Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve in Belize

The Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve was set up in 1984 largely due to the concentrated efforts of Alan Rabinowitz and is the only jaguar reserve in the world. The Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve in Belize occupies about 150 square miles and is home to the five Belizean cat species, including the jaguar, and a large variety of tropical birds.

Victoria Peak, height 3675 feet is located in the reserve and offers spectacular views of the pristine surrounding forests and has several nature trials running through it. Some remains of ancient Mayan culture are also found in the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve at a site known as the Chucil Baluum dating back to the classical period. 
 
You can visit the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve by road, more specifically a four wheel drive. This reserve has dense foliage of mahogany and cedar trees which were until recently heavily logged for timber. Most of the rain falls between June to January and it is best to avoid a visit during this time as the forest gets slushy and will be crawling with poisonous insects. The rainwater collects in streams and is the source of many rivers in Belize like the Swasey, Sittee and the South Stann Creek. Hence carry insect repellant, torchlight and wear long-sleeved clothes before venturing out for hikes in the forest.


Visitors to the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve in Belize must register themselves upon arrival and get permission to stay overnight in the park. There are various resorts around the Cockscomb Basin Forest reserve that will take you right to the interiors of the forest, but for a huge fee.  
 
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to all five Belize's cats, the jaguar, the ocelot, the margay, the jaguarundi and the puma. Also other other wild cats, such as the paca and the tayra, are living in the reserve, besides other animals like the otter, brocket deer and the peccary. Among the more than 300 varieties of birds that you may see at the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve are the Keel-billed, toucan, macaw, tapir, and the great Curossow. Follow the River Overlook and the Warrie trails and spot many species of wildlife, including the jaguar. So, go ahead, pack your bags and head to the reserve for a great tropical adventure.