Reef & Rain-forest Birding Tour
Belize Reef & Rainforest Birding Adventure is a fully customizable ten-day birding tour focused on inland destinations and the beautiful island of Caye Caulker in front of the second-largest reef on the planet. These destinations inhabit a significant amount of bird species and wildlife.
You will visit La Milpa Forest Station, Lamanai Archaeological Site, and Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Caye Caulker, Green Hills Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collection, and Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve. Fantastic destinations inside areas that protect natural and cultural treasures, also; you will have a great photography opportunity in this birding adventure in Belize
Resume of the program
- Day 1: Arrival – La Milpa Forest Station
- Day 2: La Milpa Forest Station
- Day 3: La Milpa Forest Station
- Day 4: Lamanai Archaeological Site – Crooked Tree
- Day 5: Crooked Tree Sanctuary
- Day 6: Crooked Tree Sanctuary – Caye Caulker
- Day 7: Caye Caulker
- Day 8: Caye Caulker – Hidden Valley Inn
- Day 9: Hidden Valley Inn
- Day 10: Transfer Out
La Milpa Forest Station:
La Milpa Forest Station is a rustic lodge nestled within a 260,000-acre research area known as Rio Bravo Conservation Area. It is home to approximately 390 Species of birds, 75 percent, which is endemic to Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. This dense broadleaf forest located in North Western Belize is one of the prime birding hotspots in Belize for species such as the Grey-throated Chat and Rose-throated Tanager. Exploring the many trails at La Milpa can reward you with birds such as Ocellated Turkey, Yucatan Poorwill, Lovely Cotinga, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, and Barred Forest falcon, to name a few.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary:
This area has international importance for migratory birds as they flock to the lagoons during the wet-season, and food is difficult to find in other areas. It is also essential for non-migratory birds, and a variety of species can be seen here. In 1998, this area was listed as Belize’s first Ramsar site.
This location offers excellent birdwatching opportunities both on land and on the water, in its tributaries. Seek out the Bare-throated Tiger, Sungrebe, Jabiru, Wood-storks, Black-collared Hawk, and the American Pygmy Kingfisher. In the pine and hardwood forest habitats, seek out the endangered Yellow-headed Parrot among other migratory and resident breeds.
Caye Caulker: Coastal development threatens the littoral forest of this habitat, which houses the Near-threatened species of the White-crowned Pigeon and the Black Catbird. This area boasts large mangrove habitats that are home to the Rufous-necked Wood-rail, and also host to migrant birds such as thrushes, orioles, tanagers, and warblers.
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
This remote location on the New River lagoon boasts almost 400 species of birds documented within a 3-mile radius. The area is Belize’s premier birding location. Habitats range from vast wetlands and broadleaf forests to pine savannah, and all are easily accessible.
A Spotlight Safari provides a fantastic opportunity to see roosting waders, nocturnal, and some of the more elusive diurnal species up close and personal. Regular sightings include the Northern Potoo, Yucatan Nightjar, Common Pauraque and Nighthawk, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Sungrebe, and Agami Heron.
Other species of birds we may encounter on this privileged location include Black-collared Hawk, Northern Jacana, Mangrove Swallow, Olive-Throated Parakeet, American Pygmy Kingfisher, and occasionally a Purple Gallinule.
Other types of wildlife, such as the endangered Morelete’s Crocodile and Green Iguana are also a common sighting to Lamanai.
We will also have the chance to explore the ruins and have the opportunity to view birds such as Red Lored Parrot, Blue-crowned Mot-mot, Collared Aracari Toucan, Lineated and Pale-Billed Woodpeckers, and Black-Headed and Violaceous Trogons. Also, Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys are usually seen or heard here.
Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve is a small intimate lodge hidden within the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve on a 7,200-acre private protected area. This unique ecosystem of upland pine ridge savannah, deep ravines, and the tropical broadleaf forest is home to rare raptors such as the Orange Breasted Falcon, Stygian Owl, Black & White Hawk-Eagle, King Vultures. Other species commonly seen are Azure Crowned Hummingbird, Orange Billed Sparrow, Rufus Capped Warbler, Hepatic Tanager, Green Jay, and Acorn Woodpeckers, to name a few.
Green Hills Butterfly Ranch & Botanical Collection
Green Hills Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collection is not only about butterflies as well as their food plants. Bio-diversity generally is recognized as an essential component in our performance.
The Green Hills biological diversity incorporates those plant life that attracts not only butterflies but additionally birdlife. The reserve has documented at least 316 bird species around the 100 acres
Hummingbirds take a central role due to the ease of observing them. Bird feeders situated close to the caterpillar building bring in lots of hummingbirds and often really distract from the butterflies.
Until today have documented a minimum of 15 hummingbirds species, which 11 can be observed at the feeders, and it is common to find out six species in a single stop by at Green Hills Ranch.
Dia 1: Arrival – Transfer to La Milpa Forest Station
You will be met by our friendly representative at Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport and transferred by ground to La Milpa Forest Station.
Upon your arrival at La Milpa, check-in, then you will have time to observe birds around the lodge.
Dinner and lodging at La Milpa Forest Station
Dia 2 – La Milpa
Today you will start with an early morning birdwatching hike through La Milpa trails searching for local specialties such as Gray-throated Chat, Tody Motmot, Ornate hawk-eagle, King Vulture, and Crested Eagle, among others.
The feeders of the lodge are a special attraction where dozens of birds can be observed, among them Red-legged Honeycreepers, Green Honeycreepers, Olive-backed Euphonias, and Tanagers; it is also effortless to find Ocellated Turkey and Great Curassow.
Time for lunch, a short rest, and the walk continue to observe birds and other species that inhabit the Reserve.
At night, there will be a walk in search of owls and other nocturnal creatures around the lodge; on this walk, there is the possibility, and with great luck to observe a jaguar and other cats, there are several reports of travelers who have had an encounter with this fantastic mammal
Dinner and Lodging at La Milpa Ecolodge
Dia 3 – La Milpa
We will continue birding around the lodge and different trails to find more species that inhabit this tropical paradise.
Also, you will have excellent photography opportunities at the feeders with dozen of colorful birds, including hummingbirds such as White-necked Jacobin, rufous tailed hummingbird, Violet Sabrewing, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, and White-bellied Emeralds, among others.
Lodging at La Milpa
Dia 4: Transfer to Crooked Tree – Lamanai Archaeological Site
After breakfast, transfer to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary with a birding stop on Lamanai Archaeological site on the route.
Lamanai is among Belize’s major Mayan ceremonial centers situated on the banks of the New River Lagoon; this archaeological site its surrounded by a tropical forest that inhabits an essential selection of bird species, Spider Monkeys, Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys, and more.
Besides, the cultural treasure Lamanai is a well-known bird watching paradise with plenty of bird species, such as Black-faced Ant-thrush, Gray-collared becards, Royal and Sepia-caped Flycatchers, Black-throated Shrikes, Northern Bentbills, White-breasted, and Spot-breasted Wood Wrens, Plain Xenops, Stub-tailed Spadebills, White-crowned Parrots, Keel-billed Toucan and Collared Aracaris among others.
After a birding adventure at the Lamanai Archaeological site, continues towards Crooked Tree Sanctuary
Arrival and check-in at Bird’s Eye View Lodge, birdwatching afternoon near the lodge
Dinner and lodging at t Bird’s Eye View Lodge.
Day 5: Birding at Crooked Tree Sanctuary
The Crooked Tree Sanctuary provides inland waterways, swamps, and lagoons; the Reserve also has a series of trails that allow exploration on foot. Today you are going to explore the trails on foot and by car in the quest of birdlife, including some specialties from the Yucatan peninsula such as Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Woodpeckers, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Vermillion Flycatchers, Fork-tailed Flycatchers, Parrots, and Raptors.
Lunch and time for a short rest, then you will continue with birding inside the Reserve.
Night walk for owling with good opportunities to spot Northern Pottoos and Yucatan poorwill
Dinner and lodging at Bird’s Eye View Lodge
Day 6 – Crooked Tree
The Birding Boat Tour is one of the most exciting activities in the sanctuary. A fascinating journey through the different waterways of the Reserve that provides the opportunity to observe birds such as the beautiful Agami Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Black-collared Hawk, Roseate Spoonbill, Yucatan Jays, Snail Kites, and the Jabiru Stork, among others
After lunch, we depart to Caye Caulker.
Lodging at Caye Caulker
Day 7: Caye Caulker Birding Tour
We will start our birding tour around Caye Caulker Forest Reserve for species such as Clapper Rail and Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, and Common Black Hawk. Along the beachfront, we might find Godwits and Brown Boobies and waders skimming through for small crustaceans.
Breakfast and transfer to Hidden Valley; on the route, we will visit Green Hills Butterfly Ranch & Botanical Collection.
During our stop in Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, the hummingbirds will take center stage. The bird feeders located near the caterpillar building attract many hummingbirds; a minimum of 15 species of hummingbirds have been documented, of which 11 can be observed at the feeders, and it is common to find six species in one stop at Green Hills Ranch.
Some of the hummingbirds that we can spot at the Reserve are the White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Long-billed Hermit, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, Violet Sabrewing, and White-bellied Emerald.
This fantastic destination also offers a magnificent photo opportunity.
Check-in at Hidden Valley Inn, then a birding walk around the lodge
Dinner and lodging at Hidden Valley Inn
Early coffee while enjoying the birds at the bird feeder, Green Jay, Brown Jay, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Plain Chachalaca, Gray-headed Pigeon, and Clay-colored Thrush, among others.
After breakfast, you will head toward the Mountains of Western Belize, searching for Raptors like the Orange Breasted Falcon, Stygian Owl, Solitary Eagle, and King Vultures, among others.
After lunch, we will dedicate the afternoon for a birding tour through the different trails that the lodge offers, birding at the pine forest and scrub areas that inhabit species such as Black-headed Saltator, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, and Rufous-capped Warbler.
Exploring the woodland, we can spot neotropical species, such as Slaty-tailed Trogon, Collared Trogon, Black-headed Trogon, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Pale-vented Pigeon, Scaled Pigeon, to mention some.
Dinner at Hidden Valley Inn. Then we will have time for a night adventure in the quest of Stygian Owls and other nocturnal creatures.
Lodging at Hidden Valley Inn.
Day 10: Transfer Out
Transfer to the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport to take your flight back home.