Natural Attractions in Belize

Belize abounds with natural scenery

Photo credit: © Rebecca Picard | Dreamstime.com
 

Visitors often find that a trip to Belize is incomplete if they don't step outside and explore. Luckily, many of Belize's resources are dedicated to protecting the country's natural habitats, making the experience all the more enjoyable.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Do you hope to spend more of your vacation time outside? You might be happy to learn the area has a good selection of nature preserves available.

Port Honduras Marine Reserve is a popular nature preserve southern Belize. One of the most recently declared marine reserves in Belize is Port Honduras Marine Reserve, which was named as such in January of 2000. It serves as one of the most important fish nurseries in the Caribbean, and is an all around beautiful site to see.

Vacationers wanting to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring places like Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The reserve is divided into four distinct, and well marked zones: the Reef, the Seagrass Beds, the Mangroves, and Shark Ray Alley. In order to full enjoy the marine park, you'll have to hire a boat operator, and signing up for a snorkeling and diving tour is a great way to experience the park as well.

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park: The main attractions at St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park are St. Herman's Cave and the Blue Hole. Both can be explored on your own or with a guide, as can the 575 acres of forest that surround the attractions.

Be sure to look through the following table for a list of nature preserves.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In Belize
Name Type Location
Agua Caliente Luha Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.1 mi. South of Central San Pedro Columbia Belize
Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.7 mi. South of Central Xcalak Belize
Belize Barrier Reef System Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 31.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Dangriga Belize
Bladen Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 18.3 mi. North of Central San Pedro Columbia Belize
Caye Caulker Mini Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.8 mi. South of Central Caye Caulker Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker North Point Sanctuary Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.8 mi. North of Central Caye Caulker Caye Caulker
Chetumal Ecological Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.2 mi. South West of Central Chetumal Mexico
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 13.4 mi. West-Southwest of Central Hopkins Belize
Columbia Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 11.3 mi. Northwest of Central San Pedro Columbia Belize
Community Baboon Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Sarteneja Belize
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.5 mi. South of Central Crooked Tree Belize
Fireburn Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 11.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Chunox Belize
Five Blues Lake National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Heris Nature Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.2 mi. Northeast of Central Belmopan Belize
Hol Chan Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 7.9 mi. North of Central Caye Caulker Belize
Laughing Bird Caye Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.8 mi. Southeast of Central Placencia Belize
Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 47.2 mi. West of Central Hopkins Belize
Paynes Creek National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central Monkey River Town Belize
Placencia Mangroves Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Placencia Belize
Port Honduras Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 15.0 mi. Northeast of Central Hopeville Belize
Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.3 mi. South of Central La Union Belize
Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 26.6 mi. South-Southeast of Central Alabama Warf Belize
Sarstoon-Temash National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.6 mi. South West of Central Barranco Belize
Sarstooth National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.7 mi. South West of Central Barranco Belize
Savannah Forest Station at Paynes Creek Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Alabama Warf Belize
Shark-Ray Alley Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.5 mi. South of Central San Pedro Belize
Shark-Ray Alley Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.7 mi. South of Central San Pedro Ambergris Cay
Shipstern Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.9 mi. South of Central Sarteneja Belize
Silk Cayes Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 29.6 mi. East of Central Hopkins Belize
South Water Caye Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.3 mi. Southeast of Central Hopkins Belize
St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 29.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina Belize
Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Swasey Bladen Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.2 mi. West of Central Alabama Warf Belize

Waterfalls and Caves

Even though most visitors to the area are attracted by the beautiful water and coastline, that isn't the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Belize offers some great options, including 12 waterfalls and 12 caves.

You might enjoy a visit to Chumpiate Maya Cave, which is located within Belize. A quick hike from the trail head through the jungle takes you to Chechem Hah, the Morales family farm that serves as the gateway to the cave. Another steep jungle trail from the farm takes you straight to the cave.

An additional option is St. Herman's Cave. It is found in central Belize. St. Herman's is about 400 meters away from the Visitor Centre.

The table just below provides some details regarding waterfalls and caves.

Waterfalls and Caves In Belize
Name Type Location
Actun Chapat Cave The vicinity of Belize City, Central Belize
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave 12.0 mi. South West of Central Belmopan
Big Rock Falls Waterfall 13.4 mi. Southeast of Central Banque Viejo del Carmen
Blue Creek Cave Cave 1.3 mi. South-Southeast of Central La Union
Blue Hole Cave Cave 29.9 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina
Bocawina Falls Waterfall Central Belize
Butterfly Falls Waterfall 48.1 mi. Northwest of Central Placencia
Chumpiate Maya Cave Cave 28.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina
Clarissa Falls Waterfall 66.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Belize City
Crystal Cave Cave 9.4 mi. Southeast of Central Belmopan
Five Sisters Falls Waterfall 34.9 mi. West of Central Sarawina
Golden Stream Waterfalls Waterfall 13.3 mi. North-Northeast of Central Punta Gorda
Hidden Valley Falls Waterfall 38.5 mi. West of Central Sarawina
Hokeb Ha Cave Cave 2.8 mi. West of Central San Pedro Columbia
Laguna Cave Cave 7.3 mi. Northwest of Central Punta Gorda
Pueblo Viejo Falls Waterfall 8.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central San Lucas
Rio Blanco Falls Waterfall 9.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central San Pedro Columbia
Rio Frio Cave Cave 49.2 mi. West of Central Hopkins
Rio On Pools Waterfall 47.9 mi. West of Central Hopkins
Rio On Pools Cave 47.5 mi. West of Central Hopkins
San Antonio Waterfall Waterfall 49.9 mi. West of Central Sarawina
Santa Cruz Falls Waterfall 9.0 mi. West-Southwest of Central San Pedro Columbia
St. Herman's Cave Cave Central Belize
Tiger Cave Cave 6.1 mi. North of Central San Pedro Columbia

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Guests can enjoy one of the many parks, or 3 botanical gardens in Belize.

If you enjoy tropical vegetation, consider visiting Belize Botanic Gardens, which is San Ignacio, in western Belize. The Botanical Gardens feature a collection of both native and exotic plants that flourish in their environment. A walk through the saw dust trails allow guests to learn about these plants as well as conservation and sustainable living.

A second attraction in this category is Blue Hole National Park. Within the property lines of Blue Hole National Park are some of the most popular natural attractions in Belize. Because the entire park takes only about half a day to explore, including a dip in the Blue Hole, it is easy to include it in your itinerary.

The parks and gardens worth looking into are shown right below.

Parks and Gardens In Belize
Name Type Location
Belize Botanic Gardens Botanical Garden 0.2 mi. Northwest of Central San Ignacio Belize
Blue Hole National Park Park 29.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina Belize
Boca Del Rio Park Park 6.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Ambergris Cay Ambergris Cay
Gran's Farm Botanical Garden Central Belize Belize
Guanacaste National Park Park 34.8 mi. South of Central Lamanai Belize
Memorial Park Park Fort George, Central Belize Belize
Parque Integral de la Amistad Park 0.8 mi. South West of Central Chetumal Mexico
Toledo Botanical Arboretum Botanical Garden 1.9 mi. South of Central San Pedro Columbia Belize

Zoos and Aquariums

If the idea of spending some time at the zoo sounds like fun, you should visit Belize Zoo. Founded in 1983 by Sharon Matola, the Belize Zoo came into being after a film crew that was working on a film about wildlife in Belize had so thoroughly tamed a collection of wild animals that they could not be placed back in the wild, and euthanizing them was to extreme. The habitat was created as these animals new home, and over the years the zoo has continued to take on native animals that once served as pets in the area.

Check the table just below for more information.

Zoos In Belize
Name Type Location /th>
Belize Zoo Zoo Central Belize Belize
Payo Obispo Zoo Zoo 0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Chetumal Mexico

Farms

You can learn more about regional agriculture by spending part of a day at Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm. Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm is a working farm that has been in operation since 1992. Its primary goal is the production and harvest of butterfly pupae to be exported to Europe.

Farms In Belize
Name Type Location
Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm Farm 4.7 mi. East of Central San Pedro Columbia Belize

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to visit some of the more interesting naturally occurring land formations. Other types of natural attractions in Belize are provided in the chart below.

Land Formations In Belize
Name Type Location
Ambergris Lake Lake 0.6 mi. South West of Central San Pedro Ambergris Cay
Chetumal Bay Bay 1.9 mi. South of Central Chetumal Mexico
Corozal Bay Bay 10.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Chetumal Belize
Fabers Lagoon Lagoon Central Belize Belize
Four Mile Lagoon Lagoon 6.7 mi. South West of Central Chetumal Belize
Golden Stream River 9.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Punta Gorda Belize
Honey Camp Lagoon Lagoon 13.0 mi. South of Central Caledonia Belize
Laguna Encantada Lagoon 5.6 mi. West of Central Chetumal Mexico
Laguna Milagros Lagoon 8.0 mi. West of Central Chetumal Mexico
Laguna Negra Lagoon 5.9 mi. West of Central Chetumal Mexico
Laguna Verde Lagoon 22.2 mi. South West of Central La Union Belize
Monkey River River 2.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Monkey River Town Belize
New River Lagoon Lake 4.9 mi. South of Central Lamanai Belize
Placencia Lagoon Lagoon 0.4 mi. North-Northeast of Central Placencia Belize
Progresso Lagoon Lagoon 1.6 mi. Northeast of Central Progresso Belize
Punta Negra Lake Lake 7.5 mi. South West of Central Monkey River Town Belize
Ranchito Lagoon Lagoon 13.1 mi. South West of Central Chetumal Belize
Rio Grande River 3.9 mi. South West of Central Punta Gorda Belize
Rocky Point Point 8.8 mi. Northeast of Central Ambergris Cay Ambergris Cay
San Pedro Lagoon Lagoon 7.4 mi. South West of Central Ambergris Cay Ambergris Cay

If you are looking for a wider selection of attractions beyond the category on this page, you should cast a wider net. Click here to see our article about other interesting attractions for Belize.

Belize's most precious resource is nature itself, with a natural environment that provides scientists with endless habitats to study, and tourists many places to visit. Make sure you leave room in your schedule for exploration and you will surely find it to be a fulfilling experience.

 

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