If you'd like to discover the wonders of southern Belize for yourself, book your tour with Untame Belize. Based in the village of Pomona in Stann Creek District, Untame Belize is the regional expert in all of the top attractions in southern Belize such as Toledo, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Dangriga, and Hopkins. Untame Belize also books tours to attractions such as the Monkey River, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Garifuna cultural tours.