Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize is the sole jaguar preserve in the world. It was created to preserve and protect the surrounding forest and its wildlife.


Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize is located along the slopes of the Maya Mountains, on its eastern side. It is approximately twenty miles off Dangriga, the closest town to the wildlife sanctuary.

Getting There

You can reach Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize via private and public transportation.

If you are traveling via your own car rental service, you can take the Western Highway from Belize City and then make a left turn on Hummingbird Highway. Follow the road going to Belmopan and then from here, make a right turn on Southern Highway.

From the Southern Highway, drive straight through until you reach Maya Center Women’s Group Gift Shop. The wildlife sanctuary is around six miles from the Maya Center.

Via public transport, there are buses from Belize City going to Punta Gorda, which will stop right at the Maya Center. From here, you can hike all the way to the wildlife sanctuary or take a taxi to drive you to the entrance to the park.

What to See and Do

Being a Jaguar Preserve, jaguar sighting is one of the most popular activities in the sanctuary. There are several trails that you can take to explore more of the park.

Trails are indicated as Easy, Moderate and Strenuous. The trails will give you a closer look at some of the wildlife living here. Other than jaguars, you may also come across one or two pumas, ocelots and jaguarandi.

Bird-watching is also one of the park’s major attractions with more than two hundred and ninety bird species living in the area. You can also take a quick dip by the waterfalls and may also come across a few otters.

Brief History

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize covers a total area of approximately one hundred and fifty square miles of tropical rainforest and was designated as a Forest Preserve in the year 1984.

Two years later, in 1986, the Forest Preserve was formally designated as a Jaguar Preserve.

The Jaguar Preserve is currently providing a protected sanctuary for around two hundred jaguars, believed to be the highest density of jaguars around the world. Its various trails are also considered as the most wide-ranging trail networks in Belize.


To visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize, guests are required to pay an entry fee of BZ$10 per person.

For accommodations, there are private cabins and dormitories within the park’s perimeters. Private cabins cost around USD53.50 per night, per cabin; while dormitory rooms are at USD20 per person, per night.

There are likewise cabins located by the park’s entrance. These cost about USD75 per night, for one cabin.

Other Information

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Belize is open daily from 7:30 in the morning up to 4:30 in the afternoon. There are designated cooking areas within the park for those who wish to have a picnic on the park’s grounds.