Belize is a wonderland of amazingly beautiful wild natural areas, but few sites can compare to the majesty of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. Located approximately 17 miles (27 km) from Dangriga and 12 miles (19 km) from Hopkins in Stann Creek District in southern Belize, the Mayflower Bocawina National Park measures more than 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) of dense tropical rainforest and waterfalls. The remains of three ancient Maya temples can also be found inside the park, two of which are located near the visitor center.
Over 230 different species of birds have been recorded in the park, including great green macaws, curassows, kingfishers, orioles, trogons, scarlet tanagers, band-tailed barbthroats, northern shovelers, motmots, spectacled owls, toucans (including the keel-billed toucan, Belize’s national bird), and several different species of parrots. The thriving ecosystem of the park makes it an excellent place to spot exotic wildlife such as tapirs (Belize’s national animal), anteaters, foxes, armadillos, kinkajous, pacas, black howler monkeys, and several different big cat species, including jaguars.
There are numerous hiking trails in the park, including easily accessible paths that lead to two of the most amazing waterfalls in the country. Bocawina Falls and Three Sisters Falls are located just a short distance from one another, and the cool waters at the base of these waterfalls are excellent for swimming. The third and largest waterfall in the park is Antelope Falls, and, is more difficult to reach as it requires hiking across difficult and mountainous terrain that may become inaccessible during rainy weather. Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Adventures is home to the longest zipline adventure in the country boasting 14 platform and 9 lines.
Guided hiking tours with experienced naturalists is a great way to learn more about the flora and fauna in the park, including information about plants used to make traditional Maya medicines. Bird watching is also a popular activity, and most visitors can spot dozens of different birds in just a few hours. For more adventurous visitors, activities on offer include zip lining and waterfall rappelling, available at all three waterfalls inside the park. Due to the physical challenges involved, these activities must be reserved ahead of time. The ancient Maya sites inside the park can also be visited, but these are still currently being excavated.