BIO 321 - Biology in Belize 

Sample Belize Itinerary and Information from a previous semester

This should give you a basic understanding of what to expect should you choose to participate in an upcoming Biology in Belize program. Current information can be requested of the program coordinator.

Day 1 – Tuesday 12 May (Arrival in Belize, Orientation, Health & Safety)
Arrive at Belize’s International Airport on Flight Dallas to Belize 1:00p – 2:50p American 2193.  MBay staff will meet and greet group, load up gear into the Monkey Bay bus for transfer to Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  Upon arrival at MBay, our staff will off-load gear while group takes a brief tour and orientation of the facilities.  Students settle into luxurious dorms.  Group leaders in rustic private rooms with shared bath in field station.  Enjoy your first Belizean dinner, followed by brief presentation on the History of Monkey Bay, Health and Safety issues to consider while in Belize.  Evening campfire and overnight at Monkey Bay.

Day 2 – Wednesday 13 May (Belize Zoo + Sibun river canoeing)
Breakfast at MBay.  9.00am departure to the Belize Zoo for guided tour where you will observe Belize’s unique animals in their natural surroundings.  Howler Monkey, Jaguar, Harpy Eagle, Scarlet Macaw, Tapir and Crocodile to name a few.  Return to MBay for lunch.  Depart 1:30 for afternoon canoe paddle down the Sibun River. 

Day 3 – Thursday 14 May  (Community Baboon Sanctuary)
Breakfast at MBay.  9.00am departure to the Community Baboon Sanctuary for guided excursion to see Black Howler Monkeys in the wild.  Begin with museum tour, trail hike through the community sanctuary ending at Bermudian Landing Village.  Here a traditional Creole lunch will be served under the shade of mango trees by Ms Edna and her family.  Return to Monkey Bay for afternoon swim in the Sibun River and afternoon volley ball game before dinner.  Evening campfire and overnight at Monkey Bay.  
          
Day 4 – Friday 15 May (San Ignacio Town & Xunantunich Maya Ruins)
Breakfast.  9.00am departure for 1 hour stop over in San Ignacio Town for cultural exchange, farmers markets.  Lunch hosted by a local modern Maya family living in Succotz Village where Xunantunich is located.  After lunch we will board the small hand cranked ferry to cross the Belize River, then a short walk direct to the Maya Ceremonial Centre of Xunantunich.  Here excavations of temples, ball court and residential complex reveal the lifestyle of Ancient Maya culture.  Our guide offers an interesting account of the Mayan History and Cultural in the early days. Climb to the top of El Castillo, over 90 meters above ground level for a long vista over the Belize River Valley into the neighboring country of Guatemala.  Return to Monkey Bay for dinner and overnight.

Day 5 – Saturday 16 May (Zip Line Canopy tour)
Breakfast.  9.00am depart for day excursion to Bak-a-Bush Canopy tour located along the Coastal Road in Karst Terrain.  Guided jungle tour from the aerial perspective, strapped into harness and helmet, we zip along five stations on this unique canopy tour.  Return to Monkey Bay for lunch and afternoon free time for library research, hammock time or hiking to swim in the river.  Dinner and last overnight at Monkey Bay.

Day 6 – Sunday 17 May (South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Tobacco Caye)
Breakfast at Monkey Bay.  Load up gear into Monkey Bay bus for transfer to Dangriga for water taxi to Tobacco Caye.  Meet Matthew Jasinski, marine environmental scientist to host your visit on the island.  Settle into cabana accommodations; meet for lunch followed by guided orientation tour of 5-acre island.  Then snorkeling etiquette practice from the shore to test gear and acclimate to sensitive, salt water environment.  Dinner and overnight at Tobacco Caye.

Day 7 – Monday 18 May (Guided boating tour to Smithsonian Marine Station tour, reef snorkeling)
After breakfast, gear up for a day of boating to explore the marine reserve, including a stop at Carrie Bow Caye to tour Smithsonian’s Western Caribbean Marine Research Station.  Picnic lunch on the beach at South Water Caye, and snorkeling stops in-between.  Dinner and overnight at Tobacco Caye.

Day 8 – Tuesday 19 May (Guided boating tour to mangrove lagoon, Bird Caye, reef channel)
Morning free time to explore island environs and half day boat tour to mangrove snorkeling lagoon, visit to Man-O-War Caye to observe nesting Frigate Birds and Brown-footed Boobies, and overboard to snorkel and dive in the deep water channel cut in the Barrier Reef.  Dinner and overnight at Tobacco Caye. 

Day 9 – Wednesday 20 May (Transfer to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary)
Transfer after breakfast to Dangriga and half hour bus ride to Cockscomb Basin.  Pitch camp and prepare lunch.  Afternoon orientation hike to explore extensive trail system at CBWS.  Dinner, night walk and overnight camping at Cockscomb. 

Day 10 & 11 – Thur & Fri,  21-22 May (All day hiking & exploring Cockscomb Basin trails and rivers)
Lots of trail hiking, birding, waterfalls, overviews and tubing on the river.  All meals, overnight camping at CBWS.

Day 12 – Saturday 23 May
Depart CBWS for Belize City; transfer via water taxi to Caye Caulker.  Settle into Sandy Lane Guest House & Cabanas.

Day 13 – Sunday 24 May
Leave at 10:30 am for a guided boat tour with Anwar Tours of Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley & San Pedro.  Return to Caye Caulker at 4:30 pm.

Day 14 – Monday 25 May
Leave 6 am from Anwar Tours, breakfast at Bomba, lunch at Lamanai, river tour, Lamanai tour, return 5 pm.

Day 15 – Tuesday 26 May
Leave 5:30 am from Frenchie's Dive shop, snack at dock, 2 hour boat ride, snorkel at Blue Hole, snorkel and see boobies & magnificent frigates at Half Moon Caye,  lunch at Half Moon Caye, snorkel at Long Caye, return 4:30 pm.

Day 16 – Wednesday 27 May
Depart Caye Caulker for Belize International Airport & the U.S.A.


2.  Flight Schedules
         May 12 – St. Louis to Dallas –  950a - 1140a American 1295 
         Dallas to Belize     100p – 250p   American 2193
         Please arrive at the airport by 7:50 am.
 
        May 27 – Belize to Miami -     225p – 625p  American 2104
        Miami to St. Louis   805p – 950p American 1811

3.  Emergency Contact Information
     a.  Days 1- 12 (May 12-23)
          Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
          P.O. Box 187
          Belmopan, Belize
          Central America
          Tel: 011-501-820-3032
          Fax: 011-501-822-3361
          Monkey Bay mbay@btl.net


    b.  Days 12-16 (May 12-27)
         Sea-ing is Belizing
         Dorothy Beveridge
         Caye Caulker
         Tel: 011-501-22-2189
         Dorothy bzvisuals@btl.net