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A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Glover Reef consists of 5 small quiet islands and a coral reef that is 18 miles (29 kilometers) long by 6 miles (10 km) wide. It is the southernmost coral atoll in Belize, sitting about 28 miles (45 km) east of Dangriga and Hopkins on the mainland.
Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary
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.
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
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.
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.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary / Jaguar Preserve
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.
Cayo Aguas del Sur Marine Reserve
With approximately 118,000 acres (47,750 hectares), Cayo Aguas del Sur is the largest marine reserve in Belize. In fact, it is one of the most accessible from the mainland, the western edge is located just 10 miles (16 km) from the coast. With lagoons, islands surrounded by palm trees and mangroves, the reserve is home to a wide variety of species. Visitors will find beautiful reef fish, manta rays and seabirds. Less common, but still possible to observe are sharks, manatees and crocodiles.
Blue Hole National Park
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.
Five Blues Lake National Park
Home to one of the most unique lakes to be found, Flue Blues Lake National Park centers around a lake that originally formed due to some sort of unknown blockage, that later became unblocked and allowed to lake to drain significantly. By 2010, however, the water level appeared to be on the rise again. The national park is popular for camping, birding, and hiking.