National Parks of Belize

national parks worldwide toucan belize

Belize is located south of Mexico and north and east of Guatemala in Central America. Belize is a popular tourist destination that offers many activities for traveler to enjoy. There is excellent sport fishing in Belize for the fisherman. Belize has wonderful scuba diving and snorkeling. The beautiful rivers of Belize are great for rafting and kayaking. Belize’s numerous jungle and wildlife reserves are excellent for observing the many species of animal and plant life that live in Belize. Belize also has great trails for trekking and hiking. And for the archaeology buff there are Maya archaeological sites to visit in Belize. Belize has one of the largest cave system in Central America for spelunkers. All of these are features that support the thriving tourism industry of Belize. With nearly a million tourist visiting Belize each year, tourism contributes over a billion dollars annually to Belize’s economy.

Belize is a popular adventure travel destination that offers beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Belize has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Located in Central America between North America and South America, many species from both continents are found in Belize. In addition, Belize has many different climates and ecosystems that also contribute to Belize’s tremendous biodiversity. The Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second largest barrier reef in the world and home to many species of beautiful coral reef fish and fascinating marine invertebrates.

Belizeans have great pride in their native animals and beautiful tropical rainforests. Belize has an extensive systems of protected lands which include wildlife reserves and National Parks. The Belizean government created many wildlife corridors, allowing for the free movement of wildlife between protected habitats. These wildlife corridors provide the habitat protection necessary for sustaining wild populations of animals and promoting genetic diversity within the native wildlife populations. Almost 40 percent of the land in Belize is under some form of official protected status. One example of Belize’s conservation effort is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Established in 1980s, the Cockscomb reserve is on the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains in south central Belize. The Cockscomb reserve was the first wildlife sanctuary, and possible the most important reserve, established for preservation of the jaguar. There are a total of 17 national parks in Belize.

Belize has more than 4,000 species of flowering plants in its borders. Nearly 300 of these are species of orchid. There are over 100 species of mammals in Belize. Among the mammals in Belize are jaguar, ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, cougar, Tamandua, Baird’s tapir, Geoffroy’s Spider monkey, Black Howler monkey, foxes, coati mondi, nine-banded armadillo, West Indian manatee, skunk, coyote, various bats, and kinkajou. Belize is home to over 100 species of reptiles and amphibians, including many beautifully marked milk snakes and a number of venomous snakes.

National Parks Worldwide Black Howler Monkey  Belize

Belize is home to many wonderful bird species. Among the bird species found in Belize are waterfowl and wading birds (e.g.Fulvous Whistling-Duck), parrots and parakeets (e.g. Yellow-headed Amazon), song birds (e.g. Yellow Warbler), raptors (e.g. Harpy Eagle), game birds (e.g. Ocellated Turkey), swifts (e.g.Vaux’s Swift), woodpeckers (e.g. Yucatan Woodpecker), toucans (e.g. Keel-Billed Toucan – Belize’s National Bird) and nighthawks (e.g.Yucatan Nightjar), and more, nearly 600 species in total. Belize is one of the world’s greatest birding spots.

Belize has a number of historically important pre-Columbian Maya archaeological sites. Anyone interested in Maya ruins would certainly want to visit Caracol, Cerros, Lamanai, and over 20 other archaeological sites found in Belize. Belize is the place for your personal archaeology adventure.

Belize has thousands of caves to explore. Many of the caves have easy access while others entail challenging hikes and/or climbs. Extensive stalactite and stalagmite formations can be found in most of the caves in Belize. In some of the caves you may even find underground waterfalls. Used extensively by the ancient Maya, some Belizean caves contain pottery shards, intact ancient pottery and even human skeletons. Belize is an outstanding travel destination for any traveler that would like to explore caves.

There is excellent sport fishing year round in Belize as a result of the abundance of game fish. Belize offers fishing for barracuda, bonefish, tarpon, wahoo, permit, jacks, cobia, shark, snapper, snook, yellowtail, dorado, yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna, roosterfish, sailfish, blue marlin, and grouper. Fishing Belize would be dream come true for any fisherman.

Belize National Parks

Aguas Turbias National Park
Bacalar Chico National Park
Billy Barquedier National Park
Chiquibul National Park
Five Blues Lake National Park

Gra Gra Lagoon National Park
Guanacaste National Park
Honey Camp National Park
Laughing Bird Caye National Park
Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Monkey Bay National Park
Nojkaaxmeen Elijio Panti National Park
Payne’s Creek National Park
Peccary Hills National Park
Río Blanco National Park
Sarstoon-Temash National Park
St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

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