Off-Site Experiences

Birding Experiences

Guided Tours at Chan Chich Lodge Reserve

Our on-property tours are part of the Chan Chich experience and you won’t want to miss them. We employ three full-time experienced naturalist guides to ensure you get the most out of your time with us. All guided tours in the Chan Chich Reserve help support the ongoing maintenance and land preservation of the rich Selva Maya biodiversity. Hiking and learning about the rainforest interconnectedness with our trained, experienced guides not only offers an authentic local interpretation of the breathtaking natural beauty of our rainforest reserve, but it also means you’re supporting our local community by providing employment.

Walking

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 markings that match the different plants and archaeological features throughout the trail system booklet. 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, or “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 “looters’ 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. Continue here for more information on Chan Chich birding.

Medicinal Plant Walk: Spend some time with our guides learning about a variety of medicinal plants that 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 + plus General Sales Tax (12.5%)

Night Walks: As the sun sets on the tropical rain forest many creatures are settling down for the night while a host of nocturnal creatures emerge. After dinner, grab a flashlight and join your guide for a walk around the lodge area and surrounding trails. See Tarantulas and other spiders, Tree Frogs and 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

Many guests prepare for their visit using our various downloadable species lists:

Vehicle

Night Drives: This safari-style drive uses our specially designed open-backed truck. Private tours utilize our battery powered golf cart. Guides are equipped with high-powered spotlights and will search for the eye-shine of 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 be 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 (Minimum 2 Persons).

Laguna Seca: The name of this wetland habitat translates 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 with severe dry seasons. It is a spot known for water loving bird 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, the upper escarpment is one of the highest points on the property and worth it for the breathtaking vista alone. The high elevation and broad field of view allow bird watchers glimpses of various raptors and vultures that soar the areas thermals. Black-and-White Hawk-Eagles and 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 priced at US $20/hour/person + 12.5% General Sales Tax. Tours to other areas of the property are available upon request.

Off Road

Canoeing: Laguna Verde is a natural spring-fed lake approximately four miles north of the Gallon Jug farm. Take advantage of this tranquil lake and explore the area for the non-dangerous Morelet’s Crocodile, turtles and various bird species. It is not uncommon to spot White-lipped and White-collared Peccary when driving to the lake.
Canoeing is priced is at US $15/hour/person + 12.5% General Sales Tax

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.

For on-property tours we provide:

walking sticks

flash lights (for night walk)

rubber Wellington-style boots (if you prefer bringing your own, we recommend hiking boots with high top socks)