Belize Islands has always been regarded as a land of wonders. From the world famous Blue Hole to Mayan ruins, Belize is the perfect and apt place for all who want to experience and explore historical heritage and natural wonders together. Especially for the nature lovers, there is much to see and feel in every nook and corner of this island. It is simply a paradise for ichthyologists, zoologists, botanists and ornithologists. Here are some of the popular natural wonders and wildlife sanctuaries which are undoubtedly, ‘must visit’ places.
Blue Hole National Park
With a vast area of around 575 acres of land, the Blue Hole National Park is located just near the Highway of Hummingbird in the district of Cayo in Belize. The Park, which is managed and maintained by the society of Belize Audubon, is gorgeous in itself owing to its specialties such as the rivers, sinkholes and underground streams. The park is a refuge to over 200 species of birds and animals. The most popular species amongst them are the Piratic Flycatcher, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Northern Nightingale-Wren, Ocelot and Jaguar.
Glover’s Reef Atoll, which is the southernmost of Belize’s offshore atoll, is located roughly around 45 km off the mainland. It is stunningly oval-shaped, running about 32 km long and around 12 km wide. It not only possesses the greatest diversity among the reef types, but also is the best developed biologically. You can see this deep lagoon studded with about 850 pinnacles and patch reefs rising to the surface. Along its south-eastern edge, six sand cayes lie on the reef crest.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
At the southern tip of Ambergris Caye lies Belize’s oldest marine reserve. This is none other than the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in which has identified more than 160 species of fish, along with 40 species of corals, 8 algaes, 2 seagrasses, 3 marine mammals, 5 sponges, and 3 species of sea turtle. Hol Chan in Mayan is meant for ‘little channel’. The whole reserve focuses on a cut that passes through the reef.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
A small village, Crooked Tree is located just 30 minutes north of the Belize International Airport, lies within a wildlife sanctuary that consists of a vast wetland of lagoons and interconnecting waterways, and tropical forest. Crooked Tree lagoons and water-birds are the most prominent attraction for the visitors. Kingfishers, hawks, herons, ducks, egrets, ospreys and kites, are just a few of the 275 species of bird found here, which also includes the Jabaru stork, having a wingspan of almost 10-12 feet. This makes it the largest flying bird in the New World. Green Iguanas, freshwater turtles Black Howler Monkeys and Morelet’s Crocodiles are also found within the sanctuary.
Half Moon Cay Beach
Half Moon Cay is often called as the cruisers “favorite” port. It is absolutely true with the sign on the beach which says that you would “never want to leave here”! It is amazingly beautiful and provides a perfect beach day along with cornstarch sand, warm turquoise waters and rich greenery. This island has been rated as the “best private island” by the porthole magazine for the past four years consecutively. You can definitely take a walk along the paths on the island for greater views and discover a rare stingray habitat
There are many more wildlife sanctuaries, nature reserves and natural wonders in Belize apart from these most visited ones. The favorable atmosphere of this country is the main reason behind the abundance of flora and fauna here. With numerous interesting places to visit and see, any nature lover would definitely have the time of his or her life to visit the Belize Islands.