The Community Baboon Sanctuary is dedicated to protecting and preserving Belize's black howler monkey population. The 18-square-mile (29-square-kilometer) reserve in the jungle contains about 1,500 monkeys, as well as anteaters, armadillos, iguanas, turtles, deer, and more than 200 different species of birds.
Sanctuary visitors, including tour groups and independent travelers, are given tours where guides identify the wildlife and vegetation, and explain the local culture. The on-site visitors' center and natural history museum also provide information about the environment, conservation efforts, and the monkeys themselves. Visitors can follow trails through the forest or take canoe rides on the river to spot black howler monkeys (locally called baboons) and other animals.
Things to Know Before You Go
The entrance fee includes a guided nature walk; most third-party tours cover the fee.
The sanctuary recommends bringing water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
Several tour options are offered, including a night hike, bird tour, and a river canoe tour.
How to Get There
The Community Baboon Sanctuary is located off Boom-Hattieville Road, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from the village of Hattieville. There are two major buses serving the Belize River Valley area: the McFadzean and Sons Bus leaves from Amara Avenue in Belize City, and the Russells Bus leaves from Euphrates Avenue. Many ours from Belize City include round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The sanctuary is open Monday to Sunday, from 8am to 5pm. The best time to visit Belize is between late November and mid-April, during the country’s dry season. This is also peak season, so expect to encounter more tourists while enjoying the most pleasant weather.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
The nearby Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best bird-watching spots in Central America. It’s home to native and migratory birds, as well as the elusive Jabiru stork. The sanctuary’s wetlands are filled with a diverse mix of plants and animals that you can discover by boat or on foot.