The Maya Mountains are a range of hills in west-central Belize that take their name from the Maya people who built great centers in the region. The Cockscomb Range is a spur of the Maya Mountains and includes Victoria Peak, a national monument of Belize.
Protected Areas in Central America
The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve protects key overwintering sites for the monarch butterfly. The millions of monarch butterflies that return here every year bend tree branches by their weight, fill the sky when they take flight and make a sound like light rain with the beating of their wings.
The Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve is located in southeast Mexico between the Lacantum and Locania Rivers. It is one of the largest areas of humid tropical forest in Mexico and Central America, with areas of pine forest and mountain rain forest in higher altitudes.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a Costa Rican protected area located along the Cordillera de Tilarán. Named after the nearby town of Monteverde and extending over 35,000 acres, the cloud forest reserve is visited by roughly 70,000 visitors a year.
Chirripó National Park is named for its most prominent feature, Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica. Five ecosytems found in the park include lowland tropical wet forest, premontane tropical wet forest, lower montane wet forest, montane wet forest and subalpine wet forest (páramo).
Ometepe Island is located in southwest Nicaragua, formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicargua. It is the lake's largest island. The two imposing volcanoes, Maderas and Concepcion, define its topography. The island was designated a Biosphere Reserve in 2010.
Palo Verde National Park contains much of the area of the valley of the Tempisque River in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. The park protects one of the most endangered ecosystems. It is one of the last remaining tropical dry rain forests that once covered most of Central America.
Located in the northwest of the Mexican sate of Tabasco, the Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve is one of the most important wetlands of Mesoamerica due to its abundance of aquatic plants and the amount of fresh water it receives from the Grijalva and Usumacinta rivers.
Piedras Blancas National Park, located in southern Costa Rica, protects over 34,000 acres of evergreen primary forest, indigenous plants and wildlife. The park is home to a number of rare tropical trees and is the habitat for many species of birds, reptiles and mammals.
The archaeological site of Palenque, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, is one of the most outstanding Classic period sites of the Maya area. Palenque is an incomparable achievement of Mayan art and illustrates one of the most significant achievements of mankind in the American continent.