Belize Is a Unique Destination to Study Arthropods

belize wildlife
Photo by Nash Turley

Belize is much more than a great destination to enjoy beautiful beaches, explore ancient Maya ruins, and scuba dive the rich waters around coral reefs; it is also a superb location to study arthropods. With a large and complex ecosystem of pristine rainforests and jungles, Belize has been attracting biologists and environmental scientists for decades who come to the country to study the varied forms of arthropods which include thousands of species of crustaceans at sea and insects on land.

More than 80% of all non-plant species on the planet are arthropods, including species like butterflies, crabs, lobsters and shrimp. Defined as animals with no interior bones and relying on an exterior hard shell or segmented body (called an exoskeleton), arthropods have over a million known species. Arthropods are sensitive to pollution so scientists from around the world come to Belize to study these important creatures in a setting where they thrive.

Recently, students enrolled at the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences visited Belize for a 10-day expedition to study the Central American nation’s ecology. The students came to Belize because of the wide diversity of arthropods found in the local jungles and forests. Thanks to strong conservation efforts by the government of Belize, arthropods are able to flourish in their natural habitats.

If you are traveling to Belize to enjoy more traditional attractions like the Belize Barrier Reef, the miles of gorgeous beaches or the dozens of Mayan ruins, you might also enjoy learning more about the country’s diverse ecology and its abundance of arthropods.

For close access to both the Belize Barrier Reef offshore and pristine rainforests and jungles on the mainland, Chabil Mar features luxury accommodations in a charming and unique setting. A guest exclusive resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize, Chabil Mar offers excursions to see all of the best ancient Mayan cities, as well as snorkeling and diving tours to the reef. The resort can also arrange expeditions to witness nature in the Cockscomb Basin Preserve and along the banks of the Monkey River, two of the best places in the country where you can learn more about Belize’s unique flora and fauna.

For information about visiting Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

The Best Bird-Watching in Belize

birding in Belize

Belize’s Bird Watching Tradition Has Extremely Deep Roots

Want to know which area of Belize has the best bird-watching opportunities? Fact is, every inch of Belize is a birder’s paradise, so you can’t go wrong by choosing this Caribbean destination, whether birding is already your passion or you’re just getting started.

The sport/hobby of bird watching has roots in the British Isles where the tradition of observing and recording birds has been around for so many centuries, even Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” play includes this complaint: “She laments sir… her husband goes this morning a-birding.”

So was Belize’s history as the former UK colony known as British Honduras the sole reason this nation has become a mecca for those fascinated with all things avian? Hardly. Belize’s geographic proximity to jungles, rivers, rain forests, lagoons and shoreline—plus natural flyways that existed long before the hemisphere was inhabited–simply provide everything birds require to thrive…

…and thrive, they do! The ongoing debate about how many bird species have been identified in Belize has been known to launch some fascinating conversations. Some authorities say more than 683 species have been identified in Belize, but the nation’s Audubon Society claims the number is closer to 587. Stick around long enough and you can make your own estimate!

belize birds
Bird species, it seems, are as fickle as are humans. Some stick around Belize year ‘round. Others emulate tourists that flock here: they come and go with the wind. But all species of the birds frequenting Belize are offered a wide variety of natural habitats that include coastal plains, tropical forests, wetlands, savannahs and cayes.

What birding objective are you seeking to achieve by coming to Belize? Are you looking to do research, update your journal or photograph birds? Most bird-loving travelers want to do all of these, though if you are interested in seeing specific Belize species, you can maximize your time by choosing areas they frequent.

Travel to Belize’s west regions and stay in  San Ignacio or the Mountain Pine Ridge to spot rare Orange-breasted falcons, Stygian Owls and Keel-billed Motmot. Specify Toledo’s Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary, a 6,000-acre park that’s the site of three lagoons that serve as breeding grounds for Boat-Billed Herons, five types of kingfisher and Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks.

The Rio Bravo Conservation Area consists of 250,000 acres of land that nurtures flocks of keel billed toucans amid hundreds of other species, or spend the majority of your time at Stann Creek’s Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve. The sheer variety of bird types flocking to this reserve is amazing and includes Scarlet Macaws. Photograph this colorful bird feeding on Annatto shrub and you’ll bring home calendar-worthy images.

Registration Office Large

Where to stay while enjoying your bliss-filled birding adventure? Frequent visitors to Chabil Mar highly recommend making this resort your hub. Staff is delighted to make recommendations to those who want to see certain birds, but if you’ve no preferences, peruse this Belize bird list,, to see what species interest you most.

On the other hand, if you seek relaxation and stimulation, Chabil Mar’s birding package takes the guess work out of your experience so you spend all of your time gazing into binoculars rather than worrying about logistics. It’s the best way we know to immerse yourself in Belize’s avian wildlife without lifting a finger.

For more information about birding in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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