Heading east from San Ignacio you pass the tiny Belizean capital of Belmopan before joining the Hummingbird Highway that reaches south to the coast.
The road is the most beautiful in the country, meandering through lush subtropical forests and huge plantations of citrus and banana.
Along the way
It is possible to break your journey at the surprisingly impressive Belize Zoo or the Blue Hole National Park, where you can cool off in a beautiful natural swimming hole.
Along the coast you find the quaint fishing villages of Hopkins and Dangriga and a further 48 kilometres south, Placencia.
The beaches down here are not of the white sand variety but there are some lovely places to stay where you can simply relax by the pool, with the spectacular outer coral reefs, and their superb snorkelling and scuba-diving, just a boat trip away.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
This is also the jumping-off point for visiting Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which offers fantastic walking among pristine jungle, beautiful waterfalls, rivers and streams.
The elusive jaguar is rarely seen but if you visit early in the day you have the prospect of seeing a multitude of bird species, deer, tapirs, coatis, and if you are lucky, pumas and ocelots.
If it’s manatees you seek, take a boat trip out to Placencia Lagoon where in the shallow waters you can spot these unique creatures coming to the surface to breathe.
Close to Placencia, Gladden Spit is one of the few places in the world that snorkellers and divers can encounter the magnificent whale sharks, which commonly visit during the full moon periods of April and May.
Suggested itineraries featuring Coastal Mainland
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Coastal Mainland, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Coastal Mainland
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Coastal Mainland
Accommodation choices for Coastal Mainland
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Coastal Mainland. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.