Introducing Punta Gorda
Most casual travelers in years past didn't make it as far as Punta Gorda (or PG as it's called throughout Belize); if they did, they only used this low-key seaside town as a jumping-off point into Guatemala. Recently though, the worm seems to be turning (at a typically slow Belizean pace, naturally), with the number of visitors coming to chill out in this unpretentious southern town increasing. Some base themselves here for longer-term trips out to the southern cayes or for lengthy explorations of Belize's deep Maya south.
Though it lacks the beaches of Placencia, there are plenty of docks from which to take a dip in the Gulf of Honduras' blue waters. A pretty town, a good part of PG's charm lies in its unassuming character. PG also boasts a good variety of mid-priced guesthouses, hotels and B&Bs, as well as a number of backpacker budget accommodations.
The town of Punta Gorda spreads along the Gulf of Honduras, its downtown area stretching lazily for several blocks just in from the coast. The town center is a triangular park with a distinctive blue-and-white clock tower; the airstrip is northwest, on the inland edge of town. Wednesday, Saturday and, to a lesser extent, Monday and Friday are market mornings, when villagers from the mostly Maya settlements of southern Toledo come to town to buy, sell and barbecue around the central park and Front St.