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

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

Do you hope to spend more of your vacation time seeing the local flaura and fauna? You might be happy to find out that the area has numerous nature preserves available.

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park is a nature preserve found in Belize. 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.

Adventurers hoping to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring sites like Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Birdwatchers flock to this area in hopes of catching a glimpse of migrating water birds.

Port Honduras Marine Reserve: 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.

Take a minute to read the following table for more information.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In Belize
Name Type Location
Agua Caliente Luha Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Toledo District, Southern part of Belize 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 Toledo District, Southern part of Belize Belize
Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Caye Caulker 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 12.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Hopkins Belize
Columbia Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Toledo District, Southern part of Belize Belize
Community Baboon Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.0 mi. East 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
Green Iguana Conservation Project Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 0.7 mi. East of Central San Ignacio 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 12.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Placencia Belize
Monkey Bay National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize Belize
Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 46.7 mi. West of Central Hopkins Belize
Paynes Creek National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.6 mi. South West of Central Monkey River Town Belize
Placencia Mangroves Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.1 mi. North of Central Placencia Belize
Port Honduras Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 21.5 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 2.7 mi. South of Central San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Shark-Ray Alley Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.5 mi. South of Central San Pedro Belize
Shipstern Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.3 mi. South of Central Sarteneja Belize
Silk Cayes Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 30.1 mi. East of Central Hopkins Belize
South Water Caye Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.5 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

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Although most visitors are attracted by the beaches, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Belize offers some great options, including 12 waterfalls and 12 caves.

You might enjoy a visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is found in Belize. At once an adventurous site to seek out and an important spot in terms of Mayan culture, Actun Tunichip Muknal (or the Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre, Xibalba, or ATM) is a popular attractions near San Ignacio. The site is best seen with the help of a tour guide, so make sure to seek one out if you aren't already going on a tour of the area that includes a trip into the cave.

A second attraction worth considering is Chumpiate Maya Cave. It is found 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.

The following chart enables you to get more information about 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 48.2 mi. Northwest of Central Placencia
Chumpiate Maya Cave Cave 28.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina
Clarissa Falls Waterfall 67.7 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 13.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central Punta Gorda
Hidden Valley Falls Waterfall 38.5 mi. West of Central Sarawina
Hokeb Ha Cave Cave Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
Laguna Cave Cave 7.5 mi. Northwest of Central Punta Gorda
Pueblo Viejo Falls Waterfall 8.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central San Lucas
Rio Blanco Falls Waterfall Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
Rio Frio Cave Cave 48.7 mi. West of Central Hopkins
Rio On Pools Waterfall 47.4 mi. West of Central Hopkins
Rio On Pools Cave 47.0 mi. West of Central Hopkins
San Antonio Waterfall Waterfall 49.9 mi. West of Central Sarawina
Santa Cruz Falls Waterfall Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
St. Herman's Cave Cave Central Belize
Tiger Cave Cave Toledo District, Southern part of Belize

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Guanacaste National Park

Vacationers can visit one of the many parks, as well as 4 botanical gardens in Belize.

Bacab Ecopark is situated in central Belize. A jungle playground with a little something for everyone, Babacab Ecopark is the type of place that there is so much to do on site that you'll never have to leave -- but they still offer guided tours to remarkable local attractions for when you want to.

Another popular choice in this category is Belize Botanic Gardens. Set on 45 acres of valley near the Macal River, the Belize Botanical Gardens are a great spot for tourists wanting to learn about Belize's diverse tropical flora, native medicinal plants for a little bit of beauty and nature in a controlled environment.

The parks and gardens worth looking into are provided in the table below.

Parks and Gardens In Belize
Name Type Location
Bacab Ecopark Park Central Belize Belize
Belize Botanic Gardens Botanical Garden 3.9 mi. South 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 Caye Ambergris Caye
Cayo Welcome Center Park 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Ignacio Belize
Gran's Farm Botanical Garden Central Belize Belize
Green Hills Butterfly Farm Botanical Garden 3.5 mi. East-Northeast of Central San Antonio 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 Toledo District, Southern part of Belize Belize

Zoos and Aquariums

Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

If the thought of spending part of a day with interesting animals sounds like fun, you should visit Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. 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 too 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.

Another similar attraction is Payo Obispo Zoo. The zoo is a great place to learn about local fauna without having to venture out into the wild. Tour the zoo yourself or sign up for a guided tour.

Take a look at the following table if you want more information.

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

Land Formations

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

Land Formations In Belize
Name Type Location
Ambergris Lake Lake 0.6 mi. South West of Central San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Four Mile Lagoon Lagoon 6.7 mi. South West of Central Chetumal Belize
Golden Stream River 9.4 mi. North-Northeast of Central Punta Gorda Belize
Honey Camp Lagoon Lagoon 13.0 mi. South of Central Caledonia Belize
Laguna Cementerio Lagoon 1.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Xcalak Mexico
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
Lighthouse Reef Reef 19.9 mi. East of Central Turneffe Cays None
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
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 4.1 mi. South West of Central Punta Gorda Belize
Rocky Point Point 8.8 mi. Northeast of Central Ambergris Caye Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Reef Reef 0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro Ambergris Caye
Turneffe Atoll Other Natural Formation 23.1 mi. East of Central Belize City None
Xcalak Lagoon Lagoon 0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Xcalak Mexico

Luckily, Belize has other attractions. For more about other attractions, go to this page.

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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