If your idea of wildlife is closing down Belize bars after consuming enough local rum to land your name in the Guinness World Book of Records, this is not the article you seek! Conversely, if you never met a four-legged, winged, tail-hanging, slithering critter you didn’t adore, stick around. This might not be the longest guide to Belize wildlife you’ve read, but by zipping through it, you’ll have more time to sleuth out the fascinating creatures in a town recently known for hosting the first flash mob in Belize. Wild enough for you?
Up the river with a paddle. Giant iguanas, exotic birds, turtles and amphibians that resemble pre-Columbian creatures line the banks and waters of the Macal River, so if you are able to paddle and observe at the same time, take the Western Highway from Cahal Pech Village Resort and drive until you spot the canoe landing. Overhead, a rainbow of birds wing their way downstream, the most colorful of which are likely Kingfishers and Toucans. Whether you paddle past rock canyons, greenery and wildlife along the Macal on your own or hire a guide, this trip makes for great memories. https://www.cahalpech.com/belize-tours/river-canoeing.
This place is for the birds. While in the neighborhood, venture into El Pilar, a 100-acre Mayan site that’s currently being explored by University of California archaeologists. Because this area has abundant natural water resources, birds flock here, which is why every ornithology hobbyist dreams of coming to this spot. Perched among ancient ruins and ceremonial structures are so many varieties of exotic birds, there’s no room to list them all here. Schedule a tour leaving from Cahal Pech Village Resort that includes transportation, park entry fees, lunch and a human guide, and you can ask him to name them all so you don’t have to keep thumbing through your birding guide: https://www.cahalpech.com/belize-tours/el-pilar-mayan-ruins.
Where the wild things are. The Caracol Maya ruins should be re-named “where the strange things dwell,” because this area is home to Howler Monkeys, Kinkajous and Armadillos swinging from trees and burrowing among ground cover. Thread your way through the vast compound that was once a thriving city called Caracol. Notice birds perched high on tower ruins that climb 140-feet into the air and check out other artifacts and relics that paint a picture of a Mayan society that triumphed over the Tikal Empire. Reserve a day for this wildlife tour or you won’t have time to take everything in. https://www.cahalpech.com/belize-tours/tour-caracol-mayan-ruins.
That’s a croc—a real croc—and you can spot him and his closest friends on a pontoon nature tour on Vaca Lake, an hour’s drive from Cahal Pech Village Resort. In addition to those feisty reptiles, spot turtles, foxes, egrets and Howler Monkeys beneath a sky filled with hawks and brightly-colored toucans. Your guide can point out plants that have medicinal properties during your full-day tour. That pontoon boat will also take you past dramatic waterfalls and you can stop for a swim. Called one of the best wildlife tours in Belize by savvy travel reviewers, find out more here: https://www.cahalpech.com/belize-tours/pantoon-waterfall-experience/.
It’s a zoo out there! Some travelers prefer their wildlife in tamer environs rather than running wild, so a stop at the Belize Zoo can satisfy adults and kids who frighten easily or prefer their wildlife contained within a single compound. Find a large population of indigenous animals like jaguars, monkeys and exotic birds in one easy-to-navigate place. Learn more at https://www.cahalpech.com/belize-tours/belize-zoo-tour.