Wildlife in Belize is one of the defining characteristics of the country. This nation has an almost universal cultural appreciation for local wildlife.
How to Experience Belize Wildlife? This will not be hard to do, access to wildlife without disturbing it is readily available all over the country. Basically, you can see it or experience it by visiting one of the many sanctuaries or spending time in the vast rainforest. In Belize, there is a wildlife experience for everyone.
Without a doubt, there is plenty of wildlife to appreciate in this country; for instance, big wild cats like Jaguars, multicolored toucans, and other strange creatures from tapir to caterpillars are common to see all over the rainforest.
Belize Wildlife Sanctuaries
Belize is home to a vast number of wildlife sanctuaries located all over the country. It does not matter to which part of the nation you decide to go to, I am sure a sanctuary will be within reach. Take the time and visit one of these great wildlife sanctuaries.
Here are just some of the few you can visit and experience wildlife.
Experience Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve. Furthermore, It is also known for its magnificent waterfalls, mountain views, nature trails, and rich diversity of birds.
Keep in mind that the forest at Cockscomb is a humid tropical forest. Warm temperatures and high rainfall with very little wind make the forest sticky all the time.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is located off the Southern Highway, approximately 20 miles south of the city of Dangriga.
Experience Belize wildlife at Guanacaste National Park
Guanacaste National Park is a popular getaway. It is located just two miles from the city of Belmopan at the junction of the Belize River and Roaring Creek. Furthermore, the park is small with just about 50 acres. Nonetheless, it allows visitors to observe wildlife and tropical vegetation easily.
At this park you can learn about; plants and their traditional uses, about farming leaf-cutter ants, or about the mini-ecosystem inside a bromeliad plant.
This park benefits many birds and wildlife, including the tiger cat or Jaguarundi and Black howler monkeys.
Howl for monkeys at Community Baboon Sanctuary
The Community Baboon Sanctuary was established in 1985 as a protected area in Belize. It was established to address the threats of agriculture, logging, and hunting of the black howler monkey. This Sanctuary is located about 31 miles northwest of Belize City.
The Community Baboon Sanctuary not only protects the black howler monkey but, several other species of flora and fauna located within the Belize River Valle region.
One of the goals of the sanctuary was to sustain the habitat of the Black Howler Monkey, while at the same time promoting the economic development of the nearby communities.
This park offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the rainforest and witness Black Howler Monkeys in the wild.
Explore Río Bravo Conservation and Management Area
If you’re looking for the true wild tropical rainforest, you might have found it. Surrounding 406 square miles in the northwestern part of Belize, the Río Bravo Conservation & Management Area takes up about four percent of Belize’s total land area.
The Rio Bravo harbors extraordinary natural diversity, more than 350 bird species, more than 200 tree species, about 70 mammal species, which includes all five of Belize’s cats (jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarundi, and margay).
Also, this area contains about 60 Maya sites, including La Milpa, the third-largest in Belize.
Experience Belize wildlife in the rainforest
It is unbelievable that almost half of Belize’s mainland is covered by majestic rainforest.. This highly dense ecosystem keeps Belize’s wildlife protected and allow it to continue to grow. Much of this rainforest is under government protection in the form of national parks, animal sanctuaries, or wilderness areas. The rainforest is home to a diversity of animals and birds.
Some of the many animals that call the rainforest home include black howler monkeys, keel-billed toucans, Baird’s tapirs, elusive big cats like ocelots and jaguars, and even tiny hummingbirds. More than 400 types of birds have been recorded in the vast rainforest of Belize, including rare species like the yellow-headed parrot and the Jabiru Stork.
Go hiking and experience Belize wildlife
There is no wonder that Belize is a popular hiking destination. More than thirty percent of the country is protected as a national park or nature reserve.
Go hiking through dense jungles and see exotic wildlife. Belize has a trail suitable for every type of hiker.
You will find some of the best hiking at these locations:
Hike Rio Bravo conservation area
In this vast area, you can find wildlife in the form of Jaguars, deers, howler monkeys, and many species of birds.
Hike Cockscomb Basin a Belize Wildlife Sanctuary
This dense rainforest is over 125,000 acres of tropical trails. Additionally, this sanctuary located at the base of the Peaking Maya mountain has the largest concentration of wild cats in the world.
Hike Five Blues National Park
This park is about ten acres and is home to more than 200 species of birds. Furthermore, at this location, you can spend time hiking and camping, that way you can experience wildlife.
Hike Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
In essence, this forest reserve covers almost 300 square miles, which provides plenty of opportunities to see wildlife. Additionally at this forest, you will be able to see distinctive butterflies and birds.
Because of its warm tropical weather, you can go hiking in Belize at any time during the year. But keep on mind that depending on your experience level, you might consider hiking with a guide just to be safe.
To sum up, experiencing the wildlife of Belize is something that should be on top of every traveler’s list when visiting Central America. Mainly since the rainforest covers half the country and most of the forest is under government protection.