The Rainforest and the Barrier Reef
Exploring the natural wonders of Belize: the Rainforest & the Barrier Reef
Belize is a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike. With its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and crystal clear waters, it's easy to see why it's one of the top destinations in Central America by combining a rainforest and reef vacation.
The Rainforest of Belize
Belize's tropical rainforest attracts visitors from all over the world. With its dense vegetation, winding rivers, and diverse wildlife, the rainforest is a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers with its array of exotic creatures, including jaguars, tapirs, howler monkeys, and over 500 species of birds.
Near the coastal town of Hopkins lies the Maya Mountains, a range of hills and mountains that are a continuation of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Belize’s Maya Mountains are known for their rugged terrain and dense rainforest, with many square kilometers of protected areas and parks.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park is a vast protected area located in the central region of Belize’s Maya Mountains. The park spans over 7,000 acres and is home to a variety of ecosystems. Visitors can explore the park's many hiking trails and swim in its refreshing waterfalls, including” Bocawina Falls, Three Sisters Falls, Antelope Falls, Peck Falls and Big Drop Falls. The park is also home to several ancient (unexcavated) Maya ruins including the main Mayflower Plaza, Maintzunun temple mound and Tau Witz.
For those who are up for a challenge, the park is also home to one of the longest ziplines in Central America, stretching over 2,300 feet. It's an adrenaline-pumping experience that will give you a bird's eye view of the forest canopy and its inhabitants. If you want an extreme thrilling adventure check out Antelope Falls waterfall rappel. The experience of being suspended in mid-air as the water rushes past is truly exhilarating, and the views of the surrounding rainforest and cascading waterfalls are breathtaking.
The Barrier Reef
After exploring the rainforest, you must head to the beach, for the best traveler experience, always start in the jungle and end by the ocean.
Belize's Barrier Reef is the second-largest coral reef system in the world, stretching over 190 miles along the country's coastline. In the central part of reef lies the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, a 117,878-acre protected marine area, home to a diverse array of marine life, including over 500 species of fish and 100 species of coral (70 hard coral species + 36 soft coral species), making it a prime destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
The islands, called cayes (pronounced “keys”), off the coast of Belize are a true paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. These small islands are surrounded by turquoise crystal waters and soft, coral sand beaches, offering visitors a chance to unwind and soak up the sun.
If you are looking for a hidden gem, you must visit Tobacco Caye. This small, palm-fringed island is just five acres in size and offers visitors a chance to truly unplug and unwind. Located in the southern region of Belize's Barrier Reef, the island is home to several lodges, and standing out with its colorful over-water-cabanas is: Tobacco Caye Paradise.
Tobacco Caye is the perfect place to unplug and unwind. Each of the six rainbow-colored cabanas have the perfect view overlooking the turquoise waters of the Belize Barrier Reef. From your cabin's deck, you can snorkel, kayak, stand-up paddleboard to explore the coral reefs and tropical fish that call this area home - or simply just relax in a hammock and soak up the island's natural beauty. There’s a reason this small island is called Belize’s best kept secret.
To make the most of your Belize rainforest and reef vacation, consider booking a stay at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Tobacco Caye Paradise Lodge. If you are looking for a package with a stop in both of these hidden gems, check out our Island Expeditions Rainforest & Reef Adventure. A great way to explore Belize on your own, but with everything planned for you to just get there and enjoy!