Punta Gorda, Belize Tourist Attractions
Known locally as "PG", Punta Gorda is the southernmost town of size in Belize. Much of Punta Gorda lies only 20ft/6m above sea level on a limestone escarpment, with the coastline on both sides of the town sloping down to pebbly, dark sand beaches. The town is situated in the humid, lush jungles of the Toledo District and has an attractive overgrown atmosphere.Punta Gorda's streets are lined with large mango trees and the yards of clapboard homes are adorned with flowering bushes. While there are few attractions in town, adventurous travelers use Punta Gorda as a base for exploration of the surrounding rainforest and nearby Mayan villages and archaeological sites.Punta Gorda was founded for the Garifuna, people of mixed African and Carib Indian heritage, who emigrated from Honduras in 1832. For a short period beginning in1866, the British government founded a settlement for Confederate veterans of the U.S. Civil War, but it did not endure. Punta Gorda is still predominantly Garifuna, however like other diverse towns in Belize, other citizens include Creole, Chinese, East Indian and Kekchi and Mopan Mayans. For almost two centuries, fishing has been the town's major livelihood, however tourism and agriculture are also important industries.
Punta Gorda's colorful open-air market offers fresh produce and other merchandise. Trades-people from the surrounding villages come to Punta Gorda's market to buy and sell, and several barbeque vendors can be found on Saturdays.
Punta Gorda's Oldest House
Constructed from cypress, this house is an English home that was brought to Belize as ballast on a sugarcane trading ship. Erected in 1895, this structure is Punta Gorda's oldest house.
Fajina Craft Center
The Fajina Craft Center offers locally made Mayan crafts, such as slate carvings, embroidered wall hangings, shirts and dresses as well as "jippy jappa" baskets.