The area around San Ignacio is good for birding because it contains such a variety of habitats—river valleys, foothills, lagoons, agricultural areas, and broadleaf jungle—each of which attracts different types of birds. For example, Aguacate Lagoon near Spanish Lookout attracts waterbirds such as night herons, neotropic cormorants, and whistling ducks. Open land and pastures are good for spotting laughing falcons, vermillion flycatchers, eastern meadowlarks, and white-tailed kites.

There's good birding on the grounds of most of the lodges along the Mopan and Macal rivers, including Chaa Creek, duPlooy's, Crystal Paradise, and Clarissa Falls. In addition, local guides and tour companies run birding trips.

Paradise Expeditions. Paradise Expeditions, based in Cayo and connected with Crystal Paradise Lodge, has five- to 11-night birding trips to various parts of Belize, starting at BZ$2,500 per person for a five-night, six-day birding trip in Central Belize, and ranging up to around BZ$3,000 per person for an 11-night expedition. Crystal Paradise, Cristo Rey Rd. (P. O. Box 106), San Ignacio, Cayo. 610/5593. .


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