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Our Trip to the Belize Zoo!

By 1/31/2018 5 minutes

A forty minutes’ drive on the George Price Highway from Belize City, we kept our eyes open for the little wooden sign marked, “The Belize Zoo.” It had been a long time since I’ve been here – maybe about eight years or so. I don’t recall much from the last visit; but, The Belize Zoo is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Belize and I was excited to visit the zoo again. Hosted in a twenty-eight-acre facility, this zoo is home to many diverse species of wildlife and plants that are native to Belize. It serves as a recreational visiting hotspot and an educational center for all visitors. Unique in its kind, it is also the first nature destination in Belize that is fully accessible to handicap visitors.
We love the Belize Zoo because all the animals here have been given a second chance and a lovely home. They have all been either removed from the illegal pet trade, rescued, orphaned, abandoned, donated by other zoos, or born right here in the Zoo

What are the Entrance Fees?

As soon as we spotted the sign, we drove into the short dirt road that took us to the zoo’s parking lot. We got out of the car and went to the ticket booth. For each adult, it was a $30 BZD ($15 USD) entrance fee, and $5 USD for children. For locals, the entrace fee is $7 BZD - which I was not aware of.

Having paid our ticket and received our maps, we proceeded to the little welcoming area that held the history and fun facts of the zoo. There was also a window exhibit that housed three boa constrictors. Mesmerized by their shiny scaled skin, watched them slither on the tree branches that were placed in the exhibit for a few minutes before starting our tour of the zoo. “Let’s go!” said Derrick. We exited the room and into the zoo.

What is the Experience Like?

The atmosphere and the environment reminded me of a lush rainforest where the animals roam freely within a large area. Each enclosure that held the animals looked as if it was their natural habitat, designed for each species to feel like they’re home. Following our maps, we started where the scarlet macaw is. This bird was huge! It was much bigger than I expected it to be. I’ve seen scarlet macaws in pictures; but, I would have never thought that it be so large. It was at least a foot and a half in height! His colorful feathers looked so vibrant against the green leaves.

Continuing the path, we met some adorable jaguarondis and foxes before reaching the harpy eagle exhibit. This bird, too, was impressive. Resting on a high branch, the harpy eagle looked proud and powerful. Initially, due to my astigmatism, I thought it was a large owl. It even did the twitching movement that owls do with their necks. Unknowingly, I said out loud, “That’s an owl?” Maria and Derrick laughed hysterically at me. “No Ange, that’s the harpy eagle,” said Maria. “Oh,” I felt embarrassed, but couldn’t help but to laugh along with them. We walked down the steps from the harpy eagle exhibit and encountered the lady harpy eagle. She looked majestic as she rested on the tree limb. We even got the chance to see her flap her wings as she flew from one end of the limb to the other. She was so beautiful. I marveled at her beauty while Derrick snapped pictures of her, hoping that he could get another shot of her flying. “Follow me guys, this way please,” said Maria, ushering us along the path, pretending to be our guide. Derrick and I chuckled as we followed her down the walkway.

Coatis running about in their fenced area, we watched them as we passed by. Heading towards the jaguar exhibit, we saw the jaguar from a distance. Excited, we rushed to the fenced area to take a closer look at him. This creature was astonishing beyond words. His fur looked so clean and fluffy, tempting me to want to put my hand through the fence and pet him (not advised). You would think that encountering a jaguar would cause him to roar or pounce at you; but, he was so tamed and friendly. He balanced on two logs that were placed in the front of the exhibit and stretched his body, displaying his flexibility. “Woah!” Maria and I said in awe. Pointing to the jaguar, I told Maria, “He looks just like a stuffed teddy bear!” He was obedient and didn’t growl or snarl at any of his viewers. I could have stared at him for the entire day, but we had more of the zoo to explore.

Another feline that we saw was the puma. “Wow, look at her eyes,” Maria told me. She had piercing grayish-blue eyes that were able to captivate anyone passing by. Those large, glossy orbs were able to hypnotize anyone that stares into them. Her fur looked so soft and fuzzy. She was calm and friendly to Derrick, Maria and I. We continued to watch the puma as she strode to comfortable spot and sat while.

Following our maps, we made it to the howler monkeys. There were at least four of them in sight, swinging and climbing from the branches. The monkeys hung from their tails while picking at the leaves of the tree. The crowd observing them were captivated with the baby monkey of the troop. Little in size, but big in energy, the little creature was able to climb and pick his snack from the nearby plants. We continued to the rest of the exhibits in the zoo. There were white-tailed deer with antlers that were quite unusual. They looked like hardened lava on the top of the deer’s head. It was fascinating to see such exquisite animals in our local zoo.

Our team also saw iguanas, owls (the real one this time), peccaries, crocodiles, turtles, and our national animals, the tapir and the keel-billed toucan, in the location.

Why You Should Visit!

There are over forty-five species of wildlife that are native to Belize, about a hundred and fifty animals living in the zoo.  Embracing the theme of the conservation of Belize’s wildlife, many of these animals are rehabilitated, rescued and tamed. This well-maintained zoological facility and educational center is one of its kind in Belize. It’s a must see for anyone. We enjoyed our time exploring The Belize Zoo, and I’m sure that you will too! What are you waiting for? Book your trip to The Belize Zoo and Let’s go Belizing!

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Our Belize cave tubing is done at Caves Branch, with all the gear included. We have gear catered for all ages and sizes, including life jackets and inner tubes built tough for maximum safety. Your guide will be with you along the entire tubing journey, pointing out different features of the caves like the crystal formations hanging from the ceiling. You will also get to see remains of Mayan artifacts, tools, and secret chambers where the Mayans used to perform various rituals.

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The tour offers a complimentary hour & 30 minutes Water Taxi transfer to Belize City where you will journey along Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, and mangroves and get a glimpse of St. George’s Caye before arriving at the commercial City of Belize where you will meet your tour guide. From there you board their private vehicle as you begin the scenic journey on the George Price Highway to Caves Branch. After a brief introduction to your guide, gear, and instructions you undertake the most amazing cave tubing experience there is. Join us for an unforgettable Cave Tubing Combo.
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AMAZING JUNGLE ADVENTURES We begin by making our way to the mainland & up the Belize River. Along the way while we serve breakfast keep an eye out to spot crocodiles, iguanas & ... morepossibly manatees.

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The Belize Zoo measures approximately 29 acres in size with plenty of space to create comfortable habitats for the animals. The Belize Zoo plays an important role in helping educate both foreign visitors and locals alike about the wide diversity of fauna in the country and the importance of protecting and preserving it.

Founded in 1983, the Belize Zoo is the first facility of its kind to be fully accessible to individuals with reduced or impaired mobility. Animals at the zoo include birds such as parrots, keel-billed toucans, giant harpy eagles, scarlet macaws, vultures, and the endangered Jabiru Stork. The Belize Zoo is also home to reptiles and amphibians, including crocodiles, snakes, salamanders, frogs, and lizards.

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There is also a gift shop located on the premises of the zoo. Income from visitor admissions helps the zoo fund its educational programs for the youth of Belize as well as conservation programs such as its jaguar rehabilitation program and harpy eagle restoration program. Proceeds also help fund the Belize Zoo’s continuing mission to provide care for injured, orphaned and abandoned animals from all across the country.

The Belize Zoo is located approximately a 30-minute drive west of Belize City and receives over 68,000 visitors every year.
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The natural environment of Belize is left entirely intact within the zoo. The dense, natural vegetation is separated only by gravel trails through the forest. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center received almost 15,000 schoolchildren every year. The Belize Zoo focuses on educating visitors about the wildlife of Belize through encountering the animals in their natural habitat.

The aim is to instill appreciation and pride, and a desire to protect and conserve Belize’s natural resources. The Zoo was the recipient of the Belize Tourism Board’s 9th National Tourism Award, “Educational Award of the Year” in 2009.
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Guest Name:
Dorian Rivero

Belizing Staff

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