This is a repeat visit to Crystal Paradise Resort. Like last year, we stayed for 4 nights and booked three birding trips (2 full-day and 1 half-day birding trips) through Paradise Expeditions – Birding in Belize services.
We requested 3 air-conditioned rooms: #18, #14 and #11. All three rooms have very good ACs and sufficient amenities/space to accommodate our needs. Although Room#14 is having various hot water problems; the resort folks are actively fixing the issues during our stay.
The resort staff has changed a little since last year. Catalina and Elena are no longer there; instead I saw “Mama Tut” actively working in the kitchen together with other dining room helpers. Andy, a new dining room staff, is a hard-working and motivated young man who deserves a lot of recognition. He is interested in pursuing eco-tourism career and planning to go to school to get the tour guide license and lead birding trips (Note: All Belizean tour guides must go through rigorous school program and be licensed!)
All meals are freshly prepared with local produce and ingredients. If there is a restaurant like this in the US, I will be visiting every day! Both of my picky-eater kids love their cooking. Their dry-rubbed BBQ chicken is out of this world!!
For some magical reasons, the resort bird feeders are a lot more active than last year (and I thought last year is fantastic!) We got to dine with Blue-crowned Motmot, Keel-billed toucan, Collared Aracari, Red-throated Ant Tanager, Clay-colored Robin, Melodious Blackbird, tons of hummingbirds, parrots, and other tremendous birds every day!!
Last but not least, "Papa Tut (Victor)" is once again working early every day to make sure all things are tidy. He is very enthusiastic about educating the young generation of conservation and protecting nature. His son, Jeronie, together with other sons, Eric, Fernando, and Andy, are running Paradise Expeditions – Birding in Belize tour services. We booked three birding trips with Eric and we had SUPER FANTASTIC time. We had a total bird species of 320 in our 9-day trip; Eric got us most of the specialty birds – including Lovely Cotinga, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Collared Trogan, Gray Breasted Chat, Rusty Sparrow, Rufous-capped Warbler, Grace’s Warbler, Tody Motmot, and many many more.
Overall, we loved our stay at Crystal Paradise and strongly recommend go birding with Paradise Expeditions!!