Columbia Forest Reserve

One of the most biologically diverse eco-systems in Belize is located in San Jose. It is the Columbia River Forest Reserve and it is comprised of 103,000 acres of tropical rainforest. Tourists are welcome to tour the reserve, though it is a strenuous hike to say the least.

The reserve is extremely diverse, ranging from karsified landscapes featuring a system of caves and sink holes, quartz rocks, creeks, limestone rock above an aquifer, and the well-known "Little Quartz Ridge."

A hike through the reserve will turn up numerous plants and animals native to Belize, many of which have yet to be discovered and cataloged. For example, a recent expedition turned up 15 species of fern alone that had never been seen before.


Located near the heart of Toledo District, Columbia Forest Reserve happily welcomes tourists who are lodging in this part of Belize. However, even if you aren't staying particularly close, you should consider dropping by to enjoy a great time. If you're curious, Punta Gorda is 27 miles (43 kilometers) to the southeast.

The reserve, which is difficult to reach, is located north of San Jose.

Nearby Attractions

Other kinds of local activities include Tiger Cave, which is within driving range in Toledo District. Also, you might consider visiting Hokeb Ha Cave, which is another attraction in the vicinity.

A wildlife reservation is one type of attraction you can visit, but there's more to visit in Belize. The table below lists other attractions that are closest.

Attractions Near Columbia Forest Reserve
Attraction Type Distance Direction Location
Tiger Cave GeoFeature 7.8 mi. (33.5 km) E 20.8 mi. Northwest of Punta Gorda
Hokeb Ha Cave GeoFeature 10.3 mi. (27.1 km) SE 16.8 mi. Northwest of Punta Gorda
Lubaantun -- 10.5 mi. (26.4 km) SE 16.4 mi. Northwest of Punta Gorda
Santa Cruz Falls GeoFeature 11.2 mi. (32.9 km) S 20.4 mi. West-Northwest of Punta Gorda

More Information


In order to enter the reserve you must procure a permit from the Forestry Department.

Location: Toledo District, Belize


(501) 722-2765


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.