Tent and RV camping in Belize
Tent camping is perhaps the cheapest accommodation option for visitors birding Belize and it has the added advantage of hearing owls and nightjars and being awakened with the dawn chorus. An interesting birding report was originally posted at travellingbirder.com includes logistical information:
Equipment requirements are pretty basic. A waterproof but well-ventilated tent is key. One pleasant alternative is to enjoy the forest nights in a simple screen tent sheltered under a tarp. Foam mattresses, light-weight sleeping bags, a cooler, kitchen utensils, plenty of bottled water, and reliable head lamps round out the kit. In the lowlands the sleeping bags might not be necessary but at higher elevations they are essential for warding off the chill night air. Trangia burners—simple stoves with no moving parts—are a great way to cook. Small and convenient (and harmless-looking to airport security personnel), they burn wood alcohol and produce a nice flame. If you cannot find wood alcohol at a local hardware store, over-proof rum (available at larger grocery stores) is an excellent fuel substitute in the Trangia burners.
In 2001, Belize had only one “real” campground for RVs. Subsequently more have been built. All of the major highways now have at least one campground that has water, electric, and dump facilities.
The five campgrounds detailed below all are relatively safe places to camp and to leave tents and RVs unattended for extended periods because they have two or more of the following safeguards: limited access location, secure fence, resident manager, armed guard. Mileage markers refer to the highway logs included in subsequent chapters.
Caribbean Village Campground and RV Park
This is the longest established campsite and the first one available when crossing into Belize from Mexico. A wooded area behind the campground supports Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Aracari, Black Catbird, and a good list of others.
Hook-ups and facilities: 15-amp outlets (with enough power to run air conditioners), water and dump at each site, bathrooms, showers, internet station, bottled water.
Directions: Heading south on the Northern Highway, the RV Park is at mile 9.2 at the south end of Corozal Town, N 18° 22.99’ W 88° 23.76’. This is only 9 miles from the Mexico border.
Victor’s Inn & Foodery
Although not obvious from the road, a large campsite is behind the restaurant and inn, on a flat, hard surface. A Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl calls at night and Gray-headed Kite and Collared Forest-Falcon call in the mornings.
Hook-ups and facilities: 15-amp outlets (with enough power to run air conditioners), water at each site. Dump station, bathrooms, showers, restaurant, bottled water.
Contact: Victor and Sonia Ayuso. (011) 501-302-0183.
Directions: Off the Northern Highway near Orange Walk Town, exit the bypass at the roundabout at mile 37.4 in the direction of San Estevan. Continue right at the “Y” a half-mile from the Northern Highway. N 18° 5.01' W 88° 32.45'.
Inglewood Camping Grounds
Inglewood Camping Grounds is the best equipped RV park in Belize and hosts a resident Mottled Owl that can be heard at night and sometimes seen flying at dawn. Plain Chachalacas visit at dusk.
Hook-ups and facilities: 30-amp outlets and water at each site, dump station, bathrooms, showers, two palapas.
Contact: Greg and Veronica Carrillo, Inglewood Camping Grounds, Mile 68-¼ Western Highway, San Ignacio, Cayo District; (011) 501-824-3555 or 824-4589; fax is same numbers; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.inglewoodcampinggrounds.com.
Directions: Heading west from San Ignacio, the entrance is at mile 56.1 on the Western Highway log. N 17° 8.34' W 89° 5.25'. This is only 7 miles from the Guatemala border.
An excellent and newly constructed technical school, the entire area is enclosed by a high fence and 24-hour security guard. The school welcomes RV’ers as a way to enhance their programs in tourism education and as a resource for ongoing funding. Within two blocks of the RV campsite is Stann Creek and between the creek and the campsite some 84 bird species have been tallied, including Yellow-headed Parrot.
Hook-ups and facilities: 15-amp outlets (with enough power to run air conditioners), water at each site, two dump stations, bathrooms, showers.
Contact: Dr. Roxanna Alvarez or current manager, ITVET, P.O. Box 119, Dangriga, Stann Creek District; (011) 501-522-0859; email@example.com; http://www.moe.gov.bz/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=96.
Directions: The school is at mile 46.2 heading southeast on the Hummingbird Highway log, across from the intersection with the Coastal Highway. N 16° 59.82' W 88° 18.99'. This is about 8 miles from Dangriga.
Cuxlin Ha resort
Built along Jacinto Creek, the resort is not really a campsite, but readily accommodates RV’ers, including large rigs, with electrical cords and water hoses, but no sewage dump. During a 2007 stay, 61 species were found at the resort, including Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Ruddy Crake, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, and Crimson-collared Tanager. A Striped Cuckoo called incessantly.
Hook-ups and facilities: 15-amp outlets, water available, bathrooms, showers, swimming pool, restaurant.
Directions: Mile 90.3 on the Southern Highway log heading south and 4.6 miles from Punta Gorda. The gravel access road is 2 miles long and can handle large rigs.
In addition to the larger camping areas described above, if you are traveling with only one or two rigs you can usually make arrangements to dry camp in the parking lots of many business establishments, e.g., gas stations, restaurants, bars, stores. Many hotels have special sites set aside for tent camping.
The following birding sites—listed in more detail elsewhere in the book—have offered tent camping and, unless stated otherwise, dry camping for RVs. They are listed here from north to south:
Honey Camp Beach Club & Resort, 7.6 miles off Northern Highway near Orange Walk Town. Exit the bypass at the roundabout at mile 37.4 in the direction of San Estevan and continue 7.6 miles to Honey Camp Lagoon. Tent camping and RV parking, although Honey Camp Road is usually impassable for all but the smallest RVs.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, off Northern Highway, mile 61.1 heading south, limited to a few small spots next to the visitor center. Two-mile gravel access road is often quite rough.
Crooked Tree Lodge, off Northern Highway, mile 61.1 heading south, in Crooked Tree Village, ample space for tents and RVs although access road is difficult for large vehicles and in process (in 2009) of being rebuilt. Electricity and water can be made available.
Community Baboon Sanctuary, off Belize City Bypass, mile 2.9 or 4.2 heading south, near visitor center. Nine miles from the main road, this is best suited for smaller rigs or tents.
Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, mile 16.2 on Western Highway. Tent camping.
Amigo’s Restaurant, Western Highway, mile 16.3 heading west, ample parking and easy access at the restaurant or adjacent JB’s.
Caesar’s Place, Western Highway, mile 45.2 heading west, hook-ups.
Old Mai Gate Village, mile 10.9 on Chiquibul Road, accessed from Western Highway at mile 47.3. This is one mile past Mai Gate, the entrance to Mountain Pine Ridge. Tent camping only.
Barton Creek Outpost, mile 4.8 on Chiquibul Road, accessed from Western Highway at mile 47.3. Tent camping, including tent rentals. (011) 501-662-4797; JimBritt@BartonCreekOutpost.com; www.bartoncreekoutpost.com.
Douglas Da Silva forestry station, mile 23.5 on Chiquibul Road, accessed from Western Highway at mile 47.3. Camping area is behind the soccer field along the access road to Rio Frio Caves. Not accessible by larger rigs.
Las Cuevas Research Station, from mile 34.9 on Chiquibul Road. Tent camping.
Cosmos Camping, Western Highway at San Ignacio, mile 53.9 heading west, hook-ups.
Martz Farm, mile 8.5 on Hydro Road, accessed from mile 62.1 on Western Highway (Benque Viejo del Carmen). Beds, hammocks, and tent camping.
Five Blues Lake National Park, mile 23.1 on Hummingbird Highway. Tent camping.
Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Southern Highway, mile 5.4 heading south, near visitor center, access road is 4 miles long and slippery after rains.Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Southern Highway, mile 14.7 heading south, near visitor center. Access road is 6 miles long, difficult and not advised for larger rigs, but easily negotiated by smaller rigs and cars. Special sites for tent camping.
|Website created by Bert Frenz. Last updated October 30, 2012.|