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BELIZE 8-Day: Birding Northern Forests & Wetlands

Belize--14

TOUR FOCUS
BIRDS & WILDLIFE

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SCHEDULED TOURS

2019 :: November 2 - November 9
2019 :: December 7 - December 14
2020 :: January 4 - January 11

TRIP LEADERS

TOUR COST

From: $2,500 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Belize City, Belize (BZE)

GROUP SIZE

4 - 7 Participants

AVAILABILITY

March 2019: TRIP IS FULL
November 2019: 7 spaces available
December 2019: 7 spaces available
January 2020: 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.

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TESTIMONIALS

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Highlights of BELIZE 8-Day: Birding Northern Forests & Wetlands

  • Less than 2.5 hours flight from the Miami or Houston
  • Belize is the best destination to begin your tropical birding fun
  • Over 60% of the land in Belize is protected
  • Belize is the last Central American stronghold of the majestic Jabiru
  • Many regional endemics such as the Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Flycatcher and Yellow-lored Parrot

Description of BELIZE 8-Day: Birding Northern Forests & Wetlands

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 its 23,000 sq. kms. have been protected. This protection has allowed the birds and wildlife to continue to flourish. Over 600 bird species have been recorded within its borders and along its reef! Belize is the last Central American stronghold of the majestic Jabiru 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 savannas. The rare Orange-breasted Falcon and Stygian Owl can be found in the Maya Mountains alongside many of the northern migrants. The broad-leaf rainforest holds more target species including many forest raptors the rare and local Keel-billed Motmot.

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Itinerary

Length of Tour

8-Days/7-Nights

 

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive/Rio Bravo / La Milpa Lodge

Day 2 – Rio Bravo / La Milpa Lodge

Day 3 – Rio Bravo / La Milpa Lodge

Day 4 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Day 5 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Day 6 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Day 7 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary

Day 8 – Home

 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Belize / Rio Bravo Conservation Area

Arrive and transfer to he 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 2 – 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 3 – 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 4 – Drive to Crooked Tree Sanctuary

After breakfast we will depart for Crooked Tree having lunch along the way. Birding stops will keep us busy and we will arrive at Crooked Tree Lodge late afternoon.

Our lodge sits quietly along the edge of the freshwater, seasonal lagoon. Here we can watch a multitude of wading birds, shorebirds and waterfowl. The surrounding savanna and wetlands offer excellent birding with many Yucatan Endemics.

Day 5 – 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 our lodge, 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 6 – 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 7 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary

This morning we will have another chance to find any Yucatan endemics we may have missed as we explore the many trails throughout the sanctuary. Lunch back at the lodge with a relaxing afternoon to enjoy the breeze and hammocks!

Day 8 – Depart for home

Cost Details

Cost

Cost is $2,500 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Belize City, Belize (Airport code BZE).
This trip ends in Belize City, Belize (Airport code BZE).

Single Supplement

If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $350 will be assessed.

Deposit Requirements

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.

Minimum Number

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.

Final Payment

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.

Accommodations

Birding Areas and Accommodations

Rio Bravo Conservation Area – La Milpa Research Station

Located in northwestern Belize, the Rio Bravo Conservation Area covers 5% of the country’s land area! Lush, tropical dry forest covers ancient Mayan ruins where Howler Monkeys move through the trees and Jaguars silently roam the trails, rarely seen. The lodging at the La Milpa Research Station offers spacious cabanas with en suite facilities. Excellent meals are served family style in their large dining room.

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!

Activity Level

Activity Level Rating: (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.

Additional Information

 

Birds of BelizeRecommended Field Guide:

Birds of Belize

(University of Texas Press, 2003)

by H. Lee Jones

Non-smoking Tour

Smoking is not permitted at any time during our tour.

Purchasing Flights

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.

Travel Insurance

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.

Itinerary Changes

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.

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