Join Wild Latitudes on this 10-day adventure in Belize, one of the most remarkable and diverse countries on Earth. We’ll bird vast wetlands & tropical rainforests, explore ancient Mayan cities, and snorkel the second longest barrier reef in the world, all in a country only one tenth the size the state of Oregon!
We’ll team up with one of Belize’s top naturalists to bird the country’s finest hot spots, including the New River and the famous Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, keeping a lookout for such species as the Blue-crowned Mot-Mot, Keel-billed Toucan, Yucatan Jay, Royal Flycatcher, and the elusive American Pygmy Kingfisher, just to name a few.
But this is more than just a birding trip… Belize is also the Land of the Maya, and we’ll delve into this fascinating culture as we explore three of the region’s most impressive ancient cities, Altun Ha, Lumani, and the vast complex of Tikal in Guatemala.
Finally, we’ll head offshore to the cayes where we’ll snorkel the reef, go birding on the island, and have two nights to enjoy the festive Island life of the Caribbean.
After everyone has arrived, we'll travel an hour to Crooked Tree, a true Belizean community surrounded by wetlands teaming with birds. We’ll have time to move in to the Birds Eye View Lodge and bird the grounds before we gather for dinner.
Pre-breakfast birding, then after breakfast, we’ll explore the wetlands by boat. We’ll have a little downtime after lunch, then spend the afternoon birding the pine forests and mixed habitats in and around Crooked Tree.
Early breakfast at the lodge, then bird nearby wetlands, forests and grasslands. After lunch, we’ll travel south to the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha, for our first experience with this ancient and impressive culture. We’ll have time to explore the ruins and bird as well, hoping to see the Keel-billed Toucans known to frequent the area.
We travel north from the lodge for a full day of birding and exploration. We’ll bird by boat as we travel down the New River to the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai, with chances of seeing a number of special species including the American Pygmy Kingfisher and Jabiru Stork.
We’ll depart Crooked Tree this morning, then cross the border into Guatemala and travel to Tikal, one of the most impressive ancient cities in the western hemisphere. Time permitting, we’ll bird the area around our lodge in the evening, no doubt adding several species to our list.
We’ll spend the morning having a private tour of Tikal, then explore & bird the temples, ruins, and grounds of this massive complex. Lunch will be at a little restaurant located within Tikal, then folks will have the afternoon to explore this vast site on their own.
Another day spent at Tikal. We’ll bird again as a group in the morning, then after lunch, everyone will have the afternoon to explore Tikal. This site is known as a birding hotspot in its own right, and flocks of Ant Birds are often seen moving through the vegetation surrounding the ruins. Blue-crowned Motmot, Tody Motmot, Rufus-tailed Jacamar, and several species of trogons are also possible here.
Departing Tikal, we will stop en route to visit the famous Belize Zoo, a wonderful place to see and learn about the native species of Belize. We then head for Caye Caulker via water taxi that we catch in Belize City. We will check into our resort, then head out to one of the island’s many restaurants for dinner. Caye Caulker is a small island located just off the barrier reef, affording wonderful snorkeling opportunities.
Breakfast at a nearby restaurant, then we’ll head out to the reef by boat for a full morning of snorkeling! This section of the reef is famous for its rays, so you can expect a close (and safe) encounter with these wonderful creatures. We’ll return for lunch, leaving plenty of time for folks to further explore Caye Caulker. The afternoon is free for everyone to enjoy as they wish.
We’ll meet for breakfast, go over our bird list one last time. There may be a little time for some last-minute souvenir shopping before we depart Caye Caulker by water taxi, and shuttle to the airport in time to catch our flights home.
PRICE of TOUR: $3,175
START DATE: January 21, 2021
DURATION: 10 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 14
TRIP FOCUS: Birds, Wildlife, and Mayan Ruins
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
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