The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) comprises 240,000 acres of deep tropical forest, which is home to over 300 species of birds, 200 tree species and twelve endangered animal species.
An organization committed to linking conservation and development, PfB has designed a tourism experience on the RBCMA to suit the needs of the serious ecotourist, the casual nature lover and everyone else in between. You can choose to explore the natural wonders of the RBCMA at the mystical La Milpa Field Station.
"Ecotourism" or nature tourism as defined by PfB is "low-impact tourism, based on appreciation of the environment and where a conscious effort is made to re-invest an adequate proportion of revenues in conservation of the resource upon which it is based. It is environmentally-sustainable tourism." PfB takes a comprehensive environmental education approach to tourism development which is evident in all its tourism-related programs, infrastructure and facilities.
Tourism Operations Unit
In 1993, the Tourism Operations Unit was developed with responsibilities for ground services operations and oversight of the service standards of all tourism facilities on the RBCMA.
LA MILPA FIELD STATION
Only an hour and one-half drive away from Orange Walk Town, the La Milpa Field Station lies nestled in the midst of the forest surrounded by a myriad of nature trails. Once a strict research station, it has gradually been transformed into a site for visitation, environmental education and archaeology.
Hiking nature trails, jungle trekking and birding form the order of the day. Your options don't end there, however. Your menu can be further spiced up by an intriguing visit to a local Maya/Mestizo or Mennonite community or an unexpected opportunity to participate in a research project, not to mention day trips to other must-see sites, such as Lamanai, the majestic Maya site nearby.
Comfortable cabanas offer innovative alternatives to conventional hotel accommodations, while the spacious, state-of-the-art 30-bed dormitory provides a wholly unique and educational experience with 'green' technologies such as solar-powered energy and no-flush composting toilets. The Education Center, which houses a classroom and library, is a popular spot with student groups and other visitors to enjoy evening lectures by visiting researchers or browse through a wide selection of reference materials. Educational groups will be especially delighted by presentations from visiting researchers who work on everything from birds, butterflies and bats to palm harvests and natural oil extractions.
Food is half the vacation. A hearty breakfast, comprising local favorites, will fully equip you for the day's activities, whether it be birding from sun-up to sun-down, hiking on one of the nature trails or lazily swinging in a comfortable hammock. A selection of local and international cuisine is bound to satisfy even the most discriminating palate.
La Milpa Maya site
The La Milpa Maya site, another popular attraction and only three miles from the station, is the third largest in Belize and one of at least 60 on the property. In May of 1996, La Milpa received worldwide attention for a royal tomb that was uncovered there complete with the skeleton of a male adorned in a jeweled necklace. Visitors to this station between January and July can almost bank on meeting with an archaeologist or listening in on a presentation on their work.
The quality of this exceptional forest experience is enhanced even further by our highly trained and dedicated naturalists, educators and other staff members. Indeed, the idea that a visitor will leave with a deepened understanding of the real issues surrounding the conservation of the world's tropical forest is integral to PfB's approach to visitation on the lands under its stewardship.
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