The north of the country, mainly low and flat, has Belize’s most productive agricultural land, with many sugar cane and citrus plantations. It is also home to the country's most successful, privately-run conservation projects, resulting in a mix of environmental and archaeological treasures. South of Belize City is Dangriga, a fishing village which is the departure point for the southern Cayes, further south Placencia is brightly-coloured former Creole village with sandy beaches and palms. Near Belize's southern border Punta Gorda is the capital of the Toledo district; the surrounding area offers spectacular waterfalls, forests and Maya sites.
Belize City is the most populous while tiny Belmopan, just inland, is the country’s capital. Between the two is a renowned zoo, with as much wildlife outside the enclosures as within. Also nearby are the Crooked Tree Lagoons and Wildlife Sanctuary (particularly good for birds), the Shipstern Nature Reserve, and the Community Baboon Sanctuary (for black howler monkeys).
The three fishing villages of Dangriga, Placencia and Punta Gorda all have their own charms with beaches, wildlife, waterfalls and Maya sites within easy reach. Dangriga is the departure point for the southern cayes whilst from Punta Gorda it is possible to cross into Guatemala by boat.