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.
Do you enjoy being outdoors? You may be happy to find out that the area has numerous nature preserves available.
Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature preserve found in central Belize. A sailing tour to Swallow Caye is done so with the express purpose of viewing the endangered West Indian Manatee. Dolphins, cormorants, and dozens of species of birds are often spotted while guests are on the lookout for these defenseless creatures.
Vacationers wanting to find a another great natural attraction should consider visiting sites like Shipstern Nature Reserve. Guests visiting the Shipstern Nature Reserve are treated to a tour of the Visitor's Centre and Butterfly Garden, afforded access to the Botanical Train, 65-foot observation tower, museum, and the lovely Mahogany Park.
Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park: Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park is set on the most northern point of Ambergris Cay and is only accessible by boat.
Take a moment to read this table to see nature preserves.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||3.5 mi. South of Central San Pedro||Belize|
|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|
|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|
Although most visitors to the area are attracted by the beautiful coastline, those aren't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Belize offers some great options, including 12 waterfalls and 12 caves.
You should consider visiting Chumpiate Maya Cave, which is located in 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.
A second option is St. Herman's Cave. It is located in central Belize. Those who choose to enter St. Herman's Cave with a flashlight in hand will be sent on a journey of about a half a mile in which they can view a few stunning rock formations before making it through to the other side.
The table directly below lists some key facts concerning waterfalls and caves.
|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|
|Waterfall||66.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Belize City|
|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|
|Cave||47.5 mi. West of Central Hopkins|
|San Antonio Waterfall||Waterfall||49.9 mi. West of Central Sarawina|
|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|
Vacationers can spend some time in one of the many parks, or 3 botanical gardens in Belize.
If you'd like to see some beautiful tropical vegetation, you might want to visit 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.
Another popular attraction in this category is Blue Hole National Park. This park is located about 12 miles southeast of Belmopan.
The parks and gardens worth looking into are shown below.
|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|
|Botanical Garden||Central Belize||Belize|
|Guanacaste National Park||Park||34.8 mi. South of Central Lamanai||Belize|
|Park||Fort George, Central Belize||Belize|
|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|
If the concept of passing some time surrounded by animals tickles your fancy, 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 out the chart below to learn more.
|Belize Zoo||Zoo||Central Belize||Belize|
|Zoo||0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
You can learn more about local agriculture by spending part of a day at Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm. A visit to the farm means a viewing of the cages showing the various life cycles of the butterfly. Blue Morpho and Owl Butterflies are the primarily bread species here, of which over 600 are bread each week.
|Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm||Farm||4.7 mi. East of Central San Pedro Columbia||Belize|
Another idea is to visit some of the more popular naturally occurring land formations. Other options like these in Belize can be seen in the following chart.
|Lake||0.6 mi. South West of Central San Pedro||Ambergris Cay|
|Bay||1.9 mi. South of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
|Bay||10.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Chetumal||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|
|Lagoon||5.6 mi. West of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
|Lagoon||8.0 mi. West of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
|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|
|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|
|Lagoon||7.4 mi. South West of Central Ambergris Cay||Ambergris Cay|
Of course, Belize includes other attraction types. To reach our detailed guide to other attractions, use this link.
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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