Do you have a family full of animal lovers? How about adventurous and caring kids? We thought so.
The third EnviroKidz EnviroTrip contest is set to send two lucky families help save the sea turtles on an eco tour in Belize. This 7-day EnviroTrip will be a fun, educational holiday your animal-loving family will never forget. To give you a taste of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, here’s a sneak peek into what the winners will enjoy.
The Turtley Awesome 7-Day Itinerary!
Day 1: Arrive to Belize
You'll fly to Belize! The group will be picked up at the airport and transferred to a boat to head to the EcoMar Research Station on St. George’s Caye, located about 10 miles from Belize City near the Belize Barrier Reef. After we arrive, we will have an orientation and if time allows, families can swim/snorkel at the station after settling.
The waters around St. George’s Caye provides important habitat for endangered green, loggerhead, and hawksbill sea turtles and Antillean manatees. As a volunteer on this program, you will work side-by-side with researchers from EcoMar to conduct in-water sea turtle, dolphin, and manatee research surveys.
Days 2 - 4: Ocean Wildlife Surveys & Snorkeling
Over the next 3 days, the group will do two activities per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon with some down time around meals and late afternoon. In some cases, the group will split up and rotate activities. Which activities are done each day will be decided on site based on the weather, ocean conditions, and group preferences. The evenings will include presentations on ocean wildlife, the rich history of St. George’s Caye, and more. Find out more about the activities at the end of this post!
Day 5: Crystal Paradise
After breakfast, take the boat back to the mainland and catch a private bus to go inland to the rainforest area of Belize. On the way, the group will stop at a butterfly farm and then head to the Crystal Paradise Resort. After lunch, there will be an optional canoe tour of the Macal River, a calm river. Are you ready for a relaxing day?
Day 6: Cave Tubing and Ziplines
One of Belize’s most popular tours. After breakfast, you’ll ride about 1.5 hours to the Nohoch Chen cave. Start with an easy 45 minute guided jungle walk, learning about rainforest plants and animals along the way. Swim in the cool clear water and hop on the tube for a fun ride through the caves, checking out beautiful stalactites and jungle views along the way. Afterwards, fly through the forest on 7 zip lines for a different view of the forest. Yippee!
Day 7: To Airport
After breakfast, it’s time to depart to the Belize Airport for your flight home. We’ll miss you!
How To Enter
Are you packing your bags already? Start by looking for specially marked boxes of EnviroKidz, find the unique entry code inside each box and enter to win. You can enter up to once a day, so play away to enter your family to win the EnviroTrip of a lifetime!
Click the banner below to enter using your unique entry code:
Sea Turtle Surveys
EcoMar has been conducting in-water snorkel surveys to assess sea turtle abundance and diversity at Gallows Point since 2009. The surveys are done by boat along shallow fore and patch reefs. With help from skilled local fishermen, sea turtles are captured by hand and then measured, sampled, and tagged to help scientists track their movements and understand population dynamics. Traditional fisherman have become important conservation assistants since they spend their days on the seas and have the skills required to swim quickly and dive deep to capture the turtles. This activity requires strong swimming ability to participate (though the full group will be able to see the turtles once caught). Since catching a turtle can be difficult, we cannot guarantee that a turtle will be caught during the activity.
The Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) is an endangered subspecies of the West Indian Manatee; less than 2,500 mature individuals of this subspecies are thought to remain. Belize is home to the largest population of Antillean manatees in the world. We will observe them from the boat at the mouth of the Belize River and elsewhere, recording their sounds and images by drone and photographs.
In 1992, Oceanic Society began a long-term study of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) aimed at documenting their abundance, distribution, and behavioral ecology in Belize. The research will focus on dolphin behavior in the context of specific habitats. You will accompany the researcher to known dolphin “hotspots” within the atoll to look for small groups. Our goal is to determine habitat use, and our days are spent working in small teams recording dolphin behavior on standard data sheets, plotting location, and identifying individual dolphins.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
You will also spend a day visiting the famous Hol Chan Marine Reserve to explore the shallow patch reefs and compare the fish abundance between reefs inside and outside of the reserve. Hol Chan is located off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye and is Belize’s oldest marine reserve. Due to its protected status, what was once a depleted fishing area has now been allowed to regenerate, providing an unparalleled diving/snorkeling experience for visitors and an important refuge for marine life along the northern section of the Barrier Reef.
More than 160 species of fish have been identified in the reserve, along with nearly 40 species of corals, 5 sponges, 8 algaes, 2 seagrasses, 3 marine mammals, and 3 species of sea turtle.
Proposed itinerary may be subject to change