The Hummingbird Highway in Belize
The Hummingbird Highway is one of the most beautiful and scenic routes in the country. Named for the abundance of hummingbirds found in the country, the Hummingbird Highway connects central Belize to the southeastern coast.
First paved in 1994, the highway is 53.7 miles (86.4 km) long and connects the George Price Highway (often referred to as the Western Highway) outside of Belmopan in central Belize to the Southern Highway just outside of the town of Dangriga in the Stann Creek District of southeastern Belize.
Despite its name, the Hummingbird Highway is not a highway in the traditional sense of the word as used in the United States or Canada. Instead, it is a paved, two-lane road more akin to a county road (USA) or provincial road (Canada). The highway passes over several bridges along its route, many of which are one-lane only.
Because it is paved and well-maintained, it is the fastest way to travel from northern and western points in the country to the southeastern coast. From Belize City, the route to the southeast follows the Western Highway to Belmopan in the center of the country and then the Hummingbird Highway heads southeast until it reaches the outskirts of Dangriga on the coast.
Many visitors to Belize love the Hummingbird Highway because it is one of the prettiest and most scenic routes in the country. The Hummingbird Highway passes through many villages as well as large orchards along its length. It takes approximately two hours to drive the entire Hummingbird Highway and the road skirts the edge of the Maya Mountains and several top tourist destinations along the way.
The majority of the highway follows the old right of way for the now-defunct Stann Creek railroad. Technically speaking, only the first 32 miles from Belmopan towards Dangriga is officially the Hummingbird Highway while the remaining 23-mile portion is the Stann Creek District Highway, but locals almost always refer to the entire route simply as the Hummingbird Highway.
Starting in Belmopan, attractions along the way include:
- St. Herman’s Cave – Mile 12.2
- The Inland Blue Hole – Mile 13.1
- Bridge over the Sibun River – Mile 18.6
- St. Margaret’s Village/Five Blues Lake – Mile 23
- Hummingbird Gap – Mile 26
- Bridge over the Mullins River – Mile 34.7
- Junction with Southern Highway – Mile 48.2
- Havana Street in Dangriga – Mile 53.7