News From Belize Botanic Gardens
Belize Botanic Gardens, located adjacent to duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge was begun in 1997 by Ken duPlooy as a native palm and orchid collection and an orchard of tropical fruits.
One of the many features in the garden are a traditional Maya House where groups can arrange to make tamales over a wood fire. The Maya Medicine Trail features many native medicinal and useful plants.
Once there was a young boy whose father told him to stay with his elderly grandfather so that he could learn about the plants in the forest. The boy went and every day he and his grandfather would walk in the forest so that he could learn the many uses of plants and why we should protect them.
One day his grandfather told the boy to go out by himself and bring him back a plant that was not useful. The boy was gone for several days and finally came back feeling defeated. “I could not find this plant, Grandfather,” he said. “I am very sorry because I know that you will not be here long and I feel that I have failed you.”
“No, No, my boy,” the grandfather said, “It is because you have learned well and now know that every plant in the forest has its use.”
Other features at Belize Botanic Gardens are a Native Orchid House, Rainforest Trail, Fire Tower, Savannah Trail and a student garden designed and constructed by students in our Professional Gardeners’ Program.
The gardens are officially open from 7 am each day with guided tours available from 7:30-2:30. If you are not taking a guided tour, there is a self-guide booklet which explains the gardens and many of the plants within. If you’re not staying with us at duPlooy’s, ask about our shuttle from San Ignacio Town. Come for a day – visit the gardens, stay lunch at duPlooy’s and a swim in the Macal River.
Sometimes duPlooy’s visitors get so busy that they forget that the garden right on the property. If you are staying with us, feel free to wander about the garden at any time. If you take a walk in the evening or early morning, you will see lots of birds and are quite likely to see small animals as well.
If you are a guest at duPlooy’s ask about a Night-walk through the Gardens and enjoy the night sky from the Lookout Tower. The night sky is simply an amazing sight on a clear night.
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