There’s so much to see at BBG. Of course, there are many interesting trees, plants and flowers. There are also loads of interesting creatures that roam our gardens. Everything from the smallest ants (watch out, they have big teeth!) to tapir. The truth is that you probably won’t see any of the big animals because they tend to be nocturnal and shy.
Little Creatures you might see:
Since Belize Botanic Gardens is organic and has been since it was a farm in 1993, there is a large quantity of small creatures living here. We don’t have too big a problem with insects here; rather their problem is with one another. This is because they are downright cannibalistic! If they’re not eating our plants, they’re eating one another.
Here are a few photos of things we’ve seen on the grounds of BBG. Not only is it a great place to see plants and other critters, but there have been more than 300 bird species counted in the area.
What it was like before Running Water & Electricity
Looking back on the last 30-odd years I’ve been pondering life in Belize Visitors to Belize Botanic Gardens often ask what it was like here in the days before electricity and running water. My favorite book growing up was Swiss Family Robinson so a family adventure always had a special appeal to me.
One big difference though was that the Robinson’s were shipwrecked on an island with a ship loaded with supplies. When they ran out of good stuff – like fine wines, cheese, chocolate, etc, they merely rowed their dinghy out to the ship and brought back what they needed. For us it was a hard-driven 10 miles to reach San Ignacio in an hour and change (each-way), with more riding around town in order to find the basics. And there was definitely a shortage of fine wines and cheese!!
Belize Botanic Gardens is the largest botanical garden in Belize. BBG was opened to the public in 1997. Cleared farmland as late as 1993, our garden now extensive collections of native and exotic plants and trees.
One of our many features is a traditional Maya House where groups can arrange to make tamales over a wood fire. Let one of our experienced guides show you Belize Botanic Gardens’ Maya Medicine Trail. This trail features many native medicinal and useful plants.
A Story From A Botanical Garden in Belize:
Once there was a young boy whose father told him to stay whose elderly grandfather was a learned medicine man. The boy’s father sent him to stay with his grandfather to learn about the forest. So the boy went to stay with his grandfather. Every day they would walk in the forest and study the trees and plants so the boy could learn.
One day the grandfather told the boy to go to the forest and bring him back a plant that was not useful. He 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: Nursery, Trails, and More
In addition to the Maya House and Medicine Trail, Belize Botanic Gardens contains many other features. Among these features are a Native Orchid House, Palm Area and Cycad Circle. There is a tea trail where you can (by reservation) sample teas made from plants grown on the trail. Also featured is a rainforest trail and a tower which overlooks the gardens. Continue reading a Botanical Garden in Belize, Belize Botanic Gardens→
You may find that Belize is quite different than what you may be used to. You will delight in learning about in climate, language, culture, people and even insects unique to the area. There is an amazing variety of wildlife in Belize and, hopefully, you will see some of it while you are here.
Some will be unfazed by the sudden early am chortle (ruckus) of Chachalacas (aka: bush chickens) just outside their window or ants in their deodorant stick (keep containers and zippers closed). Look for leaf cutter ants (wee-wee ants) marching in single file along a trail and disappearing into the jungle with their “leaf of the day”.
Others may run screaming at the merest glimpse of a tarantula. (No need; they don’t bite and are deaf)
Where else besides Belize Botanic Gardens can you absorb so much that nature has to offer? Let nature be your inspiration by allowing you to get up close and personal to hundreds of native and exotic plants. Use this opportunity to take advantage of the many opportunities for study abroad in Belize at BBG. Additionally, we can assist in planning your complete Belize experience. Our knowedgeable staff is ready to offer assistance to professors leading groups and to iindividual interns and volunteers.
Besides all of the opportunities for plant studies, there is the opportunity to observe Belize’s Black Howler Monkeys, called Baboons in Belize. Robin Brockett, who has been studying these primates in Belize for 20 years lives on-site and is available for field lectures. You will have the opportunity to follow these monkeys and learn about their habitats and habits.
Invitation to Come to Belize Botanic Gardens
At the same time, we would like to invite Professors, University travel departments and students to contact us for information . Let our knowledgeable staff assist with your plans.
Belize Botanic Gardens has been hosting student groups since 1997. We have also been conducting horticulture classes since 2012. Although Covid-19 caused us to suspend study abroad activities for 2020 and 2021, we are again ready to work with you again.
Accommodations are on the grounds of Belize Botanic Gardens, giving students the opportunity to pursue their studies at any time. Simple local meals are served in our Visitor Center which also serves as a classroom. Stay in our affordable, comfortable 16-bed Guest House.
Students often help prepare meals and make use of many of the edible plants grown in the gardens. Food foraging is a favorite activity.
Our staff is familiar with native plants and our exotic collections and are there to help you as needed. Learn about medicinal plants used for centuries and nutritional and medicinal values of many tropical fruits.
We can help plan your full itinerary in Belize including field trips to other areas. Book now for your upcoming Study Abroad in Belize experience.