The Toledo District is approximately 200 miles from Belize City. Toledo is an agricultural and fishing district and most of its people live in small villages. With a population of just under twenty-three thousand people, it is Belize's least populated district and the headquarters for adventure travel in Belize. Yet the diversity of the various ethnic backgrounds of its people makes Toledo a microcosm of Belizean culture.
With the new Southern Highway, traveling south by car or bus is a scenic ride through the rolling hills of the Hummingbird Highway, then onto the Southern Highway.
Local air travel is also available, with both Tropic Air and Maya Island Air having offices near the airstrip in Punta Gorda, the main town in the Toledo district, with about 4300 residents. Getting from Belize City to Punta Gorda is a comfortable and scenic four-hour car ride, or five and a half hours by bus. Hotel accommodations here are in the budget category.
In October 2001, Hurricane Iris swept through many of the small Mayan villages, flattening them; today, many of the guest house programs are operating again, and the orchards and fields are back up. Still, one year after Iris swept through, the odd piece of roofing zinc can still be seen hugging a tall tree.