Punta Gorda is the capital of the Toledo region of Belize. Most consider this to be the hub of transportation in the country, so chances are no matter how you decide to get here, you'll spend at least a small amount of time in Punta Gorda. Those who choose to stay for the bulk of their getaway usually do so for the slow pace of life, watersports, and close proximity to Mayan ruins.
However you're planning to travel, Punta Gorda is one of the easiest villages in Belize to find transport to. Whether you're fly, sail yourself, or drive, you can find there is a relatively straight path to this town, though people who arrive on a cruise strip will have a little extra traveling to do.
In most cases, you don't want to arrive at your destination without plans for how to get around, but in the case of Punta Gorda, it won't throw you off too much. This town is small and caters to tourists, so getting around on foot is quite easy. If you want to travel on wheels, you can rent a car or hail a taxi; however, if you want to visit some other towns in Belize, the bus country's bus system will be of some assistance to you.
Your journey to Punta Gorda, whether you're traveling from Canada, Europe, or the United States will begin in one of four U.S. Cities: Houston, Raleigh, New Orleans, or Miami. This is where direct flights to Belize originate from with Belize City, and transfer to a domestic airline. You will then fly to Punta Gorda, making stops in Dangriga and Placencia along the way for a total travel time from Belize City to Punta Gorda of about 90 minutes. Click here and read out guide to Punta Gorda Air Travel, which will include more specific details of each step in the process of traveling to this southern town, such as when flights leave and how much they'll cost., , or . From these cities, you'll fly to the in Ladyville, which is just outside of
Punta Gorda is one of four official ports of entry in Belize, making this an ideal spot to plan a sailing adventure to. When you arrive in local waters, your first job will be to meet with customs to gain official clearance. You'll need to present four copies of your boat's official paperwork, your crew list, and a list of your ship's stores. When you've been approved for entry, you can then sail to a marina or mooring site dock, and you'll be allowed to sail in Belize's waters for up to 90 days.
It is not an uncommon occurrence to see at least one cruise ship docked in Belize City during the height of tourist season. Cruising to Belize as part of a Caribbean itinerary is very popular, and many passengers get off the ship wanting to visit Punta Gorda. Some ships will have excursions here, while others won't and passengers will need to plan their own way into town.
After driving a straight 24 hours from the United States/Mexico border to the Mexico/Belize border, you'll be required to show your passport and proof of vehicle ownership, plus purchase Belize Liability Insurance and a one month importation permit. After completing these steps, you are free to continue on to Punta Gorda.
To do so, you'll take the Western Highway to Belmopan, head south on Hummingbird Highway, then just before reaching Dangriga connect with the Southern Highway. This final road will take you all the way to Punta Gorda, for a total of almost five driving hours in Belize.
...adjust to driving conditions...
This quaint town caters much to tourists, and rarely will one need to rent a car at all. Many visitors like the freedom of having a vehicle at their disposal, and want to be able to get outside of the village on occasion. For these people, a rental car is a great option. Before you hit the road, it is best to take some time to learn about driving in Punta Gorda. Most U.S. drivers will fit right in, because road signs are similar, speed limits are posted in miles rather than kilometers, and driving is done on the right side of the road. Others may have to give themselves time to adjust to driving conditions that are different than what they are used to back home. However, since the rental car options are scarce here, many will instead rent a car from the nearby area of Dangriga, or all the way back at Belize City.
To learn more, be sure to read either our Dangriga Rental Car Guide or our Belize City Rental Car Guide, both full of usueful information for anyone planning on driving in Belize, as well as local companies and estimated rates.
Punta Gorda may be on the frontier of Belize, but it still is available to taxis. The distance from Belize City means that taxis will likely not be your only mode of transportation during your trip, though may still be a useful option time to time.
You can take a look at our Punta Gorda Taxi Guide to learn about some of the local companies as well as some routes.
Punta Gorda is just one stop among many for long-distance traveling buses in Belize. The more of transportation can be time consuming, but it is a great way to save money over a smaller flight into town or even renting a car. It also allows you to see the country as it goes by your window at a slower pace. Find out the details about bus transport to Punta Gorda by reading about it here.
One final option exists for those who want to travel to Punta Gorda. Ferries and water taxis are common along the coast of Belize, and Punta Gorda is no different. is the local ferry dock -- it's located in the western part of Punta Gorda. From there, you can catch a ride to Guatemala, if you wish.
As you're planning your trip to Punta Gorda you'll quickly learn that at every turn you have numerous options to choose from – transportation included. Make sure to take the time to review each one so that you can confirm which is the best for you and your crew on your trip. It may seem tedious, but you'll be happy you did it in the end.
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