This is #2 in the Belize Family Vacation Travel Series
One of our family’s most memorable vacations was the week we spent in beautiful Belize. And what better way to learn more about this gem of a country than to take a walk on the wilder side, right? The wilder size of the Belize Zoo, that is! It’s where you can experience the country’s diverse animal population. Be amazed by birds of magnificent beauty and birds of prey. Walk alongside reptiles, and marvel at arachnids behind glass.
No trip to Belize is complete without exploring this small, yet incredible zoo. The Belize Zoo’s motto says it all – “the best little zoo in the world.” See for yourself!
Welcome to the Belize Zoo!
We are a family of zoo lovers, so naturally a day at the Belize Zoo was high on our list of Belize adventures. So join us as we take a walk on Belize’s wilder side.
The Belize Zoo is home to a wide selection of animals, birds, reptiles and arachnids, all native to Belize. Including this little guy, a Baird’s Tapir. He’s also known locally as the mountain cow. Which of course, resulted in peels of laughter from my kids! They thought it looked more like an overgrown pig than a cow.
Howler monkeys, coatis, kinkajus, they’re here too. So are the ocelots. You’ll need a keen eye to spot an ocelot, though. Look low along the ground and in the bushes, as these guys prefer the ground over the trees. And they blend right in, as this guy does. Ocelots are nocturnal, and are often found snoozing the day away.
You’ll also need a keen eye to catch a glimpse of the Margay Cat, another wild cat who prefers the cover of darkness. You’ll want to look up, not down, though, for these kitties. Margay cats much prefer living in forest canopies. We were fortunate to experience this Margay Cat stretching from it’s mid-morning nap.
No trip to the Belize Zoo is complete without experiencing the Keel Billed Toucan, the national bird of Belize. And it is a most beautiful bird indeed! Keep an eye out for toucans on your other Belize adventures too. They’ve been known to be spotted in the wild, nesting in the holes of tree trunks.
So much beauty as you wander through the birds of the Belize Zoo. From Toucans to Scarlet Macaws, vultures, egrets and jabiru storks too. Don’t miss the parrot and the Harpy Eagle, as they strut their stuff! It’s a challenge to spot many Belize bird species in their natural habitats, but not here at the Belize Zoo.
Eek! It’s the Mexican red-rumped Tarantula! Don’t worry, he’s behind glass. Otherwise I’d be running too fast in the other direction to photograph him. These large, black and hairy spiders are gentle by nature, and don’t really attack people as a few horror movies might suggest. At least that’s what the tour guide told us. Still keeping my distance.
Last but not least – the jaguar! These majestic cats are found throughout Belize. Thankfully we only found this one, slumbering away high up in a tree, safely tucked behind a zoo fence. No worries for your other Belize adventures. Jaguars are nocturnal, and you are not likely to experience one in the wild. Though you might come across their footprints if hiking deep into the jungle!
Animals, birds, and spiders, oh my! It’s been a most fun, educational, and adventurous morning at the Belize Zoo. And tiring for little guys. No problem – that’s what Dad’s shoulders are for, right?
It’s time to be off for our next adventure! Stick around for the next post in my Belize Family Vacation Travel Series.
The Belize Zoo – A “Best In Class” Destination
After spending several hours here, I’d have to agree with the Belize Zoo. It’s definitely one of, of not the, best little zoo in the world. We’ve been to quite a few zoos over the years, both big and small, and the Belize Zoo remains one of our most favorite zoos. A must-see Belize adventure, no matter your age. My opinion of course!
Don’t just take my word though. TripAdvisor awarded the Belize Zoo it’s Certificate of Excellence in 2013. A most well deserved award, indeed. Read more about what others have to say about the zoo at TripAdvisor – Belize Zoo reviews.
Planning A Day At The Belize Zoo
Ready to plan your own day at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Ecucation Center? Here’s tips and advice to make the most of your adventure.
- The zoo is about an hour’s drive from Belize City and the cruise terminals, and about two hours from Jaguar Reef Lodge, our home away from home.
- An adult day pass is $15 US, children are $5 US. A bargain adventure, for sure!
- Plan a minimum of two to four hours to fully explore this fun little zoo.
- Bring insect repellent! Or you might become snack for a few pesty insects.
- No food is allowed in the zoo, but there is a picnic area outside the zoo for snack time.
- The zoo opens at 8:30 am. Plan an early arrival to avoid the heat of the day and see more critters in action.
Looking for a bigger experience while at the zoo? One that you won’t soon forget? Consider booking the Director’s VIP Tour, where you will have up close and personal encounters with select Belize Zoo residents.
Have you been to the Belize Zoo or Belize? What was your favorite experience? Let us know in the Comments section below.
Don’t miss the other posts in A Belize Family Vacation Travel Series:
- Dreaming of Sun Sand and Beaches
- Cave Tubing and Monkeys, Oh My!
- Hiking The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
- An Adventure Through Ancient Mayan Lands
- Exploring Mayan Masterpieces