A true Belizean adventure

A true Belizean adventure

Summiting Victoria Peak is one of the most beautiful and challenging adventure experiences in Belize. It is an adventure experience that challenges and changes everything about the adventurer. Walking, climbing, and traversing the Cockscomb Mountains while cut off from the internet and civilization, immediately activates those primal instincts to fight the fatigue, fright, and frustration felt in the mind and body. The hike takes three days along a 27-Kilometer-long trail. Once hikers leave the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and begin the trek to the Peak, it is incredible how quickly one becomes attuned to every tiny sound of birds, the snap of a dry twig, the gushing of water from the rivers, and the deafening silence in some parts of the forest where the only sound is one’s own footsteps and breath. Making this climb is a high adventure experience that more and more Belizeans are choosing. Why is this hike growing in popularity among Belizeans? The reasons are probably personal and varied. What is certain is the strong and heightened sense of accomplishment that comes from completing the hike. Each year, from February to May, trained guides take small groups of Belizean travellers through a physical, cerebral, and emotional adventure experience that is like no other in Belize. It is a true Belizean adventure.

Perhaps Belizeans choose the Victoria Peak challenge as their high adventure option because we live in an 8,866 square mile eco-adventure park- so to speak. In Belize, every place has adventure since every place, urban or rural, has maintained a large portion of its natural ecology.  Normally two to three eco-systems can be observed at any time. Just a walk outside can feel like being on a wildlife trail with a variety of birds chirping about, friendly iguanas perusing grassy areas, wild bushes, fruit trees, and fresh open spaces all around. Life in Belize is an eco-adventure all by itself. What Belizeans may think is just ‘normal’ is actually the entire reason people travel here. They are looking for nature and adventure. Adventure tourism can be characterized as a type of tourism that involves travelling to a remote or exotic location in order to experience outdoor activity that is physically challenging. Belize includes all things exotic.  Many visitors get their adventure through a fishing trip, some snorkelling, a trip to an ancient site, horseback riding, or cave tubing. Belize has both soft and hard adventure activities. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the world adventure tourism market reached USD 336.03 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow and reach around USD 998.37 billion by 2032. It seems like a lot of people are looking for eco-adventures. For the unassuming Belizean, who lives all the time in this adventure metropolis, finding a high adventure experience may mean going to high places.

The Victoria Peak is approximately 3,670 feet and it is rumoured that only a few hundred people have conquered it. Summiting Victoria Peak, in a way, helps the Belizean adventurer relate to the international explorer. On that hike nothing is normal. Belizeans will gasp at the beauty of the unfamiliar terrain and truly understand how majestic Belize is and why some people will travel all the way here to find their eco-adventure. Belizeans do adventure too and this hike offers a higher perspective on Belize’s adventure tourism- pun intended. It is a true Belizean adventure.

Chat again next time.

Jasmine Anderson
For the Belize Tourism Board