The Chiquibul National Park (CNP) is Belize´s largest terrestrial protected area comprised of 285,937 acres (115,717 hectares) located in the heart of the Maya Mountain Massif in the Cayo District and functionally within a larger forest region known as the Chiquibul Forest. The Park abuts the Belize-Guatemala border and is flanked by eleven other protected areas. The CNP comprises 29% of the terrestrial conservation zone of the country and represents nearly 6% of Belize´s land area.
Th Chiquibul Forest represents over 400,000 acres of rich biodiversity and diverse ecosystems. It is home to the largest cave system in Central America, the tallest Mayan site and the highest point in Belize.
Over 95% of the Chiquibul National Park is a broadleaf forest comprised of 17 ecosystems. A total of 662 species of plants have been documented for the Chiquibul Forest, but this list is incomplete as new species are yet to be discovered. At least five plant species are considered of conservation concern. The fauna is also known insufficiently with 786 species recorded. The exuberant wildlife is unmatched, including emblematic species such as the scarlet macaw, tody Motmot, jaguar, tapir, Morelet’s crocodile, and the Juliani frog.
Due to its extent, the Chiquibul National Park enables the provision of fresh water to over 40% of the Belizean population, clean air, and is a haven for wildlife species. It provides opportunities for research, education, and enjoyment for the general public.
Regionally, the Chiquibul National Park (CNP) is within one of the eleven priority areas highlighted under the Central American System of Protected Areas, an initiative that has been developed in an effort to plan protected area coverage throughout the region. This initiative has emphasized the importance of the addition of the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains to the System while recognizing it as a Transboundary Protected Area for Peace and Conservation. Nationally in Belize, the CNP is recognized as one of the top 6 protected areas prioritized for conservation efforts.