Chiquibul National Park

Deep within the interior of Belize, in the Cayo District, the Chiquibul National Park is only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles. Reached via Mountain Pine Ridge, the change in forest type, when crossing into it, is immediate, from the pine forest to broad-leaf forest, as the ground changes from granite rock to limestone.

It is Belize’s largest national park, at 414 sq mi (1,073 km2). The park surrounds Caracol Mayan city. Caracol is designated as an archaeological reserve and is not included as part of the park.

The park lies west of the Maya Mountains. Doyle’s Delight, the highest mountain in Belize, 3,688 ft (1,124 m) is located in the park. The name Doyle’s Delight was coined by Sharon Matola of Belize Zoo and has stuck, even appearing on official documents. The park is located on a layer of limestone strata. The park incorporates portions of the Chiquibul Cave System, the longest known cave system in Central America. The cave system is made up of caves linked by water flows, including the Chiquibul River. The Chiquibul River flows through Belize, goes underground into the cave system, and resurfaces in Guatemala. The cave system includes the largest known underground passages and cave chamber discovered in the Western Hemisphere.

The Chiquibul is home to the Scarlet macaw in Belize. from The Scarlet Six bio-monitoring team, has reported a sighting of 113 of them in a flock. It is also home to the only known surviving population of the Keel-billed Motmot, in the world. A large number of them nesting on the sides of the Caracol structures.

Chiquibul National Park Belize