Best Outdoor Activities in Stann Creek
Local Recommendations from our My Guide Belize team
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Declared a protected area in 2001, the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve offers protection for a significant portion of the Belize Barrier Reef. The reserve covers about 26 thousand acres of marine habitat just off the coast of Placencia, and has several areas open for public exploration.
Located deep within a nature reserve in western Belize, Thousand Foot Falls is the highest waterfall in all of Central America. A swift river descends over a granite cliff to descend more than 1,600 feet into a thickly forested natural wonderland.
In the town of Gales Point is the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary, which consists of two connected lagoons and a central coastal plain that join together to create a habitat for many important species of animals including manatees and hawks bill turtles.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as “Jaguar Preserve” or Jaguar Reserve and is located in the Mayan mountains area, Cockscom Basin covers about 100,000 acres of tropical forest and rises to about 300 to 3,675 at the summit of Victoria Peak. Most of its protected acres are east of the South Highway between Dangriga and the return to Placencia. The entrance to the sanctuary is the village of Maya Center which is located at mile 15 on the south road at Stann Creek.
Playa Maya is a very small and quiet coastal community on the Placencia peninsula, which consists of a long and clean strip of sand, beach chairs, wooden docks that stand out in the sea and hammocks hanging between palm trees. Visitors who come here do so to relax, sunbathe and eat fresh seafood in one of the few beachfront restaurants. Of the three beach towns on the Placencia peninsula, Maya beach is the most serene.
This park has a lot to offer. Adjacent to a parking area, steps lead to the pool that gives the park name (not to be confused with the other blue hole on lighthouse reef. The stairway leads down through the forest, and birds can often already be seen resting on over-hanging vines, especially emerald green jacamars and blue-crowned motmots.
Offering a bit of a respite from the hotter lowlands, Mountain Pine Ridge is one of the most heavily visited reserves. As the oldest and largest protected forested area in Belize, Mountain Pine Ridge (MPR) covers 300 square miles of area, but visitors are surprised to find a sharp contrast to the tropical landscape; here, pine needles rather than palm fronds, fill the landscape.
Laughing Bird Caye is a beautiful Belizean isle situated on the western side of Victoria Channel, only 11 miles off the coast from Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District of Belize. The exact location of the island is 16°27' North latitude and 88°12' West longitude. Laughing Bird Caye is the southernmost island in the central lagoon of the Belize Barrier Reef.
South Water is the key with the most marine reserve in Belize. The largest marine reserve is in South Water Caye. To access it you can do it through excursions in Belize that depart from Dangriga, Hopkins or Placencia. You can also stay in this beach but you must consider the high costs, as there are very few places destined for this purpose. Thanks to the fact that it has the richest barrier in marine fauna, you can practice snorkeling and diving. You can see species such as: Manta rays, reef fish and seabirds.
Coral Glover, the southernmost of 3 coral atolls in Belize, requires a little more dedication within reach: a flight from Belize City to Dangriga, followed by a one-hour boat trip on the high seas. But once there, this ancient refuge for pirates and world heritage is unmatched in beauty.
Hidden Valley Falls is a legendary group of waterfalls in Belize, located in the territory of the Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Reserve. The height of the waterfall is 457 meters, it is incredibly beautiful and, in combination with the surrounding landscapes, it is a fantastic show. The area, where the waterfall is located, is unique from the botanical point of view. The mountains surrounding the falls are covered with pine trees. Nowhere else on Earth do the pines grow so close to the equator.
Head to the Nohoch Che'en Caves Branch National Park and Archaeological Reserve for a memorable kayaking adventure. Hike along a short jungle trail then explore the cave network under the Maya Mountains as you paddle a stable, sit-on-top kayak.
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