2024 Westgate Belize Conservation Expedition

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2024 Westgate Belize Conservation Expedition! We have created two webpages dedicated to this trip. The Pre-Enrollment page is meant to share exciting details, highlights and pertinent info that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page, is meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for a once in a lifetime experience in Belize!
Travel Dates: May 11, 2024 - May 20, 2024
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,690 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $794

Tuition Calculator

There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan.  Follow whichever works best for your family. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.

Program Tuition: $3,690

Pay in Full

$3,690.00

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All prices in United States Dollars.

Belize Conservation Expedition

Balanced on the geographical and cultural border between the Caribbean and Central American regions, Belize is a small and often overlooked country that nonetheless harbors 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.

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions

Conservation Expeditions bring travelers to the heart of the modern-day conservation movement. Whether building nurseries for sea turtle hatchlings in Costa Rica, snorkeling alongside sea lions in the Galapagos or teaching local school children in Thailand about the importance of wild elephants to their ecosystem, these trips make the wonders of our world, and our responsibility to protect them, abundantly apparent.

Program Highlights


Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!

Have the adventure of a lifetime with your friends

Volunteer at ECOMAR Field Station

Visit Green Iguana Conservation and Rehabilitation Center

Survey underwater manatees and sea turtles at Drowned Cayes

Kayak in the rainforest with Maya guides

Enjoy guided jungle flora and fauna walks through ancient Mayan cities

The Itinerary


We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
May 11USA - St. George's CayeArrive in Belize and transfer to Belize City to get fitted for snorkeling equipment if needed. Depart Belize City and transfer to St Georges Caye. Participate in orientation to St George's Caye Field Station and settle in. If time permits we will do a snorkel checkout at the Sand Bar, a shallow sandy area with seagrass and associated marine life. All meals will take place at the field station or between sessions in the field. In the evening we'll learn more about our study area and subjects from knowledgeable researchers.ECOMAR Research Station
May 12St. George's CayeThe next three days will be spent building in-water survey skills and assisting researchers in collecting data on coral reef health, commercial fishery species, and megafauna. We will visit the different areas important to a healthy coral reef ecosystem including the coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests. The group will participate in the Belize Barrier Reef Watch program and submit reports on their observations. We may encounter one of the three species of sea turtles: green, hawksbill and loggerhead; or endangered Anitllean manatees or bottlenose dolphins. We will participate in a minimium of two activities each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Between activities we'll return to the island for lunch, or get a pack lunch to go. Evening and morning presentations will be delivered prior to each activity in order to prepare participants for the upcoming day. Kayaks are available to use early in the morning or at the end of the day. One day we will schedule a guided tour of Historic St George's Caye and do a beach clean-up, and visit with local fishers. Which activities are done each day will be decided on site based on the weather, ocean conditions, and group preferences. ECOMAR Research Station
May 13St. George's CayeToday we will be working on building in-water survey skills and assisting researchers in collecting data on coral reef health, commercial fishery species, and megafauna. We will visit the different areas important to a healthy coral reef ecosystem including the coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests.ECOMAR Research Station
May 14St. George's CayeFieldwork continues by surveying and assisting researchers in collecting data on coral reef health, commercial fishery species, and megafauna. We will visit the different areas important to a healthy coral reef ecosystem including the coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests.ECOMAR Research Station
May 15St. George's CayeWe will be away from the island all day and visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of Belize's first marine protected areas that supports large schools of fish and large fish. The diversity of fish at Hol Chan makes it a great place to do fish surveys and or take pictures. Our next stop will be a spot where local fishers clean their catch where we will have lunch on the boat. The next snorkel will be at Shark Ray Alley, known for the abundant nurse sharks and southern stingrays. At the end of the day we will make a quick stop at Caye Caulker for ice cream or souvenir shopping.ECOMAR Research Station
May 16St. George's Caye - San IgnacioIn 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.Cahal Pech Village Resort
May 17San IgnacioToday we'll drive through Belize's western rainforest 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.Cahal Pech Village Resort
May 18San IgnacioIn the morning we'll hike 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.Cahal Pech Village Resort
May 19San IgnacioToday we will embark on an adventure at the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, where we will journey through prehistoric caves and a gentle jungle river. After a drive and a hike, you'll enter the cave system with your gear. As you float on the river, you'll pass through two cave passages, learning about the geology, ancient history, and Mayan culture of the area. There's a chance to take a break, swim, and admire the cave formations before heading through the last, most active cave passage. After lunch, we will head back to our accommodation and have a time to relax and have dinner.Cahal Pech Village Resort
May 20San Ignacio - Belize City - USAAfter breakfast we head back to Belize City for our flight home.Your own bed!

Accommodations


In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
ECOMAR Research Station

Founded in 2009, the St. George’s Caye Research Station & Field School supports archaeological and marine research for visiting professors and their students. The facilities at ECOMAR are based on traditional Creole colonial architectural styles, students will share screened-in dorm rooms with bunk beds and private bathrooms. As water conservation is a integral part of island life, power is generated each night, and hot water and air conditioning are not available. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Cahal Pech

Cahal Pech offers a beautiful setting in San Ignacio town. Rooms include hand-crafted pieces made of Belize hardwoods, two double beds, a writing table, private, screened veranda with deck chairs and a hammock. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the facilities to keep everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Safety and Support


 EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
EXPERT LEADERSHIP
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING
ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING

I was comfortable that the trip my daughter was on was safe, educational, interesting and fun. She made life long friends with her host sister. An exceptional life learning experience.

Carolyn
Parent of Alicia, Traveler on 2018 Program to Chile

Your Adventure Includes

Estimated Airfare

In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel. 

Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.

 

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Resource center

Resource Center

Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.

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