Belize Trip

Feb/Mar 2002

Part 1 - Chan Chich and Crooked Tree

Our plane sets down at Gallon Jug Ranch after a 20-minute flight from Belize City.
The road into Chan Chich Lodge is 12 miles long and offers our first glimpse of jungle habitat.
The lodge is situated in the center of an unexcavated Maya ruin and surrounded by private nature preserves of over 350,000 acres.
Ancient Maya temple mounds are scattered throughout the grounds.
There are 12 thatched-roof cabañas made of exotic hardwoods, each with wrap-around veranda and a hammock! Paths are surfaced with wood rounds.
Over nine miles of trails surround the lodge. This trail is in the Cahune Palm forest.
Leaf litter makes good cover for jungle creatures like lizards, snakes, scorpions, and this tarantula.
Leaf litter is raked from the trails daily. That's great for birders who typically look mostly upward.
Most meals were served on the veranda . . .
where nearby a Red-capped Manakin could usually be seen feeding in a fruiting bush.
Patience is the name of the game when you're dealing with a skulking Antshrike!
On the other hand, the Plain Chachalaca's noisy call makes its presence in the forest unmistakable.
Watchful waiting in this small meadow rewarded us with some great birds including Slaty-tailed Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, and a sunlit Purple-crowned Fairy Hummingbird.
Birders check out the nest of a Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle in a rare old Mahogany tree.
Careful inspection of the canopy turned up a napping Northern Tamandua (anteater).
This furry fellow has a black vest and golden head, legs, and thick prehensile tail.
The open air bus was a great way to travel around, but maybe not in a downpour!
Earlier logging and chicle extraction on ranch property has given way to farming of crops and cattle breeding.
Sign language at Gallon Jug Ranch.
It was a tight squeeze in this 6-passenger Tropic Air plane for our flight back to Belize City.
Victor demonstrates the hammock at Crooked Tree Sanctuary.
There's something amusing going on in that bush…whatever it is!
The morning boat ride on North Lagoon to Spanish Creek brought us close to many birds…
including this Wood Stork at the water's edge.
Lunch at Crooked Tree was a Belizean favorite - stewed chicken, rice, and beans.
A Grey-necked Wood Rail poses in a roadside marsh enroute to Belize City.
Part 2 - Hidden Valley, Caracol and Lamanai