Around 20 miles northwest of Punta Gorda is the village of San Pedro Columbia, the largest Kekchi Maya community outside Guatemala. Columbia (as locals call it) was established by Kekchi families who left Pueblo Viejo to look for new farmland around 1905. The village has seen boom and bust, with mahogany and cedar felling, chicle collection and, in the 1970s and 1980s, marijuana cultivation. There are several shops where handicrafts and food can be bought.
Two miles up the river is the source of the Columbia Branch of the Río Grande, where water bubbles out from beneath the rocks. Local guides can take you to see the source; it's a 45-minute walk from the center of town. Behind the village, up in the hills, is the Columbia Forest Reserve, which has thousands of acres of forest, sinkholes, caves and ruins hidden in the valleys. There are also local guides who can take you there.