Balanced on the geographical and cultural border between the Caribbean and Central American regions, Belize is a small and often overlooked country that nonetheless boasts its own unique mix of both worlds. The thick jungles of the western districts are some of the most pristine in all of Central America, which not only harbor a wide array of wildlife but also hide the secrets of old, fallen empires buried under centuries of tropical growth. Beyond the lush forests, Belize’s relatively small coast hosts the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere. The clear blue waters and white sand beaches make it a tropical paradise unlike any other!
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Walking Tree Travel specializes in customized group travel. The itinerary below is from a recent program and is provided here as an example of just one of many experiences that are possible in this destination.
Arrive in Belize and travel directly to the ECOMAR field station on St. George's Caye, where we will settle in, meet the researchers and staff, then have lunch and receive an orientation on the biological fieldwork with which we will be assisting. In the afternoon, we will visit Swallow Caye Marine Reserve and snorkel at North Gallows.
Morning and afternoon activities will focus on underwater manatee, dolphin, and sea turtle surveys in the Drowned Cayes. All meals will take place at the field station or between sessions in the field. In the evening we'll process our data, and learn more about our study area and subjects from knowledgeable researchers.
Our morning activity will be conch abundance surveys. The afternoon will feature potential beach cleanup or more snorkeling near St. George's Caye, followed by a home visit to local lobster fisherman. An evening lecture on history of St. George's Caye wraps up the day.
Today we'll continue monitoring of local coral reefs, or conduct spot surveys of manatees and/or dolphins.
Fieldwork continues as we survey for sea turtles, conchs, and or manatees.
Fieldwork continues by surveying underwater for sea turtles and manatees. We will later visit Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Channel & Snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, snorkeling with sharks, rays, and even turtles if we are lucky! In the evening our group will hear a lecture on coral reef and barrier island ecology.
In the morning we'll say goodbye to our friends at ECOMAR and take a boat back to the mainland. We'll then visit the famous Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, where we will learn about a variety of terrestrial Belizean wildlife and the roles they play in their respective ecosystems. We'll settle in to our accommodations in Belize's Cayo District and enjoy some late-afternoon canoeing if time allows.
Today we'll drive through Belize's western rainforests to Caracol, an ancient Maya metropolis situated near the Guatemalan border. We'll stop at caves and natural pools along the way where we can learn firsthand about western Belize's unique geological past.
In the morning we'll trek through forest trails in search of Belize's native birds and other unique fauna and flora. We'll then hike to a waterfall in the forest to visit a Green Iguana conservation center, and finish the day at Mayan Ruins that overlook the town of San Ignacio. We'll have dinner in San Ignacio, followed by a structured reflection and group activity before bed.
Depending on the flight time, we will leave the Cayo District in the morning and visit a howler monkey sanctuary, where we have the chance to get up close and personal with these protected species and learn from local experts about the long-running, community-based conservation project that is protecting them. We'll grab a final lunch together, then board our flight home!
Science Teacher, Georgia
"My favorite activity was the research component because, as the instructor, it was my focus of the trip. I was incredibly happy with how the research piece went. Oscar and his staff were incredibly helpful and generous. Several of my students reported back that they are considering research internships during college and hope to pursue field ecology as a career. I believe that everyone that participated in this experience has a better understanding of science and a deeper appreciation for nature."
All-Inclusive Program Tuition
$2,990 + International Flight
Program Types in this Destination
Service AdventuresConservation ExpeditionsCultural Journeys
Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary above?
Plan your own customized trip today!
Program Tuition Includes
Global Leadership Activities
Walking Tree Travel has developed tools that will help our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame the group’s experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively on our programs now and on their own into the future. Our activities also encourage students to take initiative as leaders in their local communities to make a difference at an immediate level, helping them to understand the impact they can have when they combine cultural understanding with personal and social responsibility.