Bianca's Vacation in Belize
The Belize Zoo

Even though it has been three years since my last visit to this amazing country, it was like I never left. Everything was as colorful, and bright as I remember. Much more development had been made but nothing had taken away from the country's natural beauty. Although I came on this vacation with nothing planned but relaxing in the hot sun, I was lucky to venture throughout the country a bit and see what Belize really has to offer.

Getting off the plane in at Philip Goldson International Airport near Belize city was a bit different than back in Canada; you don't exit the plane through an attached corridor, you just step right out onto the tarmac. The hot sun beating on your face but with a light breeze flowing through your hair.

Once inside, the first question asked by the immigration officer was "Is this your first time in Belize?"

"No, I have been here three times before" I replied. Then pointing to my boyfriend, added "but this is his first trip." With that she flashed us a large smile and warm greeting, "Welcome to Belize," We were off to a great start.

The Belize Zoo

We will be staying with my parents, Wayne and Lorraine Williams, in Consejo Shores. They drove down to "The City" to picked us up. Rather than drive all the way back to Consejo, we spent the night at a nearby hotel so we could visit the absolutely incredible Belize Zoo before heading North.

The Belize Zoo is not at all what one expects a zoo to be like. It is completely unique. Words will never be enough describe for you the wonders of the magical place. The fact that it is right on the edge of the jungle is one thing, but the animals are a completely other story. All the animals are indigenous to Belize so each is exhibited in its own natural habitat. These animals are very well treated and all have actually been rescued in one way or an other.

Take Lucky for an example. He is a black Jaguar that had rescued from a defunct private resort. This wonderful animal was found severely dehydrated and nearly starved. Since he was turned over the loving folks at the Belize Zoo, he is now not only healthy but he seems so incredibly happy to be spending his days playing with the other Jaguars, which have accepted him like long lost family.

The beautiful tropical birds show off all their brilliant colors as soon as they see a camera come out. It is almost like a competition for them and it sure does get funny. The Tapir, which is the Official Animal of Belize, is such a unique looking animal that you cannot help but want to study more about them to figure out just how they came about. I am not going to give any hints because it is more fun to guess it yourself.

The Zoo is populated with many verities of birds, reptiles, and mammals, and each exhibit has knowledgeable and cleverly written information posted so know little about the animals you are seeing. No matter how much more I say, it is nothing compared to being in front of them yourself. I could tell you how neat it was to feed a Toucan or how cool it was to have a Boa around my neck. But the experience of having such magnificent creatures within an arm's reach is much better!

Photos and Commentary by: Bianca Pengelly