One of Belize’s many forested areas for exploration is Guanacaste National Park, a 50-acre park in central Belize’s Cayo District, located 50 miles (80km) west of Belize City. The park is named after the famous Guanacaste tree and it earned its status as a national park in 1990. Today, the park is run by the Belize Audubon Society. Given the park’s easy accessibility and proximity to many of Belize’s major cities, Guanacaste is among Belize’s most popular parks for families and visitors.
The flora and fauna making up the park are a fantastic representation of the extreme biodiversity of Belize. It is a great place for birdwatchers and nature lovers to spend a few hours. There are lots of trees in the park including the Guanacaste tree, Honduras mahogany, rain tree, and Brazilian fire tree. Over one hundred different species of birds also reside in the park including woodpeckers, warblers, kingfishers, motmots, and more. Many mammals and other wildlife also call the park home including white-tailed deer, kinkajou, jaguarundi, armadillo, and white-tailed deer.
Guanacaste Park’s hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, and it contains over 2 miles (3 km) of trails for hiking. There is also a visitor’s center and gift shop. Admission fees are $5 BZ per tourist and $1 BZ for Belize citizens.
The park is on Western Highway not far from San Ignacio and Belmopan. It is best to drive yourself to the park or hire a private driver. The park and nearby Belize Zoo is a nice stop on the way back to Belize City from San Ignacio.