Welcome to Toledo District (Deep South)

Toledo's attractions – jungle trails, lagoons, wetlands, rivers, caves, waterfalls, villages, countless birds – and its Maya archaeological and cultural heritage are much less trumpeted than those of Belize's other districts, which makes them all the more magnetic to those looking to get off the beaten path.

The sealing of the Southern Hwy through to Guatemala has made this area much more accessible and numerous Maya villages can be visited without leaving the main road, but you'll need to delve a little further to experience the best of the Deep South.

Top experiences in Toledo District (Deep South)

Recent articles

Travel guides

Starting at $21.99

Image for

Toledo District (Deep South) activities

$12.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

Family Fun Indigenous Garifuna Drumming Lesson

Situated on the edge of Punta Gorda town in picturesque surroundings under our traditional thatch palapa with parrots, toucans, howler monkeys, iguanas and hummingbirds all living nearby, from the time you arrive to the time you leave you will never forget your experience.When you arrive you will be greeted by your host, Ronald Raymond McDonald (yes, his real name), an ambassador for the Garifuna culture. As you walk under our thatch you will immediately feel relief from the hot tropical sun and enjoy the feel of the cool sand floor under your feet. You can then admire the thatch while Ray guides you to your drums. Both the thatch and drums are constructed entirely from jungle trees, leaves and vines without a single nail or screw. Ray will give you an overview of the Garifuna people, history and culture, a fascinating mixture of African and Amerindian heritage and culture, and then teach you a simple rhythm on your bass drum.Once you can keep a steady beat, which most people catch on within a minute or two, Ray will then join in on his faster, higher pitched drum, also singing cultural Garifuna songs while you play. Depending how fast a learner you are, Ray will teach you up to five different rhythms during an hour-long lesson, or simply let you enjoy the sound of the simpler songs.After your lesson, Ray can also show you other crafts and plants, such as the seeds of the canna plant which he grows next to the thatch, which are used inside the traditional maracas.Throughout your lesson, Ray is willing to answer any questions and share more about this unique culture.

$16.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

Drumming Dancing and Dinner Indigenous Garifuna Style

When you arrive at our beautiful peaceful location on the edge of Punta Gorda town, there is a good chance you will see the local fireflies, hear howler monkeys, or the local frogs as the sun sets. We will make sure you are comfortable under our beautiful traditional Thatch Palapa, made entirely from natural jungle leaves, trees and vines. Once every body has settled, our chief instructor will welcome you and give you a brief history and introduction to the unique and fascinating Garifuna culture of southern Belize. You will have a chance to look at the traditional drums that are hollowed from solid trees, covered with deer skin and then secured and tightened with jungle vines and sticks. You will then get to sit back and enjoy a professional group performance by our family band, who will introduce you to several traditional rhythms and songs. The rhythms are infectious and you may well find yourself tapping your foot or simply mesmerized by the speed of the drummers' hands. After playing a few songs, you will all be invited to stand up for a group drumming lesson, or if you prefer, you can just stay seated and watch the rest of your group join in. After shaking your hips for a song or two, it's time to sit down and relax again and enjoy a delicious plate of "hudut" - a traditional Garifuna dish of fresh fish sautéed in coconut milk mildly spiced with cilantro and other local herbs, served with mashed plantain. For vegetarians or non-fish eaters, we can arrange an alternative meal.

$105 Cultural & Theme Tours

Full Day Garifuna Cultural Experience

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Warasa Garifuna Drum School, Punta Gorda, Toledo District10am-12n: Drum-making lesson12n-1pm: Traditional “hudut” lunch with fish fillet and juice or soda1pm-2:30pm: 1 1/2 hr interactive Garifuna drumming lesson2:30-3.15pm: 45 minute group performance (4-member group)3:15 – 4pm: 45 minute dancing lesson with group accompanimentDuration: 6 hours

$65 Cultural & Theme Tours

Half-day Garifuna Cultural Immersion

Explore the Garifuna culture on this half-day tour from Punta Gorda.  At 9am, you'll be met by your local host at an open-air thatched palapa. Step inside and begin your musical cultural immersion.  Learn about the materials and techniques used to create the various handmade drums and shakas (maracas) you'll see.  You'll learn both the traditional and more modern methods of drum-making, and get a chance to try for yourself.  You will get to experience the hollowing out a solid hardwood log, planing it, and sanding it smooth, stringing the rope, using jungle vines to affix the deerskin hide and more.  After your drum-making lesson, you will experience a one hour drumming lesson.  Learn up to six different Garifuna rhythms as you master the basic beat on the segunda drum. Play alongside your host, who will introduce you to the faster-paced primero drum. Drum lessons are followed by a 30 minute performance by professional musicians. Throughout all of these experiences, your host will share details of the history and culture of the indigenous Garifuna people.

$95 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Organic Chocolate Farm and Mayan Ruins

We will collect you from your hotel at 9am and head out in private transport to San Pedro Columbia.Firstly we will walk the farm at Eladio's Organic Cacao farm, where you can pick fresh cacao and other fruits directly from the tree. Eladio, our guide, will share his vast knowledge of Belizean vegetation and you will learn about how to grow, graft, harvest and ferment cacao. As a father of 15 you will be enthralled with his family tales and holistic outlook on life.Once you have worked up an appetite you will be treated to a traditional lunch, typically the delicious Mayan dish of Caldo (chicken soup) with fresh corn tortillas. You will then spend an hour or 2 learning the importance of the Cacao drink to the Mayan culture and have a hands on lesson in how to grind the cacao the old fashioned way, on a metate! It is not as easy as it looks.....You will enjoy the traditional chocolate drink and help make into chocolate bars.Once completed we head through the village and out towards Lubaantun Mayan ruins."Lubantuun" meaning "place of fallen stones", is famous for the legendary crystal skull,discovered back in the 1920s. Set on a hilltop in beautiful countryside this site is believed to have some of the finest Masonry work in the Mayan world.The site is home to several burial tombs, and was believed to be an administrative centre used for sacred festivities and ceremonies. You will stop by the visitors centre to see a selection of artefacts discovered on the site and to learn more about the crystal skull. Entrance fees and tour guide are included.Guests are asked to bring a refillable water bottle as water refills will be provided along with fresh fruit snack and of course lunch.We will drop you back at your hotel or designated place around 4pm.

$100 Water Sports

Snorkel Trip with Beach BBQ

Snorkeling, is fabulous in this area and more than likely you wont see another boat which is really special!. We normally leave around 8am and return 3pmish or depending on the group. Our first stop is around 20 minutes away and is Abalone Caye, the Rangers station, where we get a brief overview of the conservation efforts in the Marine Reserve, pay our Marine park fee and have a walk up the observation tower.From there we head off to the Snake Cayes, a total unspoilt paradise! We stop at 2 different snorkel spots before having a delicious beach bbq on West Snake Caye, a beautiful pristine beach on a remote deserted island.

Toledo District (Deep South) in detail