Wildlife | Trip Description | Trip Itinerary | Cost | Sign Up |
Frogs & Toads of Belize | Learn about our Belize conservation work |
Professional Development for Students and Teachers | Forms |
Frequently Asked Questions
Please direct questions to Michael Starkey:
You are cordially invited to join SAVE THE FROGS! on a 10-day eco-tour of Belize in July 2013! Belize is a wonderful little country located east of Guatemala and nestled beneath the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. Like many countries in Central America, Belize is a hotspot of biodiversity. Belize is home to 37 amphibian species, as well as an array of bats, birds, lizards, corals and other amazing wildlife.
The trip will be led by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger; SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey; and Sacramento City College Professor David Wyatt -- who has been leading Belize eco-tours for 7 years! We will also be accompanied by Mayan naturalists and field guides. Group size is limited to 19 participants.
From birds to bats to bugs, we can expect to see many different species of animals on this expedition to Belize. With nearly 600 species of birds in Belize, it is no wonder that bird-watching is such a common activity! We will have the chance to see magnificent species like Keel-billed Toucans, Black-headed Trogans, and Blue-crowned Motmots. Mammals are much rarer to see, but we have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some amazing charismatic megafauna such as the jaguar and the Baird's Tapir at the Belize Zoo. In the field, we will hear the marvelous roar of the Howler Monkey, see basilisk lizards darting across our path, and we will see occasional animal tracks. When we go out into the forest at night, we may see many/fascinating creatures, like the kinkajou, sleeping iguanas, and of course the exceptionally cool Frogs of Belize! When we leave the forest and get out to the island, the diversity of marine life is incredible: Belize has the second largest barrier reef on the planet. Out on the reef, brilliantly colored corals and large schools of fish are common sights.
Our adventure in Belize begins when we meet at the International Airport to the north of Belize City on July 11th, 2013. We will be picked up and taken to our lodging facilities at the Tropical Education Center. We will spend two nights at this field station/ecolodge in the savanna/pine forest habitat.
During the second day we’ll visit the ancient Maya city of Xunantunich and during the evening we will have a private night tour of the Belize Zoo.
Our third, fourth, and fifth days (and nights) will be in the tropical rainforest of southern Belize alongside a remarkably beautiful stream appropriately called Blue Creek. We are near the Kekchi and Mopan Maya village of Blue Creek Village and we will have various opportunities to interact with the village residents. Numerous guided hikes to explore the surrounding rainforest are included. These hikes range from a hike to find wild iguanas, exploring a large cave system, night excursions to see nocturnal denizens of the forest, and other options as well as the opportunity to simply relax and/or birdwatch from the field station dock. Lodging will be in the rustic cabins at the Blue Creek Field Station.
On our sixth day in Belize, We will leave the Blue Creek Station and go about 45 minutes north to the ancient ruins of the Classic Maya city of Lubantuun. After a short guided hike at this site, we’ll be picked up and taken to the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S) in the Maya Mountains of central Belize. We will spend these two days and nights exploring the tropical rainforest in this mountainous region. Hikes will be guided by your host guides as well as local Belizean guides.
On our 8th day in Belize, we’ll leave T.R.E.E.S in the morning and continue our journey to Dangriga where we’ll have a special catered lunch of local foods. After our lunch, we are taken to a dock to board a boat to South Water Caye. South Water Caye is a coconut palm-covered island of coral sands and is located right on top of the barrier reef. Numerous snorkeling opportunities exist here and we’ll be regularly snorkeling on the reef and we are planning to visit one or two of the nearby islands. Lodging and meals are in the dorm-style housing at International Zoological Expedition’s ecolodge with an upgrade option to double-occupancy cabanas available for a nominal cost. We will stay at South Water Caye for three days and two nights.
Our last day in Belize: after breakfast at South Water Caye, we will board a boat for transport back to Dangriga. On the way back to the mainland, we may have the opportunity to stop at Man-o-War Caye to look at a nesting island of Brown Boobies and Magnificent Frigate Birds. After reaching the dock in Dangriga, we’ll head towards the airport to catch our flights. If everyone on the trip has late afternoon flights, then we’ll be able to stop for lunch (our own individual cost).
July 11th, 2013 – We will meet at the Belize City airport (BZE) at 4pm. From there we will head to the Tropical Education Center (TEC). Lodging and dinner at TEC.
July 12th, 2013 – After breakfast at TEC we're picked up by charter bus to go to Xunantunich. We'll have a packed lunch and in the afternoon return to the TEC. After dinner, we have a guided private night tour of the Belize Zoo. Lodging is at TEC.
July 13th, 2013 – After breakfast, we depart TEC and go by charter bus and we will be taken to Blue Creek (about five hours away). The Blue Creek Station is operated by International Zoological Expeditions and is located in the tropical rainforest of southern Belize. We will have dinner and a guided night hike the first night.
July 14th, 2013 – Various guided hikes are available during the day. All meals and lodging is provided at Blue Creek Station.
July 15th, 2013 – Various guided hikes are available during the day. All meals and lodging is provided at Blue Creek Station.
July 16th, 2013 – After breakfast at Blue Creek, a bus picks us up and takes us to the Mayan ruins of Lubantuun. After a short guided hike we hop back on the bus and travel to the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S.) in the Maya Mountains. We will have various guided hikes into the rainforest. All lodging and meals at the ecolodge.
July 17th, 2013 – Guided hikes in the forest. Lodging and meals provided by the TREES Ecolodge.
July 18th, 2013 – After breakfast, we depart TREES and we head to the coast! A charter bus will take us to Dangriga where we will board a boat that takes us to South Water Caye, a beautiful 14-acre island. Dinner and lodging at International Zoological Expedition's ecolodge.
July 19th, 2013 – Various guided and self activities along the barrier reef. All meals and lodging on South Water Caye.
July 20th, 2013 – After breakfast, we board the boats and head to Dangriga. We may have the opportunity to see the Magnificent Frigate Bird and Brown Booby nesting colony at Man-o-War Caye on the way to Dangriga. From Dangriga, a charter bus will pick us up and take us to the airport. We will arrive at the airport by 12pm. Depending upon flight times, we may stop at a restaurant for lunch (the meal cost is not covered by the trip cost).
We will be hiking on narrow trails, so all participants must be in good physical condition and able to navigate trails. Please note also that Belize is a tropical country where air conditioning is rare (ocean breezes however are plentiful!).
The trip fees include all lodging, transportation, world-class tour guides and their scientific expertise, tips, and all but two meals and airfare. The trip fees are as follows:
EARLY-BIRD REGISTRATION (through February 28th, 2013)
USD $2,095 for current SAVE THE FROGS! members.
USD $2,195 for the general public.
STANDARD REGISTRATION (March 1st, 2013 or later)
USD $2,195 for current SAVE THE FROGS! members.
USD $2,295 for the general public.
You can become a SAVE THE FROGS! member here. All proceeds support SAVE THE FROGS! worldwide amphibian conservation efforts, enabling us to protect amphibians and promote a society that respects and appreciates wildlife and nature. A portion of these proceeds will go directly to our ongoing Belize conservation efforts.
A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot on the trip. Full payment is due by May 11th, 2013. Failure to pay in full by May 11th, 2013 may result in forfeiture of your deposit money and your space on the eco-tour. You will be required to pay your own airfare to Belize (estimated at $600-$900 roundtrip from the USA).
If you are interested in this trip, please call us at 831-621-6215 or email Michael Starkey at email@example.com so we can get you registered for this amazing adventure! In order to take part on this trip, you will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging the inherent risks of ecotourism in Belize, and legally releasing SAVE THE FROGS! and affiliated trip operators and personnel from legal damages and consequences. Please do not apply unless you understand this and the implications. That being said, we strive for a safe trip!
You must notify us directly if you need to cancel your trip. If you need to cancel your trip, contact Michael Starkey at:
The amount of your refund is determined by the date that you notify SAVE THE FROGS! of your cancellation:
-- If you cancel after June 11th, you forfeit your entire trip fee.
-- If you cancel between May 11th and June 11th, you will receive 50% of trip fee.
-- If you cancel prior to May11th, your entire trip will be refunded, minus your deposit, as deposits are non-refundable.
SAVE THE FROGS! regrets that it cannot make exceptions to the reservation and cancellation policy for any reason, including personal emergencies. The reservation and cancellation policy applies to all reservations.
You may want to consider purchasing travel insurance from a third party, so that if an issue arises (such as health or family concerns), then your travel insurance could likely provide you compensation.
Learn about Belize's frogs and our efforts there at: www.savethefrogs.com/belize
Teachers seeking to fulfill professional development or continuing education requirements can claim this trip as a tax-deduction. Please let us know if you have any questions. Students seeking to receive university credit may be able to acquire credit through your university's internship program; if you are interested in this option, please contact us. Students wishing to receive SAVE THE FROGS! Academy credit as part of this expedition should also contact us.
Even if you cannot join us in July 2013, you can still help save Belize's wildlife: please make a tax-deductible donation to help us SAVE BELIZE'S FROGS! Then just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask us to direct it towards our Belize efforts. Thanks! (Note: this is not the place to register for the trip!)
-- What should I bring?
We have prepared a list of recommended items to bring with you to Belize. Please review our packing list here.
-- Which airport do I fly into?
We will be meeting at Belize City (BZE) on July 11th, 2013 at 4pm, so be sure to arrive by then. On July 20th, we will arrive at the airport at 12pm, so schedule your departure flight accordingly.
-- Do I need a visa?
No visa is required for citizens of the United States.
-- What level of physical fitness is required?
Most hikes are considered easy to moderate. Guided hikes should be expected to last 2-4 hours. We will travel slow on the trails so that we will have a better chance of viewing wildlife. It is important to know that the trails may be slippery and muddy, so having good footing and closed-toes shoes are essential! For the adventurous explorers there will be two strenuous hikes that you will have the option of taking. These hikes will be on steep slopes and can last 5-6 hours. The best part about your experience in Belize is that there is no time to be bored! While we do have scheduled activities planned for you, there will be times where you will have multiple choices about what you will want to do with your time. Would you prefer to go on a morning jungle hike or birdwatch from a hammock on your balcony? The choice is yours!
Some featured activities:
--Waterfall Hike (1/2 day, strenuous!)
--Swimming in rainforest streams and rivers
--Birding Walk (starts early!)
--Night Walk (to find amphibians and other wildlife)
--Maya Culture Experience
-- What if I plan to stay in Belize after the Eco-Tour?
On the final day our vehicle can make a stop at a taxi terminal that can get you to your next destination. A taxi to the bus terminal should cost about $5. To inquire about hotel lodging in Belize City or if you have general questions about traveling in Belize, please contact Michael Starkey at: email@example.com
-- What is the exchange rate in Belize?
$1 US = ~$2 BZE. US currency is accepted all over Belize.
-- What vaccinations/medications do I need for Belize?
It is important to be properly vaccinated when traveling to Central America. For specific information about what vaccinations or medications you may need, please visit the Center for Disease Control's website. We do not expect any problem with rabies, the shots of which can be expensive; that being said it is best to seek a doctor's advice in this regard.
For more information, please contact SAVE THE FROGS’ Advisory Committee Chairman Michael Starkey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 1-877-75-FROGS.