Jungle In Downtown San Pedro: MUST Visit the Iguana Sanctuary – Calvin’s Green Iguana Eco-Park
San Pedro’s Green Iguana Park – Directions and Improvements, It’s a MUST VISIT!
Just around the bend from the main gas station in downtown San Pedro is a surprising plot of wild wetland. A mangroved forest tucked just beyond this sign…
…that rang with cicadas and squawking birds when I was there a few days ago.
A few steps in…and you’d have no idea that diesel pumps were a few hundred feet to the south and the town’s electricity substation just outside the front gate.
Let me get to the ncessary details first…starting with the MOST asked question. WHERE IS THIS!
Where? This Green Iguana Sanctuary is located just north of the town gas station – and just west of the Belize Electricity substation. Here it is marked on the map from my guidebook, 50 BIG Experiences on Ambergris Caye.
Back Street extends northward to a sand/dirt road – follow that and you will see the park sign. You can see I put the gas station and an iguana on the map below. Go Canva!
Hours and information and contact information below. The park area is open from 8am to 4:30pm. Fees? Not yet. But these iguanas eat good! Fresh veggies and fruits. And you will see the incredible work that Calvin has done – he is there all day to answer questions. Donations please!
Okay…let’s peep inside.
This INCREDIBLE carved sign. Calvin’s wooden carvings are BEAUTIFUL.
The sink for washing your hands is a work of art.
Usually when I visit, the big iguanas are near the entrance feasting on veggies. Today there were a few there…
but then I noticed that Calvin had done some INCREDIBLE work over the last few months cleaning the mangroves and building a new pathway.
Let’s stop for one minute to talk about the iguanas on Ambergris Caye.
Ambergris Caye has two types of iguanas: the black iguanas (called Wish Willy’s locally – why I do not know) and the green iguana. The black iguanas eat anything and everything. From bugs to hibiscus flowers to eggs.
Green iguanas are herbivores only. AND they are often hunted in Belize as food…the “bamboo chicken”. There is an official hunting season but not much enforcement of the rules.
So green iguanas have become scarce. San Ignacio Resort on the mainland has an AMAZING green iguana sanctuary and learning center. (See my visit a few months ago here)
But while Ambergris Caye does have a bunch of wildlife – especially in the western and northern part of the island – to see big green iguanas right here in the middle of town is WAY COOL.
See: WildLife And Other Out of The Ordinary Experiences on Remote Ambergris Caye (Deer and Ocelots and Anteaters oh my!)
Green iguanas can grow up to 4 to 6 feet long! They are BRILLIANT neon green as juveniles – they can run FAST, dive into water and swim! The males can turn rusty orange in mating season. They are very interesting creatures.
Photo from a few years back…
AND…there are lots of them right here in San Pedro town. An oasis for the green iguanas.
I started down this pathway that leads to a pretty cool sign and an incredibly detailed beautiful artwork…
I can’t wait to see photos of people with their heads in here!
And then loop around to this newer path that leads out to the water and to the iguanas. (You want FLAT shoes on this path – this is not the time for your Manolo Blahniks)
And I met up with Calvin – the man behind all of this.
The iguanas KNOW that he is the guy with the bananas. And they gathered around…for a banana and some petting.
Mussed up hair…
And bananas around his mouth.
Even Calvin’s house is a piece of art! Swiss Family Robinson!
On my own, I’d be hesitant to get that close but Calvin was very reassuring. I bet he’ll even let you feed them yourself.
I love this place. Because it is SO easy to come to Ambergris Caye and see the bars and the beaches and the fun. To enjoy the reef and the sea life but not the cool onland wildlife. This is a great experience right in the middle of town to check out Belize’s Green Iguana.
DEFINITELY stop by and then grab lunch in town. It will make for a great break from the sun. And kids will love it!
Check out this fun video from Brent – who spent the beginning of the pandemic in San Pedro and made lots of great content about Ambergris Caye. He’s got a flair for the dramatic! 😉