Together with some people that I met on the islands we decided that the next stop should be a jungle further South. We had head about Cockscomb Wildlife Reserve that is protecting jaguars in Belize and knew we’ll have to give it a try!
There was quite little information online about the place so we were set in for an adventure. We made a plan to get there and started the journey..
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve
This remote piece of jungle in Southern Belize covers about 150 square miles dedicated to protecting the nature and it’s wildlife. In 1968 Cockscomb Basin officially became a Jaguar Preserve and it’s currently one of the only ones in the world.
With help from many individuals and national and internation organisation it can be sure the park stays running with it’s important mission. The jaguars are native for Belize but currently very endangered species. And of course there are other species to protect too.
The area has a rich variety of plants and animals and also the second highest mountain in Belize – Victoria Peak is located here.
There are few people currently living in the park to take care of the grounds and accommondation and visitors from all over the world stop by regularly. Here you can find more information about the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Our jungle adventure in Belize
Getting to the entrance of the park took us two local busses. One from Belize City to the town of Dangriga and another one little further South. We knew there wasn’t much facilities in the jungle so we had to shop everything we needed in Dangriga. Let me tell you that buying enough food, water and other stuff for 4 people in the tiniest corner shop was interesting 😀 We stacked up on pasta, beans, rice and canned vegetables together with some snacks, tea and obviously so many bottles of water. The local people gave us curious looks when we packed in to the old school bus!
First thing to do after arriving was to sort out the accommondation. We spoke with the friendliest stuff and got beds in the little cabin. There is only solar electricity in the Basin which means limited time to use lights and other electrics.
There is a communal kitchen further down in the garden and this is where we hangout a lot when we were not in the jungle. I have happy memories with my coolest people playing cards and drinking tea while listening to the jungle at night!
Things to do in Belize jungle
All the activities here are nature related and it took us no time to fall in love with the jungle. It’s so peaceful and lush around the grounds and park which was a needed break from travelling and island parties.
Tubing: There is a river near by where you can go tubing. The grounds have all the gear you need and it’s only 10 minutes walk away. We were the only people here so it was all chill and felt even more special. We floated down the river while spotting toucans (really?!?) and huge butterflies.
Hiking: There are multiple different walking and hiking routes marked out by the park. This allows you to choose the most suitable for your own level and interests. We only had few days here so it wasn’t possible to do all of them but we decided that obviously we’re picking ones that involving water falls!
Climbing the mountains: As said before the second highest mountain of Victoria Peak is located within the park. This seems to be awesome options if you have more time. I think the whole trip is around 5 or 6 days. Next level jungle activities! Please note that the trek is only open on part of the season due to the weather.
On the first day we decided to do a hike to the mountain that had a waterfall. We left super early around 5am because it would take some time to get up there and it was interesting to see the jungle very early in the morning.
After a while the path got quite steep and i think everyone was exhausted by the time we got to the top 😀 But the view was amazing over the valley which made it all more than worth it. After this we had to descend on the other side of the hill to reach the waterfall.
Being the clever girls we are with Maria we obviously packed our bikinis and jumped in the water as soon as we got down. What a perfect morning! Noone else around, in the middle of the jungle swimming in the waterfall.
Time to leave the jungle for next adventure..
The jungle trip resulted in not spotting any jaguars in the wild.. We saw from the log that other people had seen one on the road!! But we had such a good time here and I really enjoyed the quiet days and relax in the nature. It was a weird feeling to come out from the jungle and to be in the middle of normal life again.
We sat an the road waiting for a local bus for a while to head towards the town again. The boys went to get tamales from the near by shop and we enjoyed them take away style. Picture below 😀
We barely had time to finish our food before one friendly local man offered us a ride all th way to Belmopan. We were so lucky avoiding two local busses and a whole day of slow travel!! The next destination for the jungle group decided on was Flores in Guatemala which meant heading to the border.