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Birdwatching in Belize

Bordered to the north by Mexico, Guatemala to the south and west and the Caribbean Sea to east, Belize is a small Central American country with an abundance of unique habitats and home to more than 570 species of birds.
Off the Caribbean coast you will find cays and coral reefs, the coastal plains offer savanna grassland, swamps and lagoons and to the south and west broadleaf forest. Adding the plateau highland in the Cayo district with its mix of oak, pine and broadleaf forest it can easy be called a birders paradise.

"Great Black Hawk"

The western part of Belize offer birds like King Vulture, Stygian Owl, Orange-breasted Falcon and Keel-billed Motmot to name a few. Birding Aguacaliente and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary you will find 5 species of kingfishers, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Boat-billed Heron, American Woodstork and many more. Rio Bravo Conservation Area is also a great spot for birds like Keel-billed Toucan and as a bonus Jaguars are regularly sighted here.
Being one of only two countries in Central America, where English is the official language, it is relative easy for a non Spanish speaking birder to travel in.
Your Birdingpal guide will be happy to show not only the local birds and also the many great Mayan archaeological sites you find in this fascinating country.


Electronic map of Belize

Tour I
6 Day birdwatching tour in Belize.
Expect 200 species during that tour.

Itinerary

Day 1.
Arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport, Ladyville, Belize. Shuttle to Midas Resort, San Ignacio with birding along the way. This is a 2 hour average drive, expect more time since we will bird along the way. Depending on time of arrival there is a stop at the Belize Mmockingbird, Roadside Hawk, Vermilion Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Great-tailed Grackle, Mlodious Blackbird, Ringed Kingfisher and more.

"Gray-necked Wood Rail"

Day 2.
Early morning birding at the grounds of Midas Resort, expect a wake up call at 6 a.m. After breakfast, we leave for the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Gaze at the 1600 foot waterfall more commonly known as the Thousand Foot Falls, while you enjoy lunch. Drive back to the Rio On Pools for a refreshing dip at these naturally formed granite formations. After your swim we head back to the Resort with more birding along the way.
Expect to see: Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Black-headed Saltator, Ruddy Ground Dove, Chipping Sparrow, Rusty Sparrow, Orange-breasted Falcon, King Vulture and more.
Day 3.
Early morning birding at Midas(optional). After breakfast, we head north of San Ignacio Town, through the picturesque village of Bullet Tree Falls and onto El Pilar Archaeological Reserve. Bird in a "Maya Forest Garden" amidst an ancient Maya city left purposely the way it was rediscovered - "reclaimed by the jungle". Have lunch at the Cohune Palms Lodge, an eco-friendly resort on the banks of the Mopan River. Venture on the trails sorrounding the property and add more species to your already growing list.
Expect to see: Slaty-tailed Trogon, Collared Trogon, Black-headed Trogon, Violaceous Trogon, Red-capped Manakin, Blue-crowned Motmot, Keel-billed Toucan and more.

"Ocellated Turkey"

Day 4.
Optional Early morning birding at Midas. After breakfast, depart for Pook's Hill - the Lodge in the Jungle. Detour on the way there to the Mennonite Community of Spanish Lookout; continue on to the Aguacate Lagoon to get chance to see wetland birds. After lunch, we continue on to Pook's Hill with more biridng along the way.
Expect to see: Great Egret, Little and Great Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Wood Stork, Limpkin and more.
Day 5.
After breakfast, we take a short drive to the "parking lot" of the Actun Tunichil Muknal Archaeological Reserve. We leave the truck there and we walk to the cave entrance. This walk involves crossing the Roaring Creek River three times on the way; get a chance to see the very elusive Chestnut-bellied or Agami Heron. At the cave entrance, put on your helmets and get ready to take a three and a half hour tour into the Cave of the Stone Sepulchre. Witness firsthand stone tools, ceramic pottery and the skeletal remains of ancient Maya sacrificial offerings left behind and dating to approximately 750 - 950 A.D. Get immersed in Maya archeology as your guide tells you about the importance that caves played in the lives of the ancient and contemporary Maya. Actun Tunichil Muknal - Cave of the Stone Sepulchre: an unforgettable and unbelizeable experience.
Day 6.
Early morning birding at Pook's Hill. After breakfast we depart for the Philip Goldson International Airport.

Note: Dinner is not included in the price during their stay at Midas Resort. Dinning will be in San Ignacio at a restaurant of your choice every night of their stay.


6 day tour price is:
2 pax US$1710 per person double room. 4 pax US$1615 per person double room.

Single supplement: Please contact us.

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Lodging, food, transportation, entrance fees to parks, guide fees.
Excluded:
Alcoholic drinks, any items of a personal nature, travel insurance, international airfare.
Notes: All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.

The above birding itineraries are based on what are essentially popular routes for birders. It can be shortened or extended.
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
All trips are available year round, but prices may be adjusted around special holidays.
Minimum lead time four (4)weeks.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Fitness:
People need to be in excellent physical condition
Equipment:
Binoculars, scope, sturdy boots for hiking around in the woods, warm sweater for chilly nights in the mountains, long sleeved shirts to avoid insect bites in the humid tropical forest, rain jacket, sandals or a comfortable pair of shoes for relaxing in the lodges, sunscreen and a hat, insect repellent.

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Hector.   

Birding guide Hector Bol, your local Birdingpal guide
I was first introduced to birds by Elizabeth Mallory of Manomet Bird Observatory, now Manomet Center for Environmental Sciences; this was in 1989.
From 1991 to 1996 I studied and got my degree in Natural Resources Management from Instituto Tecnologico Forestal in Durango, Mexico. I never stopped birding and I am very familiar with that northwestern corner of Mexico.
In 2000, I returned to my country, studied and obtained a license to guide in Belize; I have been a guide since 2001.
In August of 2004, I became one of the few guides certified to lead tours inside the ATM cave.
In August of 2008, I was part of the International Intern Program held at the Joppa Flats Education Center in Massachusetts; this was part of a program set up by Mass Audubon and the American Birding Association.
In October of 2008, I became certified as a mist netting and bird banding assistant. This one week course was done through the Institute for Bird Populations and the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education.
I have continued during all this time to learn more and to lead birding tours in my country.

Some facts about Belize.

Belize is an English speaking country with a population of 300, 000 inhabitants countrywide. We have been described as a melting pot of cultures since different ethnic groups have called this paradise home.
At 18 degrees north and 88 degrees west, Belize lies in the subtropics; temperatures range from a minimum of 60 degrees to a scorching 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In extreme conditions, this can dip to a very cold (by belizean standards) 50 in January or they can soar to 105, in say June.

More facts about Belize.

Guide books and CD’s recommended:

Birds of Belize By H. Lee Jones, Dana Gardner
National Audubon Society The Sibley guide to birds. David Allen Sibley
National Geographic Society Field guide to the birds of North America

Find lowest prices here

Bird Recordings from Belize

BIRDS OF MEXICO: MP3 Sound Collection by Peter Boesman/Birdsounds.nl
650 species, 725 tracks, 6 hours of playing time.

Available in the US at www.buteobooks.com

In Europe at www.birdsounds.nl
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Last update 20/02/2014