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Birders love Belize, and so do people who hope to see jaguars. You may not be a birder, yet, but a good guide can help you discover the fun of noticing birds in a whole new way.

With more than twenty years of experience booking reservations at Chan Chich Lodge and other resorts in Belize, I can recommend these resorts from first-hand experience. These resorts are the best in Belize, due to the quality of accommodations, attention to guests, and unique setting. I am happy to help you develop an individualized itinerary, to make your dream vacation a reality. I will arrange your in-country transfers, by air charter, scheduled flights or driver.

BIRDING: Belize offers wonderful diversity of birds and mammals. Chan Chich Lodge and Lamanai Outpost Lodge are well known among birders for the exceptional birding found there. The habitat at the two resorts is slightly different, with more shore birds found at Lamanai. Chan Chich is known as the likely place to see one of the 5 cats to be found in Belize (margay, jagurundi, ocelot, puma and jaguar, in increasing order of size): the chances are good but no guarantees. You will hear howler monkeys at both places. Both lodges have experienced guides who know where and when to locate the birds you want to find. If you have a week in Belize and this is your interest, I suggest you combine a visit to these two resorts, with a trip on the New River included as part of the transfer in or out.

CAYO district: I highly recommend spending a few days in the Cayo district at one of several very fine jungle lodges. Relaxation and adventure can be found at any of these remote locations, whether perched above the twisty Macal River or further east in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Stay at a place where you can explore on-site by canoe, hiking or on bikes. When you are curious for more adventure, the Cayo district has plenty of options: Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, Xunantunich, Caracol, the Inland Blue Hole, river cave tubing, zip-lining, or exploring the Mountain Pine Ridge area. The Cayo district is also the place to take a side trip to Guatemala to see Tikal.

A personal favorite is Black Rock Lodge on the Macal River, which offers many adventure activities including tubing, canoeing and hikes to see Scarlet Macaws. Further up the river, Table Rock Lodge offers the privacy of a jungle setting, not far their own farm of orange groves and fledgling mahogany forest, and close to the community village of Cristo Rey and town of San Ignacio.

Chaa Creek Cottages and Blanacaneaux are both wonderful spots with access to Mayan ruins in Belize as well as offering trips to Tikal in Guatemala.  In the nearby Mountain Pine Ridge area, Hidden Valley Inn is set in a large nature preserve with amazing wildlife, waterfalls and scenic vistas. Also in this area is Gaia Riverlodge a small and romantic resort now operated by the same quality team as Mata Chica on San Pedro.

JUNGLE & REEF: Visitors to Belize often combine several days in the jungle with time on the coast to visit Belize’s beautiful barrier reef. I suggest Ambergris Caye if you enjoy having easy access to the small town of San Pedro. Victoria House is a complete resort with restaurant, bar, two swimming pools and a dive shop on their dock. Caribbean Villas offers accommodation with kitchen/living/dining areas. They also have a wonderful birding sanctuary with a birding tower. Further from town and accessed by water taxi, Mata Chica is as pretty as a postcard, with cabanas right on the beach, a hot tub outside the bar, and a great restaurant.

Further south on the coast, I suggest Jaguar Reef Lodge or Hamanasi just south of Dangriga. The Turtle Inn in Placencia is a stunning resort with a very good restaurant. Singing Sands Resort is a new find that I am very happy to be representing. All lodges offer comfortable accommodation, their own dining rooms, diving and snorkeling. These resorts are located on the beach with the beautiful Maya mountains as a backdrop.

In the Punta Gordo area, Cotton Tree Lodge offers not only a beautiful setting (high on a bluff above the Moho River), a range of adventure and excursion opportunities (birding, cave swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, as well as chocolate and tortilla making, to name a few), but also brings a heaping dose of Mayan and Belizean culture to the experience.

If you need to stay overnight in Belize City (or need a home base for day trips in the vicinity), I suggest The Great House, a small inn in the historical Fort George area. They offer comfortable rooms, modern amenities and a knowledgeable staff.

Please contact me for details on costs and availability and I will be happy to create a custom trip based upon your interests.

Emily Meegan, Belize Travel Planners     508-645-8006