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Target Earth
Field Trips

Important Details

Field trips are often what is remembered when a group recounts their trip. The group must contact Jaguar Creek via the Field Trips and Service Project Form found in the Leader's Manual at least one month in advance. A major exception to this would be if the group is coming through Target Earth's Teams Program - then the Teams program would coordinate all service project activities with Jaguar Creek.

Several field trips require reservations that must be made several weeks or months in advance. Groups must provide their own transportation. Jaguar Creek provides a sack lunch for day trips when asked to do so, but overnight field trips involving food and lodging away from Jaguar Creek are paid for directly by the group. We will make reservations for you if we are planning your trip.

At Jaguar Creek

Jaguar Creek Reserve

Our facility is in the midst of our own private jungle reserve of 700 acres so there is plenty of property to explore. Boa Constrictors, Howler Monkeys and Keel-billed Toucans call this home.

The Creek

Close and very refreshing, especially in the middle of a hot afternoon. Jaguar Creek flows out of a cave, meanders through jungle and then goes back underground.

Trails

Trails wander around the creek of Jaguar Creek, out to Blue Hole and through the Reserve.

Caves Branch River

We have a small piece of riverfront property that allows us to swim, bird and explore this unique river.

Near Jaguar Creek

Blue Hole National Park

This park with its 574 acres of tropical forest is run by the Belize Audubon Society and is home to over 250 species of birds, huge trees, caves and some magnificent limestone karst topography.
  • The Visitor Center - The exhibits, picnic facilities andbathroom make it a great place to start.
  • St. Herman's Cave - At about 1/4 mile, it's a long, dark cave. However it is also an important Mayan archeological site and there is life in there.
  • The Observation Tower - It is a steep hike up, but you get a great view from up there and it's well worth the effort.
  • The Blue Hole - This is a fantastic, tropical swimming hole with water 25 feet deep. This grotto is a limestone sinkhole (a collapsed cave) with an underground river flowing from it.
  • The Hummingbird Loop Trail - It starts near the Blue Hole and is, as the name says, a loop trail.

Guided Cave Exploration

Two local companies lead excellent caving and river cave trips. You'll be able to see Mayan artifacts where they have lain for centuries, cave life and beautiful cave formations.

A Short Drive From Jaguar Creek

The Eden Conservancy Property

This is 3400 acres connecting the Sibun Forest Reserve and Blue Hole National Park; these lush tropical, forest and fog shrouded peaks have been preserved by Target Earth International and it is in the process of being given to the Belizean Audubon Society to be managed along with Blue Hole National Park as a part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor Project, a multi-national and multi-organizational effort to provide habitat for wildlife now and in the future.

Visit a Farm

Learn about tropical and organic agriculture from friends of Jaguar Creek. This farm has 25 acres of mixed orchard with over 15 types of fruit trees including cashew, banana and grapefruit.

Visit an Old Order Mennonite Community

We may be able to schedule a visit with one of the families in this community. Farming is via horse drawn tractor and they have a horse-powered sawmill. You may see them going to town in horse drawn wagons.

Five Blues National Park

The Belize Audubon Society manages this park in cooperation with the Village of St. Margarets. It boasts a beautiful 250 feet deep lake with great swimming, a dock and diving platform, and canoe and bike rentals. There are hiking trails and guided cave tours.

Armenia Village Churches

Baptist, New Apostolic, Pentecostal (Rivers of Life), Church of God, Roman Catholic Church, and the United Pentecostal Church. Let us know before you go and we'll advise you on cultural issues.

Armenia Village Ke'tchi, Maya and Hispanic Home Stays

We set up for your group to stay in the houses of local villagers for a small fee. Your group would eat the same food and sleep the same way they do. The host families will likely befriend the members of your group and are willing to introduce them to their way of life - a way of life very different from the normal North American experience.

Belmopan Area: The Nation's Capital

The Market Area, Busses, and the National Buildings

This area is the central part of Belmopan. In the buildings around the parking lot, which serves as the center of the market, there are fresh fruit and produce stands, a "finger-licking" BBQ chicken stand, and small shops in market stalls. Near the bus station is the Caladium Restaurant, which is relatively cheap and quite good. Busses leave going North, West and South to Belize City, San Ignacio, and Dangriga and beyond. Off to the side of the market is a collection of modern looking cement buildings. These are national government offices.

Techno Hub

Enter the Techno Hub and you are catapulted into a Belizean technological heaven. Peter Webb or his wife, Maggie, will help you check your web-based email (yahoo, hotmail, aol, etc.) or let you surf the web. Rates as of December 2002 were BZ$ 12.00 an hour. It is inside the Novelo's bus station on one side of the market and open during normal business hours about 8:00 to 6:00. Closed Sunday, and also when the power is out, when the phone company has problems and anytime the owner steps out for a short while.

Laundromat

Clothes muddy and wet? We can't do your clothes at Jaguar Creek, but will let you know where to go in Belmopan.

King's Children Home

This is a Christian group home with about 50 children in it. It is sponsored by Target Earth/Jaguar Creek as well as by churches in the US. Please do not just pop in and disturb their schedule. Spending time here could be a Service Project.

Guanacaste National Park

Managed by the Belize Audubon Society, this 50 acre park is at the junction of the Western and Hummingbird Highways and gets its name from a huge Guanacaste tree that escaped the axes of the last century. The Guanacaste tree is on a short loop trail and passes by the Belize River. There is also a new and very nice swimming and sunning structure on the river here.

Belize River Birding

A nearby lodge on the banks of the Belize River has a wonderful bird observation tower on a large pond. Montezuma's Oropendula, Red-lored Parrots, Boat-billed Herons and many more birds are here.

Belmopan Creole/Garinagu/Mestizo Home Stay

We set up for your group to stay in the houses of local city people for an extra fee. Often not rich, they are also often not subject to the poverty of the surrounding villages. Your group would eat the same food and sleep the same way they do. The host families will likely befriend the members of your group and should be willing to introduce you to their way of life - a way of life very different from the normal North American experience.

Belmopan Churches

Major English speaking churches are: Belmopan Baptist Church, Evangelical Bible Church, The Church of the Nazarene, Belmopan Methodist Church, St. Ann's Anglican Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Church.

San Ignacio Town: an Eco-tourist Border Town

Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins

This is a small site, but an interesting one because it is easy to visualize the people actually living in the dwellings and around the temple. Excavation is ongoing - so you might see archaeologists in action.

Xunantanich Mayan Ruins

A major tourist attraction, the main temple structure, El Castillo, rises 130 feet. Climbing it gives you a great view of the local countryside and a peek across the border into Guatemala.Excavation is ongoing - so you might see archaeologists in action.

Macal River Canoe Trip

Canoe down the Macal River; it's a great way to see the river the way it should be seen. You may see a bit of white water - but nothing extreme. Birds are abundant and you'll very likely see Iguanas basking on tree trunks. You'll probably swim too!

Barton Creek Cave Canoe Trip

This is an afternoon or morning trip - but you won't know which while you are in the cave! Your guide points out fascinating formations as you paddle and drift through the darkness. This is a very unique trip.

The Butterfly Farm

Many different species of butterflies are studied and captive bred in this large greenhouse. The butterflies are gorgeous and it is a fascinating visit.

A Mennonite Settlement

Visit a Mennonite Family: Tour, Meal, Home Stays

We will arrange for you have a tour of the community, eat at a Mennonite farmer's house and listen to his story of how the Mennonites came to Belize. Meals are hearty farm cooking and Home Stays are possible and are at extra cost.

The Chicken Factory

Most of the chicken and eggs consumed in Belize come from here and this is where our kitchen's chicken and eggs come from. This is a clean, modern and efficient chicken-processing factory and their tour is both educational and a bit gory in nature. Warning: students have become vegetarians due to this tour.

Ice Cream and Cheese Factory

You will want to stop here because the best ice cream in the country is made here. Much of Belize's fresh milk and cheese comes from here too.

Buffet Restaurant

All you can eat farm-style food buffet. This is the only place in town and it's great.

Mennonite Churches

The Kleinegemeinde Church, New Jerusalem Church.

Belize City: City Life

The Belize Zoo

If you are going to Belize City then spend at least an hour here. It started with a few animals cast off after a movie, has grown, and is now a center of environmental education for the entire country. A must see.

The Government House Historic Site

Closed for renovation and far from the hustle and bustle of the city center is this quiet, old building which was the seat of power for over 150 years. During British colonial rule, governors and superintendents lived here.

Reef and Beach

Belize has the world's second largest barrier reef and so is a snorkeling and diving paradise. There are about 200 islands along the reef; some are reserved for wildlife, most are uninhabited, and a few have been developed for the tourist industry.

Caye Caulker

A major tourist attraction with recreational options and food and lodging. Simple and inexpensive. Snorkeling is very good and manatee watching is an option.

San Pedro/Ambergris Caye

A major tourist attraction with recreational options and food and lodging. More expensive and developed than Caye Caulker. Snorkeling is very good.

Turtle Shores

This is a new Christian retreat center near Gales Point, north of Dangriga. It is remote and there is much beauty in that. No shops, no crowds, no hassles. Three species of turtle nest in the beach sands here.

Tobacco Caye

This very small island barely rises above the barrier reef. It is a popular destination and is literally full of places to stay. Good snorkeling.

Marine Research Centre

Run by a local university, this island is a long way from the mainland. It is expensive to get there since it's a long way out there, but the reef in near perfect condition making it excellent for snorkeling and diving. Kitchen and sleeping accommodations exist.

Way Out: Longer Trips from Jaguar Creek

Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

This is a great wildlife viewing site. It is run by the Belize Audubon Society and is one of the premiere bird watching spots of the country. It's one of those places best seen with a guide and boat since most of the 3,000 acres is wetlands.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

This is about 20 miles southwest of Dangriga, is 102,000 acres large and run by the Belize Audubon Society. It was set aside as a reserve for jaguar and the numbers here are probably higher than anywhere else in Belize.

Mountain Pine Ridge

The Maya Mountains, of which Mountain Pine Ridge is a part, are geologically and biologically unique because they are elevationally isolated from their surroundings. Plants and birds are different here due to the granite and metamorphic rock base (as opposed to limestone elsewhere) and the cooler and higher environment. This trip goes up into the pine-covered forest of this region where there are superb examples of differing types of forestry management. Currently much of the pine forest is affected by the Pine Bark Beetle and so is dying. Four wheel drive may needed.

Caracol: The Belizean Tikal

This huge Mayan site is 17 kilometers square, but there is a central area and that is the main attraction. There is good evidence that Tikal was once defeated by Caracol, and the tallest human structure in all of Belize is here - not in Belize City. There are huge temples and a nice entrance museum that explains what you will be seeing. This is a site of active restoration and investigation - so you may see archeologists at work. Four wheel drive may be needed since it is in the Mountain Pine Ridge area.

Guatemala: Outta Da Country

Tikal National Park

This is a world-class archeological site as evidenced by the cosmopolitan nature of the tourists that throng to this special place. Several huge temples rise out of the jungle mist and the area teems with wildlife. It will take you all of one day to see only some of what there is here. This is a must see if you are in the area.

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