Belize Zoo VIP Tour

Behind the scenes tour with the Founding Director of our National Zoo

Update Jan. 2020: Due to availability of the zoo director, this tour is temporarily unavailable. Why go to a zoo while in Belize? Because the Belize zoo is like no other! Founded in 1983, to save 17 wild animals that had been “retired” after being used in a documentary film about tropical forests, the zoo has grown to 29 acres of subtropical savannah. The zoo is home to 170 native species that were orphaned, rescued, born at the zoo, rehabilitated, or sent to The Belize Zoo as donations from other zoological institutions. Whenever possible, all wildlife that can be rehabilitated or are able to survive in their natural environment are reintroduced. However, the animals that cannot go back into the environment are maintained in a natural setting at the zoo, where they become ambassadors in educational programs. On this exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the Belize Zoo led by the award-winning environmentalist, zoo founder and director Sharon Matola, you will have unique personal encounters with charismatic animal ambassadors including:
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  • Junior Buddy, the Jaguar: Jaguars are rulers of the rainforests.  Interact with Junior Buddy  and learn about why this magnificent creature finds the zoo his home.
  • Runt, the Keel-billed Toucan: Runt has a deformity and would not be able to survive in the wild. He has become a charming representative of Belize’s National Bird who you will get to feed and take photos with.
  • Indy, the Tapir: The magnificent "mountain cow" is the national animal. This tapir will trundle right over for a "meet and greet," and will eagerly accept treats of trumpet tree leaves.
  • Panama, the Harpy Eagle: The harpy eagle is one of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world, and Panama is their famous "ambassador" here at the Zoo. Learn about the success of the Belize Harpy Eagle Restoration Program, while being in the presence of this regal raptor.

More Information

  • Price Price: US $175
    per person
  • Intensity Intensity:
  • people Minimum: 4
  • Depart Depart: 7:00 AM
  • Return Return: 5:00 PM


  • Entrance Fee

  • Lunch

  • Juice

  • Water

What to Bring:

  • Sunscreen

  • Hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Camera

  • Sturdy Shoes or Boots

  • Insect Repellent

Other Information:

This tour is not included in our packages, but may be booked at the listed cost.

Intensity Key:

  • Easy
  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Very Challenging
[More general information about our tours]

Everyday, Hamanasi offers a barrier reef excursion and an inland excursion based on a preset schedule. These scheduled tours are included in package rates. Tours beyond the daily scheduled tours are not included in package rates but can be booked at the listed cost. All tours are accompanied by a licensed Belizean tour guide and include any permits needed. A PADI professional accompanies all dive trips. More information about our tours is available on our rates and policies pages.

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Overall, great experience! Staff made you feel extremely welcome and tended to your every need. Tours gave you a taste of Belize and the resort gave you a taste of heaven!

I’ve been to quite a few dive resorts. Hamanasi is hands down, the best so far. Thank you for a wonderful time.

We appreciate that Hamanasi is able to provide exceptional experience for visitors while working to maintain the wonder of Belize.

Room beautifully decorated and clean! The entire staff was extremely helpful & courteous. Food was the best! Tour guides extremely knowledgeable!

Wonderful stay, beautiful surroundings. The staff was unfailingly friendly and accommodating. Adventures were great and well organized!

Hamanasi helped introduce my family to the Garifuna & Maya people of Belize. Everything is so close – the mountains, caves, waterfalls, animals, ruins – this is such a peaceful country with rich culture and a people that cares about the environment. What a hidden gem! Thank you!

Best dive experience we have ever had. Everyone top Notch. Best vacation ever!

Everything surpassed our expectations. We came here as new diver because we wanted an operation we could trust and we found that here.

“Golden was an excellent guide for birding, we saw a wide variety of birds”

This is my 6th Belize dive adventure in the past 18 years and my best ALL around experience.

See The Action

Explore these images taken on our Trip to the Belize Zoo - click any image to expand.

Meet Our Guides

Our guides love what they do-and you'll love them