Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve

Type of Attraction
National Park
Near Corozal

  • Protected Area
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Salt Marsh Ecosystem
  • Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

About Location
Bacalar Chico is a hidden treasure with a pristine environment teeming with wildlife and a brilliant array of coral. By virtue of its location on Ambergris Caye, which borders Mexico, the twin sites of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve are remote destinations suited for those who are looking for a less-traveled path and a unique adventure. Bacalar Chico was once an important trading site for the Maya people. They hand dug the canal that now separates Ambergris Caye from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and built many settlements, the evidence of which can still be seen today by taking a tour.

Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve encompasses 15,530 acres and is a fantastic spot for snorkeling and diving. This protected area is also a critical habitat and breeding ground for many animals, including fish such as Horse Eye Jacks and Black Groupers, three species of turtles, and marine and coastal birds.

A popular spot for hiking due to its remote setting and varied landscape, Bacalar Chico National Park has beautiful coastal forests, swamps, mudflats, savannahs, sinkholes, and lagoons. The 12,640-acre reserve has 11 miles (18 kilometers) of nature trails and is home to dozens of animals, including endangered pumas and jaguars.

Eric from TripAdvisor describes Bacalar Chico as a fantastic eco-travel destination. He recalls his experience: “It is formed by the mile-long cut dug by Mayans some 6,000 years ago as an early day version of the Panama Canal. Today, it is home to dozens of unique species, including big cats, manatees, birds, turtles, etc. The park itself has a small museum and interpretive center, which by itself is well worth the visit. Typical tour trips depart from San Pedro and travel along the inland side of Ambergris Caye to the far northern border with Mexico. Tours do not usually visit the Mayan [sites], but they are worth a visit as well if you can talk your tour guide into a short side trip. The snorkeling is well worth the trip as well.”
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Tours & Shuttles
/ Person
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
This tour includes an entire day filled with adventure. We start off our day by heading down to the northern part of Ambergris Caye. On our way to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, we ... morecross a fringing reef called Rocky Point. Once we arrive at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve we then do two snorkeling stops. One is done at the channel and the second one is done at Barracuda Alley. After a fun day of snorkeling, we stop at the beach to eat delicious rice and beans. Once the food is served and everyone is happy, we jump onboard and make our way through the river that splits Mexico with Belize. While crossing, be on the lookout for birds, fishes, rays, and sometimes even manatees. After exiting the river, we stop at the information section where you learn some history from the Mayans, and from the island of Ambergris Caye. This information site has a tower that you can climb. The view from up there is amazing. After leaving the information center, we make our way from the back part of the island. If the group is not tired, we can stop at an isolated beach for the kids and family to swim a little. The total cost for this tour is $600 USD for the charter. Cost includes 6 persons and any additional is $100.00 USD.
/ Person
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
UNTOUCHED BEAUTY Bacalar Chico is a reserve on the northern part of Ambergris Caye that includes reef as well as land. In the morning we make our way along the leeward side of the ... moreisland to the ranger station in the reserve, where you will have a chance to see the flora on the northern part of the island.

We then head out to snorkel Barracuda Reef and Rocky Point before we head to Robles, where our guides will prepare lunch for you. After lunch, we'll explore the deserted beaches, relax in a hammock or chill out in our tree house.
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