There are many breathtakingly beautiful places in Belize. Some you have to climb to get to, some you have to swim to see and others you have to hike to discover. However, there’s one that doesn’t require any effort. To enjoy the Hummingbird Highway, all you have to do is hit the gas and let the scenery roll along. With Belize expanding its Tourism Safe Corridor to include car rentals, you can roll the windows down and take a drive down the always scenic Hummingbird Highway.
What’s Special about the Hummingbird Highway
The Hummingbird Highway is arguably the most scenic road in Belize. It takes you past patches of lush jungle, mountain ranges, colorful houses, citrus farms and small villages. The highway is well-paved. You can drive the whole 55-mile length of it in about two hours.
What To See
You should plan to take your time so you can make stops along the way. Most people can’t resist pulling over to visit a small village, get some authentic Creole food or stop for some freshly squeezed juice or coconut water along the way. Like other parts of Belize, the highway offers great wildlife and birdwatching; a stop at the urban green space of Guanacaste National Park outside of Belmopan is a must for the wildlife lover! Additionally, Guanacaste National Park, co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society, is a Gold Standard certified tourism site. Here, the Hummingbird Highway starts; you’ll see howler monkeys, agouti, hummingbirds, and more. After all, the Hummingbird Highway connects Belmopan in the north to Dangriga on the southeastern coast. It starts in the shadows of a mountain range, crosses several rivers and ends in the colorful Garifuna fishing village.
Where to Stop Along the Way
Billy Barquedier Waterfall: Stop at the sign and walk down the path for about 15 minutes. You’ll arrive at this lovely waterfall with a shady, secluded natural pool. This waterfall is one of the best-kept secrets in Belize. Learn more about the Billy Barquedier National Park with APAMO Belize.
St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park: Take a walk through this jungle preserve to the inland Blue Hole, a natural pool filled with fresh (invigorating) spring water. The pool is a refreshing place to take a dip after your hike. Additionally, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society, is a Gold Standard certified tourism site.
Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery: Pen Cayetano is one of Belize’s most celebrated musicians. He is also a visual artist. At his family’s gallery in Dangriga, you’ll find Pen’s gorgeous paintings of Belize, his wife Ingrid’s homemade delicacies and their daughter’s picture books for children. Stop in to see the artwork, buy a gift and take a Garifuna drumming lesson with Pen.
Take the Long Way
In Belize, you should never be in a hurry. Get on the Hummingbird Highway and see where it takes you. Although no matter how tired we are of all the extra precautions of the pandemic, this is absolutely not the time to let your guard down. Road trips are no exception. Tourists visiting Belize can move about freely, however it is recommended that they remain within the Tourism Safe Corridor. The Safe Corridor includes Gold Standard certified restaurants, tour operators, tourism sites and attractions, and gift shops. Visitors will be able to rent a car from the international airport.
- Visitors may rent and self-drive vehicles only if pick-up and return are at the international airport, and
- GPS tracking will be used for contact tracing purposes
Roam responsibly in Belize by taking CCL’s Responsible Travel Pledge here.
Header photo by the Belize Tourism Board.