DAY 1 - ARRIVE BELIZE CITY, AMBERGRIS CAYE | WELCOME TO BELIZE
Arrive in Belize City, the Old capital of Belize, but just briefly before you jump on a small plane along with a Representative of Belize Unknown that will take you on a scenic flight of about 15 minutes to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. A shuttle will transfer you to your hotel. Once checked in you can Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
We will meet at dinner again for an overview of the following day activities.
DAY 2 - AMBERGRIS CAYE & HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE | SHARKS & RAYS OF BELIZE
Ambergris Caye, Belize's largest island, is known for its water sports, scuba diving and Caribbean beaches. Off the eastern shore, the Belize Barrier Reef features famed snorkeling and dive sites such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, with an abundance of sea life, and the 124m-deep Great Blue Hole. The town of San Pedro is the island's gateway and center for sailing and reef exploration.
DAY 3 - SOUTH WATER CAYE MARINE RESERVE & SMITHSONIAN RESEARCH CENTER, | MARINE CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Ocean time, South Water Caye Marine Reserve is the largest marine reserve in the Stann Creek district of Belize. It was established in 1996 and covers 47,702 hectares of mangrove, Sea Grass beds and coastal ecosystems. It includes the crown reserve of Man of War Caye, a nesting site for the brown booby and magnificent frigate bird.
The Carrie Bow Cay Field Station is located on a small island on the Meso-American Barrier Reef. Only fifteen miles out of Hopkins Village on the small island of Carrie Bow Caye, Smithsonian scientists and their collaborators travel there to conduct research on the biology, ecology, and geology of our coral reef ecosystems.
The location of the island allows immediate access to reef environments, seagrass habitats, and mangrove islands. Visitors have access to vessels, diving facilities, seawater tables, and laboratory space. Learn from these amazing scientists about their fascinating work being conducted from this beautiful Island.
DAY 4 - LAUGHING BIRD CAYE NATIONAL PARK | CORAL RESTORATION PROJECTS
Laughing Bird Caye is an island off the coast of Placencia, Belize. On 21 December 1991, Laughing Bird Caye National Park was declared. It is spread over an area of 1.8 acres. The national park is named after the laughing gull which breeds and nest there.
Today we disembark on another wonderful journey to one of the most beautiful islands off the coast of Placencia Village. Laughing Bird Caye located 12 miles east of this quaint little village to see the coral restoration projects that are being carried out by one of the conservation groups from theVillage. while enjoying the beautiful colors of the corals you will also see some extraordinary sea creatures and many different fish species.
Town is a village in the north of the Toledo District of Belize. It is on the Caribbean Sea on the southern shore of the mouth of Belize's Monkey River. In 2011 the estimated population was 200 people. The village is one of the last purely Creole settlements in Belize and many traditional practices are still carried out, such as cooking over the "fyah haat" (fire hearth).
After your tour of the river and this sleepy little Village you will make a stop on the boat ride back to look for Manatees.
Manatees are herbivorous mammals that are commonly called sea cow. Belize is home to the West Indian Manatees (Trichechus manatus) that can grow up to 13ft. in length and can weigh up to 1,300 pounds. Manatees love to relax in the shallow waters out about the lagoon of Placencia, making it a great place to look for them.
CORAL NURSERIES serve as a vital component towards marine conservation, hosting several species that would ultimately be added back to the reef to help regenerate areas that are stressed or damaged.
Coral restoration projects are found all over the world now, with a variety of in situ and ex situ culture methodologies that have proven successful. But what works in one location might not work in another depending on several factors.
Currently, the only organization in Belize conducting reef restoration work, Fragments of Hope has installed and maintained over 23 in situ coral nurseries in southern Belize, using a variety of methods, adopted from Dr. Bowden-Kerby, that has increased coral cover by over 50% at Laughing Bird Caye National Park, alone.