One of the things tourists notice most about their trips to Belize has to do with the nation’s high regard for its wildlife. From 500 species of birds, a lagoon that serves as home to endangered Manatees and the world’s only jaguar preserve, even visitors with little interest in Mother Nature’s children are impressed by the variety of creatures making their homes in Belize’s jungles, rivers, forests, and ocean. Where can you get close to some of them? The Belize Zoo. It’s a visit that's sure to warm your heart.
It’s the “Best Little Zoo” on the planet
If you recall reading the story "The Little Engine That Could,” you know the tale stresses the fact that it’s not necessary to be big in order to be powerful! That’s how concerned Belizeans felt when they decided to establish the Belize Zoo after film studios using Belize to make documentaries about tropical forests simply went back to Hollywood, abandoning the wild animals that “starred” in these productions.
What started as a backyard zoo filled with “orphans” morphed into a facility that now serves as a respected wildlife education center dedicated to caring for indigenous animals that are no longer able to survive in the wild. You’ll spot 45+ species, each of which was rescued, rehabilitated, orphaned or born at the zoo. Even staff has grown from a few animal lovers to 52 Belizeans charged with responsibility for caring for zoo inhabitants.
All the “Creature Comforts” you crave
You don’t have to be accompanied by children to enjoy every moment spent at the Belize Zoo, but you’ll need a convenient place to stay that gives you access to a variety of other adventures. Belizean Dreams Resort is highly recommended by travel editors and organizations for more reasons than just proximity to the Zoo.
Conveniently located on the coast of Hopkins Village, there’s a reason Belizean Dreams is known for “casual elegance surrounded by nature.” This all-inclusive resort’s amenities and posh accommodations were given a TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award several years in a row, including 2019. Delicious meals and unlimited local beverages help guests charge up for each day’s adventure, whether it’s a jungle and beach excursion, sailing up the Monkey River or visiting the Cockscomb Basin where endangered jaguars hang out.
In sum, there will be no shortage of animal sightings on your travels once you discover how many options you have courtesy of the resort’s tour menu.
On the other hand, if your idea of adventure is snuggling in one of the 9 stand-alone villas or you’ve got your hopes pinned to an oversized hammock for two, tailor your stay in such a way that you can go as wild as you like--just as long as you venture out long enough to see for yourself the amazing Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. Don’t be surprised if this stop remains in your memory long after you leave!