Belize: Mindful Birding & Yoga

Belize: Mindful Birding & Yoga

  • Next tour dates OPEN 
  • Duration 7 days
  • Lodging 3-5 stars
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Group size Max. 8 people
  • Price TBD (contact us for pricing)

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 and Yoga tour 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 and Yoga tour is an 8-day excursion 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 do 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 rare birds such as Orange-breasted FalconKing Vulture, and Violet Sabrewing, and will look for harder to see species such as Stygian Owl and Black-and-white Hawk Eagle.

An Intro to Yoga in Paradise

Additionally, a certified Yoga instructor will be present throughout this tour to provide optional group classes each afternoon 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 in some of the most luxurious resorts in the most beautiful settings in the country. Most of them are nestled inside a forest or along a river’s edge – ideal spots for immersion in nature, birding, relaxation, and Yoga!

Itinerary

DAYS 1 & 2: BELIZE CITY to BLACK ROCK

To start off our Mindful Birding and Yoga tour, we will pick you up at the Belize City International Airport, and make our way to Black Rock. Situated above the Macal River, and at the base of large limestone cliffs, the Black Rock Lodge is a spectacular place to begin our journey. We will spend two days here watching birds, swimming or exploring a nearby cave. Those who are interested may also practice Yoga on a platform overlooking the river, with the sights and sounds of the Belizean forest around us. 

Bird feeders surround the open patio overlooking the river and many species, like White HawkBlack Hawk-Eagle and Orange-breasted Falcon, can be seen – often without leaving the observation deck.For the more adventurous, opportunities exist to follow a steep uphill trail for a spectacular view of the river below and its extant forest, or to rent a kayak and discover the forest’s river trails.

Collared Aracari Belize
Collared Aracari

DAYS 3 & 4: MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE

After a breakfast overlooking the Macal River, we will head to the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. This area is an unique region in Central America, full of beautiful contrasts – ridges covered with pine trees that descend into broadleaf forests, and small streams that turn into thundering waterfalls. This is one of the best areas to practice mindful birding. It is also one of the best places to see raptors such as the Laughing FalconGray HawkOrange-breasted FalconStygian Owl and, with some luck, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle and Solitary Eagle. Additionally, the Hidden Valley Inn Lodge, where we will be staying, boasts three beautiful Yoga platforms, all constructed of natural materials and nestled deep in the forest, near flowing streams. 

Rufous-capped Warbler

Over our two-night stay in the Mountain Pine Ridge we will go in search of the region’s specialities including Violet SabrewingRusty SparrowGrace’s WarblerBlack-headed SiskinRufous-capped Warbler or Green Jay among other species. We will visit some areas of stunning natural beautiful such as Butterfly Falls and King Vulture Falls, one of the best places to see the King Vulture and home to a breeding pair of Orange-breasted Falcons. We will also visit 1000-Foot Falls, the tallest waterfall in Central America, and a great place to see White-collared Swift. From here, there will be options to visit Caracol, the largest ancient Mayan city in Belize. 

Over these three days, you will also have the option to enjoy a private Yoga session, or participate in a group class, walk the extensive trail system, take a dip in a natural pool, or relax beside one of the many waterfalls found in the area.

DAYS 5 & 6: MOUNTAIN PINE RIDGE to CAYE CAULKER

After a final walk along the trails that the Mountain Pine Ridge has to offer, we will enjoy a wonderful breakfast, after which we will head for Caye Caulker, a tiny coral island in the Caribbean Sea. This charming island is a wonderful location to see passerines in migration and shorebirds such as: Wilson’s PloverShort-billed DowitcherLong-billed DowitcherSemipalmated SandpiperYellow Warbler and Cerulean Warbler, among many other species.

Roseate Spoonbills

In the evening, we will offer optional Yoga classes, or you may continue to search for birds on your list, or relax and watch the sunset while sipping a Pina Colada and kicking back in a hammock beneath the palm trees. The second day of our stay we will take a boat ride out to snorkel the world’s second largest barrier reef! Here, we may come face to face with Manta Rays, turtles, and dozens of different species of fish.

DAY 7: DEPARTURE

This morning, we will have another opportunity to search for some bird species we may have missed, or to take an early morning Yoga class, or a swim in the Caribbean sea. After breakfast, we will take the boat across to Belize City, where we will drop you off at the airport and our mindful birding journey will conclude.

Species

BIRDS

  • Crested Guan
  • Great Curassow
  • White Ibis
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
  • Brown Pelican
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Anhinga
  • King Vulture
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Double-toothed Kite
  • White Hawk
  • Solitary Eagle
  • Black Hawk-Eagle
  • Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle
  • Orange-breasted Falcon
  • Limpkin
  • Wilson’s Plover
  • 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
  • Caribbean Elaenia
  • 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: Roni Martinez & Marta Curti
Single Supplement: TBD
Lodging: Luxury hotels, among the best in the region
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 Yoga 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 combining birding and Yoga.

This tour is currently available for private groups. If you have a group of 4-8 people please reach out to us for details and pricing. If you are interested in joining one of our ornitherapy tours, please check out our Panama: Mindful Birding Retreat.

* 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