Belize: A Relaxed & Easy Tour: Mar 16—23, 2017

Register for WaitlistTour Details

Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Belize City
Tour Limit: 12
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (5.9 MB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien is a freelance artist, author, and environmental consultant living in Cape M...


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Louise Zemaitis

Louise Zemaitis is an artist and naturalist living in Cape May, New Jersey where she is a po...


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Blue Bunting

Blue Bunting— Photo: Michael O’Brien

Experience Maya ruins and exceptional birding at a relaxed pace in Belize’s tropical forest, pine-savannah, and lagoons—the perfect introduction to Neotropical exploration!

This tour offers an exciting introduction to natural history exploration in the Neotropics. The two elements of this tour are very different, and together sample much of this charming country’s diverse habitats. In both areas, our accommodations are very comfortable and our schedule flexible enough to accommodate those who wish to take time away from the group.

The first element of our tour will explore the lagoons, pine forest, and savannah that dominate much of northeastern Belize. At Crooked Tree, a boat ride through the lagoon may produce such exciting birds as Boat-billed and Agami herons, Jabiru, Black-collared Hawk, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, and American Pygmy Kingfisher. Nearby pine forest and cashew orchards host a long list of birds, including the stunning Yucatan Jay, along with Yellow-lored Parrot, Canivet’s Emerald, Yucatan Woodpecker, and Yucatan Flycatcher. We will also tour the magnificent Maya ruins of Altun Ha, best known for the large jade head discovered there.

A scenic drive through Mennonite farm country will take us to Lamanai Outpost Lodge, situated on a bluff above the tranquil New River Lagoon, and adjacent to another spectacular Maya ruin. Here we will experience some of the finest forest birding in Belize. The diversity of birds here is fabulous, with almost 400 species recorded within a three-mile radius of the lodge. We should have regular encounters with such interesting and dazzling species as Gartered and Slaty-tailed trogons, White-whiskered Puffbird, Keel-billed Toucan, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, and Barred Antshrike, and we’ll also seek such specialties as Tody Motmot and Black-throated Shrike-Tanager. During siesta time, an eye on the gardens and flowering trees right outside our cabanas could produce Long-billed Hermit, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Spot-breasted Wren, Black-cowled Oriole, Blue Bunting, Yellow-throated Euphonia, and migrant warblers. One of the real pleasures of staying at Lamanai is having access to the river. A cocktail cruise to watch the sun set over the ruins, and an evening spotlight safari to look for nightjars, potoos, and other birds along the river will be simply delightful.

Based in two lodges with comfortable rooms and very good food; short to moderate walks on easy terrain with some roots or uneven ground; multiple tall steps at accommodations; optional outings; warm, sunny climate.