Belize Jungle Hiking Wildlife Tour
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Deep in the heart of the Maya Mountains of southern Belize is an unspoiled wilderness, set aside for protection as the world’s first Jaguar Preserve, known as the Cockscomb Basin. This vast roadless area is home to a plethora of wildlife, including a variety of exotic plants and rare insects, mammals, birds. Here you can explore the jungle on a variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy nature walks to the quintessential tropical jungle challenge—climbing to the top of Belize’s highest mountain, Victoria Peak.
We offer hikes to hidden waterfalls, scenic overlooks of the entire rainforest Basin and Victoria Peak, as well as lush jungle riverbanks where you can see tapir and jaguar tracks, as well as possibly seeing howler monkeys, which were reintroduced to the reserve and whose population is increasing. We also offer a hike combined with leisurely river tubing on the South Stann Creek River.
Cockscomb Basin is a 2 hour drive along the stunning Hummingbird Highway and the Southern Highway, which pass through jungle hills, citrus orchards, and rangeland. We then pass through the traditional Mayan village of Maya Center where you can see a Women’s Craft Cooperative, herbal gardens, a traditional corn mill, women washing clothes by hand on rocks in the creek, and a new cacao program with chocolate making demonstrations.
From Maya Center we head into the heart of the reserve on a rough dirt road.
We stop at the ranger post and have an opportunity to see a small museum with the history of the reserve, which was established by the renowned researcher, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, (aka “The Indiana Jones of Wildlife Protection”) who documented his time in the reserve in the early 1980s and his jaguar research in the autobiographical book, Jaguar. An extensive trail system branches out from the ranger station and we explore the reserve on foot with refreshing river and waterfall swims waiting for us. Walk in the footsteps of Dr. Rabinowitz and his Mayan assistants who were instrumental in protecting this reserve for generations to come.
Here, we set up camp at the national park campground where and we take a leisurely hike through the jungle to embark on our river tubing excursion. Float in the fresh cool waters of the South Stann Creek and revel in the beauty of the rainforest environment. End the day with the jungle cookout and share stories with other guests and the rangers.
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we set out on the South Stann Creek with kayak as we go deep into untouched jungle in the direction of the Caribbean Sea. We pass through a private banana plantation and meet our transport at San Roman, a small Maya village, along the Southern Highway. This is an amazing and unforgettable adventure in one of the last few wilderness areas in the world where jaguars roam free.