Jaguar Reef is known both as a relaxing, beachfront destination and as the very first beach resort in Hopkins, Belize. The lodge, which opened its doors over 25 years ago, has grown from a small, off-the-beaten path, beachfront lodge on the southern tip of the village to one of the most popular and iconic beach resorts in the entire country. It has been the resort of choice for thousands of travelers who enjoy exquisite accommodations, beachfront dining and easy access to many of the natural wonders that have made Belize a world-class adventure travel destination.
The destination, situated on the southern tip of the village in an area also known as False Sittee, has seen a fascinating transition in recent years, growing from a sparsely populated, remote location in the south, to a feature rich recreational community offering a variety of attractions that include restaurants, pubs and cafés; gym facilities, quaint shopping centers; charming open air nightclubs and other enjoyable leisure facilities.
Historically, the location gets its name from the majestic cats that live in the nearby Cockscomb Basin and would sometimes make their way out to the beach to hunt along the shore and enjoy the cool breezes coming in from the reef. The Jaguar is the largest and most powerful cat in the Western hemisphere and the largest carnivorous mammal in Central and South America, growing up to 6 feet long from nose to tail and weighing as much as 350 lbs.
The protected jaguars still call this area home and roam freely throughout the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the very first Jaguar Preserve in the world. These national treasures and the vast wildlife sanctuary are a symbol of Belize’s commitment to nature… a 200 square mile refuge that also serves as a home to the jaguarundi, margays, ocelots, pumas, deer, howler monkeys and the national animal of Belize, the Baird’s Tapir.
Some of Belize’s most captivating attractions are just minutes away…
A short boat ride or drive down the road you can experience much of Belize’s cultural and ecological diversity. You can enjoy flats, fly or reef fishing as well as diving or snorkeling along the largest Barrier reef in the western hemisphere… a scuba divers paradise just minutes away from your home. Southern Belize also means you’re a stone’s throw away from pristine rivers, waterfalls, rainforests, the world’s only Jaguar Reserve in what was once the centre of the Mayan empire.
South Water Caye in among hundreds of islands just off our coast. It is a small semi-private, 15 acre island about 12 miles off he coast from Hopkins Village. Less than one mile in length and 160 yards at its widest point, this charming island features two full service beach resorts and direct access to snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving the pristine reef at nearby atolls.
Jaguar Reef is located near the fascinating village of Hopkins, considered to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population… one of the most distinct and vibrant cultures in the country. They are known for their friendliness and genuine hospitality, and are very welcoming to visitors.
Just 15 miles away from Jaguar Reef you’ll discover the small women’s coop where the women of the Maya Centre still sell their crafts. Or, meet Mr. Saki who still makes chocolate the way his ancestors have for centuries. It doesn’t take you long to remember that Belize in 800 AD was the centre of the Maya Empire.
Rainforests, Rivers and Reserves
Jaguar Reef sits in the center of it all. As if the world’s second longest barrier reef being only 12 miles away wasn’t enough … you’ll only be 5 minutes from the Sittee River and minutes from the Cockscomb Nature Reserve among other life altering experiences. Do nothing … or do everything while here – your choice.