Belize has a lot of undeveloped land which means tons of beautiful jungle to explore! The Cockscomb Basin is a protected area of land designated as a jaguar preserve, however, you probably won’t be seeing any jaguars, but thats not saying you won’t! This area of the jungle of Belize is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are staying in nearby towns including Dangriga, Hopkins, and Placencia.
Visiting Cockscomb Basin
First step to getting to Cockscomb Basin is to take Southern Highway to Maya Centre Village. You can get here super easily by taking any of the local busses that run up or down that highway (depending where your coming from). You will have to by your ticket for the Cockscomb Basin here for $10BZD as a tourist. However, now once you have bought your ticket at Maya Centre Village, it is approximately 6 miles / 9.6 kilometres to get to the Cockscomb Basin Visitors Centre on a dirt road through the jungle. There are multiple options from here. If you have a vehicle you can drive right in for approximately 20 minutes. However, if you don’t, you will either have to walk it, or hire a taxi which the lady at the ticket desk can call for you but it will be $40BZD. After hearing the price of the taxi we decided to start walking and hitch a ride in with someone driving in that might see us. We started walking and within 5 minutes met a local who offered to taxi us in for $30BZD. We decided to take the offer as we didn’t want to ruin our day walking the whole way. Don’t let this stop you from trying to hitch a ride because when we arrived at the visitors centre we noticed some people with a car had caught up to us. Depends how risky you are feeling!
Hiking and Waterfall
We highly recommend taking the Tiger Fern Trail to the Tiger Fern Double Waterfall. You will not be disappointed! The trail is approximately 2.7 miles / 4.3 kilometres out and back with some elevation that bring you to a beautiful viewpoint that lets you see over the jungle canopy and out to the mountains around including Victoria Peak. After the viewpoint you hike down to the waterfall. When you get to the first waterfall, after admiring it, hike one minute further to the second bigger waterfall. BE PREPARED WITH YOUR BATHING SUIT! You will definitely want to jump in to the refreshing water and swim over to stand under the waterfall!
Other thing to do
There are many other hike options you can take, from very short hikes to a multi-day hike to Victoria Peak if thats your kind of thing. You can also rent an inner tube for $15BZD at the visitors centre and you can then take a 45 minute ride down the river. We really wanted to do this but lost track of time at the waterfall and weren’t able to fit it in. From what we were told at the front desk they show you where to enter and then where you exit isn’t too far away. Defiantly inquire about this at the visitors centre because it sounds like a lot of fun!