A Birder's Guide to Belize

Victoria Peak
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Ecoregion and habitats: Appendix A, Checklist 12, Stann Creek eastern foothills. Habitats include: on the eastern slope of Maya Mountains, primary and secondary tropical moist broadleaf forest in the lower foothills (BFF2) to pine forests (PFM) and elfin scrub at the higher elevations (BFM3), culminating in the second highest point in Belize, Victoria Peak, at 3675 feet (1120 meters).

Description: Hiking to Victoria Peak takes three days for those in good condition: day 1 from headquarters to 19-km camp (6-9 hours at slow pace), day 2 from 19-km camp to summit at 27 km by noon and return to camp, day 3 from 19-km camp to headquarters by mid afternoon.  A more leisurely hike can stop at the 12-km camp, making it a 5-day round-trip.  Still easier would be to a 2-day trip, camping one night at 19-km camp before returning.  In Belize, this is one of the easier ways to see high elevation species, including those listed below.  Hiking requires a permit (US$5) and licensed guide; a Victoria Peak Guidelines booklet is for sale at headquarters.  The trail to the peak is open 1 February to 31 May.  For additional details contact the Protected Areas Manager at comanagedparks@belizeaudubon.org.

Key species of Victoria Peak: Scarlet Macaw, Chestnut-collared Swift [R], Brown Violetear, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Keel-billed Motmot, Plain Antvireo, Plumbeous Vireo, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren [R], Slate-colored Solitaire, Rufous-capped Warbler, Common Bush-Tanager, Shining Honeycreeper, White-winged Tanager, White-vented Euphonia.

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  Website created by Bert Frenz.  Last updated January 18, 2012.