Amid majestic trees and abundant wildlife, visitors feel at one with nature.
Guanacaste National Park (GNP) is a 50 acre protected area located roughly in the center of Belize. It is located just north of the capital city Belmopan in the Northeast quadrant of the Cayo District. GNP was established as a Crown Reserve in 1973 and gained National Park Status in 1990.

This 50 acre national park is a segment of protected secondary growth tropical forest. It is the most accessible of the Belize Audubon Society managed protected areas, located less than two (2) miles from the capital city Belmopan at the intersection of the Hummingbird and Western Highways this makes the park easily accessed by private vehicles and bus.

At GNP, the whole family has the opportunity to experience the beauty of Belize’s world-renowned biodiversity only minutes from an urban setting. The proximity of the park to Belize’s major towns and cities makes it the perfect destination for an unforgettable day trip.

The park’s relatively small size allows our visitors to come face to face with the varied wildlife and lush vegetations at an amazingly short distance rom the entrance gates. To enhance your enjoyment, the park boast an education center with a gift shop, a beautifully, wooden observation deck overlooking the river, a refreshing swimming spot for any age and swimming experience. We also have to offer sheltered picnic areas and over two (2) miles of maintained trails.

Lush vegetation and streaming river attracts families to come play at Guanacaste Park.
GNP’s forest is secondary growth, much of it recovering from former use as pasture. Most of the forest is in the middle stage of succession. The area’s dry season gives the forest cover a semi-deciduous quality.

There are two broad forest types in GNP: Cohune Palm forest and Broad leaf Hardwood forest. The Cohune palm and Broadleaf Hardwood types are often contiguous or intermixed, however in GNP the Cohune Palm forest type is more common. Within the Broadleaved Hardwood is the riparian forest association and these trees are found along GNP’s riverbanks and have adapted to periodic flooding.

Within the boundaries of the park there is a tremendous range of plant life to be seen from the trails. One of Belize’s national symbols, the exotic Black Orchid, is amongst the smallest and most respected to the colossal Guanacaste (Tubroos) tree from which the park takes its name. This tree is truly an impressive sight with its diameter in excess of six feet and hundreds of the hanging vines and epiphytes suspended from the upper reaches of its branches. Between the branches there are Stinking Toe Bukuts, Strangler Figs and countless other species of trees.

The immense range of plants is mirrored in the animal community of Guanacaste. If luck is on your side, you might be able to see a Jaguarundi, Kinkajou, Paca, Nine-banded Armadillo, and White-tailed Deer along with many species of bats. There is no shortage of reptilian life, such as Iguanas up to four feet long that sun themselves in the canopy foliage.

Similarly there is plenty for the avid bird watchers to see, with over 120 species of birds have been spotted in the park. The majestic Blue Crown Motmot, can be seen along with the Black-faced Ant-trush, Belted Kingfisher, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Magnolia Warbler and Red-lored Parrot to name a few.

GNP has no major Mayan sites, but wardens while doing trail maintenance have discovered pottery pieces and other artifacts. In addition, there is a suspected chultun, or Maya underground storage chamber, located in the north-central part of the park. To date there have been no investigations of this chamber by archeologists.

GNP is a day use park. The entrance fee are BZ$1 for nationals and Bz$5 for non-nationals. The opening hours are 8:00am - 4:30pm. To help the Belize Audubon Society to maintain the park’s pristine conditions we ask that all the visitors observe the following regulations:

  • Please register at our Visitor Center
  • Do not disturb, harm or capture any animals or birds
  • No fishing or hunting is allowed
  • Do not disturb, cut or remove any plants or trees
  • Do not liter. Please place trash in bins provided
  • Please do not bring pets into the park
  • Overnight camping is not allowed
  • Make use of the park’s restroom facilities
  • Please stay on the trails at all times
  • Firearms are not to be taken into the park

Bring sturdy shoes, long sleeved shirt, long pants, insect repellent, sunscreen and plenty of water.

All school groups are welcome, please register with the Belize City office, prior to your visit.

Belize Parks Home / Bacalar Chico / Bird Sanctuaries / Burdon Canal Nature Reserve / Blue Hole National Park / Great Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef / Chiquibul National Park and Caracol / Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary / Columbia River Forest Reserve / Community Baboon Sanctuary / Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary / Five Blues Lake National Park / Glover's Reef Marine Reserve / Guanacaste National Park / Half Moon Caye Natural Monument / Hol Chan Marine Reserve / Laughing Bird Caye / Marco Gonzales / Mexico Rocks / Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve / Payne's Creek National Park / Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area / Shark Ray Alley / Shipstern Nature Reserve / Turneffe Atoll /

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