Belize is famous for wildlife adventures. You can walk through the vast jungles and intense habitat that boast of an incredible variety of fauna. Belize is graced with miles of coastal forest and Maya ruins. Explore one of the most extensive barrier reef systems in its Caribbean waters. You will simply love those exploring mangrove islands and white-sand beaches or snorkeling in the aqua waters with an incredible diversity of marine life.
Belize may be one of the smallest countries, but when it comes to nature, flora and fauna, it certainly is one of the richest. Read on to learn about the must see animals while you are in Belize. This is truly one of the most diverse nature travel destinations that are virtually untouched by tourism. Do not forget to carry your binoculars and camera to capture some fascinating moments of wildlife.
The unique position of Belize between North and South America makes it a country with a rich variety of wildlife. There are more than 5000 species of plants, and the undistributed land is home to hundreds of species of animals.
Jaguar is one of the most well-known big cats of Belize. It is amazing to see the big cat survive the days of the ancient Mayan times and up to modern times. Mayas called it Balaam, and it was a chief adornment of royalty for them. Jaguars are shy and hunt at night. One can hear their roars livening up the Belizean nights occasionally. They are known to hunt lizard, turtles, deer, birds, fish, monkeys, about and more. Visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the only designated jaguar preserve in the world. Wear your safari shoes for a comfortable walk.
While visiting Belize, it is a must to see the mystical temples of Lamanai. Once you visit the Mayan Temples, explore the Community Baboon Sanctuary that is dedicated to preserving the Black Howler Monkey or the Baboon population. There are hundreds of different trees and flowers in the sanctuary which is home to hundreds of species of birds, turtles, deer, armadillos, iguanas and anteaters. Baboon is the largest monkey in Belize, and it falls under the endangered species because of habitat destruction and hunting. Belize boasts of one of the healthy population of these primates that live in troops and their territory. When you explore the tropical forest of Belize, the howling of the Baboons is one of the loudest.
Watch out for the national bird of Belize, the keel-billed toucan, with huge yellow, green, orange, red, and black bill. Toucan’s bill allows the bird to feed on different fruits of the tropical forest of Belize. The social birds are seen in flocks of six or more and can be seen throughout Belize’s forests, nesting in the holes in tree trunks. Although the birds are primarily fruit eaters, they also feed on lizards, snakes, insects and eggs of smaller birds. Belize has become a premier destination for watching toucans, which are known as Bill birds locally. Watch the birds display a heavy flapping of the wings and calling to each other with a creek sound very much like a frog. A good bird watching binocular is a must for enjoying this colorful bird.
Visit the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to see the fascinating dragon-like vegetarian lizard, known as green iguana. The protected lizard that can grow up to 6ft feet length and can be easily spotted along riverbanks near the trees. The reptiles carry a very distinctive appearance, what with its larger head and an impressive crest of comb-like spines down its back. Iguana is usually in a shade of green. Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across more than 2000 acres of the region around the river. There is a tremendous diversity of wildlife here that you will simply love to explore apart from canoeing and swimming in the river. Just watch out for the green iguanas that can be seen along the banks of the river. Monkey Bay iguana project is a breeding program for those scaly and rare beasts.
When cruising through the lagoons in San Pedro, you come across very entertaining and educational insights about the animals in the area. American crocodile lives in both freshwater and saltwater and is one of the two crocodile species found in Belize, The other species, the Morelet’s crocodile is smaller and lives only in freshwater. Both species are on the endangered species list. American crocodile grows up to nearly 3ft in length, and it is best to keep a distance from it. Make good use of your binoculars camera when you see the American crocodile.
Green sea turtles
Green sea turtles can be seen in the waters of Belize, The loggerhead and leatherback turtles live at sea. However, because of poaching and egg hunting, the Green sea turtles are listed under endangered species. Look for the Turtle-viewing trips that are often organized from the months of May and October. The endangered marine species can be seen between the coast and the barrier reef, and there are three varieties of sea turtles- loggerhead, hawksbill, and green. Sea turtles get drawn to Belize because of the ideal nesting grounds they find here. These beautiful creatures are the largest of the sea turtles in Belize. The warm coral sand beaches of Belize play a major role in the hatchlings of the turtle. Moreover, the lush lagoons and mangrove are a perfect tropical hideaway for the turtles. The crystalline ocean waters are just perfect for those grandfatherly figures that can live to a hundred years.
Belize is also one of the world’s most distinct nature travel destinations. Wear your safari shoes to explore the powder-sand beaches, dreamy caves, and lush rain forests. Watch the Jaguars and ocelots slink through the forests secretly or hear the screech of howler monkeys and parrots ring out in the canopy of the forests. Walk through the jungle of Belize to come across a huge range of wildlife – tarantulas, scorpions, leaf-cutter ants, deer, quash, armadillo, nuts, kinkajou, wild boar, howler and spider monkey.
Lisa is an avid and extensive traveler. Having traveled over 20 countries across 6 continents, she now calls Seattle USA as home and writes for Travoge. Travoge is one source destination for all things Safari Travels.