Founded in 1983 by an American biologist who had 17 semi-tame animals on her hands after filming a documentary about rain forests, the Belize Zoo is a highly respected institution. Only native Belizean species (pumas, tapirs, kinkajous) are exhibited, and their surroundings reflect their wild habitats as closely as possible. From the elevated walkways, you can watch howler monkeys in canopy-growth trees. At the gift shop, sample locally harvested cashews or Belize's traditional (and tasty) seaweed drink, flavored with peanut or vanilla.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.