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 outside? You may be happy to find out that the area has quite a number of nature preserves available.
St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park is a great nature preserve located in Belize. St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park (not to be confused to the Great Blue Hole, which is located offshore) has a wealth of offerings that keep visitors busy throughout the day, including trails, two cave systems, and a swimming hole. A day spent here is a great way to learn about nature in Belize, as well as relax with a swim in the cool waters of the Blue Hole.
Travelers hoping to find a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring opportunities like Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Named for a collection of crooked logwoods along the shore of a village in Belize, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary provides a protected area for migratory birds and other local wildlife.
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.
Look through the following table to learn more about nature preserves.
|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|
|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|
|Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Caye Caulker||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||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|
|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|
|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|
|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||2.7 mi. South of Central San Pedro||Ambergris Caye|
|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|
|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|
Although most visitors come for the beaches, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Belize offers some interesting options, including 12 waterfalls and 12 caves.
You may enjoy visiting Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is found within 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.
Another option to consider is Chumpiate Maya Cave. It is found 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.
The following table summarizes more details 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||48.2 mi. Northwest of Central Placencia|
|Chumpiate Maya Cave||Cave||28.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Sarawina|
|Waterfall||67.7 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||13.2 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|
|Cave||47.0 mi. West of Central Hopkins|
|San Antonio Waterfall||Waterfall||49.9 mi. West of Central Sarawina|
|Waterfall||Toledo District, Southern part of Belize|
|St. Herman's Cave||Cave||Central Belize|
|Tiger Cave||Cave||Toledo District, Southern part of Belize|
Guests can visit one of the many parks, or 4 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 attraction in this category is Belize Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens features a collection of both native and exotic plants conservation collections and more. Use the informative booklet for a self-guided tour or engage a guide for one hour informative tour concentrating on your main interest.
The parks and gardens you'll be able to find are displayed down below.
|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|
|Park||0.8 mi. Northeast of Central San Ignacio||Belize|
|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|
|Park||Fort George, Central Belize||Belize|
|Park||0.8 mi. South West of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
|Toledo Botanical Arboretum||Botanical Garden||Toledo District, Southern part of Belize||Belize|
If the thought of spending part of a day surrounded by 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.
Review this table for more information about what's available.
|Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center||Zoo||Central Belize||Belize|
|Payo Obispo Zoo||Zoo||0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Chetumal||Mexico|
Another idea is to go see some of the more popular area 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 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|
|Lagoon||1.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Xcalak||Mexico|
|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|
|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|
|Reef||0.8 mi. East of Central San Pedro||Ambergris Caye|
|Other Natural Formation||23.1 mi. East of Central Belize City||None|
|Lagoon||0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Xcalak||Mexico|
Of course, Belize has additional attraction types. You can read this extended discussion which is all about even more attractions if you want to discover 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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