Central & South America on a whole are known for the arresting greenery blanketing most of the continent. Belize, having the privilege of being both in Central America and the Caribbean, gets to benefit from both regions; spouting rare rainforests and dotted islets. It should come as no surprise, then, that we want our most-prized gifts protected. Fortunately, we have been able to abide by that agenda and here are the results of attempting to preserve our lovely Jewel.
Why Belize is great for Ecotourism:
- More than 70% of Belize is forested. Soaring above 30,000 feet in the air, you’ll be greeted by a vast sea of green as you enter Belize. It seems like you’re being lowered into an intrepid jungle full of surprises, and you technically wouldn’t be wrong. Belize has 103 protected areas, many of them serving as animal sanctuaries. You’ll have the chance of feeding howler monkeys, spotting jaguars in their natural habitat, or swimming alongside manatees.
- Plastic Ban 2019. Praises were sung when the Government of Belize proposed to phase out all single-use plastic utensils by 2019. Belizeans have already begun to adapt to their new plastic-free lifestyle by collecting reusable bamboo straws and collapsible dishes as alternatives.
- Removed Barrier Reef from danger list. The roaring cacophony of support that came Belize’s way when the news broke was humbling. After being on the danger list for almost a decade, the Belize Barrier Reef was removed after UNESCO decided the environmental efforts to preserve it were triumphant. The reef, largest in the Northern Hemisphere, hosts an exuberance of marine life, from sting rays, sea turtles and sharks to colorful corals and sea grass beds.
- Many eco-friendly accommodations. With the Maya Mountains gracing Western Belize, there’s no shortage of living off-the-grid when vacationing in Belize. Tucked between rainforest canopies and waterfalls, many accommodations practice sustainable living conditions and encourage patrons to do the same.
- Banned off-shore drilling. In January 2018, Belize signed into law a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and drilling in the entirety of Belizean waters. The reef, being a World Heritage Site since 1996, is an integral part in many Belizeans’ livelihoods, whether in the fishing industry or tourism industry. After efforts from environmental organizations, like Oceana, and support from citizens of Belize we were able to celebrate yet another victory in preserving our home.
- Biodiversity in excess. Belize boasts many guided tours that reflect on ecotourism, such as hiking waterfalls, horseback riding, ziplining through the canopies and visiting wildlife sanctuaries (both on and off-land.) From stellar bird-watching destinations to protection of green iguanas, ecotourists shall not want.
When it comes to finding sustainable travel destinations, it's no wonder many reputable publications, like National Geographic, put Belize at the top of their list. With a series of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and no-take marine zones, the environment is able to breathe a little easier when it comes to our lovely Jewel.
For more information on ecotourism in Belize, email us at [email protected] or call us toll-free at 1-800-624-0686.