Costa Maya, Xcalak and Mahahual (Majahual) Visitors pages - Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve |
Bacalar Chico Marine and Wildlife Reserve


Boca Bacalar Chico signThe park opened officially August 23, 1996. It comprises a 15,000-acre marine reserve and 12,000 acres of terrestrial reserve.


The objectives of the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve are: to ensure the health of the fishery stock, regulate water sports, conduct monitoring and assist in research. Provide job opportunities to tour guides and a venue for recreational activities, prohibit illegal fishing and to deter other illegal activities which may be detrimental to the health of the flora and fauna.


Boca Bacalar Chico riverThe reserve is situated just south of Xcalak on the northern tip of Ambergris Caye. The reserve is on Belizean territory. At present the park is accessible only by sea from the Xcalak, only about 25 minutes away by boat. And from points on Ambergris Caye, from Sarteneja and elsewhere on the mainland off the Bay of Chetumal (several hours by boat).

Bacalar Chico Rangers are presently working on establishing an eco-tour of the reserve in order to generate funds to help with the upkeep of the reserve, to provide business opportunities for tour guides.

 Flora and Fauna

In the reserve the green sea turtle and the loggerhead have nesting sites between Robles and Rocky Point; the offshore marine habitat once known as a breeding area for Queen conch; and the seasonal spawning bank for the nassau and yellowfin groupers; the high diversity of terrestrial and vegetation zones.

The region encompasses intra-island lagoons, mud flats, sink holes, mangroves forests, savannahs, semi deciduous forest and is home to many different animals.

 Historical sites

There are about eight different Mayan sites in the Bacalar Chico area two of which, San Juan and Chac-balam have been partially excavated and have been made somewhat accessible by trails.