Jungle Fever in Belize: Green colored Belize

Jungle Fever in Belize: Green colored Belize

Belize, a small country located between Mexico and Guatemala, is the new gold nugget in Central America. According to the Lonely Planet guide as number 4 among the 5 best destinations to discover in 2022, the Babel of the Tropics surprises with the diversity of landscapes and cultures found in a territory no bigger than Belgium and easily charms the traveler by to search for the unusual.

Firstly, praised for its Caribbean coastline and its many dive sites, the Belizean jungle holds many wonders. Entering the country promises the visitor to confront a lush ecosystem, to explore incredible Mayan sites and to practice all kinds of land or water activities.

From the turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea to the intense green of the tropical jungle of Belize, there is only one step.

Discover the Mayan heritage buried in the jungle

Belize, which is less known for its pre-Hispanic heritage than its Mexican and Guatemalan neighbors, nevertheless has many Mayan sites whose more intimate nature gives them a very fascinating atmosphere.

Set in a magnificent atmosphere, surrounded by the jungle and the cries of howler monkeys, the Lamanai site is undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the northern part of the country. To get there, an excursion into the coves of the jungle is necessary.

Jungle Fever in Belize: Green colored Belize

On the border with Guatemala is Caracol, an ancient Mayan city that at its height rivaled the great Tikal in Guatemala. Covering an area of ​​177 km2, the site is currently the largest archaeological site in Belize. Visitors can climb all the buildings in the area including the largest pyramid: Canal, where an impressive panorama awaits the traveler at the top.

Finally, in the south of the country, in the district of Toledo, is the site of Lubaantun, much less known and frequented, but equally worth the detour. It is here that a crystal skull was found by British adventurer Frederick Mitchell-Hedges, who explored the site in 1924 with his daughter: a story strangely reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie.

Play the adventurers between waterfalls, caves and natural pools

The Belizean jungle is home to a significant number of waterfalls, caves and natural pools. During a hike, it is rare that the visitors have not had the opportunity to taste the temperature of the water.

Located in the heart of Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Antelope Falls is the perfect place to cool off after hours of hiking. The waterfall rises almost 300 meters high and ends its course in a pool of emerald green water. At the top, brave hikers have breathtaking views of the forest and the Caribbean Sea in the distance.

Jungle Fever in Belize: Green colored Belize

Even more awe-inspiring are the Thousand Foot Falls located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Protected Natural Park in western Belize. The waterfall, which actually towers nearly 1,600 feet (about 490 meters), is the tallest in Central America. Accessible by land or by air (by helicopter), this huge waterfall leaves no one indifferent and reminds us of how amazing nature is.

If the traveler is in an adventurous mood, Belize’s underground caves promise an epic jungle adventure. Actun Tunichil Muknal is undoubtedly the best known of them. Inside, a 3.2 kilometer long river meanders between stalactites and stalagmites, leading to a swamp at the very end. The cave served as a place for sacrificial ceremonies, prayers and sacrifices during the Mayan era. The skeletons of several people who were victims of these sacrifices are still visible in the cave, giving the place its timeless character.

Finally, about 20km from Belmopan, the Jungle Blue Hole is in the heart of the St Herman Nature Reserve. This sapphire-colored water pool, where it is possible to swim, sinks up to 8 meters deep. Surrounded by vegetation, this water point is connected to a grotto, which the public can also visit.

Encounter wildlife in the heart of protected areas

Belize is full of impressive flora and fauna. To protect it, the country has several land or sea areas, archaeological and private nature reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Nearly 600 species of birds are listed: from colorful keel-billed toucans to yellow parrots to the imperial woodpecker: birds in a thousand shapes and colors visible year-round throughout Belize. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary in northwestern Belize, for example, is home to about 300 species of birds.

Other wildlife can also be seen in parts of Belize. One of the most emblematic is undoubtedly the Mayan civilization’s jaguar, totem animal and today a protected species. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, created in 1986 to conserve the fauna and flora of more than 400 km2, is the only protected area on the continent devoted to jaguars.

The howler baboons, whose cries can be heard during an excursion in the jungle, also have their own private reserve: the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Located in the northern part of Belize, this space was created by the communities of 7 neighboring villages, whose commitment was recognized in 2017 by the United Nations with the Equator Prize, which rewards innovative indigenous and local solutions for people and planet.

A commitment to nature among many others in Belize, knowing that its first wealth is above all the lush ecosystem it protects.

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