My boyfriend and I are considering a trip to Belize sometime this summer. The purpose of the trip would mostly be for birding, but we are novice birders, not hardcore birders looking to add the n-thousandth birds on our lists--we have no extremely rare specialties we're seeking. More simply, we are both really hooked on birding and would love both to see the rainforest in general and also the incredibly diversity of critters there--especially avian critters.
I have several questions, actually:
Is summer a bad time of year to go to Belize? Which is better, earlier (May, June) or later (June, July) or should we even shoot for September?
Very important--where should we stay? I have seen ads for the Chan Chich lodge but know that there are other places as well. We are looking for something fairly inexpensive but with not too much "roughing it." Though we are novices we would still appreciate good guides as well.
Also, what might be a good guide for Belize?
Many thanks to whoever might have some recommendations!
Cheers, and good birding!
SUMMARY OF RESPONSES
A summary of the recommendations I have received to date: In terms of weather and season, people noted that summer is the rainy season, and that autumn can be stormy as well. March, April and May were suggested, with June given a question mark, for good months to visit. Some opined that although summer is the rainy season, it could be doable. Others thought opportunity for birding might be limited.
Chan Chich was recommended but simultaneously it was noted that it is relatively expensive. People/places recommended also included: Kevin Louphlin at Adventure Camera and Travel; the Crooked Tree refuge and in particular Glenn Crawford, also the Paradise Inn there; an iffy yes on Chaa Creek Lodge; Lamani; and the dormitories at Rio Bravo and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Recommended guides: The Peterson Guide to Birds of Mexico (plus a North American guide of some type); the Howell and Webb to Mexico. Also recommended is an ABA tape on "Birds of Chan Chich Lodge."