Rio Bravo Conservation & Management Area in Belize 

by Reyann Garcia
rio bravo conservation and management area

Imagine opening your eyes to a tropical rainforest – what do you think would be there? The sounds of birds harmonizing through the forest, the fresh smell of trees and pine, bright tropical flowers showing off, the sound of little footsteps behind the bushes. What if I told you there’s no need to imagine when you can actually experience it? Welcome to Belize where everything is beyond your imagination, and nothing like you’ve experienced before.  

About the Rio Bravo Conservation & Management Area 

This nature reserve is located in the Orange Walk District. It is about 360 square miles and occupies about 4% of Belize’s total land area. This is said to be one of the largest nature reserves in the country of Belize and protects many of the wildlife habitats found here. It was first established in 1988 by the nonprofit Programme for Belize and has been thriving ever since. 

What can you find here? 


The biodiversity is impeccable and is something you have to experience! There are three ecosystems which include broadleaf forests, pine savannah formations, and wetland and aquatic ecosystems. There are approximately 70 species of mammals which include bats, Mexican black howler monkey, Yucatan spider monkey, river otters, jaguars, Baird’s tapir and so much more. The reserve is also home to 350 species of birds that have been spotted and this includes the great curassow, ocellated turkey and many more.   


There are about 745 species of woody flora and large areas of pine savannah which are rare to this region. The broadleaf forest hosts a diverse community of trees that include the cohune palm, mahogany and others. Swamp forests that are closer to savannah include bullet wood, royal palm, and provision trees while others are more prevalent in the swampy and wet areas.  


This area hosts 60 Maya archaeological sites, namely one of our popular sites ‘La Milpa’ which is one of the largest main plazas in the world. This reserve is close to the New River Lagoon which played a major part in Belizean history because it was used as a route for Mahogany logging in the forests of this conservation area. 

rio bravo conservation and management areario bravo conservation and management areario bravo conservation and management area
Howler Monkeys of Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area with Programme for Belize.

Why visit? 

This is an all in one experience so why not? You get to experience a beautiful tropical forest, go birding and see all the species of birds, you might even get to see or more than likely hear the howler monkeys from the trees. In addition, you learn about the history of Belize by experience, actually, tread the ground where the Mayas used to live and where the logwood camps were located. This is a rich history that you can’t find or experience anywhere else.  

Written by Reyann Garcia

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