After twenty years in one of the most successful furniture businesses and the sudden ill health of his mentor and father Noel, Paul had a change of consciousness about his life, purpose and legacy. In 2000, he established The European Nature Trust (TENT) with a focus on environmental and educational projects in Scotland and Romania. In 2003, he purchased Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, which is now the focus of a pioneering re-wilding and ecotourism initiative. With Paul at the helm, his unwavering mission is to connect both people and businesses to nature through an ever-increasing number of international environmental projects.
‘My fascination for the natural world was born from an early love of travel, exploration and a career sourcing furniture from around the globe. Yet in a world where a burgeoning human population seems to dominate almost every corner, even the most wild and hidden, it’s becoming ever more relevant to preserve the pockets of wilderness that still remain. Whilst much focus is rightly given to the wildlife and landscape degradation of Africa, Asia and the Americas, the focus of The European Nature Trust – TENT – are the amazing wild places on our doorstep. Romania, for example, is home to the largest tract of original and virgin forests in Europe, but since the fall of communism these have been increasingly threatened by greed and corruption. On the other side of the continent, the landscape of the Scottish Highlands has been under attack from man for thousands of years and just 1% of the original forest remains today. So, the goals of TENT are simple: through our activities – travel, film and events – we support proven conservation projects on the ground in key wilderness areas over the long-term, and above all, connect people to nature.’ Paul Lister
Join Paul and friends on a cycle challenge. With fantastic company, great hospitality, and the most sensational scenery along the way, this is a cycling journey through the tropical wild heart of Belize. We will visit ancient Mayan ruins, explore giant subterranean cave systems and meet the specialists working tirelessly to protect Belize’s natural wonders. We grant unique access to one of the World’s wildest habitats, passing through jungles, across savannah and into the most remote areas not available to the public. This is your chance to experience the rich biodiversity of Central America's flora and fauna as we cycle, canoe and ride our way across the incredible land.
From remote field research stations, to luxury getaway lodges and traditional thatched roof ‘cabanas’, our journey takes us to stay in authentic places where you can experience the real Belize. Spend time with the people on the front line of Central America’s conservation efforts and get an exclusive insight into the projects that are shaping the future of Belize’s natural environment. We will cater for every meal throughout your journey, so you certainly won’t be going hungry! Expect to be treated to fresh seafood, healthy and hearty rice dishes and locally sourced meats - cooked outdoors over the open fire! The specialities include zesty ceviche, warm Johnny cakes and mouth-watering tamales. We ensure with all of our hosts that the food is fresh and filling, to fuel you well for the beautiful biking trails.
Bike Belize was launched to support Friends for Conservation Development (FCD) – an organisation on the front line of conservation in Central America.
FCD is actively engaged to conserve some of Belize’s most impressive wonders. Co-managing the largest protected area in Belize, namely the Chiquibul National Park and the largest cave system in Central America, the Chiquibul Cave System, is a major responsibility for FCD. It is also a privilege for us to operate in the Chiquibul Forest which forms part of the largest contiguous block of tropical forest north of the Amazon.
- Bike hire
- Support vehicles
- Snacks and water
- Travel Insurance
- Personal expenses
Day 1: 25th November 2018 - Arrival
Arrive at the Int’l airport in Belize City (PGIA) and head to our accomodation, Chan Chich Lodge, set in the plaza of an ancient Mayan city, surrounded by miles of lush forest. Here you’ll be sized up for your bikes and meet the team for your trip.
Day 2: 26th November 2018 - Chan Chich to San Ignacio
Today we hit the bike trails, a lengthy cycle from beautiful Chan Chich Lodge en route to San Ignacio. This is a good ride through the rolling hills and farmlands of Northern Belize. We finish with a traditional ferry across the river to DuPlooy’s Jungle Lodge, a remarkable eco-lodge set on 20 acres of lush tropical vegetation. After we have had a chance to freshen up, expect to be invited down to the river for some tubing on the Macal River. A great finish to the day, before we all get together for dinner at the DuPlooy‘s bar.
Day 3: 27th November 2018 - River and Road to San Ignacio
We depart DuPlooy’s in the morning, taking the river route by canoe. We will then stop for a BBQ lunch with some friends, before continuing onwards by bike; we’ll stop at a Cocoa Farm and the local potteries before a beer at the Amigos Bar in San Antonio. That afternoon we arrive at the beautiful and secluded MET, owned and operated by our hosts: the Bevis Family. Here we will enjoy delicious home style cooking, before a night in a native style thatched cabana lit with lamps.
Day 4: 28th November 2018 - Rest Day - Explore the Jungle
Today we have a chance to enjoy a day off the bike. Today is yours to do as you please, and immerse yourself in the area at this incredibly special spot. The morning there is the option to ride, this time on horseback, through the lush foliage and rainforest habitats to a hidden riverine valley. See the native birds, and wildlife with howler monkeys, jaguars, puma, tapir and many more all calling this valley home. The afternoon is your own with opportunity for massages back at the lodge before another night at MET - if you ask Jim nicely he’ll fire up his special wood fired BBQ!
Day 5: 29th November 2018 - Cycle to Macal River Camp
Today we get back on the bike from the MET Lodge and make our way up to our purpose built wild camp on the Macal River, where we will be hosted for a wild camping experience. Here we will unwind and enjoy the wild atmosphere, a chance to really immerse yourself in the jungle and enjoy some authentic outdoor cooking with cold beer! We will hear the sounds of the surrounding wildlife, especially the howler monkeys who may provide your morning wake up call.
Day 6: 30th November 2018 - Cycle to Caracol
We then spend the morning cycling further through the jungle, into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. We arrive in Caracol at lunch time where we enjoy some food, before taking a tour around the Caracol Maya Ruins. This is the end of our ride, as we take to the 4x4s for the tricky route back to Las Cuevas research station. That evening we will enjoy a talk from FCD Director Rafael Manzanero and hear more about the work going on in the area.The night is spent at Las Cuevas research station keeping a lookout for scarlett macaw’s flying overhead.
Day 7: 1st December 2018 - Departure
Our journey has come to an end. We rise and after breakfast we will have arranged to transfer you either onwards to your next destination, or back to the airport to take your flights home. An incredible journey that goes where others simply cannot venture. Through the heart of this beautiful country, you will undoubtedly leave us feeling well and truly connected to nature.