Belize's natural environment is perhaps its most precious resource with nearly 4,000 species of flowering plants including 700 tree species. Over 40% of Belize's land mass falls under some type of protected status and each district contains several protected areas which enable visitors, scientists and the local population to experience this natural beauty first hand.
With the support of numerous environmentally conscious organizations, both local and international, Belize strives to manage its natural resources in a sustainable manner. Many of the protected areas of Belize are open to the public and are set up for visitors to hike, bird watch, swim, canoe, or simply take in their surroundings.
Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
The Belize Zoo was founded in 1983 as a retirement home for natural history "movie stars." It has since become a refuge and rehabilitation center for injured wildlife, as well as a home for abused and abandoned "pets". Shortly after the backyard "zoo" began, it was quickly realized that its Belizean visitors were unfamiliar with the different species of wildlife which shared their country. This very aspect fomented the commitment to develop the little zoo into a dynamic wildlife education center
Today, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 125 animals all native to Belize. The zoo keeps animals which were either orphaned, born at the zoo, rehabilitated animals, or sent to The Belize Zoo as gifts from other zoological institutions.
Blue Hole National Park
Blue Hole National Park is truly a tropical paradise. The pool of sapphire blue water surrounded by walls of rock, hardwood trees and tangled vines, emerges from a collapsed karst sinkhole 25 feet deep. The water, on its way from a tributary to the Sibun River, has a brief run through this jungle setting before the stream disappears into a large underwater cavern.
In addition to the pool, nearby St. Herman's Cave takes the adventurer back to ancient Maya times when this was an important ritual site for the ancient Maya. Classic Period pottery vessels, spears, and torches have been recovered from the cave by the Department of Archaeology.
Come to San Felipe, a Kekchi Maya village, to meet your host for the day, Juan Cho, is a trained tour guide and also runs his own organic cocoa plantations. Juan sells his beans to the Toledo Cacao Growers Association which ships the beans to Green and Black in the UK where they are used to produce their signature Mayan Gold chocolate bars, Belize's first fair-trade product. You will be taken to visit the plantation on the banks of the Moho river where Juan will explain his organic farming methods and the different seasonal husbandry jobs. Guests may help if they like in the tasks of the day. You will then be taken on a trip in a dory, a local dugout canoe, up the Moho towards Santa Ana village before returning to Juan's home to share a cocoa drink with his family.
Belize Indigenous Training Institute
Today starts with an early morning guided bird walk along the river bank and through the orchard and meadows around the lodge, then you're ready for a full breakfast. After breakfast, guests will be driven 10 miles to the Belize Indigenous Training Institute. This aid-funded project established a plantation for local "bush doctors" to grow many of the most important medicinal plants. You will enjoy a tour of the plantation and learn about the Mayan approach to medicine from a spiritual healer.
One full day in the pristine jungle with local bushmen guides. Learn many of the secrets that the jungle holds: natural medicines, herbs, barks and many plants that are still used today by natural healers throughout Central America. Ancient ruins, burial sites and altars lurk below the shadows, hidden by time, as you trek through areas few have ever seen. Explore the Blue Hole River as it surges from below a 250ft cliff and take the opportunity for a refreshing dip in its aqua blue waters.
Jungle Night Safari
The Belize jungle is habitat for an incredible variety of fauna. Our wildlife adventures begin in the early evening with local bushmen as guides. Walk through the jungle in search of many of the elusive animals that feed under the cover of darkness such as howler and spider monkey, gibnuts, kinkajou, wild boar, deer, quash, armadillo, tarantulas, scorpions, leaf-cutter ants and of course snakes!
You will be going on the Jungle Biking full day expedition, learning about the wonders of jungle life from a bicycle seat. Ride 100 feet below the rainforest canopy, through lush tropical forests, past magnificent cliff faces and breathtaking vistas.