We were five birders who had not birded together before. Six nights, five full days of birding in April, 2012, and side trips offered by the lodge were ideal for bonding our friendship even further. We logged 138 species, many new for us, including the Ornate Hawk Eagle at the Escarpment and an American Pygmy Kingfisher at the river. While we did not see a jaguar or the Lovely Cotinga, we did enjoy several sightings of Howler and Spider Monkeys, and a coyote. The birds were active and we almost tired of seeing the Slaty-tailed Trogon and Pale-billed Woodpecker, there were so many of them.
The Howlers' chorus at night is something almost otherworldly and quite thrilling because it is so unusual. We are used to Howlers in Costa Rica, but there is a different species in Belize and the vocalizations are very different.
A charter flight to Gallon Jug avoids a four-hour drive.The private bungalow accommodations with palm thatched roofs are extraordinarily comfortable and well designed considering the remote location. The food was excellent, though the choices were a bit repetitive after three or four days. The naturalist guides are local natives who really know the area and thanks to one, Luis, we spotted many birds we would not have seen otherwise. (And he has a great scope). We would recommend the trips to Laguna Seca and the Escarpment, but not the night drive which was disappointing, as we saw little more than a tarantula and the eyes of some mapaches (raccoons).
We recommend Chan Chich. It is simply one of the best places we've ever been. Perhaps someone not interested in birds might be bored there, but an observant person who loves nature in general--and tropical forests--will be content there for days if you like hiking well-maintained trails. Don't even think of going to Chan Chich without high quality binoculars!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retrace the footsteps of the Maya, wander our extensive trail system and discover the unforgettable flora, fauna and Maya history unique to this tropical paradise. With an unparalleled abundance of wildlife(and the best chance to see the elusive jaguar in its natural habitat) Chan Chich is an extraordinary destination for naturalists, birders and for those seeking an authentic retreat to the jungle. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chan Chich Hotel Orange Walk
- Chan Chich Lodge Belize/Orange Walk