Belize: Mindful Birding Retreat

Belize: Mindful Birding RETREAT

  • Next tour dates Late September 2025 
  • Duration 6 days
  • Lodging 3-5 stars
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Group size Max. 10 people
  • Price US$3,420 per person*

Overview

In the hustle and bustle of the modern world, even our vacations can turn into non-stop hectic races to get from one place to another, to see as many sights as possible, or to check off as many birds as we can on our life list. To counter this, we offer our unique Mindful Birding Retreat in Belize. A small country nestled between Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a land of bright green mangroves and turquoise blue seas; lush tropical jungles and exotic wildlife. Due to its location along key migration routes and its rich biodiversity and varying habitats, Belize is, without a doubt, a birder’s paradise. However, it is also a paradise for anyone interested in hiking, in the exploration of ancient cultures, in wilderness and wildlife observation, and in simple relaxation.

Our Belize: Mindful Birding Retreat is a 6-day experience and will be slightly different from a typical birding tour. We will take our time to truly enjoy the beauty and wonder of the birds we see and will spend some time observing their behavior and learning more about them. Along the way, we will visit breathtaking waterfalls, roaring rivers, and winding jungle trails. We will have a chance to see some beautiful and inspiring birds such as Lesson’s Motmot, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Crimson-collared Tanager, Tropical Royal Flycatcher, White-collared Manakin, and many more.

On this retreat, we will be joined by Holly Merker, author of Ornitherapy: For your Mind, Body, and Soul, who will open our eyes to the practice of ornitherapy through gentle ornitherapy sessions and forest bathing.

An Intro to Yoga in Paradise

Additionally, a certified Yoga instructor will be present throughout this tour to provide optional group classes every day when birds and other wildlife are less active. All Yoga activities are included in the price of the tour. Whether you have a long-standing Yoga practice or are interested in experiencing Yoga for the first time, we will offer gentle yoga classes that fit everyone’s needs. Yoga enhances the practice of mindful birding in a positive way.

Finally, there will be plenty of time for you to explore the forested trails, swim in the cool blue pools of the river, or relax in a beautiful setting, perhaps sipping a cool drink beneath the shade of rainforest trees.

Throughout our journey, we will be staying at a beautiful nature resort surrounded by the lush Belizean jungle, alongside a picturesque stream and with historical Mayan ruins on site.

Red-throated Ant-Tanager Belize Whitehawk Birding
Red-throated Ant-Tanager

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN BELIZE AND TRANSFER TO JADE JUNGLE RESORT

Welcome to Belize! Today we will meet at the Belize International Airport and transfer our retreat center, the Jade Jungle Lodge. Upon arrival, we will settle in to our surroundings. As time permits, we will do some light, enjoyable birding right on the grounds, and start to feel the benefits that birds bring us right from day one. Keel-billed Toucan, Lesson’s Motmot, White-crowned Parrot, Social Flycatcher, Melodious Blackbird, Yellow-winged Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Gartered Trogon, and much more are common here, delighting us around every corner. Once everyone has arrived, we will meet for a short orientation and introduction to ornitherapy, and enjoy a relaxing dinner together, as we listen to the soft sounds of the night forest. Overnight at Jade Jungle Resort. 

Collared Aracari Belize
Collared Aracari

DAYS 2 & 5: MINDFUL BIRDING AT JADE JUNGLE RESORT

Over the next four days, we will enjoy birding on the property of our wonderful lodge. We will take in the beautiful scenery around us, and begin exploring the gardens, trails, streams, and lodge grounds as we search for some the region’s incredible bird life. Yellow-throated Euphonia, Lineated Woodpecker, Scaled Pigeon, Blue Ground Dove, Crimson-collared Tanager, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Green-backed Sparrow, Black-headed Saltator, Band-backed Wren, and Slaty-tailed Trogon are just a few of the birds that will delight us around the main lodge and cabanas.

Forest trails will yield other species such as Mayan Antthrush, Tropical Royal Flycatcher, Brown-hooded Parrot, Black-faced Grosbeak, Streak-headed and Tawny-winged woodcreepers, White-collared Manakin, Rufous Mourner, and Yellow-billed Cacique as well as migrant warblers, thrushes, and orioles, and of course, birding along the river where we will scan the water’s edge for Limpkin, Green and Amazon kingfishers, Mangrove Swallow, Russet-naped Wood-Rail, and Bare-throated Tiger-Heron. We will hopefully be fortunate to see Spectacled Owl roosting during the day or hunting around the lodge at night!  

Rufous-capped Warbler

We will enjoy all of the benefits of mindful birding – we will feel the serenity and joy in their songs and take time to observe as they charm us with their beautiful plumage and unique behaviors. In the mornings and evenings, we will offer optional yoga classes amid the Mayan ruins, engage in some nature sketching, and partake in ornitherapy activities led by Holly Merker. At the resort, you may also choose to take a Mayan cooking class, enjoy a night walk, or do a farm tour. Overnights at Jade Jungle Resort. 

DAY 6: DEPARTURE

After breakfast and some final birding, yoga, or other enjoyable activities of our choice, we will transfer to the Belize International Airport to catch your return flights home. 

White Hawk Whitehawk Birding Mindful Birding
White Hawk

Species

BIRDS

  • Crested Guan
  • Great Curassow
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
  • King Vulture
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Double-toothed Kite
  • White Hawk
  • Solitary Eagle
  • Black Hawk-Eagle
  • Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle
  • Orange-breasted Falcon
  • Limpkin
  • White-crowned Pigeon
  • Red-lored Amazon
  • Stygian Owl
  • Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
  • White-collared Swift
  • Violet Sabrewing
  • Cinnamon Hummingbird
  • Azure-crowned Hummingbird
  • Slaty-tailed Trogon
  • Tody Motmot
  • Plumbeous Vireo
  • Green Jay
  • Plain Wren
  • Black-hooded Siskin
  • Mangrove Warbler
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Grace’s Warbler
  • Rufous-capped Warbler
  • Hepatic Tanager
  • Black-headed Saltator
  • Painted Bunting
  • Yellow-backed Oriole
  • Yellow-tailed Oriole

TOUR BASICS

Guides: Jenn SinasacMarta Curti
Single Supplement: US$825
Lodging: Jungle resort in central Belize
Food: Excellent, with a touch of Caribbean flavor
Weather: Cool in the mornings and evenings, hot and humid at midday
Difficulty: Easy. Short walks on mostly level surfaces throughout most of the trip

This trip is ideal for birders or nature enthusiasts with a companion with other interests, those who enjoy birding at a slower pace, those who would like to maintain a regular, gentle Yoga practice while traveling, and those who are interested in learning more about the benefits of mindfulness and birding.

*For more information on what is included/not included, as well as our booking and cancellation policies, please review our Terms & Conditions.

* Pricing is based on 8 participants. With smaller groups, an additional fee will be charged.


LEARN MORE

From our blog:
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Belize
Our Guide to Ornitherapy – Getting Started
Ornitherapy: Birding for the Soul
Ornitherapy