Belize Botanic Gardens

The magnificent Belize Botanic Gardens, accessed from the grounds of Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge, hold samples of roughly one-quarter of the approximately 4000 species of plants in Belize. The bountiful 45-acre zone boasts 2 miles of trails, many fruit trees and four different Belizean habitats: wetlands, rainforest, Mountain Pine Ridge (with a lookout tower) and medicinal plants of the Maya.

Two ponds attract a variety of waterfowl; Hamilton Hide allows birders to spy on various species. The garden's native orchid house is the largest of its kind in Belize. The self-guided tour includes a 56-page guidebook, while specialty tours from Sweet Songs include Plants of the Maya (per person BZ$100), which starts at 6am and includes the entrance fee, shuttle from San Ignacio, a traditional knowledge tour, with lunch and lessons in cooking or crafting with a local Maya guide; or a Day at the Gardens (per person BZ$100), which includes transportation, guided tour and lunch.

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