Belize Hiking Featured in
Nature preserves comprise about 36% of Belize territory, making this Caribbean country the number one tropical wilderness destination in the Western Hemisphere. Low population density and environment-friendly laws resulted in diverse flora and fauna over various habitats on land and water. The best way to explore the rich natural resources of Belize is by foot. The most popular hikes include nature trails in national parks and forests as well as scenic mountain climbs. The best time to explore Belizean wilderness is the dry season from December through May.
The Maya Mountains in western Belize, close to the border with Guatemala, are a true hiker's paradise, abundant with untouched jungles, waterfalls, rivers, natural pools, and bustling wildlife. On top of that, Maya relics, hidden in the jungle, will surely become a highlight of your trip. In Caracol, you can see the 140 ft (42 m) Caana pyramid and the largest Maya temple of Belize.
The largest pine forest in Central America, Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the country. You can hike to Baldy Beacon towering at 3,336 ft (1,016 m) for the best views or explore the Secret Falls and Pools for relaxation.
Don Elijio National Park
For those interested in Maya culture, a visit to Elijio National Park is a must. Named after the Maya Shaman Elijio Panti, the park is full of medicinal trails where hikers can walk the steps of the famous healer. Additionally, there are butterfly or iguana breeding programs in the park, as well as plenty of waterfalls and caves to explore. Camping and horseback riding are also available.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in southern Belize is most famous due to 200 jaguars that call it home. The area, located along the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains, is also an excellent hiking destination that spans 250,000 ac (10,1171 ha). You can choose between the easy day hikes such as River Path, Curassow Trail, Rubber Tree Trail, and Green Knowledge Trail that start at the Visitors Center. Another option is to challenge yourself with the beautiful but strenuous 3.5 mi (5.7 km) Ben’s Bluff Trail leading to a scenic overlook with panoramic views of the jungle and Victoria Peak.
No matter which national parks or preserves you decide to explore during your Belize vacation, you'll be amazed with the natural beauty of this country, its diverse avian kingdom and tropical flowers carpeting the forests.