Belize Zoo picture
Adalberto.H.Vega/Flickr

Key Info

Mile 29 Western Highway

Price & Hours

$15 for adults; $5 for kids
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Stroll through this 29-acre zoo and you might think you've trespassed into a jungle. The small zoo houses more than 45 species: Jaguars roar, keel-billed toucans squawk, colorful scarlet macaws flutter and coral snakes slither across the thick forest floor. Peer through the zoo's leafy canopy trees and you may catch sight of Belize's beloved howler monkeys, or at least one tropical parrot, tapir, Jabiru stork or harpy eagle. And on the zoo's rustic path, especially during the late afternoon, keep your eyes peeled for one of Belize's beautiful native cats, which include margays, ocelots, pumas and jaguarondis.

Started as a rescue facility for animals that were used in documentary films, the Belize Zoo feels like more of a wildlife preserve than a commercial zoo, according to recent visitors.

The Belize Zoo is open every day from 8:30 to 5 p.m., with the last visitors admitted at 4:15 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children. Since you'll be traversing several trails in the humid tropics, wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent and plenty of water. From Belize City, the zoo is accessible by car via the Western Highway. Additional information is provided on the zoo's website.

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Ambergris Caye1 of 9
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Time to Spend
#1 Ambergris Caye

With its plentiful outdoor activities, this 25-mile-long island off the coast of northern Belize caters to the snorkeling and diving set. The island was originally inhabited by the Mayans to serve as a far-extending trade route, spanning from present-day Mexico to as far south as Honduras. Today, Ambergris Caye welcomes thousands of visitors seeking easy access to the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Snorkelers and intrepid divers alike will want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Most of the diving and snorkeling shops and instructors are found in San Pedro, including the Belize Pro Dive Center, Tuff E Nuff Tours and Scuba School Belize, which all offer a variety of daily excursions. Prices vary depending on the type and length of tours, plus any certification fees for diving.

When you're not underwater, explore San Pedro, Ambergris' main town. Here you'll find beachside restaurants, lounges, shops and luxury hotels. You'll notice the difference between this tourist hub and the more urban Belize City as soon as you step onto its cobblestone streets, which are filled with golf carts and bicycles, rather than cars.

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