Hiking from duPlooy's Jungle Lodge
At duPlooy's the land area is primarily made of Karst limestone, which causes the the rocky, hilly terrain to be porous. This results in almost no standing water, which means almost no mosquitos and fewer other annoying bugs than you will find elsewhere in Belize.
The limestone is also responsible for the proliferation of Caves in the
Cayo District, which the Ancient Maya used for religious purposes and are ready-made for exploration.
Hiking Around the Lodge
Belize Botanic Gardens - Winding paths through this 45-acre conservation project will introduce you to some of Belize's varied habitats and to many of the plants that you will later see in the wild. While you're out there, your guide can point out some of the 300 or so bird species that have been sighted visiting or living in the area. Use the self-guide booklet included with your room or reserve a guide. (Guide fee is $10 per person per hour). Additions to the garden, not in the booklet are a new medicinal trail, located to the right just after you enter the garden and the savanna trail where you will find interpretive signs explaining the importance of this rapidly disappearing habitat.
Mai Loop (20 min.) For a short walk anytime, check out this nature trail, located right under the Bird deck and accessed from stairs leading down to duPlooy's beach. The looping trail is rocky and on the steep side. There are a number of ground birds that inhabit this area and it's common to spot an agouti or fox or other small animals.
River Walk (1/2 - 1 km) Trail begins a short distance from the main parking lot. Its a short walk down a river access road, which leads you directly to the Macal River. On the way down you have additional hiking options.
Turn left at the junction and the trail winds along the Macal River and the backside of the Belize Botanic Gardens with more walking options, including the Hammock Bridge or turn in the other direction and you will reach duPlooy's Macal River beach.
Hiking Farther Afield
Cohune Loop (1.5 km)
Located just outside the main grounds, these trails are accessed from the entry road, and leads to a number of hiking options, including a loop under a canopy of Cohune Palms.
Valley View (2 km)
Continuing up the entry road brings you to the starting point for this uphill nature walk, leading to some unforgettable valley scenery; Take a deserved rest and enjoy this memorable view while sitting under a
jungle palapa. If you wish to continue, there is a nearby trail which takes you straight down to the valley floor. The uphill trail to this lookout spot makes for a good work-out for both walkers and joggers.
Butterfly Breeding Center (4 km)
and Natural History Museum are nearby area attractions you can easily reach walking on local all-weather roads.
Xunantunich (2 - 12 km)
Continue on from the Cohune Loop trail and enjoy more of the
Cayo countryside on foot. If you do the entire walk, (2.5 -3 hours), you will arrive at the Mayan village of Succotz; Cross the Mopan River in a hand-cranked ferry and then trek onward and upward the last 1 km
and you will have reached the Maya Archeological site of Xunantunich.
The complete hike to Xunantunich is ideal for persons in good physical condition and makes for a memorable hiking adventure. You can also do this trip on Horseback. We can arrange for return transport back to the lodge on this one. (Same for those who do this trip on horseback). We recommend a guide for this hike, if this is your first time.
Flour Camp Cave (2-3 hours)
A large cave located upstream from duPlooy's Jungle Lodge. You can also visit this cave by combining horseback riding (1.5 hours) + 40 minutes hiking or after a short drive from duPlooy's Jungle Lodge, hike the remaining 40 minute. Return by inner-tube, canoe, foot or be driven back.
Note to Hikers - Beware of the "Poison Wood" tree. Usually identified by its black oozing sap. The effects and duration are very similar to "poison oak". The bark of the Gumbo Limbo tree, often located near poison wood trees, is a local remedy used to reduce the symptoms. If you show symptoms from contacting this tree, try not to scratch, as scratching tends to spreads the blistery rash.