Almost half of the territory of Belize is occupied by national parks and nature reserves.
South of the city of San Ignacio in western Belize, in the mountains, is the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.. Its area is about 800 sq. km. Small rivers flow through the reserve, here you can see waterfalls, caves, pine and tropical forests with rich flora and fauna. Mountain Pine Ridge Pine Forest is the only one in Central America. Particularly interesting here are the caves where the Mayan Indians held their ceremonies – Chechem-Sa, Barton Creek and a limestone massif with caves along the Rio Frio, as well as the 305 m high Thousand Foot Falls, which is the highest cascade in Central America.
Not far from here it is worth going to the cave Aktun-Tunichil-Muknal, which was used by the Maya for ceremonial purposes for sacrifices and burials. A river flows through the cave, along which stalactites and stalagmites lined up. The temperature here throughout the year is about 15 degrees Celsius. The cave has many passages that lead to the ceremonial hall, where there is a well-preserved skeleton of a Mayan girl, after whom the cave is named. Also here you can see a lot of fragments of ceramic products that were made by the Indians. According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, Belize Zoo is located 50 km west of Belize City . It contains about 125 species of animals, including jaguars, monkeys and the endangered species of tapir – the “mountain cow”. Jaguars hunt mainly at night, so the zoo offers night tours.
Not far from here is the Community Babun Reserve, where howler monkeys, iguanas, jaguars, ocelots, cougars, Central American river turtles and more than 200 species of birds, such as herons, ibises, swallows and small gray Bamboo chickens, are protected.
In the vicinity of the city of Belmopan, it is worth visiting Guanacaste National Park. The park was named after the huge trees of Guanacaste up to 40 m high, on which many epiphytes grow. Canoes are made from these trees in Belize. In addition to the trees of Guanacaste, you can see more than 100 species of birds and a wide variety of animals. South of it is Blue Hole National Park.. The Sibun River flows through the park, and its waters can be seen both on the surface and underground in caves.
Blue Hole is a karst area. Once there was a collapse of one of the caves and now at the bottom of the collapse a natural pool 8 m deep has formed, filled with water, where you can swim. From the Blue Hole National Park, a hiking trail begins that leads to the caves of St. Ehrmann. These caves are known for the fact that the Mayan Indians performed sacrificial rites and left burials in them. You can still see the remains of Mayan ceramics here.
In the north of the country, 40 km south of the city of Orange Walk, there is the Crookd Tree Nature Reserve.. It was founded in 1984 in a swampy area. Now the reserve is known as one of the best places for bird watching in the country. During the dry season, many birds flock here in search of food, and migratory birds that migrate back north in the spring make a stop here. The park is inhabited by herons, kingfishers, cormorants, fishing eagles, vultures, hawks and a rare bird – the Australian Jabira stork, whose wingspan reaches 2.7 m. Crocodiles, iguanas, turtles and monkeys can also be seen here.
Northwest of Orange Walk, you should go to the Rio Bravo del Norte nature reserve. This is 1000 sq. km of rainforest, home to many animals, including five varieties of the Belizean forest cat and more than 300 species of birds.
Around the city Corozal in the very north of the country is interesting peninsula Sarteneia, occupied by forests and swamps, and the Shipstern Reserve with 80 square meters. km of rainforest and savannas.
On the east coast of the country near the town of Dangriga are the North and South Lagoons. This is an area of swamps and reservoirs, where a variety of animals live. Nearby are the limestone hills of Pekkari with caves, beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs and where birds nest.
In the extreme south of Belize, at the foot of the Maya Mountains, is the Red Bank Game Reserve., which has one of the largest populations of red macaw parrots in Central America, and the only reserve in the world that protects the population of the jaguar, the Cockscombe Basin Wildlife Reserve.
In addition, excursions are organized in Belize to Blue Creek Private Reserve, Columbia Forest Reserve, where one of the largest tracts of tropical forest in Central America extends, Aquacaliente Lagoon with an extensive bird community, as well as Temash Sarstun National Park, which protects the only one in country palm forest. Boats depart from Placencia, Dangriga and Belize to the Barrier Reef, which stretches along the coast of the country for 320 km and is the second largest in the world.
In the Caribbean Sea there are about 200 islands belonging to Belize. They are covered with swamps and mangroves, where birds live, and a variety of marine animals live in coastal waters. Several marine reserves have been established here, of which the most popular is the first Central American Hol Chan Marine Park on Ambergris Island, the 125 sq. km, occupying the southernmost part of the Barrier Reef, Gladden Spit Reserveprotecting the seasonal migration routes of whale sharks, Port Honduras Marine Reserve near Punta Gorda, guarding shallow bays where manatees live. Within the Lighthouse Reef group of islands, there is the world’s largest oceanic depression, formed as a result of the collapse of the dome of an underwater cave – Big Blue Hole, with a diameter of 300 m and a depth of 124 m, as well as Half Moon National Park, which was created to protect red-footed boobies, birds Frigate and more than 98 species of birds.