Guanacaste National Park is the smallest and most easily accessible national park in Belize. Situated just outside the capital of Belmopan near the village of Roaring Creek , the park is bounded on the north by the Belize River and on the south by the junction of the Western and Southern Highways.
This 50-acre pocket of protected tropical forest was established as a Crown Reserve in 1973 and gained National Park status in 1990.
- The park is named for the Guanacaste (Tubroos) tree which is one of the largest tree species in Central America.
- The Guanacaste tree has wide-reaching branches which support numerous epiphytes, including several species of orchids, bromeliads, ferns and cacti. As a highly prized hardwood it is known to be resistant to insects and decay. Its lumber is the material of choice for construction of dugout canoes.
- There are two broad forest types in Guanacaste National Park, Cohune Palm forest and Broadleaf Hardwood forest with much of both types in secondary growth stage after being reclaimed from cleared land.
- A third community of riparian forest can be found along the riverbank and is adapted to periodic flooding.
Close to two busy communities, Roaring Creek Village and the capital city, Belmopan the park is right alongside the nations’ busiest highway which is on the main bus route.
Guanacaste National Park offers a relaxing introduction to the tropical forests of Belize with its well appointed Visitor center and easily traversed trails with trees and plants that have been clearly identified. There are also a few river overlook decks for watching birds and or simply enjoying the local environment.