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Save The Frogs Day: April 30th, 2016

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SAVE THE FROGS! Belize Eco-Tour

The Save The Frogs Eco-Tour to Belize has been put on hold and we will not have a 2016 trip. We hope to lead more amazing amphibious adventures to Belize in the future though so please email contact@savethefrogs.com and ask us to keep you notified of our next Belize ecotour.

Photos from the SAVE THE FROGS! 2013 Belize Ecotour
Photos from the SAVE THE FROGS! 2014 Belize Ecotour

Wildlife | Trip Description | Trip Itinerary | Cost | Sign Up |
Professional Development for Students and Teachers |
Frequently Asked Questions
| SAVE THE FROGS! Belize Homepage |
Frogs & Toads of Belize |

Please direct questions to SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour Leader Michael Starkey: starkey@savethefrogs.com

"I was there for the inaugural 2013 trip to Belize...GO! You absolutely will not regret it, and it could change your life too!"
-- STF! Belize Ecotour 2013 Participant Choti Singh

Introduction

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 at least 37 amphibian species, as well as an array of bats, birds, lizards, corals and other amazing wildlife. The SAVE THE FROGS! Belize Ecotour will be led by SAVE THE FROGS! Ecologist Michael Starkey, who has participated in, coordinated and led ecotours to Belize and Costa Rica for 5 years! We will also be accompanied by SAVE THE FROGS! Ecologist Kathlyn Franco, and Mayan naturalists and field guides. Group size is between 10 and 20 participants. Our SAVE THE FROGS! 2013 Ecotour, 2014 Ecotour, and 2015 Eco-tour were huge successes and we fully expect 2016 to be just as amazing. Please contact us if you want to join our 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour and have the time of your life!

"I did this trip in 2014...absolutely FABULOUS!!!!!!"
-- STF! Belize Eco-tour Participant Rebecca Buell

Save The Frogs Belize Ecotour

Leptodactylus fragilis - Michael Starkey

Wildlife you are likely to see in Belize

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 more 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 Yucatán black 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, we will swim among brilliantly colored corals and large schools of fish.

"The SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tours are a very powerful way to reach people. It is difficult to be distracted when you have the tangibles of nature and wildlife surrounding you."
-- STF! Belize Ecotour 2013 Participant Choti Singh

 

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Agalychnis callidryas Starkey

Trip Description

Our adventure in Belize begins when we meet at the International Airport (BZE) to the north of Belize City on July 7th, 2016. We will be picked up and taken to our lodging facilities at the Tropical Education Center (TEC). We will spend two nights at this field station/ecolodge in the tropical savanna pine forest habitat, where we will search for the famous and beautiful red-eyed tree frog. We will have the opportunity to observe many species of birds and likely see the endangered Morelet's crocodile. 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.

Tropical savannah

Agalychnis

Crocodile

Xunantunich

Our third and fourth 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 Blue Creek Village and we will have various opportunities to interact with the Kekchi and Mopan Maya residents. We will have the option to take guided hikes to explore the surrounding rainforest. We will visit a large cave system, waterfalls, and take night excursions to see nocturnal denizens of the forest. We will have plenty of opportunities to simply relax, swim, and/or birdwatch from the field station deck. Lodging will be in the rustic cabins at the International Zoological Expeditions Blue Creek Field Station.

Blue Creek

Blue Creek IZE

birding

On our fifth day in Belize, we will leave the Blue Creek Field Station and head to the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (TREES) in the Maya Mountains of central Belize. We will spend two days and nights exploring the tropical rainforest and swimming holes in this mountainous region. Hikes will be guided by SAVE THE FROGS! staff as well as local Belizean guides.

Blue Creek Belize

TREES Belize

backpackers

Jacobin

Lithobates juliani

On our 7th day in Belize, we'll leave TREES 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, a coconut palm covered island of coral sands 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. We will receive a tour of the Smithsonian's field station on nearby Carrie Bowe Caye and we will learn about the incredible research that is conducted out on the reef. Lodging and meals are in the dorm-style housing at International Zoological Expedition's ecolodge with an upgrade option to double-occupancy cabanas. We will stay at South Water Caye for four days and three nights.

Caribbean vacation

Patch Reef Whale Shoal

ray skate

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 Yellow-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate Birds. After reaching the dock in Dangriga, we'll head towards the airport to catch our flights.

Lithobates vaillanti

Here is our trip itinerary!

July 7th, 2016 – We will meet at the Belize City airport (BZE) by 4pm. From there we will head to the Tropical Education Center (TEC). Lodging and dinner at TEC.

July 8th, 2016 – 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 9th, 2016 – 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 10th, 2016 – Various guided hikes are available during the day. All meals and lodging is provided at Blue Creek Station.

July 11th, 2016 – After breakfast at Blue Creek, our bus takes us to the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (TREES) in the Maya Mountains. We will have various guided hikes into the rainforest. All lodging and meals at the ecolodge.

July 12th, 2016 – Guided hikes in the forest. Lodging and meals provided by the TREES Ecolodge.

July 13th, 2016 – 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 tropical island with white sand, blue water and lots of amazing marine life. Dinner and lodging at the International Zoological Expedition's ecolodge.

July 14th, 2016 - Various guided activities along the barrier reef and plenty of free time to relax and explore. All meals and lodging on South Water Caye.

July 15th, 2016 – Various guided activities along the barrier reef and plenty of free time to relax and explore. All meals and lodging on South Water Caye.

July 16th, 2016 – After breakfast, we board the boats and head to Dangriga. We may have the opportunity to see the Magnificent Frigate Bird and Yellow-footed 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.

Lithobates juliani

Is this trip for you?

The SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize is truly an incredible adventure into nature and therefore it is important to know that certain "creature comforts" will not be available. Belize is a tropical country where air conditioning is rare and the humidity is high. As we explore Belize, we will be hiking on narrow trails, so all participants must be in good physical condition and able to navigate trails. Some of the hikes are very steep, rocky, and/or muddy. Are you bothered by bugs? Being in a rainforest means that there are many creepy crawlies, including mosquitoes, flies, scorpions, and spiders. These species live in the forest and we respect that they do! Lastly, we are traveling to Belize during the wet season and rain is not uncommon. You should be prepared to potentially walk in the rain so you must bring appropriate clothing and protection for electronics. Despite such weather, the rain creates the perfect habitat for the frogs!

Dendropsophus

Ecotour Cost

Here are the 2016 Ecotour rates:

- $2,495 for non-members
- $2,395 for active SAVE THE FROGS! Members.
- $2,295 for full-time students who are SAVE THE FROGS! members

The ecotour fees includes all lodging, transportation, world-class tour guides and their scientific expertise, tips, and all meals. You are required to cover your costs of airfare, snacks, alcoholic beverages, porter fees at Blue Creek (if you want kids to carry your luggage to/from your room), souvenirs, and a departure tax when you leave the country.

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 June 7th, 2016. Failure to pay in full by June 6th, 2016 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).

Register for the SAVE THE FROGS 2016 Belize Eco-Tour!

If you are interested in this trip, please email Michael Starkey at starkey@savethefrogs.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!

Rana vaillanti

Cancellations and Refunds

You must notify us directly if you need to cancel your trip. If you need to cancel your trip, contact Michael Starkey at:
starkey@savethefrogs.com

The amount of your refund is determined by the date that you notify SAVE THE FROGS! of your cancellation:
-- If you cancel after June 7th, you forfeit your entire trip fee.
-- If you cancel between May 7th and June 7th, you will receive 50% of trip fee.
-- If you cancel prior to May 7th, 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.

Rana berlandieri

Please take a look at SAVE THE FROGS! Belize's webpage

Learn about Belize's frogs and our efforts there at: www.savethefrogs.com/belize

Save The Frogs Belize

Professional Development for Students and Teachers

Teachers seeking to fulfill professional development or continuing education requirements may be able to claim this trip as a tax-deduction (ask your tax professional for details). 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.

Xunantunuch

Scuba diving while you are in Belize

Belize is located on the second largest barrier reef on the planet, so you will have opportunities to dive while on South Water Caye. SAVE THE FROGS! does not cover the costs of this activity. Generally dives plus equipment rentals cost $100-$300 USD. If you plan to dive, please inform SAVE THE FROGS! staff when you register for the trip.

Please donate to SAVE BELIZE'S FROGS!

Even if you cannot join us in July 2016, 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 contact@savethefrogs.com to ask us to direct it towards our Belize efforts. Thanks! (Note: this is not the place to register for the trip!)

Donate Frogs

Frequently Asked Questions

-- What should I bring?
We have prepared a list of recommended items to bring with you to Belize. Please email SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour Trip Leader Michael Starkey at Starkey@savethefrogs.com to receive this list.

-- Which airport do I fly into?
We will be meeting at Belize City (BZE) on July 7th, 2016 at 4pm, so be sure to arrive by then. On July 16th, 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. If you are not a United States citizen, then please check your country's laws about traveling to Belize.

-- What level of physical fitness is required?
Most hikes are considered easy to moderate. Guided hikes should be expected to last 2-3 hours. We will travel slowly 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 bird watch from a hammock on your balcony? The choice is yours!

Some featured activities:
--Waterfall Hike (1/2 day, strenuous!)
--Jungle Walk
--Swimming in rainforest streams and rivers
--Dry Cave Hike
--Wet Cave Hike
--Ethnobotany Walk
--Birding Walk (starts early!)
--Night Walk (to find amphibians and other wildlife)
--Maya Culture Experience
--Fruit Farm Walk

-- 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 starkey@savethefrogs.com.

-- What is the exchange rate in Belize?
$1 US = ~$2 BZE. US currency is accepted all over Belize.

-- Is this trip suitable for vegans and vegetarians?
Yes! The SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour to Belize can accommodate all dietary preferences and/or requirements. We will sample an array of Belizean culinary delights from many different regions and cultures.

-- 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! Eco-tour Leader Michael Starkey at: starkey@savethefrogs.com

Contact

For more information, please contact SAVE THE FROGS! Eco-tour Leader Michael Starkey at: starkey@savethefrogs.com

Belize Ecotour

Together we can SAVE BELIZE'S FROGS!