There are several ideal hiking spots in Belize, a few with clearly marked trails, often located within a jungle lodge’s property, at a national park, or in the surrounding jungle of a Mayan archeological site. It’s best to have a guide or a knowledgeable local with you on hikes that take you deep into the rainforest, while others, in national parks, are easily done without. Still, be careful where you wander off to, it’s a real jungle out there!
Here are a few of my favorite hiking trails in Belize:
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
A few of the best spots to hike in Belize are located in the southern Stann Creek District, approximately two hours from Belize. One of these, Cockscomb, is also the world’s first ever jaguar preserve and beyond that, one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Belize. There are waterfalls, mountains, abundant bird and wildlife, and more. There are marked trails at Cockscomb, some of which you can do on your own, and others more steep, for which I recommend a guide. From the visitors center, there are several trails of more than 20 miles combined going off in different directions, some short and some long and over an hour long. The easiest, is the one leading to the Cockscomb waterfall, just a 20-minute hike before you reach a small pool and fresh water to swim in. The most rigorous hike is the Tiger Fern Trail, where you’ll end up at one of Belize’s most beautiful double waterfalls. You may spot fresh jaguar tracks on your path and if you’re extremely lucky, an actual jaguar. Get a map from the visitors center for trail details.
Most of the Maya archeological sites are located amid rainforest, and make for excellent spots to hike and spot wildlife along the way, as you explore sites. These include Lamanai, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich.
Blue Hole National Park
One of my favorite parks in Belize, there are marked trails at the Blue Hole National Park, and you can either spelunk at the onsite St. Herman’s Cave or cool off in the inland “Blue Hole”–a gorgeous emerald sinkhole–after your hike. The Blue Hole National Park is located in Western Belize, off the scenic Hummingbird Highway.
Billy Barquedier National Park
The waterfall entrance to the park has a separate trail and path, with a rope to hang on to, leading to a beautiful stream and small waterfall.
- Lily Lebawit Girma