Hiking in Belize is an activity that allows tourists to take in the full range of the country's natural beauty, from the Caribbean Sea to the crystal caves and lush tropical forests. We've included a range of options, from nature walks in national parks to high-peak climbs. Read on for the best hiking trails to explore on your next Belize vacation.
Maya Mountains Black Hole Drop
Adventurous travelers should look no further than the Black Hole Drop excursion into Actun Loch Tunich at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in Cayo, Belize. Hike up the Maya Mountains to the mouth of the cave before repelling down 300 feet to the cave below. Explore the magnificent rock formations and the wide spectrum of light and colors reflecting off the cave's walls before hiking back to the lush landscape where you started. Request Carlos as your guide: He is as wise about Belizean history and culture as he is about hiking tricks and tips.
Victoria Peak Climb
Climbing Victoria Peak, Belize's highest mountain at 3,675 feet, is not for faint-hearted travelers. Reaching the summit requires carrying gear and overnight camping experience, but expert hikers will be rewarded with breathtaking views once you've reached the peak. By the time you are rewarded with this majestic view of the country's forests and mountain range, the strenuous excursion will have been well worth it.
Crystal Cave Hike
The Blue Hole National Park managed by the Audubon Society is rife with beautiful forests (and of course, blue waters) for visitors to explore. We recommend signing up for the Crystal Cave Tour to hike nearly an hour through the tropical forest before exploring the gorgeous Crystalline Cave within the jungle. You will notice caves are a big deal in Belize and well worth the effort to explore (especially when the interior looks like a crystal.) We recommend always signing up with a guide for these types of explorations, as repelling is involved, as well as more technical aspects of climbing. Plus, having a local guide is the best way to better understand a local culture.
Cockscomb Basin Self-Guided Nature Walk
One of Belize's natural parks, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve is a wonderful place for travelers to explore on self-guided hikes through this beautiful wilderness in Ambergris Caye. The self-guided nature walk is for explorers of all fitness levels, and lasts roughly an hour, taking tourists on a journey through the rivers and cacao trees of the Belize wilderness. We will identify specific journeys further along on our list, and you will soon learn that the Cockscomb Basin is a must-visit destination for the adventurous traveler.
Guanacaste National Park Nature Trails
There are many national parks to explore in Belize, and they're all ripe with beautiful hiking trails. Head to Guanacaste National Park in the Cayo District of Western Belize and take advantage of over two miles of well-marked nature trails for visitors to follow. Unlike the cave tours or the Victoria's Peak ascent, the trails are fairly easy; and the entire experience is a great outing for families.
Ben's Bluff Trail
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve in Ambergris Caye is also home to Ben's Bluff Trail, an intermediate hike through the reserve. The four-kilometer trek takes you through Cockscomb Basin in the state of Stann Creek and is open to adventurers year-round. Check out the gorgeous wildflowers and tropical forests on this journey into the great Belizean outdoors.
Monkey River Loop
The Monkey River Loop is a 1.1-kilometer trek that is lesser-known to tourists, and therefore less crowded. You're likely to have the trail to yourself, so enjoy the peace and quiet, and keep an eye out for manatees swimming in Monkey River. It should be noted, however, that Belize is one of the lowest-inhabited countries in the world, so you're likely to enjoy blissful solitude on many of these treks.
Panti Medicinal Trail
The Panti Medicinal Trail is one of the preferred tourist attractions in Cayo, Belize, located in Don Elijo National Park. The park is named after the noted Maya Shaman Elijio Panti, and today visitors can walk along the path where many medicinal plants and herbs were discovered. Visitors will pay a fee of $5 for a self-guided walk, but we recommend paying the $30 for a guided walk, in order to get the most enjoyment (and derive the most knowledge) from the nature experience.
Tiger Fern Trail
The Tiger Fern Trail, is located in the Cockscomb Basin (quite the popular destination for outdoors-lovers) and is located near Quam Bank, in Stann Creek. The 4.3-kilometer out-and-back trek is moderately well-known, so expect some light foot traffic on your journey. It is also fairly strenuous in its uphill ascent (there is a 279-meter elevation gain). We assure you, the view of the magnificent waterfall will make this journey well worth it.
A more challenging day hike, also located near Quam Bank in the Belizean state of Stann Creek, Catena Transcet is a 15-kilometer out-and-back trek with an elevation gain of 642 meters, so it is not for the faint of heart. But the adventurous traveler will be rewarded with some spectacular bird-watching and gorgeous wildflowers.