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Belize Family Week

Bring your family to Belize for a volunteer vacation studying dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and more.

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Overview

Join researchers for a family-oriented field study of Belizean wildlife including dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and coral reefs. Located on the Caribbean, just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize is a small, English-speaking country with an amazing variety of natural environments including the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, dense mangrove lagoons, and abundant interior pristine tropical forests.

This exciting, educational program is designed for children 10+ traveling with at least one adult parent/chaperone. Activities include guided snorkeling at outstanding coral reefs, participation in bottlenose dolphin and sea turtle research, and manatee watching.

The program will be hosted at the St. George's Caye Research Station & Field School run by Belizean non-profit ECOMAR. This site is known as a manatee resting and feeding ground and offers the best manatee watching opportunities in Belize. We will also accompany a Belizean sea turtle researcher studying hawksbill turtles. You will enjoy daily excursions to explore and study a variety of species and habitats while snorkeling, hiking, or cruising in the research boat. This is a truly memorable family experience! Three or four day extensions to explore Mayan ruins and caves can be added to your trip.

A guide will accompany the group throughout the program, in addition to guest biologists and researchers.

Trip Dates & Cost

2017: August 6–13. $1,750 to $2,450 per person.* Group limit 14.

2018: August 4–11. $1,750 to $2,450 per person.* Group limit 14.

* Trip prices do not include international airfare. The trip cost is $2,450 per person for the first two participants, and $1,750 for a third participant. Click here for our full expedition terms and conditions.

Photos
Naturalist

Linda Searle is a conservation biologist and educator who coordinates marine conservation programs in Belize through ECOMAR, a nonprofit founded in 1996 to promote “conservation through education." She holds a master's degree in marine biology from Nova Southeastern University and bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Miami. Her research interests include coral reefs, sea turtles, and more.

Itinerary

Day 1: U.S. - Belize City - St. George's Caye
You will be met at the Belize International Airport in Belize City and be transferred to the St. George's Caye Research Station & Field School 10 miles away.

Days 2-6: St. George's Caye Research Station and FIeld School
Daily activities include boat-based dolphin, manatee, and sea turtles surveys and snorkeling excursions, with lunch served back at the station. Weather and other field factors will set our daily schedule but some of the themes will include: natural history of community keystone animals, coral reefs and fish behavior, and marine mammals. The researcher will prepare us for the dolphin surveys and explain the use of various pieces of field equipment.

Day 7: Fly home
Morning transfer to the airport in Belize City for your flight home.

Accommodations

Throughout the program, participants will stay at the St George's Caye Research Station & Field School run by ECOMAR, which offers basic but comfortable accommodations in double rooms or bunk rooms, with shared bathrooms (no hot water).

Three meals are prepared daily; they feature local and international dishes and are served buffet style. The meals are so good that many visitors ask for the recipes to take home!

Historic St. George's Caye is less than 10 miles from Belize City and one mile from the Belize Barrier Reef, making it ideal for accessing tropical marine ecosystems. On the island are mainly private homes used only on weekends and holidays and a small resort. There are no stores and or restaurants on the island, nor is there public electricity or water services. The islands residents include traditional lobster fishermen, caretakers and resort staff. The seclusion afforded at St George's Caye and its close proximity to tropical marine ecosystems and mainland Belize, make it a perfect location to focus on research.

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