Visit the only Jaguar Preserve in the World
Also known as the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the Jaguar Preserve is situated within the shadows of the Maya mountains and encompasses some 100,000 acres of tropical forest, rising from 300 to 3,675 ft at the summit of Mt. Victoria.
Most of its protected acres are east of the Southern Highway between Dangriga and the Turn off to Placencia village. The entrance to the sanctuary is in the village of Maya Centre, which is at Mile 15 on the Southern Highway in the District of Stann Creek.
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1984 as a reserve to protect a large population of jaguars and today, it is the world’s only jaguar reserve and home to exotic Belizean wildlife. Since the sanctuary is home to numerous members of the elusive cat family, there is also a large population of mammals and birds that support the food chain.
Travelers can easily spot some of these animals when visiting.
The main feature of the Jaguar Preserve is its extensive network of trails. Jaguars can be found in dense forests and swamps and the best time to spot one is at dusk or dawn. Also wildlife happens to be more active during the rainy season from June to November while birding is better in December until March.
It is also important to note that the animals are livelier on cloudy, cool days and tourists usually go to Cockscomb Basin to hike, camp, kayak, canoe, tube, and swim.