Hiking Flora and Fauna Mayan Ruins Natural Beauty Nature

Jungle in Belize

Half of Belize is covered by dense jungle, and eighty percent of its rainforest remains under government protection, much of it unexplored. These rainforests provide habitat for a wide range of animals, including jaguar, puma, ocelot, armadillo, tapir and crocodile. The country is also home to 4,000 species of tropical flowers, including 250 kinds of orchids. It is home to more than 500 species of birds that fly through the jungles of Belize: fruiting keel-billed toucans (Belize's national bird); the jabiru stork, the largest flying bird in the Americas; the rare agami heron; hummingbirds, neon-green painted parrots; an abundance of macaws, herons and white egrets that delight sharp-eyed eco-travelers.

Most of Belize's rainforest is protected. There are nature parks and animal sanctuaries where people can enjoy the Belizean rainforest. One of the most important is Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in southwest Dangriga, a safe haven for the endangered jaguar.

Toledo, Belize's southernmost district, has 1669 square miles of rainforest, mountains, rivers and Mayan villages. Toledans often refer to their home as "the forgotten land": it is the least visited destination in Belize. As the most sparsely populated and least developed region of the country, Toledo is certainly not for the average tourist. However, for those with the spirit to venture off the beaten path, Toledo's natural and cultural diversity makes a visit to Southern Belize a unique adventure. The land is covered by some of the most pristine rainforests in Belize. The northwest highlands consist of the foothills of the Mayan mountains bordered by limestone outcrops, a rugged and unexplored territory.