Belize Information

Unforgettable National Parks and Protected Areas in Belize

By Belizing.com Staff 1/22/2019

For a small nation, the amount of land the Belize government has allocated to parks is unprecedented, and about 50-percent of Belize is protected by one environmental law or another. We’ve chosen just 10 of the best. Each offers a unique experience you may not find elsewhere in Belize.

  1. Hol Chan Marine Reserve: Once a community-based project, this “little channel” remains a hospitable place for indigenous marine life. Hol Chan is Belize’s oldest reserve and it has gotten the attention of societies dedicated to the preservation of animal life around the globe.

  2. Cockscomb Basin: While other species of exotic cats hang out in this park, the kings (and queens) of Cockscomb are endangered Jaguars. A wildlife sanctuary since 1984, you’ll trek through jungle in search of elusive creatures. Bring a camera just in case you are lucky enough spot one

  3. St. Herman’s Cave and the Inland Blue Hole. You don’t have to be saintly to visit St. Herman’s Cave, but you may wish to say a prayer if jumping into the site’s iconic, 25-foot-deep Blue Hole scares you. This popular recreation spot is tucked into the jungle adjacent to an underwater cave. You want to see that too, right?

  4. Guanacaste National Park: A tree is a tree is a tree—unless it’s the Guanacaste variety. Why name a park after a tree? Because this 50-acre forest in the Cayo District hosts 100+ bird species and nicely-marked trails give visitors room to spot lots of them. Come for the tree. Stay for the birds! Binoculars are mandatory.

  5. Half Moon Caye Natural Monument: The beauty of this crescent-shaped caye is breathtaking enough to qualify as a movie set. Dedicated in 1982, this 45-square-acre paradise is a lush mix of endangered forest, beach and enough palm trees to convince you that you’ve arrived in paradise. For birders: red-footed boobies hang out here, too.

  6. Great Blue Hole: How lucky is Belize to have two Blue Holes? This world-class Caribbean diving epicenter is so popular, divers of all skill levels come to Belize to do nothing but dive into this perfectly-formed, 410-foot natural wonder. Come just once and you’ll understand why Jacques Cousteau couldn’t get enough of this spot.

  7. Community Baboon Sanctuary: You will hear the noise before you meet the locals at this sanctuary situated along the Belize River. This habitat is also home to Black Howler Monkeys. Primate watchers flock here to see why the Zoological Society of Milwaukee County and World Wildlife Fund help promote this community-initiated project.

  8. Laughing Bird Caye: This World Heritage site is 11 miles off the Placencia coast, the southern-most island in the Belize Barrier Reef chain. An ideal location to study coral habitats and marine life, you won’t find laughing birds here because they’ve migrated to new homes, but feel free to laugh on their behalf during your visit.

  9. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve: You may smell the pines before you see them—perhaps all the way from San Ignacio Town, a portal to this 300-mile preserve founded under the 1924 Forests Act. Explore the reserve, but don’t miss the Hidden Valley waterfall, Rio on Pools and Rio Frio Cave. Bring a bathing suit.

  10. Shark Ray Alley: Tell friends that you swam with sharks and they’ll be impressed. You don’t have to mention that they were harmless nurse sharks and equally harmless rays. Trained to respond to human visitors after years of being fed by fisherman, these sharks and rays have come to depend upon human interactions, so join the party.

We know what you’re asking: How do I arrange to get to all 10 of these sites during my limited time in Belize? The answer is Belizing.com. This Belize resource is in the business of sorting out tours, transfers, transport and logistics for travelers just like you.
 
In addition to feeling confident knowing that all arrangements are handled by one resource, it's good to know that Belizing.com contributes to community programs that help keep these beautiful parks in protective care in perpetuity, which means that every time you work with Belizing.com, you help too!

Learn More
Tours/Activities
$
150
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1990 is world renowned for being the first jaguar reserve. Besides being the home to Belize's largest cat, the sanctuary protects ... morethe headwaters of two major river systems and supports an abundance of hardwood vegetation and a diverse faunal assemblage. Over 128,000 acres of the lush jungle is ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to all five (5) of Belize's cats: Jaguar, Puma, Margay, Jaguarundi, and Ocelot. It is estimated that over 80 resident Jaguars are in the area. Belize's national animal, the endangered Baird's Tapir also inhabits the Basin and over 290 different species of birds have been recorded. This tour is ideal for nature lovers and intrepid travelers.
Get a chance to be up close and personal with the majestic jaguar.
$
295
/ Person
$
875
-
$
1,400
/ Group
Departs From:
Belize City
See the world famous Great Blue Hole in the best way possible … from the air with our Blue Hole Aerial Tour from Belize Concierge Excellent in Belize City. Hope on board a Piper Pa-32 ... moreCherokee Six and fly to Lighthouse Reef Atoll, and witness This natural wonder of the world. On the way, you will see the Belize Barrier Reef (the longest in the Western Hemisphere), and Turneffe Atoll. While flying over the largest sea-hole in the world, keep an eye out for various sea wildlife such as Manatees, Rays, Sharks, Dolphins, and much more!!

This is a 1-hour tour that departs from the Belize City Municipal Airport to fly over the Blue Hole and returns.
$
95
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
Laughing Bird Caye is a National Park and World Heritage Site. It has a long and narrow island known for its abundance in marine life and corals. What makes this destination special ... moreis that it stands in a faro. Faros is angular atolls which enclose Central Lagoons. The Laughing Bird Caye offers diverse sites to explore such as the "Coral Garden", the "Laughing Bird Drop Off", "Laughing Bird North", "Laughing Bird South", the "Wreck" and lastly, "Long Coco Split"; making it a great choice to snorkel, scuba dive or even beach come!
$
65
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Your friendly Smart Travel Belize Tour Guide will meet you at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City. After your welcome, your guide will then make his way through Belize City. ... moreExpect to get a brief history about Belize as we make our way to the highway. Enjoy your 45-minute ride on the Phillip Goldson Highway where you will be given a wealth of information about each of the villages. Additionally, see how the locals past their time throughout the day. Upon arriving at the Community Baboon Sanctuary, you will meet one of the local guides who will be conducting the howler monkey tour. 

You will be taken along the howler monkey trails where you will be given a brief history of how the Community Baboon Sanctuary came into existence. You will also learn about the Flora and Fauna in the area. Come in contact with different medicinal plants and their benefits that were once used by the Mayas and the locals of today. You will get a close encounter with the Howler Monkeys and hear their loud howl as if you are in the Jurassic Movie.

From there you will make your way back towards Burrell Boom Village where you will make a small stop to do some birding at the Black Orchid Resort. The Black Orchid Resort is the number 1 Resort in the Area and they boast approximately over 100 different species of Birds that visit the property. They also have a Restaurant on the property if you would like to grab a bite or something to drink. You will then Head back to Belize City where your guide will take you back to the Fort Street Tourism Village.

Notes:

This tour is available to cruise ship passengers and overnight guests.

Hands-on tour.
$
85
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Indulge yourself in the pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea. This is a must do tour when you’re in Belize. For all the water lovers and those that want to experience the underwater ... moreworld and swim in a real-life aquarium. Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley is the place to be. You will get a chance to overcome your fears to swim with friendly nurse sharks and southern stingrays. As your boat pulls up to the area, you will get a first-hand view of the sharks as they come close to the boat. These creatures flock to this site due to the fishermen that are normally in the area. Your guide will also lift the rays for you to take wonderful pictures and will guide you as you enter into the crystal clear water so you can swim with the sharks and rays.

During this tour, you will be able to snorkel at 3 locations for about 45 mins to an hour. As you swim the barrier reef, you’ll get a chance to see different coral formations along with different schools of tropical fishes. You will definitely have a UNBELIZEABLE time here. After snorkeling, you may stay on the island to grab a quick bite to eat before returning to Belize City.
$
60
/ Person
$
350
/ Group
Departs From:
San Pedro (Ambergris Caye)
Provider:
At Hol Chan Marine Reserve, a guide will lead you along the reef, pointing out the many interesting fish and coral formations. This beautiful, small channel contains many different ... moreschools of fish. Large black groupers, horse-eyed jacks, schoolmaster snappers and sergeant majors will escort you through this very scenic tour around the channel. At Shark Ray Alley you can snorkel with friendly Nurse Sharks & southern stingrays next to the boat. Enjoy the Blue Tang Fishes as well.
$
75
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Mountain Pine Ridge is a nature reserve in the Cayo District, Belize. It is one of the most heavily visited reserve that covers 300square miles. There are pine needle trees and granite ... morerocks that make the landscape stounding. It is the oldest and largest protected area in Belize.
Rio On Pools is a scenic place that is located amidst a forested area in the Mountain Pine Ridge. It consists of a number of waterfalls and rocks formations with naturally formed pools.
Rio Frio Cave: Is a 65ft tall cave opening boasting stalactites, stalagmites, with a majestic scenic view with a clear refreshing stream passing through in the far end of the cave.
Big Rock Falls: This spectacular fall is 150ft cascading on the Provision river, in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
$
100
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
St. Herman’s Cave was a sacred Maya ceremonial site in the Classic Period. The concrete steps at its entrance cover original stone steps carved over a thousand year ago. From the cave, ... morewe take a 45-minute nature trail hike to the Blue Hole. This turquoise blue pool is surrounded by lush jungle, a great spot for birding and refreshing dip.
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Belizing.com Staff

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