One of the most unusual and least-known attractions in Belize, Poustinia Land Art Park is a collection of about 30 original works by artists from a dozen countries, including Belize, Norway, Guayana, Brazil, Guatemala, and England, scattered about some 60 acres of a former cattle ranch. It's owned by an architect, who calls Poustinia an "environmental project." Poustinia is Russian for "desert of the soul." Among the works of outdoor art, which some would call funky
and others fascinating, are "Downtown," by Venezuelan artist Manuel Piney, and "Returned Parquet," a reference to Belize's colonial history in mahogany parquet flooring by Tim Davies, a British artist. Nature is slowly taking over the art works, which apparently is part of the plan. Getting around the park, which is open by appointment only, requires sometimes strenuous hiking. Bring insect repellent. Make arrangements to visit the park and for a tour guide at the Benque House of Culture in Benque Viejo. Two simple cabins at the site may be available for rent "to artists and short-term visitors" for around BZ$80 per night, and camping is BZ$10 per night. Birding is good on the site.
2½ mi (5 km) south of Benque Viejo, 8 mi (13 km) southwest of San Ignacio, Mile 2 1/2, Hydro Rd., Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize
822-3532-Park information; 823-2697-Benque House of Culture