Belize has an exceptional biodiversity for a country of its size. Since its independence in 1981, the country has passed laws that protect its natural and cultural treasures.

Today, more than a quarter of its territory is protected.


Great blue hole marine reserve

The Great Blue Hole is one of the most iconic sites in the world.

It’s a giant underwater cavity 300 meters wide and 125 meters deep, located approximately 70km from the coast of Belize.

This protected marine area is fascinating.

Its deep blue color and its turquoise waters harbor more than 1,400 animal and plant species.  It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Popularized since 1971 by commandant Cousteau’s team, the Great Blue Hole is the result of geological phenomenas dating back to dozens of thousands of years.

Diving there (approximately 40 meters) will allow you to explore several submarine caves. Fish, parrots and sharks are already present. Discover our tour to the Blue Hole here.

Note that marine diversity will be more important on the barrier reef surrounding the Great Blue Hole.

Aerial view of the Blue Hole in Belize

Hol Chan Marine Reserve

The Hol Chan marine reserve is classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

It was created in 1987 to protect marine wildlife.

The reserve is divided in four zones, each of which constitutes a different habitat.

You can engage in scuba-diving and snorkeling to discover Caribbean manatees, more than 500 species of fish, as well as protected species of turtles (hawksbill, green and loggerhead turtles).

Hol Chan, meaning small canal in Maya, awaits you. There, you can dive in the midst of a true giant natural aquarium.

Write it in your calendar : at Shark Alley, meet nurse sharks and rays. Unforgettable memories are on the horizon.

See our tour to Hol Chan and Shark Alley.

diver and a ray at hol chan marine reserve

Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve

The Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes marine reserve is located 36km off the coast of Placencia.

This huge area has for distinguishing feature the most healthy parts of the barrier reef.

It harbors plenty of reef and tropical fish such as the whale shark (seen from March to May).

Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

The forest reserve of Mountain Pine Ridge, located in the Cayo district, is the oldest of all the natural parks in Belize.

The main attractions of the Mountain Pine Ridge region are Rio on Pools, Big Rock Waterfalls and Rio Frio Cave.

There, the reliefs are composed of hills, rivers and canyons. All of this is situated at the heart of a pine forest, which contrasts surprisingly with the rest of this tropical country.

Wildlife is represented by a large variety of birds, including endemic species that will bring joy to photographers. Among those can be found the pink-headed warbler and the Stygian owl.

We invite you to organize your discovery of the reserve with us.

Swasey Bladen Forest Reserve

The Swasey Bladen forest reserve is located in the Stann Creek, west of Placencia.

It’s a natural virgin forest that is currently only opened to researchers and scientists.

It has a very rugged terrain and comprises mountainous parts and a lot of waterfalls.
It covers a lot of different ecosystems and thus offers shelter to hundreds of different animal species such as the jaguar, the harpy eagle and the scarlet macaw.

Mayan ruins are plentiful there.

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Reserve

As the first nature reserve in the country, located on the outskirts of Orange Walk district, the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is a humid natural zone that protects a lot of migrating birds and other wild species.

Amateur ornithologists flock to this region in the hope of spotting these birds.

Considered as a hunting ground for a long time in Belize, Crooked Tree became a national reserve in 1984.

On a very humid land that is more than 60 km² large, come admire an exceptional ecosystem.  That way, you won’t miss anything from the observation of the Jabiru stork whose colony in Belize is the biggest in all of Central America (in November and April).

Cockscomb Sanctuary Reserve

Located at the heart of the Mayan mountains, this sanctuary is the only jaguar reserve in the world.

The Cockscomb chain of mountains, over which the Victoria Peak towers at 1120 meters, is an exceptional adventure ground.

A reserve dedicated to protecting the jaguar since 1986, the park is the result of a long work from individuals and national and international organizations.

This enormous reserve harbors creeks, waterfalls and reliefs that constitute a favorable environment for the great beast’s hunting grounds. A lot of patience and self-sacrifice will be needed to spot it. Sir Jaguar does not show up easily.

Your adventure will take place in the middle of an impressive natural landscape with numerous birds as travel companions.

Cockscomb is simply a childhood dream come true…

Shipstern Reserve

Located in the Corozal district, the Shipstern nature reserve is composed of two entities : one zone surrounding the Shipstern laguna interspersed with islands and mangroves and one smaller plot of land to the West.

It’s a dense tropical forest where swamps abound.

It harbors incredible wildlife that includes more than 300 species of birds, among which you can find keel-billed toucans and myriads of parrots;

It is also home to five species of felines including pumas and jaguars, together with Baird’s tapir (which is endangered), crocodiles and peccaries.

A must-see is the Butterfly Garden. It’s a butterfly breeding farm whose cocoons are sent to Europe. You will have access to a high observation tower rising more than 10 meters above the canopy that will give you an exceptional view over the Corozal bay and its lagoon.