DAY 1 – Arrival Belize City and Sibun Lodge
Arrival at Belize City International Airport. After passing through immigration and customs you’ll be met by someone representing Lincoln Land Community College and/or from the Sibun Lodge and escorted by shuttle to the Lodge. For those arriving while it’s still daylight, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to get a “headstart” on the birds and habitats that occur around the Lodge. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (D) (TG).
DAY 2 – Sibun Lodge and vicinity
Orientation Breakfast at 7:00 am. Today will be spent on the grounds in and around Sibun Lodge; in addition to the birding, the jungle hikes will introduce the group to a variety of medicinal plants as well. Some of the bird species to be sought today include Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, White-fronted and Red-lored parrots, Long-billed Hermit, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Great Kiskadee. In the evening there will be a special “night” hike for those interested. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L,D) (NG).
DAY 3 – Caves Branch.
The group will depart early for Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch and have breakfast there. In addition to birding, the day’s activities will include a visit to Nekos Cave where you will have an opportunity to observe Mayan artifacts and a tour of the Botanical Gardens and orchid conservation. Some of the bird species to be sought today include colorful tanagers such Crimson-collared and Passerini’s, Social & Boat-billed flycatchers, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Montezuma Oropendola, Laughing Falcon, Violaceous Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, Blue-crowned and Tody motmots, and lots of hummingbirds. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L,D) (NG).
DAY 4 – Crystal Paradise Resort in Cayo
After breakfast the group will shuttle to the Crystal Paradise Resort, a private resort on the Macal River in the village of Cristo Rey. The day’s activities will include visits to an assortment of interesting sites and habitats. More than 200 species of birds have been found in the immediate area; some to be sought today include more species of tanagers, flycatchers, woodpeckers and hummingbirds. In the evening there will be a special “night” hike for those interested; perhaps you may find an owl or other nocturnal species. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L,D) (NG).
DAY 5 – Xunatunich and San Ignacio
After breakfast you will depart for the Xunatunich (pronounced “shoo-nan-too-nitch”) pyramid and Mayan ruins (near the Guatemalan border). You will have lunch at the ruins and spend the afternoon at nearby San Ignacio where there should be some free (shopping ?) time. Bird species to be sought today include parrots and swallows, more tanagers and a variety of species associated with the southern hardwood forests. Dinner will be on your own at a selected San Ignacio restaurant. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L) (NG).
DAY 6 – Jaguar Reef
After breakfast you will depart for Jaguar Reef. The trip includes a morning and afternoon “Birds of Paradise” tour. Since the site is on the coast-line, you should look for species like the Brown Pelican, Wood Stork, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Magnificent Frigatebird, Olivaceous Cormorant; other species to be sought include Northern Jacana, Ringed Kingfisher, Mangrove Swallow, Great-tailed Grackle, more flycatchers and hummingbirds. After dinner you will have an opportunity to visit the LeBehe Drumming Center. Dinner will be on your own at Jaguar Reef. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L) (NG).
DAY 7 – Community Baboon Sanctaury and Blue Hole National Park
Once again, the group will have an early departure for breakfast at Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch. After breakfast you will visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary. The Baboon Sanctuary was established in 1985 by a zoologist from the University of Wisconsin and a group of local farmers, with help from the World Wildlife Fund, to protect Howler Monkeys (the “black” baboon). The protected site consists of an approximate 20-mile stretch along the Belize River. In addition to protecting the monkeys, the site is also a safe haven for a large variety of birds – many of which may be found on today’s tour. In the afternoon you will spend time at Blue Hole National Park and St. Herman’s Cave. The Blue Hole is a cool, turquoise pool surrounded by mosses and lush vegetation. (Bring your swimsuit along!). The Blue Hole is part of an underground river system. St. Herman’s Cave is on the other side of the hill from the Blue Hole. The area is great for birding as well; some interesting species might include the Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Red-capped and White-collared manakins and Tropical Mockingbird. Overnight at Sibun Lodge. (B,L,D) (NG).
DAY 8 – Sibun, Belize Zoo (time permitting) and return to the U.S.
Today you will be shuttled back to the Belize International Airport in time to check in for your jet flight home. If time permits, you may stop along the way at the Belize Zoo. Crossing the Caribbean you can reflect on your unforgettable adventures in Belize, the Mayan Heartland. (B) (TG).
Letter Codes: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner, (TG) Transfer Guide, (NG) Naturalist Guide
A NOTE REGARDING THE ITINERARY:
The itinerary may vary because of airline schedules, weather, local conditions or group decisions.
AIRLINE FLIGHT SCHEDULES:
NOTE: When scheduling your airline flight from Belize City back to the United States, you may wish to consider a late-morning or early afternoon flight out of Belize City in order to give yourself adequate time to get ready in the morning.