A combination of habitat loss and human impact have affected Belize’s endangered manatee population as well as other marine species and ecosystems that call Belize waters home. Volunteer with a manatee conservation group working to gather statistics and data to continue to keep boats away from the reserves and prevent oil development in Belize to protect these vulnerable creatures.
To achieve our purpose, head out by boat with a marine biologist to collect data on currents, size and populations of manatees, location, and overall health of the reserve, which will be used to better protect these aquatic mammals. This information is crucial for the marine biologists and the NGO you’ll work with who rely on Discover Corps travelers to be able to better track these gentle creatures and gather this crucial data.
(Volunteer Time = 12 hours, or 3 half-days)
What You'll Do
Lend a hand to the experts who are dedicating their careers to preserving the endangered manatee population. Venture out to three different ecosystems including calm lagoons surrounded by mangrove trees, the Caribbean Sea, and along jungle rivers to see these beautiful creatures in the wild. Help to measure the salinity of the water and currents, collect the size, weight and number of manatees as well as other wildlife, and observe their overall health. Learn about the conservation initiatives underway in Belize to save these marine animals and how to accurately record data. If you or your child has dreamed of being a marine biologist, you’ll get a real taste on this trip!
During this time, you’ll experience the natural beauty of Belize. Live amongst mangroves where colorful parrots take to the sky for the first part of the trip. Then venture to a quaint seaside town that puts the world famous Port Honduras Marine Reserve at your footsteps for the second half of the trip.
What You'll See
Spend your days exploring the sandy beaches, blue waters, and verdant jungles of this Central American country. Venture to a 20 ft. high waterfall that leads into a clear blue swimming hole one afternoon and learn to make coconut oil from the locals the next. Take a boat to the white sand beaches of a tropical caye for snorkeling (weather permitting), and kayak through the mangroves scouting for wildlife.
On land, get to know the culture with a traditional Creole drumming lesson. You’ll also enjoy an afternoon with with a Maya family making tortillas and cocoa as well as trying traditional dances. If you’re still on the search for more adventure, opt for an adventure supplement zip-lining or river tubing.
Where You'll Stay
In the picturesque seaside town of Hopkins, start your journey with one night in a coastal hotel before splitting your time between two of Belize’s unique ecosystems. Stay two-nights first at a rustic cabin tucked into the Payne’s Creek Nature Reserve. With a wonderland of natural beauty at your doorstep, mingle with the Belizean rangers who call this remote space home. Next, move on to a hotel in the laid back coastal town of Punta Gorda with all the amenities of home (including air conditioning, something Payne’s Creek is missing!). This is the prime jumping off point for exploring the caves, waterfalls, jungles, and Maya ruins of southern Belize. End your night in a bungalow on a nature preserve closer to Belize City with hammocks for all.
Optional Post-Trip Extension
Tikal (3 Days/ 2 Nights)
Your journey doesn’t have to end! For those who want to continue, opt for either our Tikal Archaeological Ruins or Caye Caulker post-trip extension (contact us if you’re interested in both). On the Tikal extension, on the last day of your trip take a short flight and arrive in Flores, Guatemala. Hit the ground running with a visit
to Yaxha, one of the largest Maya sites in Guatemala. Be one of the few to experience the ruins of Tikal National park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before venturing into the ruins of sacred temples and palaces deep in the heart of the jungle. End the journey exploring Ixpanpajul Nature Park.
Want to learn more?Request an itinerary
“I’ll never forget watching my kids’ eyes light up as we pulled the boat over and watched a group of manatees swim by. They are such majestic creatures! My family loved the service and felt like it was balanced perfectly with truly fun activities around the coast, reefs and on shore.”
Dates & Fees
We offer several Family Friendly dates, to help families book travel around common school vacation times
8 days / 7 nights
Program Cost: $3,295 Adult* / $2,995 Child*
June 27-July 4, 2021
July 4-11, 2021
August 8-15, 2021
November 21-28, 2021
December 26, 2021-January 2, 2022
March 27-April 3, 2022
June 26-July 3, 2022
July 3-10, 2022
August 7-14, 2022
November 20-27, 2022
December 26, 2022-January 2, 2023
- * Double Occupancy Price. Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult
- Single Room Supplement = $295
- $160 optional river tubing and zip-lining adventure supplement not included
Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and meals to make your experience hassle-free. Here’s a sample of what’s included:
- All activities: snorkeling, boat rides, tubing adventure, waterfall visit, Mayan ruin excursion, jungle treks and more.
- All meals included: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- Lodging in the rainforest and along the coast
- Volunteer project with a manatee conservation organization
- Airport transfers and all ground and water transportation
- Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you throughout the trip
- Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
- All gratuities for hotels and meals
- $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
- Trip literature
What’s not included:
- International Airfare
- Tips for Discover Corps guides and drivers
- Alcoholic beverages
- $160 river tubing and zip-lining adventure supplement
- Phone calls, laundry, or Internet costs during the trip
Alumni & Family Discounts, Monthly Payment Plans, and More
Customized Private Trips
Let us create a custom trip for your group. Learn more about custom group travel.
Add a 4 day/3 night post-trip extension to Tikal to any Belize departure. Click here to learn more.
- Explore the Maya ruins of Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Uncover Ixpanpajul Nature Park, home to an array of birds, animals & plants
- Relax in a stunning eco-lodge nestled amongst the jungle landscape
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