Belize Reef and Rainforest Field Course


12 days

Activity Level

Tour Type

About the Tour

Embark on a transformative 12-day adventure with our Belize Reef and Rainforest Field Course, where the lush landscapes of Río Bravo and the captivating marine wonders of South Water Caye converge.

Immerse yourself in Belize’s rich biodiversity through early morning birding, hikes along medicinal trails, and insightful presentations on conservation efforts and Maya archaeology.

Traverse through the Community Baboon Sanctuary, The Belize Zoo, and the Tropical Education Center to discover the history, people, and geography of this vibrant country.

Unveil the secrets of Belize’s tropical savannas, butterfly farms, and ancient Maya sites like Xunantunich. Your journey culminates in South Water Caye, where you’ll snorkel through seagrass beds, mangrove coves, and vibrant coral reefs, delving into the diverse marine ecosystems.

Experience the best of both worlds with our Belize Reef and Rainforest Field Course, where adventure and education intertwine seamlessly.


What's Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Tour Amenities

Meals on full Days

Tour Itinerary

  • Arrive in Belize
  • Transfer to Río Bravo/Programme for Belize(~3 hr.)
  • Time permitting, the group will hike on one of the many trails in the tropical forest of Río Bravo.
  • After dinner, there will be an orientation session for our Belize Rainforest and Reef Field Course.
  • Overnight La Milpa/Río Bravo.
  • Optional chance to go birding at Río Bravo.
  • Return to the Río Bravo dining hall for breakfast.
  • Presentation on Programme for Belize and all of their outstanding conservation/education efforts in Belize.
  • Hike with a guide on one of the many trails of Río Bravo.
  • Following lunch, the group will hike the Mahogany Trail, one of many excellent experiences available here.
  • Return to Río Bravo for dinner
  • Presentation on the Flora and Fauna found in the Tropical Moist Forests of Belize
  • Overnight La Milpa/Río Bravo
  • Another opportunity to go birding at sunrise!
  • Breakfast
  • Introduction to Tropical Botany and take part in a field exercise on experimental sampling methods.
  • Lunch
  • Guided hike of the Bajo Trail
  • Late this afternoon, we will return to Río Bravo, clean up, and see a presentation on Maya Archaeology.
  • Dinner
  • Participants will go on a guided night hike.
  • Overnight La Milpa/Río Bravo.
  • Breakfast
  • Visit the Maya archaeological site of La Milpa and learn what archaeologists have been discovering at this site for the past two decades.
  • Return toRío Bravo for lunch.
  • Guided hike on the nearby Medicinal Trail.
  • Late this afternoon, participants will do a study on the amazing Leaf-cutter Ant
  • Dinner
  • Presentation on the Cultures of Belize. Overnight La Milpa/Río Bravo.
  • Breakfast and farewells to Río Bravo Staff
  • Depart for the Creole village of Bermudian Landing and the Community Baboon Sanctuary (actually, Black Howler Monkeys).
  • In the late afternoon, we will travel to the Belize Tropical Education Center.
  • Dinner
  • A presentation about the History, People, and Geography of Belize
  • Overnight at the Tropical Education Center.
  • Breakfast
  • Tour the Tropical Education Center, which is situated on 84 acres of tropical pine savannah habitat.
  • Visit the ‘The Best Little Zoo In the World’. The Zoo has over 125 animal species on display, all of which are native to Belize.
  • Travel to the “Jaguar Paw Area” for hiking and cave-tubing adventures.
  • Return to the Tropical Education Center for dinner and overnight.
  • Following dinner, the group will return to the Zoo and observe some of the nocturnal animals of Belize. Overnight Tropical Education Center.
  • Visit Green Hills Butterfly Farm, a guided tour here teaches about the life-cycle of the butterfly and their ecological significance.
  • Lunch will be in San Ignacio Town at a local restaurant
  • Following lunch, our group will depart for the Maya site of Xunantunich, the site is accessible only by a 19th century, hand-cranked ferry, which will take us across the Mopan River.
  • The group will then hike for a mile into the heart of this remarkable site.
  • Return to the Tropical Education Center for dinner and overnight.
  • Breakfast
  • Transfer to Dangriga, the largest Garifuna community in the Caribbean, for a short boat trip to South Water Caye (~30 min.) a
  • Check-in and settle in at South Water Caye
  • Introduction to snorkeling, including water safety procedures.
  • Dinner and overnight South Water Caye

Note: Based on group size and availability, Tobacco Caye may also be used for the marine portion of our Rainforest and Reef Belize Field Course. Snorkeling gear is available for rent on South Water Caye; however, we recommend that you bring your own. In salt water, mask fit is extremely important. If you rent a mask, proper fit can’t be guaranteed.

  • Breakfast
  • Presentation on the importance of sea grass and mangrove communities found in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve System.
  • Snorkel the sea-grass beds, patch reefs, and numerous mangrove islands.
  • Late in the afternoon, we will return to South Water Caye for dinner.
  • Participants will have a chance to do a night snorkel near the shores and off the boat dock at South Water Caye
  • Breakfast
  • Presentation on the importance and varieties of mangroves found in Belize.
  • Trip to several mangroves “islands”, where our group will have the opportunity to snorkel.
  • Late in the afternoon, we will return to South Water Caye for dinner.
  • Night snorkel.
  • Overnight South Water Caye.
  • Breakfast
  • Presentation on general coral reef ecology.
  • Snorkel the fore-reef of Belize’s Barrier Reef
  • After lunch and some time to relax, we will snorkel a variety of patch reef formations inside the main “barrier reef”
  • Dinner
  • Participants will have a chance to do a night-snorkel near the shores and off the boat dock at Tobacco Caye.

After an early breakfast and farewells to your Belize A Field Course Staff, transfer to the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, for your return flight home.


How physically demanding is the Belize Reef and Rainforest Field Course

The course is designed with a moderate level of physical activity. Activities include birding, moderate hikes, and snorkeling.

Can the itinerary be customized to specific interests or preferences?

Absolutely! The Rainforest and Reef Field Course offers customization options. The itinerary can be adjusted to cover specific areas or exclude certain activities, catering to individual interests. 

What is the group size for the Belize Reef and Rainforest Field Course?

The course maintains a minimum of 10 and a maximum group size of 24 participants, ensuring an intimate and personalized experience. This allows for individual attention and fosters a more engaging and interactive learning environment during the exploration of Belize’s diverse rainforests, reefs, and cultural heritage.

What's included in the course package?

The course package encompasses breakfast, lunch, and dinner for full days. Accommodations are provided at various locations, including La Milpa/Río Bravo, the Tropical Education Center, and South Water Caye. Participants benefit from educational resources, presentations, and guided activities led by knowledgeable instructors and local guides.

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