In November 2019 I visited Central America with trips to Guatemala, México, and Belize. The trip concentrated on Ancient Civilizations and bird watching. This is the description of the Belize part of the trip Belize is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The Belize part of the trip was organized by Belize Travel Adventures. Everything worked out well.
In Belize I saw several Maya sites, with Caracol being the largest. See the pre-Columbian Timeline.
Bird watching was fantastic. Throughout my stay in Belize I had real bird experts as guides, which made for a great experience. Up to now, Belize is the country in which I took pictures of the most bird species (154 species), as well as the most species overall (216 species).
One negative side of Belize is the fact that all the sites that I visited are reached on dirt roads, some of them very bad dirt roads.
I flew into Belize City from Flores in Guatemala on a small commuter plane. My new guide from the Black Rock Lodge picked me up at the airport, and we started bird watching immediately. The drive from the airport to the Black Rock Lodge normally takes 2 to 2.5 hours. With bird watching it took us over 6 hours, and I got pictures of about 60 bird species just during that drive.
The Black Rock Lodge is located in the mountains, close to the border with Guatemala in the western part of Belize. It is at the end of a 16 km (10 miles) dirt road. The location means that every excursion from the Black Rock Lodge starts and ends with a 16 km (10 miles) drive over a dirt road. I stayed for five nights at the Black Rock Lodge. It is a very nice lodge with spacious cabins.
One afternoon I got quite a surprise when I returned to the cabin: A troop of army ants had invaded the cabin. I informed the reception, but they were not concerned. They said that more then likely they will all be gone in less than an hour. Sure enough, when I came back an hour later, they were all gone.
On the first full day in the Black Rock Lodge I visited Caracol, the largest Maya site in Belize. You reach Caracol at the end of a 37 mile dirt road, I thought it would never end. However, the drive is quite scenic and we did quite a lot of birding during the drive. Caracol is an impressive site, worth visiting. The huge pyramid Caana (Sky Place) in Caracol is the highest Maya pyramid in Belize with a height of 43 m (141 ft).
The next day I visited Xunantunich, a medium sized Maya site, and Cahal Pech, one of the smallest Maya sites.
The third day was dedicated to bird watching. At one of the bird watching sites the mosquitos were ravenous for our blood, it was quite uncomfortable. On top of that, it was about noon, so bird watching was not very productive. We cut the visit to that birding site short. In the afternoon I visited a butterfly and hummingbird farm. I saw lots of hummingbirds flying around their feeder.
On the fourth day I visited the Che Chem Ha cave. You reach if after a one hour hike down into a valley and then back up on the other side. It contains several dozen Maya pots, some quite large. The afternoon was again dedicated to bird watching.
From the Black Rock Lodge I transferred to the Black Orchid Resort. It is located in the eastern parts of Belize in the lowlands. I stayed at the Black Orchid Resort for three nights. All the excursions from there were combined with bird watching.
On the first day in the Black Orchid Resort I visited the Maya site Lamanai. It is reached by a one-hour boat ride. It has some very nice Maya pyramids. A small museum provides information about the Maya culture.
On the second day I visited the Crooked Tree bird watching site, an excursion on a boat for a couple of hours. In the afternoon I visited the Altun Ha Maya site.
On the next day I flew to México for the continuation of my trip in México.
Following are links to various pages with pictures:
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
The total number of pictures online on my website from Belize is 419, the total number of video clips is 3
Page last updated on Tue May 25 11:14:06 2021 (Mountain Standard Time)
Belize - Great Bird Watching, Nice Maya Sites on gei.aerobaticsweb.org