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Birding Belize 10-Day

Lineated Woodpeckers   Belize is the best location to begin your tropical birding travels! Located only a few hours from the USA, Belize is home to over 600 species of birds. Easy trails, comfortable climate and easy access to great birding locations make Belize a very special place to learn the tropical families. Belize is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the Americas. Thanks in part to its small population, over 60% of Belize's 8867 sq. miles (about the size of New Hampshire) have been protected. This protection has allowed the birds and wildlife of Belize to continue to flourish. Over 600 bird species have been recorded within Belize's borders and along its reef! Belize is the last Central American stronghold of the majestic Jabiru, a stork that stands about 5 feet tall with an 11 foot wingspan, which nests in the savannas and wetlands of the north. Regional endemics such as Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Flycatcher and Yellow-lored Parrot may also be found in the pine-oak savannas. The tropical dry forest of northwestern Belize offers a multitude of species more easily found in Belize than anywhere else... Great Curassow and Ocellated Turkeys roam the forest floor while Double-toothed Kites and Barred Forest Falcons search for prey under the canopy. Belize's broad-leaf rainforest holds more target species including many forest raptors like Collared Forest Falcon and Ornate Hawk-Eagle. TOUR FOCUS: BIRDS Looking for a slightly longer trip? Check out our Belize and Tikal 14-Day options! Belize-5D3_0269
  • Tour Cost
  • Trip Length (number of days)

    10-days/9-nights

     

    2016/2017 Cost

    $2950 for 10-day trip, from Belize City

     

    Prices are per person double occupancy. If a single room is preferred or a suitable roommate is not available a single supplement fee of $500 will be charged.

     

    Included in the Tour Cost:

    All ground (and boat) transportation from Belize City airport. All accommodations. All meals from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day. All entrance fees and guide fees. Tips for meal service.

     

    Not Included in the Tour Cost:

    International air travel, passport fees, luggage fees, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, departure taxes, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

     

  • Itinerary
  • Brief Itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrive/Crooked Tree

    Day 2 - Crooked Tree

    Day 3 - Crooked Tree

    Day 4 - Rio Bravo Conservation Area

    Day 5 - Rio Bravo Conservation Area

    Day 6 - Rio Bravo Conservation Area

    Day 7 - Cockscomb Basin

    Day 8 - Cockscomb Basin

    Day 9 - Cockscomb Basin

    Day 10 - Return Home

     

    Full Itinerary (the order in which we visit each location may vary)

     

    Day 1 - Arrive Belize

    Crooked Tree Sanctuary

    Arrival in Belize, board our custom birding bus and depart for Crooked Tree and Paradise Inn (birding along the way), arriving for dinner. A brief orientation to Belize after dinner.

     

    Day 2 - Crooked Tree Sanctuary

    We will explore the Crooked Tree Lagoon and Spanish Creek by boat in search of the many species of birds which inhabit this beautiful sanctuary. With low canopy logwood, turtlebone, provision tree and mangrove, good views of Yellow-tailed Oriole, Mangrove Vireo and Rufous-browed Peppershrike are very possible. The endangered Black Howler Monkey and Morelets Crocodile are also found here. After lunch back at Paradise Inn, we will explore the upper end of the island, a pine-oak savanna. Yellow-lored (Yucatan) Parrot, Yucatan Woodpecker and Yucatan Jay can be found in this open habitat.

     

    Day 3 - Crooked Tree Sanctuary

    Today we will boat up the New River to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai. We will see many bird species along the water’s edge (Jabiru, Norther Jacana, Black-collared hawk) as well as along the trails of the gallery forest surrounding Lamanai. The ruins of Lamanai are some of the best examples of the Mayan civilization. It was the last stronghold of this ancient civilization of which we know relatively little about. Here we have found Slaty-tailed and Collared Trogons, Double-toothed Kite, and Brown-hooded Parrot.

     

    Day 4 - Drive to Rio Bravo Conservation Area

    After breakfast we will drive to the Rio Bravo Conservation Area (RBCA) with birding along the way. The RBCA covers 5% of Belize's land area and is a privately held wildlife sanctuary and research area. The La Milpa Station, named for the ancient Mayan ruins found on the site, offers great food a excellent accommodations in the same forest as the famous (and much more expensive) Chan Chich Resort. The birding is incredible with Crested Eagle being seen regularly! This is also the area Belize chose to release a pair of Harpy Eagles donated from the breeding program in Panama.

     

    Day 5 - Rio Bravo

    Birding the property around Rio Bravo is a great experience a dawn to dusk, and beyond, offers a multitude of species. Collared Forest Falcons, Ocellated Turkeys, Northern Potoos and a multitude of tanagers, honeycreepers and hummingbirds may be seen.

    Night spotlighting may offer Spectacled Owl, Mottled Owl, Black-and-White Owl and a number of roosting passerines. We have also seen Jaguar, Margay, Jaguarundi, Kinkajou, Tapir and other mammals while spotlighting!

     

    Day 6 - Rio Bravo

    Todays birding will take us to the La Milpa ruins where the forest remains little disturbed and the birding is often interrupted by Black Howler Monkeys and Spider Monkeys! We always hope for an ant swarm here to bring in a number of tanagers and woodcreepers. More spotlighting will extend our day!

     

    Day 7 - On the road south to Cockscomb Basin

    After breakfast we will depart for southern Belize, with lunch and many birding stops along the way.

     

    Day 8 - Cockscomb Basin

    Morning birding around the lodge and entrance road. Hummingbirds, honeycreepers, woodpeckers and orioles abound here. In the afternoon we will explore some of the surrounding areas such as Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve. After dinner we will go spotlighting along the entrance road for Common Paraque, Black-and-white Owl, Mottled Owl and Crested Guans as well as mammals like Kinkajou and Ocelot.

     

    Day 9 - Cockscomb Basin

    Visiting the mangroves south of the lodge will offer opportunities for coastal specialties including: Yucatan Vireo, Yellow (Mangrove) Warbler, Rufous-necked Wood Rail, Common Black Hawk and Cinnamon Hummingbird. Additional birding locations will be visited to add to our list!

     

    Day 10 Departure to USA

    Load the vans after breakfast for departure to the airport and flights back to the USA.

  • Accommodations
  • Birding Areas and Accommodations

     

    Mama Noots Eco Resort
    Mama Noots Eco Resort lies on 47 acre private nature preserve that is surrounded by two national parks. Comfortable rooms with hot showers allow us to wake to the sounds of the jungle each morning. Meals are served in the restaurant/bar. The lodge offers easy access to the surrounding national parks and preserves as well as other lesser known birding locations.

     

    Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - Crooked Tree Lodge OR Birds Eye View Lodge

    Both lodges are set along the Crooked Tree Lagoon on the edge of the Creole settlement of Crooked Tree Village. This town of about 900 people offers incredible wildlife viewing as well as a very friendly atmosphere. Smiling faces will greet us everywhere in the village. The lodges offer private rooms or cabanas with en-suite bath and their own dining room to serve our guests. The down-home treatement at each lodge, including delicious Creole style meals and desserts are always a hit!

     

    Mountain Pine Ridge - Hidden Valley Inn OR Five Sisters Lodge

    Both lodges are set in a beautiful pine-forest setting on a private reserves. Pine forest and moist broad-leaf forest collide here to offer a grand mix of bird species. The lodges offers all the amenities, from beautiful cabanas and excellent fine dining, to a pool or river for swimming! From here we will visit many wonderful sites, including the ruins of Caracol and Hidden Valley Falls. The lodge's many trails offer specialties such as Orange-breasted Falcon, Lovely Cotinga and Stygian Owl!

     

  • Additional Info
  • Birds of BelizeRecommended Field Guide:

    Birds of Belize

    (University of Texas Press, 2003)

    by H. Lee Jones