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Home arrow Destination Guide arrow Belize District arrow Community Based Tourism arrow Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary
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Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary


Located by Rancho Dolores Village, Belize District.

Getting Here & Around | Accommodations & Meals | Activities


Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, declared a protected area in June 2002, is 5,900 acres situated along 5 miles of Spanish Creek. The Rancho Dolores Environmental and Development Group (RDEDG) operates Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary as co-managers with the Forestry Department. Currently just over 200 villagers live in the quiet community.

There was a rum distillery in the village in the early 1900’s. The village used to have a high Mayan population until an epidemic in the 1950’s killed almost all of the Mayan families and afterwards mostly Creole families moved into the area. The village is traditionally an agricultural area, with families operating small plantations for subsistence farming. The wildlife sanctuary provides the residents an opportunity to offer services to visitors, to help them protect their natural environment and to support their families.


Getting to & Around

By Bus
There is a bus that leaves Belize City Monday-Friday at 5 pm and Saturday at 1 pm that travels to Ranch Dolores. The bus parks at the corner of Euphrates Ave. and Cairo St. in Belize City. Leonard Russell (phone 610-5164) owns the bus. The bus leaves Rancho Dolores at 5am Monday-Saturday. The price is $4 BZE each way.

By Vehicle
From the Hattieville-Ladyville Road, drive west through Burrell Boom Village and then follow the signs for the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Rancho Dolores is located 17 miles from the junction at Burrell Boom. You will pass through several villages along the way and Rancho Dolores is at the end of the road.

By Taxi
There is one local licensed taxi that could pick up visitors and carry them to Rancho Dolores if scheduled ahead of time. Please contact Cyril Smith at 606-4627 for prices.

Once in Rancho Dolores, you can get around by foot or you can ride a horse.


Accommodations & Meals

Contact Rancho Dolores Environmental Center at 220-2191 for options in the village.

Currently there are no restaurants or bars in the village but locals can prepare meals as part of a home stay or a catered meal.

Laundry can also be done in the village and it will be line - dried (time depends on the weather).


Activities

Paddle by Dory: A genuine Belizean dory, hand-carved from a single log by a local craftsman, along with a paddle hand-carved from cedar can be rented for a tour.

Canoeing: Rentals are available through SCWS for $10 BZE up to 3 hours and $20 BZE for the day.

Tour by Motorboat: A motorboat seating up to 6 people can be rented for about $50 BZE (depending on how much gasoline is used and the distance traveled).

Hiking: Many paths and trails for exploring Rancho Dolores, the riverside and the tropical forest are ideal for a morning or afternoon hike.

Fishing: Locals can ‘hook you up’ with a hand line to fish the creek.

Horseback riding: Travel around by horse for about $15 BZE per person.

Nature tours: Led by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) licensed tour guides, these tours are educational with various subjects which include local foliage, medicinal plants and jungle life.

Bird tour: The bird trail can be traveled and a Birds without Borders licensed bird guide can assist you in spotting native and migrant birds.

Tour an Annatto Farm: Mrs. Diana O’Brien operates an annatto farm and produces recardo spice which is sold in stores in the Belize River Valley.

Cultural Activities: It is possible to prearrange demonstrations of old-fashioned food preparation (rice, corn and cohune nut grinding) and singing.

Softball Games: Men’s and women’s softball is played February through June every year. The women’s softball games are held in Rancho Dolores approximately every other Sunday. The men’s softball games are held in Ladyville on Friday nights.

Cricket Games: Cricket games are played throughout the Belize River Valley January through June. Games are held in Rancho Dolores approximately every other Saturday. Food and Drinks are usually available at the games.

Volunteer Opportunities: RDEDG is happy to accommodate volunteers with environmental education or conservation work at Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and through the local primary school.



Community Based Tourism:  Community Baboon Sanctuary | Spanish Creek Wildlife Sanctuary





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