Doyle's Delight

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Doyle's Delight
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Doyle's Delight
Location of Doyle's Delight in Belize
Highest point
Elevation 1,124 m (3,688 ft)
Listing Country high point
Coordinates 16°29′39″N89°02′45″W / 16.49417°N 89.04583°W / 16.49417; -89.04583 Coordinates: 16°29′39″N89°02′45″W / 16.49417°N 89.04583°W / 16.49417; -89.04583
Location Belize
Parent range Cockscomb Range

Doyle's Delight is the highest peak in Belize at 1,124 m (3,688 ft). It lies in the Cockscomb Range, a spur of the Maya Mountains in Western Belize.

Belize country in Central America

Belize is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the northwest by Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the south and west by Guatemala. It has an area of 22,970 square kilometres (8,867 sq mi) and a population of 387,879 (2017). Its mainland is about 180 mi (290 km) long and 68 mi (110 km) wide. It has the lowest population and population density in Central America. The country's population growth rate of 1.87% per year (2015) is the second highest in the region and one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

Maya Mountains mountain range

The Maya Mountains are a mountain range located in Belize and eastern Guatemala, in Central America.


The name Doyle's Delight was first coined by Sharon Matola in a 1989 report. [1] [2] The name is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book The Lost World (1912), which contains the quote "there must be something wild and wonderful in a country such as this, and we're the men to find it out!".

This name has meanwhile achieved widespread acceptance. The official Government of Belize Website lists Doyle's Delight as the highest point in Belize. The capital of Belize, Belmopan, has a "Doyle's Delight Street". Recently there has been an attempt to rename the peak to "Kaan Witz" which is Maya for "Sky Mountain", but the new name has not gained widespread acceptance. [2]

Although Victoria Peak was for many years touted as the highest point in Belize, recent assessments determined that it is apparently slightly lower at 1,120 m (3,670 ft). Victoria Peak is located east of the Maya Mountain Divide in the Stann Creek District, and in clear weather its dramatic peak is visible from the coast. Doyle’s Delight is located in the heart of the Maya Mountains and is part of a more gently sloping range, with no dramatic peak.

Victoria Peak (Belize) mountain

Victoria Peak within the Maya Mountains is the second highest mountain in Belize. The highest peak in the country, Doyle's Delight at a height of 1,124 metres (3,688 ft), is located 57 kilometres (35 mi) southwest of Victoria Peak. Victoria Peak is situated in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Victoria Peak is situated in the Stann Creek District of Belize, in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and is home to many flora and fauna common to Belize. It was pronounced a natural monument in 1998, comprising about 4,847 acres bordered by the Sittee River Forest Reserve, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Chiquibul National Park.


There is a clearing on the peak that is maintained by the Belize Defence Force and the British Military as a helicopter landing. In 1970, a survey marker was placed at the high point of the ridge. [2]

Belize Defence Force military of Belize

The Belize Defence Force (BDF) is the military of Belize, and is responsible for protecting the sovereignty of the country. The BDF is under the Ministry of Defence, which is currently headed by Hon. John Saldivar; the BDF itself is commanded by Brigadier General Steven Ortega. In 2012, the Belizean government spent about $17 million on the military, constituting 1.08% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2004 and 2007 ecologists reached the summit by using a helicopter and surveyed Doyle’s Delight and adjacent ridges to better understand the ecology and biodiversity of the region. These efforts focused on plants, fungi, insects, amphibians, birds, and small mammals, and produced preliminary inventory data for the area. [2]

Two notable expeditions by mountaineers, in 2007 and 2008, reached the summit by hiking and climbing for eight days through the virgin jungle. The second expedition members included: Bruno Kuppinger (Germany), Christian Rodriguez [3] (Guatemala), Douglas Leonardo (Guatemala), Emilino Sho (Belize), Alfredo, and Erick Cho (Belize). [4]

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  1. Matola, Sharon (1989). The Doyle’s Delight Expedition, Maya Mountains, Southern Belize. Unpublished report.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Meerman, Jan; Matola, Sharon (June 2007). "Doyle's Delight: The August 2004 Expedition" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  3. Guatemalan mountainner Archived February 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine .
  4. Expedition 2008 report.