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 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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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 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.
|Belize Zoo||Zoo||Central Belize||Belize|
|Zoo||0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
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.
|Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm||Farm||4.7 mi. East of Central San Pedro Columbia||Belize|
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.
|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|
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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