You’ve probably never heard of Joe Taylor’s Creek. As you drive into the town of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District, you’ll drive over a small unassuming bridge. Just underneath this bridge is Joe Taylor’s Creek, a short creek that stretches just a couple miles before emptying out into the sea. Many travelers going into Punta Gorda Town have driven across the bridge never stopping to look what lays beneath. However, those adventurous few who steer off the-beaten-path will find a hidden gem kayaking Joe Taylor’s Creek.
So who the heck is Joe Taylor? According to residents of Punta Gorda Town who are old enough to remember, Joe Taylor was a butcher back in the old British colonial days. He ran his butcher shop at the mouth of the creek, close to where the bridge lays today. Supplying meat to a coastal town with a surplus of fish was good business and Joe ran his shop for years until he passed away. Today, almost nobody remembers the old butcher by the creek, but his name has survived generations to this day.
There is another interesting story about this creek. On the banks on the upper end of the creek you can find volcanic rock. Belize has no volcanoes! The closest volcanoes are thousands of miles away on the Western coast of Guatemala and are mostly inactive. There have not been any geologists who have studied this phenomenon but local guides have their own speculations. Some say eruptions of the now inactive volcanoes in Guatemala ages ago spewed volcanic rock thousands of miles to this little creek in Belize. That’s a long way to travel for molten rock!
Joe Taylor is a great example of Belize’s unique combination of history and nature. Not only can you ponder the story of the old butcher and the out-of-place volcanic rock, but you can also enjoy the raw natural beauty along the creek. As you paddle along in your kayak, you’ll see a variety of birds along the riverbank. If you have a keen eye for wildlife you’ll also spot reptiles and maybe even a few mammals. The best time to kayak the creek is early in the morning when it’s nice and cool and the birds are awake and boisterous.
Plan your Belize Vacation
- Here’s a list of Resorts in Toledo where you can stay and visit Joe Taylor’s Creek.