Although it’s mostly a technicality, Doyle’s Delight in the Toledo District is the highest point in Belize. Measuring some 3,687 feet (1,124 meters) high, Doyle’s Delight is a peak in the Maya Mountain range that span much of Belize.
Because Doyle’s Delight is just a spur that is slightly higher than the surrounding mountain range rather than a true peak, it had no official name for most of Belize’s history. The current name was coined by the legendary animal rights activist and founder of the Belize Zoo Sharon Matola in 1989. Referencing a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of the Sherlock Holmes books) book “The Lost World” that refers to Belize as a “wild and wonderful country,” Matola named the area Doyle’s Delight.
Although recent scientific measurements have revealed that it is actually eight feet (two and a half meters) shorter, Victoria’s Peak was long considered the highest point in Belize. Victoria’s Peak is a National Monument located in the eastern part of the Maya Mountains inside of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Hiking to Doyle’s Delight is relatively easy due to the shallow slope of that part of the Maya Mountains, but reaching Victoria’s Peak requires difficult hiking, and for much of the year, the trail is impassable. For hikers interested in visiting Doyle’s Delight, there is a small survey marker placed at the point by the British military in 1970.
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is an enormous protected conservation area in southern Belize and the world’s very first jaguar preserve. More than 200 jaguars roam the 150-square mile (400-square km) CBWS, although they are nocturnal creatures rarely seen by visitors. Most people visit the CBWS in order to enjoy the fantastically diverse environment which includes gorgeous tropical flowers, hundreds of bird species, and exotic wildlife, including monkeys and all five of Belize’s big cat species. The CWBS is also home to several lovely waterfalls, deep pools, river rapids, and an unexcavated ancient Maya site that was abandoned more than 1,000 years ago.
If you’d like to attempt to visit Victoria’s Peak or simply admire the view from the surrounding mountains and valleys inside the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the best place to stay is Chabil Mar. Located on the stunning shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize, Chabil Mar is a luxury beachfront resort with lovely villas, a tropical garden, two infinity swimming pools, and a gourmet restaurant and bar.
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