Nature Jaguar Sanctuary Jungle Flora and Fauna Mayan Ruins

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Travel Guide

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Jaguar Preserve, is a haven for the endangered jaguar, and it’s situated within the shadows of the Maya mountains. The Cockscomb Basin encompasses some 128,000 acres of tropical forest, rising from 300 to 3,675 ft. at the summit of Mt. Victoria. Most of its protected acres are east of the Southern Highway between Dangriga and the Turn off to Placencia.  Along with its neighbor Bladen Nature reserve to the south, jaguars have about 250,000 acres to roam free. It is the world’s only jaguar reserve and home to other exotic wildlife. Since the sanctuary is home to numerous members of the elusive cat family, there is also a large population of mammals and birds to support the food chain. Travelers can easily spot some of these animals when visiting.

Atracciones y Actividades

Discovering Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

The entrance to the sanctuary is in the village of Maya Centre, which is at Mile 15 on the Southern Highway in the Stann Creek District. The parks headquarters are 7 miles further west on a dirt road. The main feature about the Jaguar Preserve is its trail network. It is the most extensive of any other National Park in Belize. Jaguars are often found in dense forests and swamps with good cover and simple access to water. The best time to spot one is at dusk or dawn. Wildlife happens to be more active during the rainy season from June to November while birding is better in December until March. The animals are livelier on cloudy, cool days and tourists usually go to Cockscomb Basin to hike, camp, kayak, canoe, tube, and swim.


If you want to visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary you can overnight at Dangriga and do a day visit to the sanctuary. Dangriga is Belize’s “culture capital”, a small seaside town that offers accommodations for all type of travelers, from small guesthouse to luxury resorts and several options of restaurants and bars, some of them with live Garifuna drumming. With a vibrant Garifuna community, the town offers art, music and traditional dishes.

The closest town to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This authentic Garifuna Village is becoming a popular tourist destination in Belize. Just 12 miles from Dangriga, the culture and sandy beaches of Hopkins Village has amenities ranging from budget to luxury. A place to relax on the beach, visit a forest reserve, practice water sports, eat fresh fish and watch the Garifuna drumming.

If you are looking for some of the best sandy beaches on mainland Belize, you will find them in Placencia. During the day you can just hang out on the beach or take a tour to do some snorkeling and scuba diving, and in the evening you can head into town to see and feel how a traditional Creole fishing village is like, visit an art gallery, eat at a local restaurant and enjoy a drink in one of the bars. Another activity you can do from Placencia, is take a boat tour to Monkey River, a small Creole village at the mouth of the river of the same name.

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Location and Map

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Stann Creek District, South Central Belize, can be reached from Belize city taking the Western Highway. In La Democracia, follow Coastal Highway, and then the Southern Highway.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize

Jaguar Sanctuary
Stann Creek