We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Mixed feelings”

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve Overnight Camping with Kayaking
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Dangriga
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This reserve was established to help protect the endangered jaguar and other species native to Belize.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
Reviewed 23 April 2011

Stayed a night at the Private Cabin in Cockscomb Basin in March. Liked it but would probably not go back. Would recommend it with some reservations.
It's really exciting (depending on your point of view, I guess) to be hiking on jungle trails with NOBODY around. We hiked up Ben's Bluff on a weekend and saw absolutely no one. Unfortunately, we didn't see any mammals either (and according to the logbook at headquarters, nobody had seen any for three weeks.)
The tubing is fun- took us a couple of hours to float down river, no one else around. Easy to rent tubes from headquarters, a gentle float, no rapids, fine for kids. This part I would do again!
The cabin was hot and seems more appropriate for a field station than for tourists. A ceiling fan would help a lot. The "equipped kitchen" was anything but. No silverware, not even any available from the park. Nothing to light the stove and no lighters for sale at headquarters either. Eventually one of the staff leant us his (thanks Bon!) There is a refrigerator. The set-up would work IF you were fully prepared (say for a group) but for independent travelers, I'd suggest staying elsewhere or bringing sandwiches.
I had visions of sitting on the porch and watching the animals pass by but this was totally unrealistic. Once the sun set it was DARK (bring flashlights) and while we could hear things running across the roof, they couldn't be seen. Maybe that was a good thing...what with the stories of scorpions in the rafters. The boys were disappointed, but I think my wife slept better without actually seeing any.
I'm glad Belize is protecting it's wildlife. Would have liked to seen some of it though.

Visited March 2011
1 Thank mdmss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

221 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Greenville NC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Kayak Trip Cockscomb Preserve”
Reviewed 22 January 2011

An 11 mile kayak trip with some fun rapids and some of the best sceney imaginable. On this trip you will feel very secluded with no civilization until you get out at a bannana plantation. Jesus lizards, otters, bats, fish and tons of birds keep you entertained while enjoying the river. A guide is highly recommended because of the logistics and local knowledge. Our guide, Julian, provided a Mayan lunch which was very good.

Visited April 2010
1 Thank DanGreenvilleNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dallas, TX
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“great hiking at Cockscombin (Jaquar reserve) with our guide”
Reviewed 19 December 2010

Just returned from Belize. We got a tip from our Hopkins Inn owners about a guide to take up on a hike through some of the reserve. Can't tell you how important it is to have a guide showing you plants, birds, and giving you a history of the area. Gregorio Chun's family was displaced from their family land when the reserve was created years ago. He grew up in the middle of it, and knows it forwards and backwards. He used to work inside of the park but now does his own thing.

We left Hopkins and drove south, about 20 minutes, to the little village of Maya Center. These were the families displaced by the government to create the park. Greg and his brothers take people out on hikes. We is great on birds! He picked up a black-headed trogon for me, easy! Also learned about the medicines that they use from the forest. Even leaf-cutter ants were covered. Although we did not see a jaguar, we did find paw prints.

Along the way, we learned about Mayan culture and their ideas about their world as well as ours. Excellent guide! This is a huge preserve with lots of trails, overwhelming. And finding hidden things in a jungle is not easy for me.

His family owns a little food shop right on the southern highway in Maya Center. Th is where you turn to go down the road to the reserve.

His contact info - tutzilnah@btl.net

Thank jackiesr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“visit the park but don't stay at white house”
Reviewed 22 February 2010

we visited the park in feb 2009 and were supposed to stay in the white house. we had brought our own food but unfortunately the kitchen consisted solely of a gas stove and a few pots and pans. there were no utensils (incl cooking spoons, spatulas, etc) and most importantly no fridge (though we did see an ice try). the real showstopper, however, was the strong urine stench coming from the bathrooms. my spouse has a very sensitive sense of smell and could not bear the thought of sleeping next to a urinal so we aborted and after an unsuccessful attempt to find accomodations in maya center, we ended up driving to hopkins. we told the park management the next day when we returned the keys and they acknowledged that they were trying to find a solution for the problem. in hindsight we should have gone to them the night before and asked if there was anywhere else we could stay, but so it goes.

on the upside the park is beautiful and a must do for anyone in belize that likes to hike. we didn't see very much wildlife but the trails and the waterfalls were terrific. in conclusion, i'd rate the park very good (4*) but the white house terrible (1*).

2 Thank Lucretious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Dalles, Oregon
Level Contributor
327 reviews
177 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 249 helpful votes
“Great hiking, interesting lodging options, a bit of challenge to get to”
Reviewed 27 December 2009

We stayed in the Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve in July, 2003 with our 3 teenagers. The hiking is wonderful and trail maps are available. In addition to 1 trail with interpretive signs there are short and long hikes to beautiful waterfalls and good wildlife spotting opportunities. We hired Gregorio Chun of Tutzil nah Cottages mayacenter.com to guide us on a night tour; we didn't see much but meeting him, a native of the area, was worth the cost anyway.

We stayed in the "Private Cabin" and used the share kitchen (be sure to rent pots, utensils, etc. from the office before it closes). Be extra sure to pack good bug stuff - the mosquitoes were huge and voracious.

1 Thank hopefulist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve also viewed

Ambergris Caye, Belize Cayes

Been to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing