The best nature walks and hikes in Belize

Tourist and Howler Monkey
Reading Time: 4 mins

No matter where you choose to stay in Belize, venturing into the jungle is a must since this is where some of the best hikes and nature walks can be done.

Related: Top Rainforest Tours in Belize & Belize’s Best Jungles Lodges

Although the country is only 185 miles long by 75 miles wide, an extraordinary array of national parks, nature reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries provide an incredible stage for hiking adventures. So go beyond the beaches of Belize and explore its great outdoors.

1. Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Big Rock Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Cayo, Belize

Located in Western Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge is one of the best hiking spots in the country. Established in 1944, the forest reserve protects Belize’s native pine forest and its landscape of ravines and granite hillsides is home to rushing rivers, waterfalls, natural pools, sacred caves, and Maya temples.

2. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Hiking views at the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve

Located in Southern Belize, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for being the world’s first Jaguar Preserve. Offering well-marked trails to suit all skill levels, it’s the ideal hiking destination in Belize for people that are interested in wildlife spotting and discovering waterfalls that are deep in the Belizean rainforest.

3. Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Antelope Falls View Point at Mayflower Bocawina National Park

Adjacent to the Cockscomb Basin, Mayflower Bocawina has over 7000 acres of pristine lowland and highland rainforest in southern Belize. It is a popular destination for tourists that are staying in nearby Hopkins Village and want to go on easy, moderate or challenging hiking trails to mountains, waterfalls, swimming holes, and Maya archeological remains.

4. Actun Tunichil Muknal (aka ATM Cave)

Family at ATM Cave

Located near San Ignacio, the ATM Cave is Belize’s most famous caving adventure tour. It involves hiking across jungle trails and rivers before swimming into the cave. Exploring this Maya ceremonial cave also includes squeezing through tight spaces to witness cave formations, rare bloodletting altars, sacrificial human remains, and over 1400 catalogued artifacts.

5. Elijio Panti National Park

Elijio Panti Summit Trail - View of Black Rock Valley in Cayo, Belize

Named after Belize’s most famous Maya healer, the Elijio Panti National Park is a nature reserve near San Ignacio that is filled with trails, waterfalls, ceremonial caves, and wildlife spotting opportunities. A major highlight includes the Elijio Panti Summit Trail which includes a mountain hike to grand views of the Black Rock Valley before ending at a natural spring pool.

6. St. Hermans Blue Hole National Park

St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park in Belize

Located just outside of Belmopan, along the Hummingbird Highway, the Blue Hole National Park is known for its popular sapphire-coloured cenote and St. Herman’s Cave. However, its well-maintained introductory hiking trails are less explored, which are great for exploring the park and bird-watching adventures.

7. Chaa Creek Nature Reserve

Chaa Creek Nature Reserve in Cayo, Belize

Set along the banks of the Macal River, the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve is a 400-acre protected area near San Ignacio that offers extensive ecotourism facilities to resort guests and day visitors. Aside from a vast array of hiking trails, on-site highlights include an eco-lodge, butterfly farm, natural history museum, Maya organic farm, guided birding, and horseback riding.

8. The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS)

Howler Monkey at the Community Baboon Sanctuary in Bermuda Landing, Belize

Located in Bermudian Landing, CBS is a women-led community conservation initiative for howler monkeys (locally known as baboons) in central Belize. Established in 1985, a visit to the sanctuary guarantees a one-hour guided nature walk which involves getting up close to troops of black howler monkeys and other wildlife and learning about various traditional medicinal plants.

9. Galon Jug Estate

Safari-drive Wildlife Spotting Night Tour at Chan Chich, Gallon Jug

Galon Jug is a secluded 30,000-acre private nature reserve that is located in the Orange Walk District of northwestern Belize. The area has an extensive trail system of over nine miles of well-maintained trails for hiking and wildlife spotting that is primarily accessible to guests that stay at its luxury resort called Chan Chich Lodge.

10. Guanacaste National Park

Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, Belize.

Centrally located at the entrance of Belmopan, Guanacaste is one of the most accessible nature parks in Belize. Although it only consists of 50 acres, it is a great spot to easily experience the flora and fauna of Belize, with over two miles of hiking trails that are filled with opportunities to see a variety of native plants and native wildlife, in particular, birds.

Bonus: Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak in Southern Belize

Located within the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Victoria Peak is the second-highest mountain in Belize. Primarily hiked by Belizeans, the trail is about 18 miles (29 km) and it takes 3 to 4 days to summit. Open from February to June, groups are limited to 8 and a licensed tour guide must be used. Email the Belize Audubon Society at for more info.



Reader Interactions


  1. Teo says

    Where is Belize exactly? I’m just curious. By the way, those hiking places are so beautiful! I hope it can be preserved and conserved so that future generations can see it!

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