Nearly half of Belize’s mainland is covered by rainforest, a highly dense ecosystem that serves as the “lungs” of the planet. Much of Belize’s rainforest is under government protection in the form of a national park, animal sanctuary, or wilderness area. The rainforest is home to an astounding diversity of plants, animals, and birds, allowing travelers to explore nature at its finest.
Some of the many animals that call the rainforest home include black howler monkeys, keel-billed toucans, Baird’s tapirs (Belize’s national animal), elusive big cats like ocelots and jaguars, and even tiny hummingbirds. More than 500 species of birds have been recorded in the rainforest, including rare species like the Jabiru stork and the yellow-headed parrot.
One of the first things that many travelers notice about the rainforest is its incredible aroma. With over 4,000 recorded flowering plant species, the air of the rainforest is thick with wild, tropical scents. These flowering plants are what attracts to many birds ranging from tiny swallows to enormous harpy eagles.
The warm climate and abundant rainfall make the rainforests of Belize a truly living, dynamic place. No matter how many times you enter the rainforest, you are guaranteed to see something new, whether it’s a giant iguana perched on a tree limb or armadillos trundling through the undergrowth.
The wild natural beauty of the rainforest also makes it one of the best places to visit for travelers who want adventure. Zip lines, or series of steel cables strung between enormous hardwood trees, allow visitors to sail through the rainforest. Canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling allow visitors to explore the pristine watercourses in the rainforest. And Belize’s signature activity, cave tubing, allows travelers to explore vast underground cave systems while aboard an inflatable inner tube.
Other popular activities in the rainforest include bird watching, horseback riding, hiking, learning bushcrafting skills, and enjoying a refreshing swim in the pool beneath a massive waterfall. Some visitors come to the rainforest just for the chance to glimpse an iridescent cloud of butterflies that dance in the mists beneath a waterfall. Still others enjoy learning about traditional medicinal compounds made by local people from plants found in the rainforest.
Travelers interested in exploring the natural beauty of the rainforests of Belize can stay at Cahal Pech Village Resort. Located right in the heart of Belize’s eco-tourism district, Cahal Pech Village Resort operates tours of the rainforest as well as other top destinations in the country.