A Belize Secret Worth Discovering: Five Blue Lakes National Park
When a nation as small as Belize is home to an embarrassment of natural riches–the barrier reef, Blue Hole, Maya ruins and a unique culture that’s a melting pot of heritages–it can be hard to get the attention of tourists on finite time schedules. But even if you’re in Belize for a short visit, you owe it to yourself to break away from the crowds to discover the mystery of Five Blue Lakes National Park. Even Sherlock Holmes could have difficulty figuring out why these five bodies of water–named for 5 shades of blue that differentiates each other -—keep draining and refilling as if by magic.
A tranquil place for a family outing
At just 10 acres, the Five Blues Lake Park complex is set amid 400 acres of rainforest growing on a limestone hillside. It’s a favorite destination for Belizeans because they can swim, snorkel and picnic with families outside areas that are congested and crowded. Visitors can wade out to Orchid Island on the east ridge where so many wild orchids grow, there can be no doubt about why this heavenly spot was given it’s name!
Come for the animals
If you’re a romantic and a lover of wildlife, the variety of birds and animals you could see at Five Blues is astonishing, ranging from 200+ species of birds and Howler monkeys to a full complement of wildcats that include mountain lions, ocelots, jaguars, margays and jaguarundi. Hang around at night and you could witness bats coming out of their caves to feast on insects.
…or see why scientists are so fascinated
Satisfy your curiosity by learning more about this chameleon-like group of lagoons that began experiencing a cycle of filling and drying up around 2006 when heavy rainfall followed by a severe drought changed the complexity of the sediment in and around the underground bedrock. Fishermen say that the lake “cries” every time it forms a vortex as water drains. Seeing is believing, and watching this draining and refilling cycle captures the imagination of visitors–even those who have no interest in geology!
Five Blues is easy to reach
Because Five Blues National Park has yet to be discovered by crowds of people, you’ll enjoy a blissful day of exploration and discovery at this easy-to-reach natural playground. Whether you decide to take a bus or ride a mountain bike to reach this destination (at Mile 32 on Hummingbird Highway), you’ll travel through miles of new citrus plantations. Even the journey to the Park will fascinate you.
You may want to stick around longer than a day
Stay a couple of days to see it all (find lodgings in nearby St. Margaret’s village) by obtaining a pamphlet from the park visitors center where self-guided trail maps for both skilled and not-so-skilled hikers are available, as are mountain bikes and kayaks for hire. Alternately, hire a tour guide so you don’t miss a thing.
Whether you just want to see the lagoons that drain and refill, your idea of a fun time is trekking this land of beauty that’s filled with flora and fauna, you’ve a yen to spot wildlife roaming the land or your goal is taking a selfie of yourself standing amid a never-ending field of orchids, discover Belize’s Five Blues Lake National Park before the rest of the world does. You’ll be ever so glad that you did!