Just 29 miles (47 km) from Belize City is The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center. “Zoo” isn’t the best description for this place – this is truly a natural wildlife habitat. The environment is untouched within the zoo’s 29 acres (12 ha), and is home to 150 animals (48 species total).
- 9 hrs
- Available Days:
- Every day
- 8:00 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
Because the animals roam free and happy in their natural habitats, guides lead visitors through the zoo in carts, with some walking through the jungle as well. Big cats, primates, colorful reptiles, and exotic birds can all be seen beneath the forest canopy, familiar enough with humans that guides can bring visitors for a closer look than you could get on a safari.
The zoo’s original story is fascinating. It begins with the 1983 documentary Selva Verde (“Green Forest”). The Belizean film team gathered 17 animals (an ocelot, a puma, a jaguar, and exotic birds) to appear in the film. Unfortunately, the animals became tame (and some were born in this semi-captivity), and when the film wrapped, releasing them into the wild would have meant their deaths. The film’s animal trainer stayed in Belize to build a makeshift zoo and generate funds for the animals’ care. She found that Belizeans were surprisingly unfamiliar with – and superstitious about – the native wildlife, and formed an educational organization to teach locals and tourists alike about these animals and their environment.
The Belize Zoo is a small non-profit zoo that serves as a home to orphaned, injured, and rehabilitated animals that can no longer survive in the wild. Founded in 1983, the zoo has played an important educational role – it has taught both local residents and tourists about native Belize wildlife and the critical role these animals play in the ecosystem.
What to Bring
Comfortable walking shoes, bug spray, and a camera.
Transportation, guided tour, entrance fees, bottled water.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.
Similar things to do
Cave tubing and a visit to the Belize Zoo will bring you face-to-face with Belize’s incredible outdoors. First you’ll visit the Belize City Zoo, which is known for its rehabilitation programs for endangered animals. Then you’ll head to the Caves Branch River, where you will ride on an inner tube through the ancient caves of the Maya
This tour will bring you to the top of a Maya temple, and then to the entrance of the Maya underworld. The temple is inside the Maya city of Xunantunich, which is located near the border of Guatemala. Its name translates to “Maiden of the Rock.” After you ascend the walls of its temple, you’ll continue the tour to the Cave Branch River, where you’ll follow the river into a series of caves that had intense spiritual significance for the Maya.