A Birder's Guide to Belize

Sarstoon-Temash National Park

Ecoregion and habitats: Appendix A, Ecoregion 16, Toledo southern lowlands and foothills. Habitats include: lowland scrublands (BFL3), secondary broadleaf forest (BFL6) including Red Mangrove riparian forests along the Temash River; a few small villages (PC).

Description: Declared a protected area in 1992, the 42,000-acre park lies between the Temash and Sarstoon Rivers in the southernmost part of Belize. Barranco, Midway, Sunday Wood, Conejo, and Crique Sarco are on the outskirts of Sarstoon-Temash National Park, in which more than 200 bird species have been identified.

Directions: Santa Anna Road turns off from Southern Highway eight miles north of Punta Gorda (mile 87 on the road log). Signs at Southern Highway (N 16 9.48' W 88 53.19') point to Santa Anna, Barranco, Cotton Tree Lodge, and Tranquility Lodge.  Zero your odometer at this intersection and turn west on a gravel road.  At 1.3 turn right.  San Felipe is at 2.8.  At 4.7 is the entrance road, about one mile long, to Cotton Tree Resort.  At 6.6 is the Santa Anna school and at 7.5 is the bridge over Moho River (N 16 6.13' W 88 57.78').

Approximately 1.8 miles past the bridge is a Y-intersection.  Turning left at the intersection heads to Sarstoon Temash National Park and to Barranco, a village on the coast, about seven miles from the intersection.  Turning right at the intersection leads to Conejo and Sunday Wood.  About three miles farther is another Y-intersection where the left fork leads to Crique Sarco in about nine miles; here is a bridge across Temash River to Crique Sarco Village on the other side.  Keeping right at the prior fork continues on a network of dirt roads passing through scrubland, heading northward for many miles through a series of small native villages—Corazon, San Lucas, New Mabil Ha, Santa Teresa, Jordan—and eventually Blue Creek Village, a total distance of 32 or more miles beyond the first crossing of the Moho River.

Fees and contacts: entrance fee is US$5 and visits can be arranged through park rangers.  The park is managed by the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, 81 Main Street, P.O. Box 127, Punta Gorda, Toledo District; (011) 501-722-0103; fax (011) 501-722-0124; satiim@btl.net; www.satiim.org.bz.

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  Website created by Bert Frenz.  Last updated December 13, 2013.