A look at NATURE in BELIZE

by McNab Editorial Team

Navigating through Belize’s wildlands leads to a closeness with nature you’ve likely never experienced in one place-from wetlands and coral atolls, to tropical rainforest hugging Maya temples. Go ahead and wander into our most popular and accessible protected sites, teeming with every kind of wildlife imaginable,

Not all who wander are lost in Belize; they’re on a great big outdoor adventure! Are you looking for real beauty in nature? Here’s a guide to what you can get, just walking around in Belize.

National Parks

  • Guanacaste National Park: White-tailed deer, jaguarundi, kinkajou, armadillos, birds (Blue Crowned Motmot, Woodpecker, Magnolia Warbler, and Belted Kingfisher) 
  • Billy Barquedier National Park: Nature trails and waterfalls
  • Laughing Bird National Park: Birds, sea turtles, nurse sharks, barracuda, and angelfish
  • Mayflower Bocawina National Park: Nature trails and waterfalls

Nature and Forest Reserves

  • Mountain Pine Ridge: Wild cats, and birds (Warbler, Common Crossbill, King Vulture, Blue-Crowned Motmot, and Keel-Billed Toucan) 

Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Gales Point: Sea turtles and manatees
  • Crooked Tree: Jabiru Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Blue-Winged Teal Duck, and other birds 
  • Cockscomb Basin: Wild cats (jaguar, jaguarondi, ocelot, puma, and margay) the tapir, and birds 

Bird Sanctuaries

  • Man-O-War Caye: Boobies and frigate birds
  • Bird Caye: egrets, herons, anhingas, sometimes called snake birds, White Ibis, and Double-Crested Cormorants

Marine Reserves

  • Turneffe Atoll: White-spotted toadfish, dolphins, eagle rays, stingrays, sea turtles, green moray eels, Giant jewfish, trunkfish, and others 
  • Hol Chan: Nurse sharks, sea turtles, and stingrays
  • Caye Caulker: Manatees, yellow gorgonians, star coral, and queen angelfish. 
  • Bacalar Chico: Wild cats, crocodiles, manatees, and sea turtles
  • South Water Caye: Boobies, frigate birds, sea turtles, manatees, spotted eagle rays, black grouper, and Nassau grouper
  • Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve: Whale sharks

Natural Monuments

  • Blue Hole Natural Monument: Stalactites at over 100feet of depth, and reef sharks
  • Half Moon Caye Natural Monument: Red-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, osprey, egrets, and others

Private Reserves

  • Community Baboon Sanctuary: Howler Monkeys, birds, iguanas, and armadillos 

There are now 97 protected areas across marine and terrestrial regions, making up 70 ecological systems-home to an estimated 145 species of mammals, at least 300 species of birds, and over 100 reptiles. The country’s Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) helps fund and promote the sound management of these rich environments, thanks in great part to a US $3.75 conservation fee collected from overnight visitors.

Our mission is to protect these creatures, support and visit this nirvana, and enjoy the beauty of Belize.

Written by: Cristina Reyna

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