Belize | Birding and Nature in the Tropics of Belize | A Flyway Expedition

Belize | Birding and Nature in the Tropics of Belize | A Flyway Expedition

About this trip

On this exciting 8-day expedition to Belize, set your sights on hundreds of neotropical species with the help of our expert guides. Enjoy birding in the pine savannas and wetland habitats of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, in the primary and secondary tropical moist broadleaf forest at Cockscomb Basin and Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and in private reserves, a Mennonite community, and along the Macal River Valley. This trip is a prime reflection of the birds the National Audubon Society hopes to protect through its ongoing conservation efforts. Participate in several talks with members of the local community about these efforts, the training programs, and other activities that promote birding tourism as a viable option for local economic development.

About Flyway Expeditions

Holbrook Travel is a supporting partner in Audubon and its partners’ conservation work in Latin America and in the Caribbean. Participants on these tours have a direct economic impact on local people and communities, help preserve IBAs, and nurture an emerging ecotourism industry.  
Learn more about Flyway Expeditions.

Highlights

  • Explore Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to look for Jabirus, Northern Jacanas, Boat-billed Herons, and more.
  • Enjoy a talk by a Belize Audubon Society representative about local efforts to promote bird-based tourism in conservation and development.
  • Have a lunch and discussion with members of a community-based project on Scarlet Macaw conservation.
  • Set your sights on over 330 bird species in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, exploring open and forested habitats.
  • Watch for rare Blue and Slate-colored Seedeaters at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Examine the social and economic factors associated with engaging local people in conservation.
11 Travelers

$2,695

Land Cost

Group size

Book 10 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

13 Travelers

$2,575

Land Cost

Group size

Book 12 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

Crooked Tree

Day 1

Upon arrival in Belize City, you will be met outside baggage claim and transferred to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. Established in 1984 to protect resident and migrant birds, the sanctuary is managed by the Belize Audubon Society and encompasses a network of inland lagoons, swamps, and waterways. During the dry season tens of thousands of birds congregate here, taking advantage of abundant food resources in the wetlands. This evening have dinner with a Belize Audubon Society representative and then hear a talk about developing bird-based tourism as a conservation and sustainable development tool in Belize.

Dinner included
Overnight at Birds Eye View Lodge

Crooked Tree

Day 2

Today, head out onto the extensive waterways of Crooked Tree's 44,000-acre Ramsar wetlands to see a mix of herons, ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Northern Jacanas, Boat-billed Herons and Jabiru. After lunch, explore the pine savannas on the search for the near-endemic Yucatan Jay, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Yellow-headed and Yellow-lored Parrots, Aplomado Falcon, Canivet's Emerald, and Yucatan Woodpecker. An evening walk will be available for those who hope to catch up with a Common Pauraque, Mottled Owl, or Tody Motmot.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Birds Eye View Lodge

Stann Creek

Day 3

Spend the morning birding at Crooked Tree by boat (if water conditions allow). After lunch, set out for St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, with a brief stop at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary to look for the rare Blue and Slate-colored Seedeaters. At St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, meet with tour guides who support the park to discuss birding and conservation efforts in the region. In the late afternoon, explore Mayflower Bocawina National Park, located in the southern district of Stann Creek and consisting of over 7,100 acres of lush jungle, refreshing waterfalls and ancient Mayan sites. More than 200 species of birds have been identified in the area, including Great Curassow, Crested Guan, Keel-billed Motmot, and Great Tinamou. Check in at the Bocawina lodge and enjoy a hearty dinner. Overnight at Bocawina Rainforest Resort.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Bocawina Rainforest Resort

Stann Creek

Day 4

Depart early for a day of birding at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a tropical moist forest sheltering an abundance of biodiversity - including 300+ bird species. Walk along its extensive trail system on the lookout for trogons, tanagers, flycatchers, and maybe a glimpse of a Yellow-billed Cacique. The sanctuary is also recognized as the world's first designated jaguar reserve, so keen observers might even spot a paw print in the forest. In the late afternoon, return to the lodge and bird along the trails for various hummingbirds, woodcreepers, flycatchers, and tanagers, plus Pheasant Cuckoo, Green Honeycreeper, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Nightingale Wren, Green Shrike-Vireo, and White-winged Becard, among others.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Bocawina Rainforest Resort

Stann Creek

Day 5

After and early breakfast, visit visit Red Bank Village to see the Scarlet Macaws that are rebounding in this region. Visit the Scarlet Macaw Bed and Breakfast for lunch and discussion with representatives from this important community-based project focused on Scarlet Macaw conservation. This afternoon, continue birding within the 128,000 acres of forest in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Bocawina Rainforest Resort

San Ignacio

Day 6

Spend the morning in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary exploring trails not covered in the previous days. In the afternoon, drive to Crystal Paradise. Situated in the lush jungle and alongside the beautiful Macal River, Crystal Paradise proudly combines Belizean family hospitality with nature. The was hand built by the Tut family, using the ancient art of palm-thatched roofs that are in synch with the natural surroundings. Check-in and settle in and then bird along the lodge grounds to see Keel-billed Toucans, Blue-crowned mot-mots, Thrushes, Blue gray and the red-throated ant-tanagers who visit the feeders to feast on fresh papaya. There are also a variety of hummingbirds visiting the feeders near the dining room. Have dinner at the lodge and this evening explore the social and economic factors associated with conservation: engaging local people in the conservation and the habitat protection process. Later, an optional night walk which may yield Black-and-white or Spectacled Owls.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Crystal Paradise

San Ignacio

Day 7

A 45-minute drive north of Crystal Paradise through rolling green hills brings you to Spanish Lookout, a modern-day Mennonite settlement reminiscent of Pennsylvania farmlands. Several different habitats in the area make it a favorable birding destination. The area consists of savannah, open farmland, and subtropical forest around the lake. In the open land and pastures it is easy to find Vermillion Flycatchers, Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, White-Tailed Kites and Hawks, Laughing Falcons, Meadowlarks, Swallows, Herons, Jabiru storks just to name a few. Aguacate Lagoon Reserve is located about 20 minutes beyond the community, and provides a birdwatcher's paradise. In the forest around the lake common sighting may include Jacamars, Trogons, Puff-birds, Crested Guans and Great Curassows. Other birds may include Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Night Herons, rails and Crakes.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Crystal Paradise

Belize City

Day 8

After early morning birding, the group will transfer to the airport for flights back to the U.S. Please make sure flights depart after 12:00 pm.

Breakfast- included