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

Port Honduras Marine Reserve

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.

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

Rio Frio Cave

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.

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

Blue Hole National Park

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.

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
Belize Zoo

Zoos and Aquariums

Belize Zoo

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.

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 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.

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

Land Formations

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.

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

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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