David, as a guide, makes everyday a favorite day! His Belize trips are so well-planned. It was a perfect mix of habitats, birding, incredible eco-lodging, wonderful food, fun side trips to experience Cacao production, caves, Mayan Ruins, night boat “hunts” for wildlife sightings, and time to rest if necessary! I didn’t want to miss anything but never felt rushed. His choice of local guides was over the top. They were so knowledgeable about not only the birding, but other natural wonders, the culture and history of Belize. David’s personality and attention to detail made the trip so enjoyable and safe and fun! Well done IndiGo Birding Nature Tours! I have also gone along on some Indiana birding hikes and a couple kayak trips! He is an excellent birder and makes the trips so enjoyable by interweaving other natural history information along the way!
Birding tour specifically for photographers
Best photography guides in Belize
8 nights lodging at 4 gorgeous ecolodges
Capture the wonders of Belize with your camera
Enjoy the magic of Belize through the lens of a camera on this first-time IndiGo Birding photography trip! Bird photography takes patience, knowledge, skill, and equipment and requires a different type of tour than our typical birding and culture trips. This 9-day, 8-night package incorporates day tours in search of spectacular tropical birds and moves at a relaxed pace that is ideal for photographers. In addition, most of our Belizean guides are excellent photographers themselves, which means that they know what it takes to get the perfect shot and can give tips and pointers as we go. Don’t miss out on this amazing travel opportunity!
Photograph over one hundred species of tropical birds
Learn from expert guides and bird photographers
Relax at beautiful ecolodges
Tour at a photographer’s pace
Indulge in delicious foods from different cultures
Connect with our wonderful Belizean hosts
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$2800/person double occupancy,
$400 single supplement
Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE), Ladyville, Belize
Inquire about 2025 if interested
9 days, 8 nights
6 person min and 7 person max
This tour is designed for the intermediate to skilled photographer
8 nights accommodations at three different ecolodges, all meals and transportation, guided tours, and tips
Flights, drinks, trip insurance, souvenirs, personal services (massages, laundry, etc.), and cameras/lenses
What to bring
- Camera equipment.
- Packing list will be provided for all participants.
Number & type of staff for tour
Birding guide David Rupp will host the group in Belize and assist in all aspects of the tour. At each location we stay, a local birding guide will lead us on our bird photography outings. Two of the guides–Eduardo Ruano and Isaias Morataya–are among the best bird photographers in Belize and will be guiding us the majority of the days and also giving photography tips and instruction.
What You’ll See & Do
One of the beautiful aspects of this trip is the variety of accommodations we use, particularly when it comes to each place’s setting. We will spend the first night at Bird’s Eye View Lodge in the village of Crooked Tree, located about an hour from the airport and a great place to get started birding! We will then visit the spectacular Lamanai Outpost Lodge(opens in a new tab) for two nights, followed by two nights in the middle of the jungle at La Milpa Ecolodge. Our final two nights will be spent at Black Rock Lodge(opens in a new tab), an eco-lodge along the Macal River near the Guatemalan border. At each place we will eat well, see beautiful birds, and relax in beautiful surroundings with comfortable accommodations.
Day 1 Arrival in Belize
Our meeting spot is in the connections lobby of the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE) in Ladyville, Belize, preferably before 2:00 p.m. A driver from Bird’s Eye View Lodge will be there to transport us to the resort, located on the edge of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. We will enjoy the Vermilion Flycatchers, orioles, and other birds just outside our doors. After dinner in the restaurant and observing Common Parauques in the parking lot, we’ll get to bed to rest up for the big days ahead.
Day 2 Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the highlights of any birding trip to Belize is the morning boat tour of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. This inland lagoon offers habitat to an amazing array of wetland birds and raptors, like the Black-collared Hawk and Snail Kite. This three-hour trip gives us up-close photography opportunities of charismatic species like the Northern Jacana, Bare-throated Tiger-heron, and maybe a Sungrebe. While there’s never a guarantee, we will try to find the Jabiru and the beautiful Agami Heron. The afternoon will allow time for personal photography exploration of the roads and trails near the lodge.
Day 3 Bird’s Eye to Lamanai
We start the day by birding the nearby pine savanna habitat that offers good chances at Yucatan Jay, Yucatan Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, and Grace’s Warbler. We will then pack up for our trip to Lamanai, which includes a 20+ mile boat ride down the New River and gives a shot at seeing numerous kingfishers, hawks, and wading birds. After checking in at Lamanai Outpost Lodge, we’ll visit the nearby village of Spanish Church for more bird photography with Eduardo Ruano, one of the top photographers in Belize! Check out his photos here(opens in a new tab).
Day 4 Mayan Magic
Lamanai Outpost Lodge is located within a short walk or boat ride of the Lamanai Archaeological Site, one of the most spectacular of the Mayan sites in Belize. We’ll spend the morning touring the site and searching for Howler Monkeys and birds like toucans, motmots, and woodcreepers. After another delicious meal at Lamanai, we will take some time for R&R before heading out into nearby farmland for photo opps of Wood Storks, kites, and one of my favorites, the Fork-tailed Flycatcher. After dinner we will have a Spotlight Safari by boat in the lagoon. A day you’ll never forget!
Day 5 Lamanai to La Milpa
Early morning plans: a birding tour of the savannah habitat in search of Aplomado Falcons, Yellow-headed Parrots, and Black-throated Bobwhite. After a late breakfast at Lamanai, we’ll pack up and head by van through farm country to our next stop, La Milpa Ecolodge. La Milpa is home to numerous hummingbirds, Royal Flycatchers, and the endangered Ocellated Turkey. Great photo opportunities abound on the grounds, at the feeders, and on the nearby trails.
Day 6 Remote Jungle Photography
La Milpa is a remote Mayan archaeological site that is largely undisturbed and subject to ongoing research. We will have a guided tour of the site, learning about the history of the area as we photograph warblers, woodcreepers, and more. Hang out by the pond in hopes of seeing the American Pygmy Kingfisher and wait for the Great Curassow to wander the grounds in the evening. Because this ecolodge is located in the Rio Bravo Reserve(opens in a new tab), the bird possibilities are almost endless!
Day 7 The Road Less Traveled
Guide and photographer extraordinaire Isaias Morataya will meet us this morning for a little more birding around La Milpa before driving us through the Rio Bravo Preserve towards Black Rock Lodge. Have your cameras at the ready, because Isaias has the “eye of the tiger” and will surely point out some awesome birds and other wildlife as we drive through one of the more remote parts of Belize. This is a section of Belize that I have never visited but am so excited for this opportunity! We will eventually drive through the town of San Ignacio and make our way to Black Rock Lodge, our amazing accommodations for the last two nights of the trip.
Day 8 Enjoying Black Rock
Today is a day of relaxation and bird photography as we enjoy the grounds of Black Rock Lodge. Birding guide Isaias Morataya (check out his photos(opens in a new tab)) will offer several bird walks for us throughout the day on this remote property. We should be able to find honeycreepers, aracaris, hawk-eagles, and other tropical birds. Nestled in a river valley between spectacular cliffs, Black Rock offers a variety of habitats and good raptor viewing, even from the dining area. Enjoy a freshwater pool, hike the trails, or get a massage during your free time. The best of Belize!
Day 9 Departure
Time to pack for home! After another amazing Belizean breakfast, we will load up the van for the 2+ hour drive to the airport. Schedule your flight home for early to mid-afternoon. On your way home, you’ll likely be thinking… “How soon can I come back?!?”
Good to know
David serves as the travel operator and assistant guide throughout the tour. He will travel with the group to address needs as they arise. Local guides will lead the tours and provide the instruction at each location.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. All meals outside of the airport.
7 guests total
Guests must purchase flights to and from the BZE airport, then all transportation is provided from there.
Just returned from IndiGo’s Belize birding and culture tour. A superbly organized trip with stays at memorable Eco-lodges. In the course of our week trip, we counted 182 different species, including some rare birds that had the veteran birders twittering. Stops at fascinating Mayan sites and vibrant villages. Highly recommended!
If you are interested in exploring the birdlife of Central America, we recommend David Rupp’s IndigoBirding tours in the strongest possible terms. The eco-lodges that David has selected are all of the highest quality, beautifully situated, with comfortable accommodations, fine food, and expert, gracious staff. Tour logistics—arrival and departure, transfers, etc.—are carefully and smoothly managed. David himself is not only a highly expert birder but a personable, engaging, and considerate tour director, closely attentive to participants’ interests and needs and unflappable in a crisis. The members of our group ranged from very experienced birders to absolute neophytes and all had an outstandingly good time.