Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Belize City Sights

Belize Zoo

  • Mile 29, George Price Hwy. Map It
  • Belize City
  • Zoo/Aquarium
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 11/24/2013

Fodor's Review

Turn a sharp corner on the jungle trail, and suddenly you're face-to-face with a jaguar, the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere. The big cat growls a deep rumbling threat. You jump back, thankful that a strong but inconspicuous fence separates you and the jaguar.

Plan for about 2 hours to see the zoo. Along with jaguars you'll see the country's four other wild cats: the puma, margay, ocelot, and jaguarundi. Perhaps the zoo's most famous resident is April, a Baird's

tapir that is more than a quarter-century old. This relative of the horse and rhino is known to locals as the mountain cow, and is also Belize's national animal. At the zoo you'll also see jabiru storks, a harpy eagle, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, crocodiles, and many snakes, including the fer-de-lance.

The zoo owes its existence to the dedication and drive of one gutsy woman, Sharon Matola. An American who came to Belize as part of a film crew, Matola stayed on to care for some of the semi-tame animals used in the production. She opened the zoo in 1983, and in 1991 it moved to its present location. She's also an active environmentalist. "The Zoo Lady" and her crusade against the Chalillo Dam is the subject of the 2008 book The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight To Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird by Outside magazine writer Bruce Barcott.

Besides touring the zoo, you can stay overnight at the Belize Zoo Jungle Lodge and hike or canoe through the 84-acre Tropical Education Center.

Read More

Sight Information


Mile 29, George Price Hwy., formerly Western Hwy., Belize City, Belize

Map It



Sight Details:

  • BZ$30 adults, BZ$10 children
  • Daily 8:30–5:30 (last admission 4:30)

Updated 11/24/2013


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Belize City

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Matt

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

May 3, 2005

Up close & Personal

This zoo lets you get really close to the animals! They have a nice habitat for the animals. The entry is to cheap! $8.00 us pp

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss