BELIZE: Birds and Monkeys Photo Safari
2024 :: March 20 - March 27
From: $3,900 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Belize City, Belize (BZE)
4 - 6 Participants
2 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: Birds and Monkeys Photo Safari
Description of BELIZE: Birds and Monkeys Photo Safari
This awesome Belize photography workshop will include in-depth, hands-on photo instruction as we photograph birds, monkeys, butterflies, flowers, reptiles and local culture.
This tiny country has over 600 species of birds and the highest density of Jaguars of any country in Central America. Rainforest, pine savanna, wetlands and rivers will all offer their own unique challenges for photographing as well as witnessing Kevin and Roger’s professional approaches to each opportunity.
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. 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.
Length of Tour
Brief (Tentative) Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive/La Milpa.
Day 2 – La Milpa Lodge.
Day 3 – La Milpa Lodge.
Day 4 – Crooked Tree.
Day 5 – Crooked Tree.
Day 6 – Crooked Tree.
Day 7 – Crooked Tree.
Day 8 – Home.
Detailed Itinerary – (the order in which we visit each location may vary)
Day 1 – Arrive Belize / Rio Bravo Conservation Area – La Milpa Lodge
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 – La Milpa Lodge
Photography the property around Hill Bank is a great experience with bird and wildlife activity from dawn to dusk, and beyond, offering a multitude of species. Collared Forest Falcons, Ocellated Turkeys, Northern Potoos and lots 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 – Hill Bank
Today’s photography will take us to the Lamanai ruins where the birdsong in the beautiful riparian rainforest is often interrupted by calls and chatters Black Howler Monkeys and Spider Monkeys! Here we will enjoy both landscape and wildlife photography as we explore the ancient structures amidst the shadows of the forest.
Day 4 – Drive to Crooked Tree Sanctuary / Crooked Tree Lodge
After breakfast we will depart for Crooked Tree having lunch along the way. Photo stops will keep us busy, especially at the Community Baboon Sanctuary (full of Black Howler Monkeys) and we will arrive at Crooked Tree Lodge late afternoon.
Crooked Tree 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 birds, including the majestic Jabiru stork.
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 Crooked Tree 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 & 7 – Crooked Tree Sanctuary
These two days we will keep open to explore areas we have found to be very active with wildlife or to explore new location… the flexibility of a scouting trip!
Day 8 – Depart for home
Cost is $3,900 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 hotel room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $450 will be assessed.
NOTE: For boat-based tours, see pricing options for single cabins. Single cabin cost includes the single hotel cost above.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Rating: 2 (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)
• Easy trails and limited walking with equipment
Gear for Birding & Wildlife Viewing
• Good quality binoculars
• Spotting scopes are not typically needed as we will be photographing much of the time, unless you plan to do some digiscoping.
Photography Gear Recommendations
The best camera is the one you have with you! That said, we will help you get great photos no matter what camera you use.
This Photo Workshop is geared toward those using DSLR or Mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses, here is what we recommend that you bring:
• Bring at least 2 camera bodies – to reduce changing lenses and just in case of accidental damage to one
Recommended Lenses for Birds & Wildside
• 100-400mm (or equivalent) for birds in flight
• 500mm lens or longer for birds and wildlife
Recommended Lenses for Landscape Opportunities
• 24-105mm (or equivalent) for landscape and general purpose
• In addition you may also want to have an ultra-wide lens equivalent to about 16-35mm which may be used for fun landscapes and night sky photography.
Recommended Lenses for Macro (Bugs, Frogs, etc.)
• 100mm Macro is fine for general purpose macro photography
• 150mm Macro is best for small, quick moving subjects like frogs
Filters (Mainly for Landscape Photography)
• Polarizing Filter for removing reflections (screw in for wide-angle lenses)
• Filter Holder for 4×6″ (or similar) filters
• 2-stop Neutral Density Filter
• 8-stop (or more) Neutral Density Filter
• 2-stop Hard and/or Soft Graduated Neutral Density Filter
• Tripod for long exposures, big lenses and steady video
• Flash for low light, fill light and stop action
• Better Beamer or MagMod flash extender
• Rain cover for camera
• Weather resistant Camera Bag (Backpack style is best)
• Batteries and chargers
• Lots of memory cards!
• Laptop or other downloading device
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 recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. 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.