Birding & Activities

Bird-watching

Couple Birdwatching on Chan Chich grounds

Many of the visitors to Chan Chich come specifically for this activity. The Lodge boasts an enviable variety of avifauna with specialties such as the Lovely Cotinga, Ornate Hawk Eagle and Rose Throated Tanager, as well as a host of colorful toucans, parrots and hummingbirds in its species list of over 350. Birding tours can be done of foot in the immediate area and by vehicles which will take you to the various hot spots around the property.  Maximize your species count by taking part in both walking and vehicle birding tours.

Vehicle Tours

Laguna Seca: The name of this wetland habitat translate to “Dry Lake” in English.  The area is often patrolled by a troop of resident spider monkeys and is known for drying up completely in years of severe dry seasons.  It is a spot known for water loving species such as the Northern Jacana, Bare Throated Tiger Heron, Anhingas and many others.  It is also known as a seasonal spot for Lovely Cotingas and Ornate Hawk-Eagles.

Upper Escarpment: Sitting over 900 feet above sea level it is one of the highest points on the property it is a tour that is worth the breathtaking vista alone. The high elevation and broad field of view allow bird watchers glimpses of various raptors and vultures which soar the areas thermals.  Black and White Hawk-Eagles, White Hawks are common to the area.

Gallon Jug Area: Explore the open area around the Gallon Jug farm and coffee plantation for many resident and migrant species.  Toucans, Red Lored Parrots, Crested Guan and many others are permanent residents.  Combine this with a Gallon Jug farm tour to learn about the various agricultural projects on the property.

All daytime vehicle tours are prices at US $20/hour/person + 12.5% General Sales Tax.   Tours to other areas of the property are available upon request.

Walking Tours

Chan Chich Lodge has an extensive trail system of over nine miles of well-maintained trails for hiking and exploring. Trails have directional signs and numbered signs which match the different plants and archaeological features throughout the trail system.  Guests are free to explore the trails on their own or sign up for a guided walk service with one of our resident experts. Walking tours of the trail system area are available at your request.

Archaeological Walk: Led by one of our resident guides, guests will learn about the once thriving Mayan community known as Chan Chich aka “Little Bird”.  The tour starts in the main plaza which was once a Mayan ball court.  Guests will visit the Upper Plaza and get a glimpse of various looter’s trenches from within.  Our guides will share their vast knowledge of Mayan architecture, culture and medicine.

Birding Walk: Chan Chich is home to hundreds of resident bird species and hosts various species of migrant species.  Our guides spend numerous hours studying their habitats, feeding habits and calls allowing them to maximize unique sightings.  This tour is sure to please beginning birders as well as seasoned veterans.

Medicinal Plant Walk:  Spend sometime with our guides learning about a variety of medicinal plants which were used by the Maya and are still used today throughout the region.  Learn about the healing properties of the Provision Tree, Twelve O’ Clock Plant and many others.

All daytime walking tours are priced at US $12.00/hour/person.

Night Walks: As the sunsets on the tropical rain forest most creatures are settling down for the night while a host of nocturnal creatures emerge  to rule the night.  After dinner, grab a flashlight and join your guide for a walk around the lodge area and surrounding trails.  See Spiders, Tarantulas, Tree Frogs and a various interesting critters.  Go deeper into the trails for a chance at Kinkajous, Margays and Ocelots.

Night walks are priced at US $14.00/person/hour + 12.5% General Sales Tax

Canoing

Canoing is offered on Laguna Verde, a small natural spring-fed lake approximately four miles north of the Gallon Jug farm. Take advantage of this tranquil lake and explore the area for Morlet’s Crocodile, turtles and various bird species.  It is not uncommon to spot White Lipped and White Collared Peccary when driving to the lake.

Canoing is priced is at US $15/hour/person.

Horseback Riding

We have a stable of beautiful horses for horseback riding around the Gallon Jug farm and nearby jungle trails. We offer 1, 2 or 3 hour guided rides along jungle trails and/or to remote Mayan sites, such as Punta de Cacao, hidden deep within the jungle of Gallon Jug. This is a Western style horseback riding experience suitable for guests of all ages. Horseback riding is priced at US $20/hour/person + 12.5% General Sales Tax.

Night Drives

The night drive tour is a safari style drive set in the back of our specially designed truck. Private tours utilize our battery powered golf cart.  Guides are equipped with high powered spotlights and will search for nocturnal fauna.  Guests will see several nocturnal birds such as the Northern Potoo and the Spectacled Owl while searching for creatures closer to the top of the food chain.

The tour starts at Chan Chich and makes its way along Chan Chich Road, or the old Sylvester Road in search of nocturnal sightings. While Jaguar, Ocelot, Margay, and Puma can be spotted at all hours, the night drive is considered by most to the best chance for a natural sighting.

Night drive prices are US $20.00/hour/person for 2-4 guests and US $15.00/hour/person for 5 guests and up.  Price does not include 12.5% General Sales Tax