Belize: Land & Sea

May 21, 2024 —June 03, 2024
This is past program: To apply for a new CCSA program please visit our course search or use the main menu above.

Experience a tropical rainforest and coral reef just miles apart. Belize offers fascinating biological features that characterize these systems as you observe the interactions between humans and their environment. In the rainforest, see iguanas, howler monkeys and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, swim with brilliantly colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates.

Program Package

  • Accommodations
  • Course-related activities and entrances fees
  • Additional cultural program excursions
  • Health and emergency evacuation insurance (International Programs Only)
  • On-Site Director's and staff on-site 24/7

Participants will reside in 3 different accommodation sites throughout Belize.

The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center offers comfortable dormitory style accommodations, which are equipped with hot and cold showers, restrooms, wash house and study area. All rooms have 110V outlets, ceiling or standing fans and fresh linen is provided.

Blue Creek is a small Mayan Village that offers rustic cabins, which vary in size and accommodate 2 to 10 individuals. There is no furniture, drawers or closets. Bathrooms with toilets and showers (water pumped directly from the creek) are located in a central common building. Virtually everyone bathes in the creek (with swimsuits) using biodegradable camp soap.

South Water Caye offers a dorm with bunk beds and restrooms with showers and hot and cold running water. Participants will need to pack bed linens and towels, as they are NOT provided at Blue Creek and South Water Caye.

All meals are provided.

Physical Expectations

While on the mainland, students should expect to be living under relatively hot and humid conditions. Expect to hike 3-5 miles on a daily basis in these same conditions and should expect to encounter some rugged conditions as well as mosquitos. While at Belize TREC, students should expect a short walk on sandy roads to the beach where we will catch a boat ride out to the reef. These typically sunny days the water and due to a greater proximity to the equator, there is a greater risk of sunburn. While riding in the boat, some students do experience seasickness. While on the boat students will need to wear sunblock; while snorkeling, students should also wear a t-shirt in addition to sunblock. The physical exertion of snorkeling for up to 2-3 hours at a single location, and the sun exposure can be tiring. If you cannot swim, a life jacket will be available.

CCSA Central Office

Contact Information

Kara Arvin - Applications

Nate Addington - Payments

Denise Knisely - Travel

William Stevens

On-Site Director

William Stevens Dr. Stevens has been a faculty member at Georgetown College since 1997, where he teaches a variety of courses including vertebrate anatomy, organismal diversity, human physiology, neurobiology, and philosophy of science. He has taught Tropical Ecology in Belize three times for CCSA, and a paleobiology travel course five times for Georgetown College. He has an AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and a PhD in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago, and have done research on mammalian cranial evolution as well as paleontological fieldwork at locations in Canada, and Argentina as well as the U.S.

Group Travel Required

Travel together with faculty, staff and other participants from your CCSA program with our group travel. CCSA will purchase a airline ticket from select U.S. cities on your behalf. The airline cost will be included in your final bill from CCSA. In addition to the flight, you will also receive transport to/from the accommodation in the destination city and the airport.

You can check our currently available departure cities on our departures page CCSA highly recommends this option for those new to international travel.

  • roundtrip air transportation from one of CCSA's designated U.S. departure cities.
  • roundtrip ground transportation between airport and the accommodation site.
  • CCSA faculty and staff to guide you through the immigration and customs process.
* All prices are estimates based on prior programs. Final pricing will be published on the CCSA website by the first payment deadline.


Not required for U.S. citizens for less than a 3-month stay. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining a visa as needed.

Program Dates
May 21, 2024 —June 03, 2024

Base Price
$3,899 - $3,999*
(*price will be determined by application deadline)

Estimated Airfare
$850 - $1,050
(estimated additional cost based on recent airline prices)

Payment Process
See our payments page
Enrollment Status: CLOSED

Regular Application Deadline
February 23, 2024
App Fee Currently $250

Courses Offered

Biology / Earth & Environmental Science

Tropical Biology in Belize
Course Description: Experience two of Earth's most diverse ecosystems by exploring both a tropical rainforest and a coral reef in Belize. Study the fascinating biotic and abiotic features of these systems and observe the complex interactions of their flora and fauna. In the rainforest, see iguanas, howler monkeys, and leaf cutter ants while gaining insight into the Mayan culture and its use of medicinal plants. On the coral reef, the longest in the Western Hemisphere, swim with brilliantly-colored reef fish among the diverse assemblage of corals, sponges, and other invertebrates.
Prerequisite: None
Dr. Rick Kopp | 3 Cr. Hrs. | U/H
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