The most spectacular protected area deep North of Belize is the Shiptern Conservation and Management Area in Corozal district; the reserve is located near the village of Sarteneja. Shipstern C&MA protects approximately 21.500 acres of a variety of habitats centered on Shipstern Lagoon, one of the larger inland lagoon systems in Belize. The conservation area is designed to protect rare forest trees, including seasonal and dry coastal tropical varieties. Shipstern is best known for its extensive bird sanctuary, with at least 300 in total, including herons, parrots, eagles, flycatchers, toucans and American woodpeckers. The area also boast a wide variety of Belizean Animals such as: cougars, deer, peccaries, armadillos, tapirs, crocodiles, manatees and jaguars can also be found in the protected area. Located near the entrance to the visitor center, the Butterfly Farm, which grows butterflies for export to the US, Europe and Asia, is one of Shipsterns most popular attractions.
There is no specific time to visit Shipstern, “Any Time Is A Good Time”. However, the butterfly breeding center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The nature reserve is only open during the day, but night tours can be arranged. Shipstern has been the go-to destination in northeastern belize for tourists for a long time. It will forever be a popular spot in the North-East of Belize to offer a tranquil, off-the-beaten-track experience. Birders, naturalists and tourists often opt for the shipstern experience, never failing to be impressed. This conservation provides a variety of tours such as nature reserve hikes, night-time nature walks, bird-watching tours, mayan ruin tours and Mennonite Cultural tours – making it an ideal place for children to learn and explore. Its range of landscapes and habitats is astounding.
Finally, In Belize you MUST know the history! The incomes do not remain in the local economy. CSFI aims at developing fair, sustainable and eco-tourism in Corozal, the North-East of Belize, by being a not-for-profit tour operator based locally. Sustainable tourism will ensure that everyone in the system will earn decent revenue, and that all profits are reinvested in a conservation and social-development fund.