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Hummingbird Highway, Belize

Belize’s Most Beautiful Drive: The Hummingbird Highway Adventure

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Belize along the Hummingbird Highway. From charming villages to the majestic Maya Mountains, this route offers a taste of Belize’s natural wonders and cultural delights. This article contains links to Amazon, from which, as an Amazon Associate, this website will earn a small commission if you make any purchases, at no extra cost to you. Some other links are also affiliate links, where we will also make a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking, again, at no extra cost to you. Visit our Affiliate Disclosure Page for more info.

The Hummingbird Highway is by far the most beautiful of the four major highways in Belize (the Northern, the Western, the Southern, and the Hummingbird). Indeed, the Hummingbird is known as one of the most scenic drives in Central America. I would say the most scenic.

Spanning from the intersection of the Western Highway outside of Belmopan all the way to the coastal town of Dangriga, the Hummingbird Highway invites travelers to enjoy the absolute scenic best of Belize.

Barbecues and bridges

Passing through charming small villages, you’ll see homes adorned with colorful Coca-Cola and Belikin Beer signs, alluring visitors with the promise of cold drinks and sizzling barbecued delicacies. Homefront barbecue stands are Belize’s tasty version of fast food.

For me, the true excitement begins as I navigate the winding mountain roads skirting the majestic Maya Mountains. The landscape unfolds like a natural masterpiece, adorned with countless palm trees, creating an illusion of vast rainforests.

As you navigate the Hummingbird Highway, you’ll encounter several one-way, single-lane railroad car bridges, a fascinating piece of history. These bridges, dating back to before WWII, bear witness to the transportation of bananas and citrus fruits. It’s a testament to Belize’s agricultural past, as without the banana and citrus business, the Hummingbird Highway would still be a humble dirt track.

En route, local families extend their warm hospitality, offering refreshing coconut water, fresh corn, and an array of delectable fruits.

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Pure natural beauty on the Hummingbird Highway

Yet, the Hummingbird Highway’s uniqueness is not just about scenic villages and stretches of desolation; it unveils hidden gems, including several eco-resorts and stunning national parks.

Among my favorites is the enchanting Rainforest Lodge at Sleeping Giant, where cozy cottages provide a haven for relaxation, complete with private soaking pools, mesmerizing mountain vistas, and glass walls that allow you to connect with nature, sharing your space with tropical birds and playful monkeys.

At Highway Marker Mile 42 you’ll find the St. Herman’s Cave and Blue Hole National Park. Don’t confuse St. Herman’s Blue Hole with the more famous Great Blue Hole diving spot off the coast. St. Herman’s Cave is an underground wonder adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, showcasing a glimpse of Mayan history with ancient artifacts. The Blue Hole, a picturesque cenote with clear turquoise waters, is perfect for a refreshing dip to break up your journey.

… and don’t forget the hot sauce!

Before reaching Dangriga, there’s one last must-see spot, a beloved local favorite – Marie Sharp’s. Revered throughout Belize, Marie Sharp’s hot sauces have earned a place on every restaurant table in the country. As you approach Dangriga on the Hummingbird Highway, watch for the sign that leads to the manufacturing facility and tasting room. With an enticing variety of flavors available, choosing what to buy is a challenge.

One thing is certain – on this journey, bring along a can of spare air, as the awe-inspiring beauty of the Maya Mountains will take your breath away. Driving the Hummingbird Highway is an experience that leaves an indelible mark on every traveler’s heart when they visit Belize.

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Gary Peterson lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he writes books about Central America and the Caribbean. Read more of Gary’s work on his blog.

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson

Gary Peterson has traveled and written about many destinations worldwide. He’s written travel guides for Europe including Italy, France, and the Greek Islands. For the past few years, he’s traveled extensively throughout Central America, publishing two books on Belize. Gary lives on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize, where he continues writing about Central America and the Caribbean.