Belize is well known by the number of natural reserves found around the country. In fact, more than 40% of the country land is protected area. Due to the high costs of traveling in Belize we had to choose which reserve to visit. Based on the good reviews received, we decided to go to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Jaguar Reserve.
The chances of spotting one of the big cats within the park are very slim. Even though, we were very close. While pedaling the 6 miles to the center of the reserve, the park ranger passed us driving his car. When we got to the visitors centre he told us a jaguar walked in front of his car just after he passed us! That was the first jaguar he had seen in the 5 years he has been working here. What we did see were the jaguar´s footprints but we thought they were old ones…
Apart from jaguars, the reserve has 14 different hiking trails to explore every corner of the jungle. From hidden waterfalls, rivers to mountain tops with amazing views of the park. The perfect place to spend a few days in beautiful nature.
WHAT WE LIKED THE MOST
- Excellent and numerous hiking trails to get lost in the jungle on your own.
- Not many tourists around.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE THAT MUCH
- The price for camping is way too expensive. It costs the same as a room!
Start early in the morning to increase your chances of spotting wildlife and don’t forget the insect repellent!
All hiking routes are between one and a few hours except the Victoria Peak trail (4 days, only open during the dry season)
You can visit the park all year around, but the rainy seasons starts in June and ends in November.
You can hire guides at the visitor centre, although you can also hike on your own. The options to stay in the park are camping, share dorms and private cabins.
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best options in Belize to explore the jungle without the crowds other reserves have. It´s also an easy day trip from the towns of Hopkins and Placencia. Although, we do recommend to stay in the park for at least one night.
Location: Jaguar Reserve, Belize.
Price: 10 USD per night for a cabin or camping.
Useful Notes: It’s very easy to hike on your own here. The trails are well marked and the less people the more chances you have to spot wildlife.