Punta Gorda, Belize
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|Punta Gorda Town|
|Coordinates: 16°06′02″N 88°48′27″W / 16.1005°N 88.8074°WCoordinates: 16°06′02″N 88°48′27″W / 16.1005°N 88.8074°W|
|• Mayor||Ashton Mckenzie (UDP)|
|Elevation||4.5 m (14.8 ft)|
| • Estimate |
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
Punta Gorda, known locally as P.G., is the capital and largest town of Toledo District in southern Belize. Punta Gorda is the southernmost sizable town in the nation, with a population of about 5,000 people. Although the town bears a Spanish name, its inhabitants are mostly Kriol/English-speaking, and are primarily of Garifuna, East Indian, Kriol, and Maya descent.
Punta Gorda is a seaport and fishing town on the Caribbean Sea. It was a small fishing village before it was settled by a number of Garifuna emigrants from Honduras in 1823. The Garifuna refer to the town as Peini. The town is about fifteen feet above sea level.
The climate is tropical rainforest (Köppen: Af), similar to that found in the Amazon Basin, with precipitation being high and with temperatures always above 25 °C on average every month.
|Climate data for Punta Gorda, Belize (1991–2020)|
|Average high °C (°F)||28.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||23.4
|Average low °C (°F)||18.6
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||170.6
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||12||8||6||5||11||18||22||20||18||16||13||12||161|
|Source: National Meteorological Service of Belize|
Punta Gorda is the main point of transportation for people visiting the Toledo district and the offshore southern cayes. There is a small airport which serves domestic flights from Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. James Bus Line is based in Punta Gorda and offers a regular service to points north such as Independence, Dangriga, Belmopan, and Belize City. Water taxis offer daily crossings to Puerto Barrios and twice weekly service to Livingston in Guatemala. Unlike the purpose-built water taxis plying the routes between Belize city and the northern cays, the services from Punta Gorda are provided by small, open boats. Punta Gorda will have railway lines to Dangriga and Belize City that are currently in the feasibility study being conducted by CRECG.
There are several hotels in Punta Gorda that draw tourists with their ocean views. Punta Gorda is also a gateway to several well-regarded jungle accommodations, including Cotton Tree Lodge, The Lodge at Big Falls, Copal Tree Lodge, and Hickatee Cottages. Every May the town hosts the Toledo Cacao Festival, held over the Commonwealth Day holiday weekend, which celebrates Toledo district's ancient and modern-day links with cacao and chocolate.
Notable people from Punta Gorda include paranda musician Paul Nabor, Belize's "Queen of Brukdown", Leela Vernon and Destiny Wagner, Miss Earth 2021, the first Belizean woman to win the Miss Earth title.
Punta Gorda is served by 3 primary schools: St. Peter Claver School, Bethel Seventh Day Adventist School, and Punta Gorda Methodist School. It also has one high school, the Toledo Community College, and the Punta Gorda campus of the University of Belize.
St. Peter Claver Catholic parish, with a large elementary school, serves the predominantly Christian-Catholic population of the town.
The town is served by Punta Gorda Polyclinic, as well as a few private doctors.
- ^ "Belize Population and Housing Census 2010" (PDF). Statistical Institute of Belize. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
- ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates by Area and Sex 2008 - 2015". Statistical Institute of Belize. Retrieved 14 May 2016.[permanent dead link]
- ^ Joynes-Burgess, Kate (2011). Belize: A Great Destination. Woodstock, Vermont: Countryman Press. p. 307. ISBN 978-1581571295.
- ^ "Punta Gorda climate: Average Temperature, weather by month, Punta Gorda weather averages - Climate-Data.org". en.climate-data.org. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
- ^ "Climatology Information for a few stations across Belize". National Meteorological Service of Belize. Archived from the original on 6 January 2022. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
- ^ "Punta Gorda, Belize - Schools".
- Media related to Punta Gorda, Belize at Wikimedia Commons
- Punta Gorda, Belize travel guide from Wikivoyage