The Mennonite Community
The tour to Aguacate Lagoon is a great chance to see the old-world Mennonite community where you can do your bird watching in Belize. You can encounter a wide variety of bird species, including puffbirds, curassows, jacamars, hawks and many other species.
The village of Spanish Lookout in western Belize is home to a tight-knit community of Mennonites. They relocated to Belize in 1959 in search of a life free of religious persecution and the pressures of modern society. Amber Sunset’s tour will pass through the village where participants can see old world industriousness in a setting reminiscent of the traditional farms found in Pennsylvania and Ohio. The drive to Aguacate Lagoon continues through lovely rolling hills until the view opens up to a wonderland of fields and pastures. It is in these fields and pastures that bird watchers will call paradise.
Bird Watching in Belize
Some of the dozens of bird species that can be spotted in and around the lagoon include White-tailed Kites, Swallows, Herons, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Vermillion Flycatchers, Meadowlarks, Roadside Hawks, Blue and Black Grossbeaks, common Black Vultures, Trogons, Crested Guans, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Rails, Crakes, Night Herons, and Fork-tailed Flycatchers. Aguacate Lagoon is one of the best places to bird watch in the eco-tourism heartland of Belize’s western Cayo District.
The waters of the lagoon are perfect for enjoying a refreshing swim. The name of the reserve comes from the Spanish word for “avocado”. It is thought that the sobriquet came from the numerous avocado trees growing in the region. With a cool breeze coming in off of the lagoon, the banks are the perfect place to enjoy a snack or simply relax and marvel at the view. Guest’s can spot local Mennonite children heading to the cool waters of the lagoon. These children also use it to refresh themselves on a hot day.
Aguacate Lagoon Tour participants are encouraged to bring:
- Drinking water
- Camera and batteries
- Quality binoculars
- Comfortable light-weight clothes
- Money for lunch at a Mennonite restaurant in Spanish Lookout
The entire Reserve is a privately-managed nature reserve measuring approximately 284 acres in size. The Reserve is composed of lowland swamp forest, tropical evergreens, and seasonal broad-leaved trees.
It is a thriving wetland environment composed of approximately five acres of fresh water surrounded by both old growth and secondary growth forest. The abundance of water and thick vegetation make the lagoon very attractive to avian species. The trail around the perimeter of the lagoon is an excellent place to spot birds, medicinal plants, and wildlife.