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Belize For Families
Dolphins, Manatees, Sea Turtles & Snorkeling
Dolphin mother and calf, Turneffe/Dori Dick©
Join the Oceanic Society biologists and Belizean researchers for a family field study of Belizean wildlife including dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.
This exciting and educational summer program offers guided snorkeling forays into outstanding coral reef habitats to explore Belize’s undersea wonders, and includes participation in Oceanic Society’s dolphin research project and more. This program is geared for children 10 and over with at least one adult parent/chaperone.
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.
The first half of the program is headquartered at the Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station on Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll. The field station offers easy access to pristine coral reefs and is open to the public offering comfortable lodging in beachfront cabanas. The site serves as a base for the Society’s research projects, and opportunities to meet with scientists and learn about research efforts are an additional benefit of the program.
Our program begins with a 90-minute boat ride from Belize City to Blackbird Caye at Turneffe Atoll. The atoll is exceptional for its warm shallow water, which permits easy access snorkeling to an extraordinary underwater paradise. Because of the distance from the mainland, the waters are clear and the reefs are relatively pristine.
The Turneffe Atoll serves as a feeding and resting area for dolphins and two days will be dedicated to accompanying the dolphin reseacher on dolphin surveys. Midweek we transfer by boat to St. George's Caye. The next two days are dedicated to observing manatees and studying sea turtles at Swallow Caye Manatee Sanctuary and the Drowned Caye Area. This site is known as a manatee resting and feeding ground and offer the best manatee watching opportunities in Belize. We will also accompany a Belizean sea turtle researcher studying hawksbill turtles.
A guide will accompany the group throughout the program, in addition to guest biologists and researchers.
U.S./Belize City/Blackbird Caye. You will be met at the Belize International Airport and tranfered to Belize City, and the marina, where a Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station boat will transfer you to Blackbird Caye (approximate 90 minute trip), in time for welcome dinner and trip briefing. Four nights in comfortable, beachfront cabanas.
Days 2 thru 5:
Blackbird Caye Field Station. Daily activities include morning and afternoon dolphin surveyes, and snorkeling excursions, then back for lunch in the palapa. Weather and other field factors will set our daily schedule but some of the themes will include: Natural history of community keystone animals; Marine life; Coral reefs and fish behavior, and Marine Mammals. The researcher will prepare us for the dolphin surveys and explain use of the various field equipment.
Days 6: Early morning transfer to Belize City and check in to your hotel. Day trip to the Swallow Caye Manatee Sanctuary and Belize's great barrier reef to observe manatees, sea turtles and to snorkel. Learn about manatees and hawksbill sea turtles from Belizean researches. Although our focus us manatee and sea turtle observation, there will be dedicated time for reef snorkeling.
Day 7: Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home.