Belize, a small country in Central America, is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing eco-tourism destinations in the region. A former British colony, Belize has protected more than a third of its territory as a national park, animal reserve, or wildlife sanctuary as part of the government’s ongoing conservation efforts.
Tourism is one of the biggest industries in Belize, and the government has worked hard to protect and preserve the lush jungles, pristine rainforests, and gorgeous islands that have made it a top vacation destination in the region. Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize has worked hard to encourage its own citizens to become stakeholders in preserving and protecting the environment.
Organized eco-tourism options include the Toledo Ecotourism Association. Based in Punta Gorda, the capital of the Toledo District, the southernmost region of the country, the Toledo Ecotourism Association connects local Maya and Garifuna villagers with foreign visitors. The NGO organizes eco-lodges made from indigenous materials and cultural tours to give visitors an authentic experience.
Other flourishing eco-tourism projects include the Community Baboon Sanctuary in the north of the country. Founded in 1985, all volunteers at the sanctuary are local residents who carefully manage the land to protect troops of endangered black howler monkeys (known locally as “baboons”). More than seven different villages are located inside the sanctuary, and locals benefit both by protecting this threatened simian species as well as by earning a living from tourism.
Eco-tourism has also blossomed on the offshore islands of the Belize Barrier Reef. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is divided into seven different protected areas, including the Glover’s Reef atoll where fishing is prohibited. Other protected areas on the reef are home to endangered bird, sea turtle, and marine mammal species.
The Black Orchid Resort is an ideal eco-tourism jungle resort to stay for your Belize vacation.
This eco-friendly, modern, jungle resort is located only 30 minutes outside of Belize City and 15 minutes from the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, a perfect base for you to access the mainland and islands. Enjoy world-class luxury in a natural setting with gorgeous suites, elegantly-appointed air-conditioned rooms, and quiet beauty.
This is an excellent alternative to Belize City and the perfect getaway to explore Belize. Launch your daily adventure from here, whether it’s bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, tours to top destinations on the mainland, rainforests, waterfalls, caves, or ancient Maya ruins.