Chaa Creek Wants More People To Know That Belize Is Seriously For The…

Chaa Creek Wants More People To Know That Belize Is Seriously For The…

A beautiful Macaw parrot in a Belize jungle setting

Belize is home to some of the most striking, colourful birds on the planet

In Belize we were amazed by the beauty, variety, and sheer numbers of birds.

After years of welcoming birding organisations, researchers, professional and serious birders, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is now offering a range of birding tours, excursions, and even an all-inclusive Belize Birding Vacation Package aimed at promoting birding in Belize.

The goal, the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners say, is to share the excitement of Belizean birding with a greatest and most varied number of people – from birding novices to ornithologists.

Chaa Creek founding owners, Mick and Lucy Fleming, said their own love affair with the birds of Belize is behind the push to promote birding in the little Caribbean Central American country.

“When we first arrived in Belize we were amazed by the beauty, variety, and sheer numbers of birds we were suddenly surrounded with. And then we were fortunate to host a major birding project that really opened our eyes to how extraordinarily rich and diverse Belize’s bird population is.

“Now we want to share that by opening birding in Belize to the greatest number of people; from the curious novice to the experienced ornithologist. We also wanted to offer a wide range of birding experiences, so birding in Belize wouldn’t be limited by factors such as age, fitness or budgets. We want families, couples, and groups to be able to discover and share in this amazing pastime,” Ms. Fleming explained.

This is what prompted the creation of Chaa Creek’s new “Belize Avian Adventures,” a collection of birding experiences ranging from early morning bird identification walks, onsite and offsite tours, daylong excursions and all-inclusive Birding in Belize vacation packages, she added.

All Chaa Creek guests are invited to enjoy the early morning bird walks during which, in the company of a licensed naturalist guide, they learn about the rainforest environment while identifying some of the birds that inhabit it.

Other tours now on offer include hikes to observe the species that live in the jungle canopy, a Birds of The Bush all terrain vehicle and hiking excursion, canoeing on the Macal River Birding Tour to identify riverine and aquatic species, a Belize Rainforest Raptor Discovery, focussing on birds of prey, a Town and Country tour to identify Belize’s surprisingly rich urban avian life, and the full, all day Birds of Belize’s Wild West excursion that takes guests to scenic birding locations that include ancient Maya temple and archaeological sites throughout the Cayo District.

Ms. Fleming said for those visitors looking for an immersive birding experience combined with an eco-luxe Belize vacation, there are now three, four, and five-day all-inclusive Belize birding vacations.

Chaa Creek’s Birds of Belize – An Avian Adventure, is an all-inclusive Belize vacation package that blends birding with a complete Belizean vacation, she explained.

“From the moment we collect our guests at Belize’s international airport until we drop them back off, everything is taken care of, with accommodation, all meals, activities, taxes and even staff gratuities included. Guests can concentrate on the birds and enjoying themselves while we take care of the everything else,” Ms. Fleming said.

The three, four and five night packages all include lodgings in Chaa Creek’s signature Cottage Collection, with breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the onsite Mariposa Restaurant. The package price also covers all transfers, guided tours of the Belize Natural History Museum, Butterfly Farm, Maya Medicinal Plant Trail, canoeing the Macal River, a jungle safari aboard an all terrain vehicle, complete access to Chaa Creek’s 400-acre private nature reserve, and more.

Depending on the length of stay, packages also include onsite and offsite birding tours.

Brion Young, of Chaa Creek’s Belize Natural History Museum, said the range of tours was developed to ensure that anyone could participate in birding.

“From pleasant strolls to more ambitious walks, canoeing, riding through jungle trails on all terrain vehicles, even driving through San Ignacio Town looking at urban species, and for the simply curious to really proficient birders and ornithologists, there literally is a birding tour for everyone.

“And with a selection of accommodation ranging from the budget-friendly Macal River Camp, the Cottage Collection, a range of suites and villas up to the luxurious Tree Top and Ix Chel Villas, guests can choose lodgings that best suit their needs and budgets.”

Mr. Young said flexibility was another attraction of birding.

“There are so many ways to get involved, and so many levels. A bird field guide, notepad and inexpensive pair of binoculars, and you’re good to go. There are also various apps that you can download on a tablet or smart phone as well.

“Then again, we have guests carrying thousands of dollars in in spotting scopes, high-end telescopes, zoom lenses for cameras and other gear, but whichever way you go, and from basic to the most high-end, everyone seems to enjoy themselves equally, and that’s one of the many things I love about birding,” he said.

Mr. Young is not alone.

Birding is considered one of the fastest growing pastimes in the world, and in the US has outstripped golf and fishing in popularity. According to the 2009 US census, 24 million Americans played basketball, 23 million baseball, 9 million American football, with 60 million identifying as birdwatchers. And that number has surely increased since then – just as “birdwatchers” now identify as birders.

And according to a 2011 US Fish and Wildlife Service survey, birding expenditures generated some US$41 billion in revenue.

Ms. Fleming said those figures don’t surprise her.

“Once you get a taste for birding, and start really noticing birds – their beautiful plumage, songs, habits, nests and the way they interact with each other, it’s hard not to get hooked.

“And when you have someone explain the role birds play in the environment, you get a fresh perspective on the natural world, and an appreciation for how elegantly structured it is.

“The writer Stephen King said, ‘Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild.’

“Birding lets us get close to birds without putting them in cages. To me, that’s one of the best reasons to take it up that I’ve heard,” Ms. Fleming said

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a multi-award winning eco resort set within a 400-acre private nature reserve along the banks of the Macal River in Belize. It was recognised by National Geographic with first place honours at the 2017 World Legacy Awards held in Berlin.

(Birds of Belize – An Avian Adventure is now available for bookings. Contact your travel agent or Chaa Creek directly to learn more)

Published at Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 +0000