AVAILABLE ECO TOURS
We invite you to visit BFREE for a one-of-a-kind experience deep in the rainforest of Belize. We offer eco-tour packages designed to accommodate individuals to large groups and families or professionals. Eco-Tours are offered during the dryer period of the year from December to June. A minimum stay of two nights is required for all eco-tours. Accommodations include six private rooms in The Hammock, each sleeping 3-6 individuals, and three private cabins that can keep 3-4 individuals.
Cacao at Origin
Join Jacob Marlin, BFREE Executive Director to experience firsthand how forest friendly, 100% pure, wild criollo cacao is conserving tropical rainforest and wildlife. This incredible experience shows first-hand what could be the original chocolate tree, 100% pure “Criollo” parentage, grown and revered by the ancient Mayan Civilizations, and one of the few pure wild cacaos known to exist on the planet. In 2016, the beans from these trees discovered at BFREE were given the designation of “heirloom fine flavor” by the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund (HCP). Learn about the fine-flavor cacao industry as well as cacao production in Belize. Experience the various stages of chocolate making from the farm to finished chocolate bar. The perfect vacation for any chocolate lover!
Have you ever seen a Scarlet Macaw? A Montezuma’s Oropendola? A Lesson’s Motmot? Spend a day birding in various habitats at one of the most acclaimed birding sites in Belize. With over 350 species of migrant and resident birds, the BFREE Biological Field Station and Privately Protected Area is a great place to see rare tropical species. Situated in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, BFREE is teeming with exotic plants and wildlife. Over 80 species of migratory birds, and hundreds of resident species can be found here. Start the day off above the forest canopy at our 112-foot observation tower, if you’re lucky you might even spot a Harpy Eagle by the mid-afternoon! BFREE is the only privately owned location to see Harpy eagles in the wild north of Panama!
Spend a day on a guided hike deep into the rainforests of the BFREE Privately Protected Area. Situated in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, BFREE lies at the gateway to the Bladen Nature Reserve, one of the last truly wild and unspoiled rainforests left on earth! Guided by a local expert, look for Howler and Spider Monkeys, elusive jungle cats like Jaguars and Margays, listen for some of the 350 species of birds that are present here, and perhaps even spot a Tapir or Harpy Eagle! Learn about the natural history of the area from your local guide and when you get too hot from all that walking – take a refreshing swim in the pristine crystal clear Bladen River!
Be Free in the Jungle
This tour is ideal for families or individuals looking for equal parts adventure and relaxation. Take part in the many various day-to-day activities at the Field Station from making tortillas, exploring the expansive trail system, learning about our hicatee conservation and research center or how chocolate is made from bean to bar. When you need a break from all the activity, grab a book and curl up in one of the many hammocks and enjoy the breeze and sounds of the jungle. Or cool off in the crystal clear waters of the Bladen River for an afternoon swim. If you are looking to unwind and relax while participating in a few guided activities this is the eco-tour for you!
VOLUNTEER AT BFREE
BFREE offers extraordinary opportunities to learn how a biological research station runs while gaining extensive experience in field methods as a Volunteer Field Assistant. Opportunities are for all ages (18+) and last 2-4 weeks on average. Hundreds of interns and long-term volunteers have stayed at our tropical field station since its inception. These volunteers have benefited from the unique experience of living and working in the rainforest and have made tremendous contributions to our wildlands conservation programs, environmental research, and education efforts, as well as to the development of our sustainable facilities.
2022 Volunteer Opportunities
BFREE is now accepting volunteers to work with the Cacao Agroforestry Team to preserve and propagate a rare and wild ancient heirloom fine flavor cacao.
Volunteers will be assigned various roles to support the team depending on the time of the year and the most significant needs.
Assignments may include:
- Data collection in the field
- Data entry on a computer
- Documenting, including photography and blog writing
In addition to working with the cacao agroforestry team, volunteers will be assigned a schedule to assist with general day-to-day needs around the field station, such as helping with meal preparation and clean-up, trail maintenance, and administrative tasks. Duties may change as determined by current needs at the time of your assignment.
Learning Objectives May Include:
- Gain experience with collecting data in the field
- Develop observation and record-keeping skills
- Engage in many aspects of cacao agroforestry
- Engage problem-solving skills by working and living in a remote rainforest environment
- Create communication materials
- Participate in the implementation of conservation strategies in tropical environments
- Learn techniques relevant to protected areas management
Volunteers should be committed to BFREE’s mission and have a passion for environmental education and conservation. One should have a positive and flexible attitude, desire to learn and work hard, willingness to adapt to a changing work environment, and be comfortable living in remote and rustic living conditions in a tropical environment. All volunteers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and complete a physician-signed health form of good health.
BFREE Field Assistants are volunteer positions. Field Assistants pay for their international airfare and travel costs from the airport to the BFREE Field Station.
A small daily project fee covers lodging, meals, administration, trainings, and 4×4 transport from the Southern Highway to the BFREE Field Station along our 6-mile private entrance road.
Volunteers staying less than two weeks are required to pay for the 4×4 transport from the Southern Highway to the BFREE Field Station at a rate of $75/each way.
Many past students have received funding and/or credit from their host institution to participate. Payment is due 30 days in advance of arrival.
- Participation Rate$55 USDPer Day
- Wi-Fi ACCESS$25 USDOne-Time Fee
- Visa Extension$100 USDFor stays 30+ days
US for BFREE is a Florida nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.