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Driving safety from BC to PG...

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Lethbridge...
posts: 1
reviews: 7
Driving safety from BC to PG...

We are travelling to Belize soon and are going to be staying in Punta Gorda for some humanitarian work. We will be renting a vehicle in BC. Is it quite safe travelling down the main highways?

4 replies to this topic
belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
posts: 5,622
reviews: 4
1. Re: Driving safety from BC to PG...

Yes and much more so in daylight. Roads have potholes after all the heavy rains and keep an eye out for pedestrian crossing and speed bumps. Very scenic drive. Check your fuel gauge before turning off the Hummingbird onto the Southern hywy and fill up at the station just before that junction should you running low

Belize
posts: 2,223
2. Re: Driving safety from BC to PG...

Here's my standard blurb about driving...

All the main highways are paved, two-lane and well signposted (visitors might disagree about the signposting). A four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary unless you plan to get way off the highways. Insurance is mandatory.

The George Price Highway (formerly called the Western Highway) is the highway from Belize City to Belmopan, San Ignacio, Benque and the western border. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph).

The Burrell Boom Road is a highway that connects the Philip Goldson Highway to the George Price Highway. It’s a shorter route when driving from the airport to Cayo District.

The Hummingbird Highway is the main highway from Belmopan to Dangriga. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph), but with many curves and some one-lane bridges, it’s not safe to drive the maximum speed limit on much of this highway. If driving to Dangriga, this is the best route because it’s very scenic.

The Southern Highway is the highway from the Dangriga turn-off to Punta Gorda. The maximum speed limit is 50 mph (80 kph). There has been some roadwork in recent years, but I think it’s completed now, and the highway is sometimes blocked due to flooding at the Kendall Bridge. The road to Placencia is now paved. The road to Hopkins is unpaved.

Maps will show another road, the Coastal Highway, that runs from the George Price Highway (about halfway between Belmopan & Belize City) to the Hummingbird Highway near Dangriga. It's not really a highway -- it's a gravel road through the bush, and there’s nothing to see except trees and dust, and nowhere to stop (no gas available). If travelling from Belize City to Dangriga, this is a shorter distance, but the road is not paved so you won't be able to drive as fast as on the highway. The Coastal Highway is also used by large trucks that are sometimes reluctant to give way, and the road may be impassable in very wet conditions. If you plan to use this road, try to confirm the condition first. Some rental companies will not allow vehicles on the road. I would not recommend going via that road.

Some general safety tips…

On the highways, be aware of unmarked speed bumps near towns and villages. In wet conditions, the pavement can get extremely slippery due to the type of paving material. Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists walking & riding ON THE HIGHWAY, not on the shoulder. Be careful of that especially at night because lights and reflectors are seldom used. And there are some bad drivers in Belize -- watch out for speeding buses. If driving at night, take more care because road lighting is poor (non-existent). The highways have white posts that act as mile markers.

San Ignacio, Belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Cayo
posts: 4,523
reviews: 229
3. Re: Driving safety from BC to PG...

It's quite safe. Watch out for the speed bumps and the massive holes in the roads. I live here, know the roads like the back of my hand, and I'm a very confident driver, yet I would NEVER drive at night on those roads. The view on the Hummingbird Highway is marvelous. Enjoy the ride.

Punta Gorda, Belize
posts: 20
reviews: 6
4. Re: Driving safety from BC to PG...

The Southern Highway has been completely paved for over 4 years, and about 10 months ago the new, higher Kendal Bridge was finished, so flooding there is no longer an issue (unless a really terrible hurricane or storm brings a HUGE amount of rain).

Driving at night isn't fun as pedestrians and cyclists mostly don't use lights and are virtually invisible on the side of the road. It goes dark by 6.30pm so keep that in mind.

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