Medicinal Jungle Trail and Iguana Exhibit
When the local iguana population was on a noticeable downward cycle, the folks at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel created this successful breeding and release project to bring the animals back and protect the riverside from further development.
Groups go on hunts for eggs, capture the females, and hijack the eggs, which they raise in a predator-free, food-rich environment before releasing the iguanas back into the wild. The program has also trained former iguana hunters to become iguana guides, a far more profitable and sustainable endeavor, and hosts many school groups, featuring their “Adopt an Iguana” program.
The Green Iguana Conservation Project and interpretive herb trail is accessed through the San Ignacio Resort Hotel (perched above the Macal River a short downhill walk from the town center, tel. 501/824-2034, 501/824-2125, or 800/822-3274, www.sanignaciobelize.com).
To date, 175 species of birds have been observed here (including a rare family pair of black hawk eagles), plus a number of mammals. Tours of the herb trail or the iguana project are offered on the hour 7 a.m.–4 p.m. (US$7 pp; 30 minutes for either talk).
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition