Price & Hours
- Sightseeing Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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In Belize, jaguars rule the land. And the best place to catch a glimpse of these striking wildcats is Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This sprawling reserve was founded in the 1980s to protect Belize's endangered species. Today, Cockscomb also houses ocelots, pumas, peccaries, tapirs, king vultures, armadillos, otters, along with hundreds of native birds. The sanctuary contains 12 miles of nature trails that span across the 150-square-mile sanctuary. You'll likely only have time (and strength) to mosey up a few marked trails, so choose wisely.
Recent visitors praised the reserve's beautiful scenery, but some noted the trails are challenging. Still, most said the hikes were worth it simply for the picturesque vistas of the southern tip of the country. Increase your chances of seeing active wildlife by visiting at the beginning of the rainy season or on cooler, cloudy days when animals are more likely to be active.
The reserve welcomes visitors every day between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and entry costs 10 Belize dollars (or $5). You can reach the sanctuary by car from Belize City, a drive that takes about two and a half hours. If you're planning to drive, head on Western Highway, take a left at Hummingbird Highway, turn right on Southern Highway and then make the turn at Maya Center. Learn more by visiting the Belize Audubon Society's Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary page.