BELIZE: 10-day Intro to Tropical Birding
BIRDS & WILDLIFE
2023 :: February 3 - February 12
From: $3,200 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Belize City, Belize (BZE)
4 - 7 Participants
February 2022: 5 spaces available
March 2022: 7 spaces available
PRIVATE TOUR OPTION
This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.
Highlights of BELIZE: 10-day Intro to Tropical Birding
Description of BELIZE: 10-day Intro to Tropical Birding
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.
Length of Tour
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
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 / La Milpa Lodge
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 / La Milpa Lodge
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 / La Milpa Lodge
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 the 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.
NOTE: The order in which we visit the above destinations may change.
Cost is $3,200 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Belize City, Belize (Airport code BZE).
This trip ends in Belize City, Belize (Airport code BZE).
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $500 will be assessed.
A $500 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.
If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.
How to Book
In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.
For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.
For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.
NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.
Birding Areas and Accommodations
Bocawina 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!
La Milpa Lodge
A simple, comfortable lodge was built on the 300,000 acre Rio Bravo Conservation Area property operated by Programme for Belize. Wonderful meals are served family style in the main building. Cabins have two beds, en suite facilities and fans.
Activity Level Rating: 2 (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)
The trails are easy, but you should be able to easily walk two miles without stopping. Not that we will be doing this, however, sometimes it may be needed to get the birds we seek.
Birds of Belize
(University of Texas Press, 2003)
by H. Lee Jones
Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.
Detailed Trip Information
Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.
Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.
As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.
Passport & Visa
US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.
Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.
The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.