Guanacaste National Park
Named for the rare but incredibly large Guanacaste tree, Guanacaste National Park is one of Belize’s smallest yet most beautiful natural areas. Just 50 acres in size, Guanacaste National Park is managed by the Belize Audobon Society and is operated as a bird sanctuary.
Guanacaste trees were spared devastation by modern loggers because of its unusual habit of splitting its trunk, but this oversize tree serves as an important home for birds, flowering plants such as orchids, and even cacti. The ancient Maya once logged Guanacaste trees in order to make dugout canoes that were used along the Belize River, one of the most important trade routes for their civilization.
Inside this park, there are two distinct types of forests, one primarily Cohune Palm trees and the other broadleaf hardwood trees. There are also sections of riparian forest along the banks of the Belize River, well-adapted to the periodic flooding that affects the area.
Why You Have to Do a Tour of the Guanacaste National Park
Guanacaste National Park has more than two miles of hiking trails and serves as a great introduction to the wild natural beauty of Belize’s forests. Hundreds of birds can be seen in the park, and there is also a timber deck alongside the banks of the river perfect for a refreshing swim on a hot day.
Where in Belize Is Guanacaste National Park Located?
Guanacaste National Park is located approximately two miles from Belmopan. It is situated at the place where Roaring Creek joins the Belize River.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Guanacaste National Park?
Guanacaste National Park is open 365 days a year.
The Best Way to Get to Guanacaste National Park
Head west from Belmopan and keep a lookout for the well-marked turnoff to the park at the village of Roaring Creek. Easily accessible by both public bus and private car, the entrance of Guanacaste National Park has a visitor center and a map of the trails inside the park.
The Best Way to Experience Guanacaste National Park
Once at the visitor center, choose a hiking trail that best suits your physical ability as well as desire to see the different kinds of flora and fauna that inhabit the park. There are several overlook decks throughout the park for observing birds or just admiring the spectacularly pristine environment.
Guanacaste National Park is a great place to learn about the wildlife in Belize, including leaf-cutter ants, black howler monkeys, and jaguarundis.