Attractions worth stopping for on your way to Hidden Valley Inn
Once you’ve landed in the Jewel that is Belize, we understand your excitement in getting to Hidden Valley as soon as possible. After all, a plethora of waterfalls and hiking trails housed within 7,200 acres awaits you. Still, your Belize adventure can begin the moment you step foot outside the airport. When starting your two-hour journey to Mountain Pine Ridge, there are stops along the way you simply can’t miss. We have curated must-see attractions along the drive that will only further enhance your Belize vacation.
Often described by locals as the “Best Little Zoo” in the world, the Belize Zoo is basically a rite of passage for first-time Belize visitors. Located a few miles west of Belize City, the zoo’s frequent visitors vary in age and background. Here, you’ll meet some of the country’s most wild creatures that roam the lands. Befriend spider monkeys as they swing from tree to tree. Snap a photo with Belize’s national animal, the tapir, before making your way to the Keel-Billed Toucan. One of the highlights of a Belize Zoo visit is gazing at the resident cats that call the zoo home. Meet jaguars, ocelots, margays, and more as they lounge in their habitats. Spend an hour here before continuing your journey to Hidden Valley Inn.
Guanacaste National Park
Named for the towering Guanacaste trees, Guanacaste National Park is Belize’s smallest national park. It spans about 50 acres, but nonetheless, the opportunity for thriving wildlife is everywhere. It’s located at the entrance of Belmopan, about an hour away from Hidden Valley. The location is convenient for those wanting to squeeze in some quick birdwatching before hitting the road again. The 100-foot high trees on their own make for great photos, as well as the tropical birds flitting about throughout the park. Considered an “urban green space” the park also is flanked by a river, where guests can take a swim.
MET Horseback Riding
Perhaps you’ve noticed the wildlife trend here, but for good reason. Belize’s flora and fauna know no bounds and one of the best ways to appreciate it is on horseback. Head to Mountain Equestrian Trails (MET) on Mile 8 Pine Ridge Road for some of the country’s most revered horseback riding. Catering to kids and families, the family-run lodge offers a handful of experiences, one of which is the unmissable half-day horseback riding. All jungle, atop your horse you’ll come to bask in awe of the lush foliage surrounding the riverine valley. Spot birds, iguanas, monkeys, and – if you’re lucky – jaguars or pumas! The experience is ideal for beginners, but if you’d like something much more in-depth, return to the lodge for a full-day horseback riding experience after settling in at Hidden Valley.
Green Hills Butterfly Ranch
Another splendid attraction on the way to the Inn is the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch. You needn’t be a butterfly enthusiast to enjoy the stunning 30 species of butterflies at the 250-acre property. Sitting just 20 minutes away from Hidden Valley Inn, Green Hill boasts the exotic Blue Morpho, along with other just-as-remarkable species. Their knowledgeable naturalist guide will take you through the life cycles of each species, imparting fun facts and tidbits about each one. Stick around long enough and you’ll be roped into birdwatching since the area is teeming with tropical broadleaf rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for the pair of Plumbeous Kites that have been nesting at the property for years.
Whether you choose one – or several – of these pit stops on your way to Hidden Valley, your trip will be enriched tenfold. Belize on a whole has no shortage of wildlife experiences that lead visitors to fall in love with nature. As if these attractions aren’t enough, staying at Hidden Valley Inn will only seal the deal in your newfound admiration for encompassing greenery.