2024 Westgate Belize Conservation Expedition
May 10, 2022 -
May 20, 2022
Dates are tentative until flights are secured
Airfare not included in program tuition
|Deadline(s):||Enrollment is open!|
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family.
Program Tuition: $3,590
Pay in Full
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 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.
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
We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group.
|1||USA - St. George's Caye||Today we will travel from the USA to Belize. Upon arrival we will 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 & snorkel at North Gallows.||ECOMAR Research Station|
|2||St. George's Caye||Morning and afternoon activities today will focus on underwater manatee 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 learn more about our study area and subjects from knowledgeable researchers.||ECOMAR Research Station|
|3||St. George's Caye||We will continue fieldwork surveying underwater for sea turtles and manatees. Later, we will visit the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve Channel & Snorkel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. In the evening our group will hear a lecture on coral reef and barrier island ecology.||ECOMAR Research Station|
|4||St. George's Caye||Fieldwork continues by surveying for commercially important fish species or other seasonal research initiatives. We will be kayaking through the mangroves in the afternoon, followed by an evening lecture on the role of conchs in local ecosystems, and/or community-based conservation and sustainable development in Mesoamerican Reefs.||ECOMAR Research Station|
|5||St. George's Caye||Our morning activity will focus on conch abundance surveys. The afternoon will feature potential beach cleanup or more snorkeling near St. George's Caye, followed by a visit to a local lobster fisherman's home. An evening lecture on history of St. George's Caye wraps up the day.||ECOMAR Research Station|
|6||St. George's Caye - San Ignacio||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.||Cahal Pech Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar|
|7||San Ignacio||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. Alternately, a day-visit to Tikal in Guatemala can be arranged.||Cahal Pech Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar|
|8||San Ignacio||In 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 activitiy before bed.||Cahal Pech Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar|
|9||San Ignacio||We'll spend our last full day in Belize exploring the Cayo District's extensive karstic cave systems by canoe or inner tube! We'll look for Mayan remnants in these caves, then return to Cristo Rey for our last afternoon in the rainforest.||Cahal Pech Lodge, Crystal Paradise Resort or similar|
|10||San Ignacio - Belize City - USA||Depending on the flight time, we will leave the Cayo District in the morning and visit the 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 connect onward to our international flight. ¡Hasta la próxima!||Home!|
In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.
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.
The Lodge at Big Falls
An intimate, family-run jungle resort on the banks of the Rio Grande. The lodge is made up of several palm-thatched cottages with modern amenities, including verandas where students can relax in hammocks between activities. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the premises keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their accommodations according to gender and availability.
In the jungles of Belize, these campsites are chosen for their spectacular setting and access to trails. Students will share a screened-in tent and are provided clean sleeping bags and mattress pads, the sites will also provide composting or flush toilets. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
During our trip in Costa Rica I loved that our trip leader took the students’ ideas and incorporated side adventures just for them. This small piece made the trip more than we could have ever asked for.
Alumni Group Organizer to Belize and Costa Rica
Your Adventure Includes
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: Premiere Travel insurance, baggage fees, airline minor fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
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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.