Nature in Belize
Half of Belize’s territory is composed of dense rainforest, 80% of which is protected by law as a national park, wilderness sanctuary, or conservation area. Much of the rainforest has never been explored, and these pristine landscapes are home to a dizzying array of wildlife, including jaguars, armadillos, tapirs, giant iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys, and ocelots. The rainforests of Belize are also home to hundreds of different bird species.
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second-largest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage. Composed of hundreds of Caribbean islands and atolls, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to an incredible diversity of marine life, including over 400 species of fish, 70 species of coral, and creatures like giant sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, sharks, and rays.
The clear water, bright white sandy seafloor, and marine diversity make the Belize Barrier Reef a mecca for snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing.
Caves and Caverns
The mainland of Belize is home to hundreds of caves and caverns, some of which are truly immense underground labyrinths. Some caves were previously used by ancient Maya priests to perform sacred rituals, including human sacrifices. Abandoned before the arrival of the Europeans, these sacred caves now serve as pristine museums to the ancient Maya culture.
Other caves in Belize have rivers flowing through them. Exploring them by canoe or inflatable inner tube is known as “cave tubing” and is one of the most popular activities in Belize.
The ancient Maya thrived in Belize due to the large number of watercourses that crisscross the land. These pristine rivers are perfect for tubing, rafting, canoeing, and boat safaris to explore the incredible natural beauty of the rainforest.
The Audobon Society is very active in Belize and manages several birding areas complete with trails, blinds, and places to glimpse the more than 400 species of birds that have been recorded in the country. Prime bird watching areas can be found in national parks, conservation areas, and adjacent to eco-resorts and ancient Maya sites.