The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is located in the southern district of Stann Creek, Belize. It is approximately a 17 mile drive from Dangriga and 12 miles from the Garifuna village of Hopkins. Established as a national park in 2001, this beautiful area offers over 7000 acres of pristine tropical rainforest, waterfalls and evidence of an ancient Mayan City.
Here are 5 ideas on how you can explore the rainforests of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in Belize:
1. Hiking in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Taking a guided hiking tour with an experienced local guide is a great way to learn about the flora and fauna of the rainforest. One of the most popular hikes is the challenging trail to the top of Antelope Falls. Other hikes include the easier trail to Bocawina Falls where you can also take a refreshing swim and relax in the waterfall pools below.
For a unique experience why not hike at night? This is the optimal time to see the natural habitat of some of Belize’s nocturnal animals, including Belize’s wild cats (jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay or jaguarondi). Other animals you are likely to encounter on a night hike are foxes, armadillo, paca, bats, owls and kinkajou.
2. Birding with an Experienced Local Guide
Over 200 different species of birds have been registered right inside the park (Such as toucans, trogons, oreoles, woodpeckers, owls, tanagers, kiskadees, hummingbirds, curassows, kingfishers, tityras and more). Whether you are new to birding or are passionately interested in birds, a guided birding adventure in the park is a wonderful way to explore the area.
The Belize Bird Conservancy has their 5th Annual Lodge Bird-a-thon April 1- April 30, 2017. This is a fundraising event for the Conservancy. Days are spent counting birds throughout Belize and competing against fellow lodges. The goal is to have fun, but the ultimate result is to raise money for bird research, education and conservation. If you’re serious into birding, then you won’t want to miss this event. The actual counting of the birds is only for a 24 hour period and once that is completed, all sightings must be recorded and submitted.
Last year, Bocawina Rainforest Resort participants managed to identify 202 species breaking the previous record by 11 new species. Some of the rare sightings included band-tailed barbthroat, northern shoveler, scarlet tanager and the spectacled owl.
One of the most popular ways to explore the Mayflower Bocawina National Park is by zipline. You can explore the pristine rainforest canopy from a whole new perspective on the longest zipline in Belize with 14 platforms and 9 different runs. The complete course is 2.5 miles long with the longest single run being 2,300 feet. This is a fun activity that the entire family can enjoy.
4. Experience an Exhilarating Waterfall Rappel
The National Park is home to three unique waterfalls. Bocawina Falls and Three Sisters Falls are in close proximity to each other and can be reached through an easy hike on a flat jungle trail. The more adventurous explorer, can enjoy the challenging hike to Antelope Falls which reveals a 100-foot waterfall with incredible views from the top.
Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Adventures offers the only guided waterfall rappelling in Belize and it’s a great activities for any skill level. You can choose to rappel down Antelope Falls with a drop of 250 feet or the family friendly Bocawina Falls.
5. Discover an Ancient Mayan City
The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is famous for evidence of an ancient Mayan City. There are three Mayan sites located in the park, all of which are still under excavation by the Mayflower Archeology Project. Archeologists predict once the excavation is complete the Mayflower site will rank as one of the largest in Belize.
If you go:
The Bocawina Rainforest Resort is located in the heart of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park and is the perfect location to explore the park. The resort is also home to the The Wild Fig Restaurant which is a great place to relax after a day of adventure and enjoy fresh, local cuisine from the menu.
The following trips all visit the Belize rainforest with a stay at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort.
Available from December to April: