Sample 8-Day Field Course

Day 1               Belize City/ Tropical Education Center

  • Arrive at the International Airport in Belize City where you will be greeted by BFREE Program Director. Lunch will be at a local restaurant for your first taste of Belizean cuisine. Travel another half hour along the Western Highway to the Tropical Education Center (TEC) adjacent to the Belize Zoo. Settle into dormitory style rooms and then have time to look for crocodiles before dinner. Dinner at 6:30 and will be followed by a night tour of the Belize Zoo, the “Best Little Zoo in the World.”

Day 2            BFREE

  • Breakfast will be at 7:30 am at TEC, after which you will travel to Belmopan, the capital city of Belize. Stop by the local market where you will be immersed in Belizean culture as you assist staff in the purchase of fruits and vegetables for your stay at BFREE. You’ll experience new and delicious tropical fruits and amazing fresh juices before heading south down the stunning Hummingbird Highway and stopping by Ms. Bertha’s Tamale Stand for lunch. Continue your journey on the Southern Highway, arriving at the entrance road to BFREE 2:30 pm. Load your gear into a BFREE vehicle, fill your water bottle and apply sunscreen as you prepare for your 6 mile hike to BFREE taking you through several distinct habitats (guided by BFREE staff) as you experience an explosion of sights, sounds and smells of the tropics. Settle into the bunkhouse and then dinner at 6:30 pm. Optional night walk after dinner around BFREE to look for some of the amazing wildlife!

Day 3            BFREE

  • Breakfast will be at 7:30 pm followed by BFREE orientation and tour of the facilities. Lunch at noon followed by a presentation at 1:30 “Watersheds of the Bladen.” Take a river walk/swim downstream to examine the impacts to the watershed. Spend the rest of the afternoon observing and writing down questions that interest you in preparation for your mini-research projects.
  • Dinner will be at 6:30 pm. After dinner, there will be a talk on, “BFREE’s Avian and Harpy Eagle Project.” Participate in an optional night walk to search for wildlife.

Day 4            BFREE

  • Early morning birding (optional) followed by breakfast at 7:30. After breakfast, join BFREE’s Avian Research Team as they mist net and band both resident and neo-tropical migratory birds, and put geolocators on wood thrushes. Lunch will be at noon followed by a brief meeting to discuss mini-research projects. The rest of the afternoon is spent focused on your project work. Dinner will be at 6:30 pm followed by evening Optional night hike to look for animals.

 

Day 5            BFREE

  • Early morning birding followed by breakfast at 7:30. Receive a presentation about Tropical Rainforests immediately followed by jungle hike on the BFREE boundary line trail. You’ll have the opportunity to have a leisurely picnic lunch along the way.
  • Return to BFREE by 1:30 pm in time to work on independent projects until dinner. After dinner, join resident biologist, Dan Dourson as he mist nets for bats.

Day 6            BFREE

  • Breakfast will be at 7:30. Spend the morning completing your mini-project work. Lunch will be at noon followed by free time until 3 PM. Use your free time to hike to observation tower, take a canoe ride on the lagoon, or enjoy a cool swim in the Bladen River. Meet at 3 PM to begin presentation of project results. Dinner at 6:30 PM followed by a Jungle Costume Party – you’ll make your own costume!

Day 7            Placencia

  • Breakfast will be at 6:30. Prepare for transport out of BFREE along with gear. Travel to the seaside village of Mango Creek where you will board the Hokey Pokey water taxi for a 10 minute ride to the beach town of Placencia. Settle into rooms at a local hotel. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, gear up for a snorkel trip out to Laughing Bird Caye Marine Reserve. Look for manatee and dolphin along the way. Learn about the issues facing coastal Belize from Lisa Carne, local marine biologist. Dinner will be at a local restaurant.

Day 8             Placencia/ Departure Day

  • Breakfast will be at a local restaurant. Pack up and head for the Placencia Airport where you will board a local airline for a short 45 minute ride to the Belize International Airport for your flight home.

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