Around 70% of the country is covered in tropical forests, 39% of which are protected forests.
This small paradise is now protected by the authorities through national parks and reserves.
More than a quarter of Belize is preserved, be it land or sea.
There are 17 national parks regarded as preservation spaces for animal and vegetal species, as well as responsible tourism sites.
The Blue Hole reserve, discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Protected zones created in the country after independence was declared are particularly focused on preserving biodiversity and protecting animal and vegetal species that are endangered.
#BLUE HOLE NATIONAL PARK
The Blue Hole national park (not to be confused with its famous namesake located off the coast) is near the capital, Belmopan.
It has two cave systems as well as natural paths.
Blue Hole is a blue-colored cenote. One of the caves, called the crystal cave, will make you discover the Mayan underworld of Xibalba (stalactites, stalagmites and Mayan artifacts). As for the park’s paths, they will allow you to observe all birds living near this bewitching location.
#GUANACASTE NATIONAL PARK
The Guanacaste national park is a protected area located to the north of the capital Belmopan.
Declared national park in 1990, this area is a protected section of tropical forest. It is also very accessible. It is therefore the ideal destination for a one-day excursion that will allow you to come close to the local wildlife and plants.
This protected space possesses a magnificent observation terrace overlooking the river. A refreshing swim is a must.
#MAYFLOWER BOCAWINA NATIONAL PARK
The Mayflower Bocawina national park is located in the Southern district of Stann Creek.
Declared national park in 2001, this area is composed of tropical forest, waterfalls and ruins of ancient Mayan cities.
Three sites are recorded there and are currently the subject of archaeological digs.
Archaeologists declared that, once digs are completed, it will be one of the most important archaeological sites in Belize.
A hiking trip can be planned there, note that the most popular hike is the one taking you to the top of the Antelope falls for an abseiling descent.
Numerous nocturnal animals are observable, such as jaguars and pumas.
#RIO BLANCO NATIONAL PARK
The Rio Blanco national park located in the Western part of Toledo district was created in 1994. It is the result of the collaboration of two Mayan villages, Santa Cruz and Santa Elena.
These two communities consider preserving the ecosystem an absolute priority.
The Rio Blanco national park is very diverse in terms of trees and orchids are plentiful there.
There is plenty of wildlife in the region, jaguars and ocelots are regularly seen there.
The apex of the park is its waterfall located on the Rio Blanco River.
After your hike, come and enjoy the large pools that will make you forget that you’re tired and hot.
#CHIQUIBUL NATIONAL PARK
The Chiquibul national park is the largest in Belize. It is located in the Cayo district (South-Western region). It harbors the Mayan site of Caracol (that was once as important as Tikal in Guatemala).
The lush tropical forest has stayed virtually intact since Mayans left it centuries ago.
It spreads towards the South along the Vaca plateau where the highest summit in the country, Victoria Peak, is located.
Fascinating species live there completely free.
Don’t miss the myriads of birds including red-headed vultures and the scarlet macaw.
Revel in the pirouettes of the Yucatan spider monkeys, scare yourself with the raucous cries of the howler monkeys.
Explore the insides of the forest on a search for ocelots and the undisputed king of the place, the jaguar.
A mystical atmosphere, the silence of nature, observation of the animals, you will feel all the sensations of an experience in the forest and they will never leave you.
#SARSTOON TEMASH NATIONAL PARK
The Sarstoon-Temash national park is the most southern park in the country.
It is wild and remote.
It provides shelter to numerous wild animals like the armadillo, the capuchin monkey and the ocelot.
More than 200 species of birds live there.
Exploring it requires a boat. Fishing is prohibited.
#PAYNE’S CREEK NATIONAL CREEK
The Payne Creek natural reserve is located to the South in the Toledo district.
It comprises mangroves and it is renowned for the diversity of its wildlife.
It offers protection to very rare species such as the West Indian manatee and the Atlantic goliath grouper, and that’s without mentioning birds such as the yellow-fronted parrot.
As for the jaguar, it is of course always present.
The main goal of the park is the preservation of biodiversity.
It is a MUST-SEE in the country.
#BILLY BARQUEDIER WATERFALL NATIONAL PARK
Located in the Stann Creek district, south of the forest manatee reserve, the Billy Barquedier national park offer plenty of flowers and animals.
It has magnificent waterfalls and the surrounding ecosystems abound in wildlife.
You will be enchanted to see birds, monkeys, wild beasts and lush flowers.
A camera is much needed.