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Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Maya Center Village

Southern Highway
Maya Center Village
view web site ›'s insider take:

This 128,000-acre forest reserve was created to protect the endangered jaguar—and several of his cohorts: puma, jaguarundi, ocelot, and margay. Not that you should expect many (or frankly, any) run-ins. Cockscomb's feline residents are notoriously elusive. By contrast, their avian counterparts (around 300 species including toucans and scarlet macaws) are not only on frequent view from the reserve's trails and natural pools, but known to put on a good show. An airborne toucan alone is worth the nominal price of admission: For $2.50, you can rent an inner tube that will let you behold much of the basin from South Stann Creek. You can also kayak and hike your way through the area—and if you're feeling particularly ambitious, you can climb the 3,675-foot Victoria Peak (Belize's second highest).

Open daily 8 am to 4:30 pm.

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