Belize Photo Tours 10 Day Expedition
Day 1: Lunch, Dinner
ARRIVAL - BELIZE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT • CROOKED TREE BIRD PRESERVE
Meet guide(s) at Belize City Airport, Belize (BZE). Afternoon spent searching for Jabiru Stork, Red-lored, Yucatan and Yellow-Headed Parrots, Olive-throated Parakeet, Barred Antshrike, Black-headed Trogon and White-collared Manakin. Mid-afternoon (depending on arrival time), travel short distance to Bermudian Landing Howler Monkey Preserve to search for Howlers, Green Iquanas, Bat Falcon, Rose-throated Becard, White-fronted and Yucatan Parrots, Squirrel Cuckoo and Rufous-breasted Spinetails. Short transfer to Crooked Tree Audubon Bird Preserve lodging. Evening return to lodge on banks of Crooked Tree lagoon in the Belize Audubon bird sanctuary. Gourmet welcome dinner at Lodge. Short orientation presentation after dinner. Evening nocturnal bird session on grounds of lodge to search for Common Pauraque. Drift off to the night sounds of the tropical wetland around us.
Day 2: B, L, D
CROOKED TREE AUDUBON PRESERVE • ALTUN HA MAYAN RUINS
Early morning private 3-hour boat tour of the Lagoon at Belize Audubon Bird Preserve at Crooked Tree to search for Snail Kites, Black-collared Hawk, Jabiru Stork, Yucatan Parrots, Bare-throated Tiger-Herons, Roseate Spoonbill, and Limpkin, among many bird species. Lunch at the Altun Ha Mayan ruins. Afternoon birding the trails and grounds of and lagoon at Altun Ha, along with our Archeology guide for interpretation of the history of the ruins. Evening dinner at local favorite restaurant. Evening review of bird list and following day's itinerary. Bird the grounds of lake-front hotel in the evening for nocturnal birds. Lodge Accommodations.
Day 3 B, L, D
COCKSCOMB BASIN JAGUAR PRESERVE • HUMMINGBIRD HIGHWAY • HOPKINS
Early morning 3-4-hour drive (with stops) south down the spectacularly scenic "Hummingbird Highway", along the rugged Maya Mountains of southern Belize and into the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve. Search for Collared-Araçari, Keel-billed Toucan and Grey Hawk en route. Lunch at local restaurant in the Stann Creek area. Siesta after lunch at cabanas to enjoy the beach at Hopkins and village life. Afternoon birding along wetlands of Hopkins to search for Jabiru Stork and Roseate Spoonbills, etc.. Dinner in Hopkins along the beach. Evening relax to the sounds of the ocean waves gently lapping the beachfront and the soft tropical breezes flowing through the coconut palm fronds. Evening beachfront cabaña accommodations in the coastal village of Hopkins.
Day 4 B, L, D
COCKSCOMB BASIN JAGUAR PRESERVE
Early morning depature to enter Cockcomb Basin Jaguar Preserve preserve and explore jungle trails/rivers and inner-forest birds like Great Tinamou, Great Curassow, Crested Guan, Passerini's Tanager and Thrush-like Shiffornis. Slowly bird the road into the preserve, looking for White-necked Jacobin and other hummingbirds. Trail hike (easy but humid) into the densest tropical forest we encounter on the trip. Extremely challenging top-level birding for birds like Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Dot-winged Antwren, Eye-ringed Flatbill and Plain Xenops, etc.. We saw fresh evidence of Jaguars here on our last trip. Return to Stann Creek area for late lunch. Return to Hopkins for afternoon siesta at beach-front cabañas. Time to go for a swim in the placid warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, take a nap, go for a walk on the beach or review bird list. Also time to view feeding Magnificent Frigatebirds and Royal Terns, etc...(shorebirds.) Late afternoon birding wetlands just outside of Hopkins for Jabiru Stork, Bare-throated Tiger-Herons, Roseate Spoonbill and Ringed Kingfishers. Dinner in Hopkins. Beach-front cabaña accommodations.
Day 5 B, L, D
TRANSFER TO CAYO DISTRICT • BIRD THE ST. HERMAN'S BLUE HOLE NAT'L PARK
Early morning departure for drive to the bird-rich St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park. Bird the species rich road back to Hummingbird Highway, en route. Travel north towards the Cayo District of western Belize. Lunch in San Ignacio area.. Afternoon check-in at Jungle Cabañas on the banks for the Mopan River. Here we've seen numerous Keel-billed Toucans, Blue-crowned Motmot and Masked Tityra. Afternoon birding on the lodge grounds and the road leading in. Evening review of bird list and itinerary. Sumptuous Lodge meal with rustic jungle cabaña accommodations.
Day 6 B, L, D
MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE DAY TRIP
Early morning departure for rugged drive to Mountain Pine Ridge and San Ignacio, Belize. Bird the species rich road up into the Maya Mountains searching for Hawk-Eagles, Squirrel Cuckoos, 9 species of Hummingbirds, including the elusive Violet Sabrewing, etc. Special access to private birding area in the Cave's Branch area.
Late morning hearty home-cooked breakfast in tropical mountain surroundings after our early morning birding. Venture on into the rugged mountain roads to a unique Butterfly Farm that features hummingbird feeders. Here we spend a couple of hours photographing and viewing up to 9 species of Hummingbirds.
45-minute tour of the butterfly farm operations includes natural history lecture on butterfly lifecycles and is a true delight to photograph. Species include the Blue Morpho (Morpho paleides) and the Owl Butterfly (Caligo spp.) among many others. Lunch back in San Ignacio with late afternoon check-in at lodging. Afternoon birding at local trails. Dinner in downtown San Ignacio. Evening review of bird list and itinerary. Hotel accommodations.
Day 7 B, L, D
TRANSFER TO TIKAL, GUATEMALA/LUNCH/BIRDING ON MOPAN RIVER
Depart San Ignacio, Belize for early morning departure drive to Tikal, Guatemala. Bird the species rich road back to Western Highway. Cross border and continue on to Tikal area. Bird a wetland en route. Lunch in Guatemala. Check-in at hotel on the banks of the breathtaking Lake Petén Itzá. Lunch at local restaurant. Short afternoon walk around town to bird watch and explore local culture, artisan shopping (optional.) Dinner at hotel. Evening review of bird list and itinerary. Hotel accommodations.
Day 8 B, L, D
TIKAL MAYAN RUINS
Early morning departure for short drive to Tikal National Park in the Péten region of Guatemala. Search for Royal Flycatcher, Black-faced Antthrush, Slaty-breasted & Great Tinamou, Orange-breasted Falcon, White-crowned Parrot, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Red-capped Manakin and Pheasant Cuckoo. Lunch near ruins or back in town. Afternoon siesta. Bird the Cerro Cahui Nature Park. Walking tour of town before dinner. Dinner at hotel. Evening review of bird list. Tarantula walk to search for Red-bellied Tarantulas. Hotel accommodations.
Day 9 B, L, D
FLORES, GUATEMALA CULTURE AND ARTISAN TOURBreakfast at hotel, with shopping option at stores around hotel area. Drive to Flores, Guatemala to explore tourism zone on Lake Petén Itzá. Central market place exploration, explore culture of village and local artisans. Lunch in Flores. Afternoon birding around Lake Petén Itzá. Review species checklists while absorbing last sunset on Lake Petén Itzá. Return to hotel for late farewell dinner. Evening search for nocturnal birds and Red-bellied Tarantulas. Hotel accommodations.
Day 10 B
RETURN TO BELIZE/XUNANTUNICH MAYAN RUINS • TRANSFER TO AIRPORT/END EXPEDITION
Breakfast at hotel. Early morning departure back to Belize and Belize City Airport for mid-afternoon flight schedule. Stop at Xunantunich Mayan Ruins to search for Blue-crowned Motmot and Common Potoo, etc., (time permitting.) End Expedition.