It looks like Belize is ready for visits from international birders! Of the few places in the world that can be visited on a birding trip, Belize appears to be a top choice (if not THE top choice) at this time. There will be limits to how and where you can go birding but despite Latin America being a current pandemic hotspot, Belize appears to have the virus under control.
Keel-billed Toucans will be waiting…
Due to quick actions, strict controls and quarantines, Belize has at this point avoided community spread of the virus and has had rather few cases. With this in mind, the government has set up a good set of protocols to restart tourism. In brief, it goes something like this:
- Book travel to Belize with approved accommodation.
- Register on the Belize health app.
- Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
- Follow health protocols and wear mask at airport of departure.
- Arrive and go through health screening with verification of information on the Belize Health app.
- Verify certified pcr test results, then head to immigration.
- If the test is positive, you have two weeks of quarantine at your expense.
- If you don’t have a test, at this point, you take a quick one at your expense.
- After immigration, passenger goes to domestic flight or approved ground transportation and on to the hotel.
- You have to check in via the health app each day.
- There are daily health checks at the hotel for both guests and employees.
- Social distancing and wearing of masks in public places is obligatory.
- If you show symptoms, you will be tested and possibly placed in quarantine.
With that in mind, birders should also take these factors into consideration:
- Guests can only stay at approved hotels and travel with approved transportation providers. The hotels on this list have yet to be announced.
- Guests cannot travel around on their own.
- Birding will also be limited to the property of the hotel and to approved tours because guests can’t really travel anywhere else.
Naturally, these restrictions will limit birding in Belize for the time being, but, at least Belize can act as an option for international birding! Eventually, when the list of approved hotels is made known, we will have a better picture of what a birding trip to Belize will entail during the pandemic. For more information and updates about approved hotels and other providers, check the site at the Belize Tourism Board. Hopefully, nature lodges will be approved and even if a birder is restricted to a couple of hotels, he or she should still have some great birding opportunities on the hotel grounds and on approved day trips.
and many other beautiful tropical birds!
With Belize re-opening to tourism, there has never been a better time to get ready for your trip than now! Prepare or birding in Belize and mark target species with the Belize Birds Field Guide app, a full feature, customizable digital field guide that shows images for 600 species and vocalizations for 558. Have a fantastic trip!