The best wildlife preserves to see jaguars, crocodiles, and more exotic animals
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Why to Visit: Spread over a sprawling 128,000 acres of rainforest, this wildlife preserve is a haven for endangered jaguars, giving them room to roam freely without threat of poachers. The sanctuary helps make Belize the most jaguar-populated country in the world, and offers evening guided tours, for the best chances of a sighting.
Amazing Animals: Jaguars, pumas, ocelots, toucans, vultures, hawks, tapirs, and more
Community Baboon Sanctuary
Why to Visit: Though the name says Baboon, the endangered primates here are actually black howler monkeys. This community-run conservation operation spans about 20 square miles, where landowners have signed pledges to protect the area’s monkeys – which now roam freely about, greeting visitors on guided nature walks.
Amazing Animals: Black howler monkeys, and some 200 species of bird
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Why to Visit: The 16,400 acres of this wildlife preserve are positively teeming with animals – particularly birds of all kinds! No matter the time of year, visitors are likely to see between 20 and 40 species of bird (peak time is November to May). Plus, visitors can paddle a canoe to see crocodiles and iguanas, or enjoy hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Amazing Animals: Jabiru Stork (the largest flying bird in Central and South America!), crocodiles, iguanas, turtles, and countless species of bird
Itching to visit one of the coolest wildlife preserves in Belize? Start planning a vacation here.