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 enjoy spending time out in the fresh air? You might be pleased to know the area has quite a number of nature preserves available.

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park is a great 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 find a another great natural attraction should consider visiting choices 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.

Be sure to look through the following chart for information concerning nature preserves.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In Belize
Name Type Location
Agua Caliente Luha Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.7 mi. South of Central Xcalak
Belize Barrier Reef System Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 31.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Dangriga
Bladen Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker Mini Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.8 mi. South of Central Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker North Point Sanctuary Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.8 mi. North of Central Caye Caulker
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Hopkins
Columbia Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Toledo District, Southern part of Belize
Community Baboon Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize
Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.0 mi. East of Central Sarteneja
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.5 mi. South of Central Crooked Tree
Fireburn Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 11.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Chunox
Five Blues Lake National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize
Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize
Green Iguana Conservation Project Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 0.7 mi. East of Central San Ignacio
Heris Nature Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.2 mi. Northeast of Central Belmopan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 7.9 mi. North of Central Caye Caulker
Laughing Bird Caye Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central Placencia
Monkey Bay National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize
Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 46.7 mi. West of Central Hopkins
Paynes Creek National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.6 mi. South West of Central Monkey River Town
Placencia Mangroves Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.1 mi. North of Central Placencia
Port Honduras Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 21.5 mi. Northeast of Central Hopeville
Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.3 mi. South of Central La Union
Sapodilla Cayes Marine Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 26.6 mi. South-Southeast of Central Alabama Warf
Sarstoon-Temash National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.6 mi. South West of Central Barranco
Sarstooth National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 6.7 mi. South West of Central Barranco
Savannah Forest Station at Paynes Creek Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 4.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Alabama Warf
Shark-Ray Alley Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.7 mi. South of Central San Pedro
Shipstern Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.3 mi. South of Central Sarteneja
Silk Cayes Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 30.1 mi. East of Central Hopkins
South Water Caye Marine Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.5 mi. Southeast of Central Hopkins
St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 29.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina
Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Central Belize
Swasey Bladen Forest Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 12.2 mi. West of Central Alabama Warf

Waterfalls and Caves

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Even though most visitors have heard about the beautiful water and coastline, that isn't the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Belize offers multiple options, including 12 waterfalls and 12 caves.

You might enjoy a visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is found within Belize. ATM is particularly interesting to visitors because of the numerous ceramics, stoneware, and skeletons found on site. The ceramics seem to mark "kill holes" which tells scientists that this was a ceremonial site for the Mayans were sacrifices likely took place, hence the skeletons.

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 table right below has some key facts concerning 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

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

Bacab Ecopark is found within 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.

A second popular attraction 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 you'll be able to find are shown in the chart 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
Guanacaste National Park Park 34.8 mi. South of Central Lamanai Belize
Memorial Park Park Fort George, Central Belize Belize
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 at the zoo tickles your fancy, consider visiting Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. Every animal, of which there are about 125, at the zoo is native to Belize. A tour will take you through to visit a collection of mammals like the jaguar and ocelot, birds, and reptiles like crocodiles.

A second related venue 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.

Check out the following chart for 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 go see some of the more interesting naturally occurring land formations. Other options like these in Belize are shown right below.

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

Of course, you will find other kinds attractions available. Navigate to this page regarding even more attractions if you'd like to find more facts.

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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