This coastal population and transport hub began as Mango Creek and later expanded into Independence Village; it is referred to alternately by both names. This is a dispersed community with a sweltering climate and no attractions aimed at tourism, except as a transportation stop. There is also a deep-water port, where Belize’s oil is being exported.
The only reason a traveler be here for any length of time is if he or she is waiting for a boat or bus or perhaps volunteering in one of the medical facilities. Independence has the area’s biggest secondary school, and a boatload of students from Placencia  make the daily trip to conduct their studies, as there is no high school on the peninsula.
There are a few places to stay in Independence if you miss your boat and are stuck here, including 13 rooms at Ursella’s Guest House (up the street behind the basketball court, tel. 501/503-2062, US$20 shared bath) and Hotel Hello (near the bus “station,” tel. 501/523-2428, US$25 s, US$40 d), which has a restaurant. The nicest option, Hotel Cardie’s (tel. 501/523-2421, US$50), is on the main road to the highway. Rooms have air-conditioning, private baths, and TV, and there’s also a decent on-site restaurant.
Eat at Sherl’s (Mon.–Sat. 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m.), behind the gas station where you’ll board or get off your bus. There are cheap plates of food and a bathroom. Or try the Chinese restaurant by the park.
Bus service through Independence is provided on a perplexing timetable. You probably won’t have to worry about bus times, though, since your boat will hook you right onto your bus. The best we could make out, the last bus to Punta Gorda  leaves at 8 p.m., sometimes later, and the last ride to Dangriga  and Belize City  is at 5:30 p.m. The earliest northbound bus from PG arrives around 7 a.m. and the James express reaches at 9 a.m.