Belize Study Abroad
"Blue Creek is the perfect place to learn about the Kekchi and Mopan culture” - Native Planet
Hidden deep in Southern Belize nestled along the banks of Blue Creek is IZE’s private primary rainforest preserve and wildlife sanctuary. Whether you are seeking adventure or the ecologically spectacular, we have the ultimate rainforest experience!
At every turn along the trail a novel discovery awaits. Perhaps it is a trail of leaf cutter ants or a delicate tree snake that elegantly slithers between the braids of two entangled vines. Enormous bromeliads grip the towering hardwoods as corpulent vines entangle their way throughout the landscape. Over 500 species of ornate birds can be observed from the keel-billed toucan to the purple -crowned fairy. The roar of the howler monkeys can frequently be heard resonating throughout the forest, and if you gaze carefully upon the forest floor, perhaps you will spot the paw print of the elusive jaguar!
On our preserve is a myriad of interconnecting clear blue water pools teeming with exotic fish with an exquisite mountain backdrop. It is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim and snorkeling adventure after a day spent trekking through the rainforest! A short walk from our cabins is the magnificent “Hokeb Ha Cave” Blue Creek’s intricate system of caves complete with crystalline lagoons, crashing waterfalls and mineral pools! Our rainforest paradise is the ideal place to observe and interact with an untouched and complex jungle ecosystem full of Belize’s finest flora and fauna. We are also in close proximity to Mayan communities.
Preserve and Field Station
The Field Station
A true Rainforest
Our rope swing
Blue Creek aerial view
When IZE’s founder, Frederick J. Dodd, set out in 1970 on his first adventure in Central America, this was his experience: “No pavement, no stop lights, no television, no resorts, just mile after mile of bumpy dirt roads and what seemed to be a never-ending expanse of rainforest. Parrots, toucans, monkeys, reptiles and amphibians were everywhere. Every few miles I could jump out of the van and chase snakes down the road. This was as close to heaven as a 23-year-old herpetology graduate student could get!”
At Blue Creek in the modern day, we stay true to his vision (although we do have hot water and power!) of keeping it basic and preserving nature. Our preserve is a heaven for students, as they are able to delve into nature’s mysteries in a setting basically untouched by humans. We here at IZE are educators; in conjunction with our preserve, our biological field station provides a living library and outdoor laboratory for students, researchers, and our guests interested in the environment. Guests of all kinds will have full access to our equipment to learn more about the many different life forms they will find in their adventures in our jungle preserve.
Blue Creek is located approximately 25 miles from Punta Gorda. Flights from Belize City to Punta Gorda are available from Belize City International Airport (aproximatly 1 hour and 20 min flight)