The life's work of Ken duPlooy, an ornithologist who died in 2001, the personable Judy duPlooy, and their family, is the 45-acre Belize Botanic Gardens. It's an extensive collection of hundreds of trees, plants, and flowers from all over Central America. Enlightening tours of the gardens, set on a bank of the Macal River at duPlooy's Jungle Lodge, are given by local guides who can tell you the names of the plants in Maya, Spanish, and English as well as explain their varied
medicinal uses. An orchid house holds the duPlooys' collection of more than 100 orchid species, and there also is a palm exhibit. The gardens and duPlooy's Lodge in general offer great birding. On some days duPlooy's runs shuttles from San Ignacio. The BZ$70 per person fee (minimum two persons) from San Ignacio includes the round-trip shuttle and admission. Call for information and schedule. A day at the gardens, including shuttle, guided tour, and lunch is BZ$100 per person. A taxi from San Ignacio will likely cost at least BZ$50–$60 one-way. The Botanic Gardens also runs gardening programs for Belize residents and internship and volunteer programs.