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Manatee Lodge, Belize


Manatee watch:
The Southern Lagoon in which Manatee Lodge rests delightfully in the middle boasts Wildlife Reserve Status for the endangered West Indian Manatee. Though these graceful giants are dwindling worldwide, here they thrive. The warm, shallow brackish (a mix of salt and fresh) water of the Southern Lagoon serves as an ideal home. Though no one can guarantee sightings of wild animals; seeing Manatee while at Manatee Lodge is very likely. With a guide, guests travel by boat to the manatee spring to wait and watch as Manatees circle and come up to "blow" for breath. You will probably see Tarpon circling also as they too enjoy the warm fresh water that emanates from the spring. $55.00

Photo shown is of conservation efforts undertaken by Wildlife Trust directed by Mr. Bob Bonde and Dr. James (Buddy) Powell.

Bird watching: (early morning or late afternoon)
Venture out with a guide, traveling by road to our preferred spot "back a bush." See a wide variety of birds that might include the raucous Parrot, Toucan, Araucaria, Montezuma Orapendula, and Courasau . This is also a likely place to see or hear Howler Monkeys especially in the early morning. $65.00

Jungle creek swim: (includes optional bird watching)
Travel down the Coastal Road to a break in the Jungle where Soldiers Creek runs through. Fresh, cool water stops momentarily under the Bamboo at the swimming hole by "Moses Rock" and then rushes down the "natural spa" rapids. Enjoy the excitement of being near the jungle and the cool refreshment of the swim then if you like, travel back up the creek to one of our favorite spots to look for Toucan and a variety other jungle birds. Guests also hear "baboons" (Howler Monkeys) as they are making their rounds, usually early morning or late afternoon. $75.00

Lagoon tours:
Half day:
Sightsee the Southern Lagoon and the naturally beautiful surrounds by boat. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the wild yet at the same time relax in a front row seat. See and hear birds including White Ibis, Great Egret, The Blue and Boat Billed Herons, Ospreys, Sand Pipers, Cormorants, and Pelicans to name a few. Of course, every Lagoon Tour includes a Manatee Watch. In addition guests enjoy a trip up the Bar River to the Caribbean Sea. Stop for awhile to frolic in the waves or to walk along a stretch of sandy beach that is virtually uninhabited from us to Belize City, up North or to Dangriga Town, down South. Literally there are only two neighbors in one direction save the seasonal influx of Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtles who come every season to build nests and whose hatchlings storm the beach by the hundred each time a nest hatches. Circle through "Quashi" Trap Lagoon and then cruise through jungle down the Manatee River where you will see lush green foliage, wild orchids and giant Bamboo. $137.50

Full day:
A full day continues to Main Creek where the glassy water makes spotting Crocodiles a very real possibility. Then on to Ben Loman Cave where you will enjoy a moderate hike through Savanna grasslands into the edge of the jungle where you may explore the cave as little or as much as you like. Be sure to keep your eye out for fragments of Mayan Pottery. $185.00

Ben Loman Cave:
Travel by boat to the Western Lagoon. We don't even know how the guide knows right where to stop. There you'll find a break in the shoreline mangroves. Hike across open savanna lands to the edge of the jungle. Climb a bit and find a large, dry, open mouthed cave with interesting limestone formations and remnants of Mayan pots. $137.50

Bar river and shore:
Travel by boat down the picturesque Bar River to the impressive "boca" of the Caribbean coast. Walk along the shore and enjoy the sun, sand, shells and surf. $100.00

Belize zoo:
Travel by road down the scenic (and bumpy) Coastal "Highway" to the Western Highway and the doorstep to one of the quaintest zoos we've visited. This is an opportunity to see most of Belize's indigenous animals. Displays are interesting and informative. Animal habitat is natural. Entrance fee. $137.50

Maya Mountain Jungle Trek:
Exciting Adventure trekking and jungle wildlife. Mother and baby "tiga" tracks are one of many highlights of this journey through the foothills of the majestic Maya Mountains. Other highlights include: bird and animal sightings, medicinal and practical uses of jungle plants information, giant bamboo stands, and caves with Mayan pottery shards and real bush farm. Fun finish with a refreshing swim in Soldier's Creek. This moderately difficult trip brings out the explorer in everyone. $175.00

Birds Caye:
Take a beautiful scenic boat ride across Southern and Northern Lagoons and visit Audubon Society's "Birds Caye". This roosting and nesting ground for large water birds is seasonally teeming with birds. Year round we spot a nice variety of birds. Predominately white ibis, also snowy egret, great blue heron also other varieties of heron including tri-color, boat billed and roseate spoonbill.$175.00

Belize Baboon Sanctuary:
Travel via the Coastal Road and the Western Highway to a real community jewel. Meet with a local guide who will "talk" and interact with the howler monkeys (baboon is the Creole name for Howler monkey). This is a magical spot, heavily populated with these delightful mammals. Children of all ages enjoy this trip. Also visit the local museum - interesting and informative. $175.00

Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve:
This is an all day trip to a beautiful jungle reserve located approximately 35 miles south of Gales Point. Here you will find an extensive trail system, water falls, creeks and tubing. Although spotting the elusive jaguar is rare, it is a great place to enjoy your day. Picnic lunch is needed and will be sent with you. $235.00

*Lagoon/River Fishing:
Fishing with rod & reel or Fly Fishing. Manatee Lodge boasts some of Belize's best Fishing Guides and location, location, location! Expert anglers help make your fishing excursions enjoyable and successful. Fish the Bar Mouth, for the big boys: Jump Giant Tarpon, Grouper and Snapper, Snook, Barracuda, Jacks and others. Fly fish the pan and other hideaway spots. Whatever your pleasure, fishing at Manatee Lodge has been a highlight for anglers worldwide for decades. When I show our trophy photos people are always saying "What kind of fish is that? I didn't know Snapper got that big!". Our ladies in the kitchen also know how to handle fish, so be prepared for some delicious rewards!
* day fishing. $175.00
*full day fishing. $225.00 (includes tackle and bait)

*Rendezvous Caye:
One of the best places to snorkel is rendezvous caye. The water is clear, warm and shallow and the reef and fish are right there. What tops many snorkel trips on a boat all day is that you can get off of the boat and frolic or relax on a tiny caye beneath the shade of a coconut tree and go in and out of the water at your leisure. Anglers - you don't have to twist the guides arm to go fishing in the deep blue waters right behind the reef. Enjoy a full day of fun and a hearty packed lunch. $275.00

Boat transfer to/from Belize City:
Travel by boat through the inland waterways of Belize. Cruise down Belize River then cut into the main down burden canal through "mangrove cathedrals" across the Northern Lagoon to the Southern Lagoon where Manatee Lodge awaits. Stop at Birds Caye, a roosting ground for large water birds. This is a not to miss trip- gorgeous- that takes 1 - 2 hrs. A unique opportunity to see a wide variety of birds and possibly crocodiles and manatee as well as amazing scenery. $175.00


One of the beautiful things about being in a very remote location, and there are many, is the utter darkness at night. There are billions of stars in the sky and on a clear night you can see them all. We often witness shooting stars as well. If you are fortunate enough to see the full moon coming up over the lagoon, you will wonder how it ever got so big and to be that color. The Lagoon has a unique quality that is specific to water salinity and the mangroves which line its banks - phosphorescence. Locally this phenomenon is called burning. When the water is "burning" and you are on it at night, you can see fish, paddles or anything streaking through the water with a glowing light.

Manatee spring and manatee village by moonlight:
After nightfall, cruise around the peninsula to gaze upon Gales Point Manatee Village at one of its most beautiful yet rarely seen profiles - the village sparkles in the complete darkness with sparsely dotted streetlamps and house lights. There is a wonderful invisible feeling when traveling across the water at night. Also take a leisurely visit to the Manatee Spring for some serious stargazing$75.00

Crocodile hunt: Armed with a spotlight and whatever courage you can muster; venture into croc. country at night and see if you can see what's looking back atcha. $125.00

Turtle Beach quest: (seasonal, May - October)
Day or Night excursion down the Caribbean Shoreline trekking a stretch of beach that has long been a nesting ground for the Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle.

This trip is for serious naturalists who want to risk it and rough it to have a chance at being one of the select few who ever witness the miracle of the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle nesting. Whether or not you successfully sight, you will have walked amongst a rare few through one of the largest nesting grounds in the region; supporting approximately one hundred nests per season. Female Hawksbill Turtles (as well as some Loggerheads and Leatherbacks) come ashore predominately at night to seek safe nesting ground. The process is amazing as this ancient giant becomes entranced while she deposits nearly one hundred eggs. After a fifty five day gestation, hatchlings storm their way to sea in an act of instinctual nature that is unforgettable. Learn about the Sea Turtles, about the efforts to help save them and if you are fortunate enough, witness a part of nature that many dream of yet few ever see.

Educational, adventure trip that requires fortitude as conditions are rugged. Supportive to local conservation efforts. $175.00

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