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One of the most biologically diverse eco-systems in Belize is located in San Jose. It is the Columbia River Forest Reserve and it is comprised of 103,000 acres of tropical rainforest. Tourists are welcome to tour the reserve, though it is a strenuous hike to say the least.
The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve covers an area of approximately 125 square kilometers and includes fourteen sand and mangrove cayes along the southernmost tip of the Belize Barrier Reef, nearly 40 miles due east of Punta Gorda.
Laguna Cave is about an hour hike from Laguna Village. Leaving the village, you must cross a small stream. The first stretch of the trail lies over hilly grounds and through secondary forest. Entrance to Laguna CaveCacao orchards are present along the way. Guides point out the jippi jappa tree and the jackass bitters. The jippi jappa tree is used for both food and crafts. The heart of the tree is eaten and the leaf is used for weaving baskets. Jackass bitters is a medicinal plant used to cure belly aches and malaria.
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