In the heart of the jungle, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve is the world's first jaguar reserve. Having the highest density of jaguars does not mean you will see one, however. You may stumble across prints from jaguars or any of the other animal species that call this jungle home; monkeys, lizards, snakes, tapir, ocelot and around 300 species of birds can be found here. With over 128,000 acres of protected land and 17 different hiking trails covering more than 20 miles, there is plenty to explore. You can make this a day trip or stay for several days in one of the on-site cabins or campsites.
The upper watersheds of the rivers are also protected, which makes for a rich ecosystem. Although the heat and humidity may be high, cooling off after a long hike is easy in the pools beneath waterfalls or with a float on the river. Guides are available at the Maya Centre entrance, and you can also choose to hike without a guide.
In terms of access, visitors should note that roads may be more difficult to drive after a rain, and four-wheel drive is recommended. Rain can also make trails slippery and dangerous in some areas. Signs for the park are scarce when arriving from the south. Also, it is a good idea to take a picture of the park map posted on signs due to a dearth of signs in the park.