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“Beautiful, secluded location - great for a day or a week”

Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
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Reviewed 23 September 2012

We actually stayed in the Reserve at Tranquility Bay Resort so are a little spoiled; I'm sure visiting as a day trip would be nice but couldn't be as memorable. Snorkeling highlights were a resident scrawled filefish, an octopus, big barracuda, big parrot fish, and a turtle.

2  Thank hopefulist
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Reviewed 14 December 2008

Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve is located in the extreme north of Ambergris Caye, Belize. The little known conservation area was established in 1997, and soon thereafter was designated a World Heritage Site. Despite this designation, however, the area has received little attention due to its remoteness and general lack of amenities. But it is exactly these things that give the place such appeal.

In November, 2008, I led a group of twelve students and two chaperones to Bacalar Chico as part of a community service/ adventure trip through Belize. Students spent a total of three days within park boundaries and we all found it nothing short of extraordinary. Although Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other locations have led the charge in Voluntourism in Central America, Belize is fast emerging as a viable alternative for those looking for a challenging community-service-based experience. Students (ages 16 - 18) assisted in clearing 500 meters of jungle trail from the eastern beach to Laguna La Centena, part of a broader endeavour to ramp up greater eco-tourism to the area. They also spent a portion of their time cleaning up garbage and debris along the beach, deposited by various storms over the past decade.

The Green Reef Environmental Institute currently helps to manage the park. Director Mito Paz was HUGELY helpful in arranging all transportation, food and camping gear at San Juan, park headquarters and the site of 1000 year-old Mayan fishing village. The food and facilities though basic were excellent, and guides provided interesting interpretation at the various Mayan sites and along the reef. We were also pleased to join a local work crew made up of volunteers from the Dept. of Fisheries and Hol Chan Marine Reserve--together we cleared trails and put the footings in for a new dock.

Attractions include diverse bird and other wildlife in the lagoon channels, snorkeling and diving along the reef, jungle treks and community service opportunities. The highlights are too many to list here, but Barracuda Patch along the reef is a must-see, if you have a stomach for 4 foot long fish with mouthfuls of teeth!

10  Thank Boliviaman
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Reviewed 12 April 2015
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Thank valemendoza
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Reviewed 28 June 2014
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Thank Azucena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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