We survived Belize’s most dangerous highway.

Posted: October 31, 2014 by Central America Overland Expeditions in Expedition/Travel

On Belizean maps, this road is called Coastal Highway. We refer to it as “The Axle Buster, Shock Knocker, and Hellway Road”. Its 33 miles of thrills and chills from start to finish. Why it’s called Coastal Highway we don’t understand. It’s nowhere near Belize’s coast line, and you certainly can’t do highway speed. Rental car agencies in Belize forbid the use of their cars being used on this road. You have to sign a waiver stating you will not use coastal highway, and if you do and have a break down, you are on your own. It’s so bad, Belizean bus lines have stopped providing service on Coastal Highway and entire communities such as Gales Point all rely on hitch hiking.

Listen, if you’re planning to be one of the few people gunning to get the “I Survived Coastal Highway Belize” T-shirt here are a few tips. Only drive it with a high clearance 4×4 vehicle, a full size spare tire, a tow rope, and a winch if your vehicle has one. It’s also a good idea to bring camping gear (sleeping bag, flashlights, extra food and water) in case you get stuck and have to spend the night out there. We only encountered 4 other vehicles the entire hour and half trip, and there is no cell phone signal to be had. It is teeth jarring with extreme mud holes, wash outs, and rickety old wooden bridges with no guard rails. At times the jungle is so thick and overgrown, you’ll feel as if Coastal is going to swallow you up. It is perhaps one of Belize’s most dangerous roads, and certainly one we’d rank as Central America’s most challenging. We’ve driven Volcano ring roads in Nicaragua, El Salvadoran Crater Lake tracks and Guatemalan jungles, and I’m telling you this is one scary ride. So, you’ve been warned! Now if you’re wondering why did we do it? Bragging rights of course.

  1. Alan says:

    My wife and I live on the Coastal Highway at Mile 15, just passed that wooden bridge you show. We drive an LR Defender, and go in and out to buy supplies twice a week. We’ve been down that road six years now. Yes, it’s tough on vehicles and jaw bones, but we love it cos we are free from the rat race and the landscape is stunning. We run a Wildlife Sanctuary and release center. So, if anyone gets stuck down our way or needs any help, just pull up to our red gate and wait. Silent alarms trigger our response which will get us to the locked gate in about five minutes. Our house is a mile off road behind the hills. Now, if you want some real off road experience, we can take you down to the lagoons! And you thought the Coastal Highway was a bad road..?

    • Alan this is great to hear! We actually love Coastal Rd. It makes driving fun. We would love to tour the lagoons and anywhere you could show us. We will stop in some time in the future on our trip back through there.

      • Alan says:

        No problem… Just give us a day or two notice. The lagoons will be there and you could camp, too. The dry season hits around February to May, but that’s for VWs and Fords. June to October is for LRs only. Getting stuck is almost guaranteed for beginners, the Savannah when wet is a bizarre mix of corn starch and brown ice; it looks firm it feels firm and then suddenly you realize…


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