This 8days/7nights Belize and Guatemala adventure takes us birding in the most impressive ancient Maya cities of Belize and Guatemala. We combine archaeology and birding to offer an incredible journey that explores magnificent ceremonial temples and impressive stately structures of several ancient Maya cities, and offers excellent birding and natural history observation opportunities in Belize and Guatemala’s incredibly diverse sub-tropical forests.
Arrival at Philip Goldson International Airport. Transfer to La Milpa Field Station on the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. Orientation to Rio Bravo. Dinner.
Optional Birding. Breakfast. Birding on Trails around La Milpa Field Station. Lunch. Birding at La Milpa Archaeological Site. Dinner. Night Walk.
Optional Birding. Breakfast. Tour of Lamanai Archaeological Site. Packed Lunch. Visit August Pine Ridge for a special cultural presentation. Dinner. Night Walk.
Optional Birding. Breakfast. Transfer to Five Sister’s Lodge in Mountain Pine Ridge. Lunch at Cheers. Tour of Green Hills Butterfly Ranch. Dinner. Night Walk.
Early morning birding at Caracol Archaeological Site. Open air breakfast in the main plaza of Caracol. Tour the main plaza of Caracol. Packed Lunch. Birding around site. Swimming/and or birding around Guacamayo. Return to Five Sister Lodge. Dinner.
Visit One Thousand Falls for site seeing and birding. Breakfast at Five Sisters Lodge. Visit Rio Frio Cave for birding and spelunking. Packed Lunch at August Pine Ridge. Visit Rio On Pools for birding and swimming. Dinner.
Breakfast. Transfer to Chaa Creek Lodge. Lunch at Chaa Creek. Afternoon free to unwind and indulge in the following activities: tour Chaa Creek’s natural history center and museum, nature walk on the Panti Medicinal Trail and swimming.
Breakfast. Depart for Belize City and the Philip Goldson International Airport.
Belize is believed to have been the heart of the Maya civilization that dominated Central America from about 250 to 900 A.D. Our journey through the heart of Maya civilization will begin at the La Milpa Field Station on the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, Belize’s largest private protected area representing about 4% of Belize’s total land area. The La Milpa Field Station is located only three miles from the third largest ancient Maya city in Belize. The ancient Maya site of La Milpa is only one of about 60 ancient Maya sites found on the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.
At the La Milpa Field Station, we will be totally immersed in the moist tropical forests of northwestern Belize. Imagine…waking up every morning to the calls of Toucan and Trogons in your charmingly rustic and very comfortable cabana. Our Belizean Maya adventure trail will take us to the famed second and third largest ancient Maya cities of Lamanai and La Milpa, where the incredibly diverse habitats surrounding these sites provide unparalleled birding and nature observation opportunities. Bird species often found at these fascinating ancient Maya cities are: Blue Crowned Mot Mot, Red Capped Manikin, Ocellated Turkey, White Collared Manikin, Keel-billed Toucan, Violaceous Trogan and Ivory Billed Woodcreeper. From La Milpa Field Station, we will also explore the wilds of the forests on nature walks and experience the rich Mestizo culture of northern Belize in the village of August Pine Ridge.
Our Belizean Maya adventure trail will take us from northern Belize to Mountain Pine Ridge in western Belize, where the majestic 3,675-foot Maya Mountain range provides magnificent vistas. The Mountain Pine Ridge is a 300 square mile forest reserve replete with small streams, waterfalls and an impressive avifauna. From our base at the spectacularly located and luxurious Five Sisters Lodge, we will walk in the footsteps of the ancient Maya by visiting Belize’s largest ancient Maya city of Caracol, nestled deep in the broad-leaf forest of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.
Caracol is the largest known Maya site in Belize. Caracol’s largest pyramid, which we will climb to experience a stunning panoramic view of Belize western frontier, rises to 145 feet. In 1986, a round elaborately carved alter stone was uncovered, the markings of which were interpreted as a claim to victory by Caracol over Tikal, once considered to be the most powerful Maya metropolis. Caracol is an excellent lookout site for bird, and raptors in particular. Here, we will search for Black and white Hawk Eagle, Double Tooth Kite, Collared Trogan, and Keel-billed Mot Mot.
Our adventure in Mountain Pine Ridge will also include a visit the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch as well as the spectacular Thousand Foot Falls where we will be able to catch an Orange Breasted Falcon pair that has nested here for many years. We’ll also walk through the beautiful Rio Frio Caves and cool down with a refreshing swim in the Rio On Pools.
Our Maya adventure trail will wind down in the frontier-like town of San Ignacio, cradled in a picturesque valley between the Macal and Mopan Rivers in western Belize. From the Chaa Creek Jungle Resort and Spa, we will have an opportunity to spend the afternoon relaxing and winding down. Our afternoon activities include either a visit to the Chaa Creek’s Natural History Center and Museum or a nature walk on the Panti Medicinal Trail or swimming.
After breakfast on day eight, you will be transferred to Belize City’s Philip Goldson International Airport for departure.