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Land of Belize


Jump right into the natural wonders, picturesque coastline and rich cultural history of Belize on an 8-day adventure. This often-overlooked paradise is packed full of lush jungle, spectacular ruins, long sandy beaches and first-class underwater attractions, and on this tour, you’ll get the chance to sample them all. From the buzz of Belize City, through the marshlands of the Crooked Tree Sanctuary and to the island paradise of Caye Caulker, discover the best of one of Central America’s little-visited gems. Sit back and relax into the Bel-easy-an way of life.

8 days, from

$1,530

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: QVSE
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer
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Details

Countries Visited:  Belize
Accommodation: Hotel (6 nights), Lodge (1 night)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Ferry , Public Transportation
Included Meals:

  • 1 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches
  • 1 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Laze on the sandy shores of Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize. Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean and snorkel through shallow reefs and atolls surrounding the cayes.

  • Join a group of local women at a co-operative in San Ignacio where they’ll show you how to cook up some traditional recipes and talk about the organisation they founded.

  • Discover the remains of a once thriving Mayan city at the Lamanai archaeological site, reached by a boat trip that reveals some of Belize’s most colourful birdlife.

  • Go wildlife watching in the Crooked Tree Sanctuary, keeping an eye out for the Jabiru storks – the tallest flying bird in Central and South America.

  • Uncover the secrets of crystallised skeletons and crumbling palaces near San Ignacio that have been preserved in their natural glory.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Belize City

Welcome to Belize! Your adventure begins in Belize City – located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture. A welcome meeting will take place at 6 pm tonight where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. If you arrive with time to spare, Belize City has plenty to discover. On the north side is the coastal and maritime museum, housed in the beautifully restored former fire station. Also in the north is the Image Factory, displaying contemporary Belizean artists, and the National Handicraft Centre. The oldest Anglican church in Central America, St John Cathedral, was built in 1812 with bricks brought as ballast in European sailing ships. Opposite is Government House, a preserved colonial mansion that’s well worth a look from the outside.

Day 2: Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

Take a private vehicle to Carmelita, then hop aboard a boat towards the Lamanai Archaeological site. The boat ride is an adventure in itself and your leader will help you spot the colourful birds that live along the river. Arrive at the archaeological site and take some time explore the remains of an ancient Mayan civilisation and its unearthed temples. After your exploration head back up the river by boat, returning to Carmelita and travelling on to Crooked Tree. This inland wildlife sanctuary is full of lagoons, marshlands and creeks, making it one of the best destinations for wildlife spotting. Enjoy your free afternoon exploring the sanctuary by foot or by boat, hoping to spot Jabiru stalks, yellow-headed parrots, Mexican black howler monkeys and Central American river turtles (locally known as the Hicatee). The Crooked Tree village also has some notable and historical sights, having been established around 1750 during the logwood period and thought to be the oldest non-indigenous settlement in Belize. In the evening, settle into your lodge with an included group dinner.

Day 3: Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary - San Ignacio

This morning, drive to the San Ignacio area, stopping along the way at the San Antonio Women’s Co-op, an organisation formed by local Mayan women as a way to share skills and traditional knowledge while earning an income. Join the local women for a cooking demonstration designed to preserve their culinary heritage, then sit down together for lunch. Afterwards, head to Cahal Pech Ruins, a Mayan site in the San Ignacio area. This archaeological site was a royal palace of a ruling Mayan family, consisting of 7 plazas and over 30 structures including temples, buildings and ball courts. The rest of the afternoon is yours to spend as you please. 

Day 4: San Ignacio

Today is yours to take on any of the many optional activities available in San Ignacio. Perhaps take a day trip to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre located with panoramic views over the countryside. The east side of one of the temples has a unique moulded wall surface and the central plaza has three carved stelae (stone slabs). Getting to the site is half the fun as you'll need to take a hand-cranked ferry to cross the river. Otherwise, head to the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a living museum of Maya relics. Wade through the water until you reach the ceremonial site where you’ll find ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons preserved by the natural processes of the cave for over 1400 years. If Maya ruins aren’t your thing, consider a trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls and warm swimming holes, check out the butterfly garden, or canoe down the Barton Creek cave reserve.

Day 5: Belize City - Caye Caulker

Travel by local bus to Belize City where you’ll board a water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker. While there a number of islands off the coast of the mainland, Caye Caulker is certainly the most famous (and arguably the most beautiful!). If you fancy, it’s possible to arrange day trips to the other islands, or to some spectacular reefs for snorkelling – just chat to your leader about your options. Each island has its own character, but all of them have the unmistakable Caribbean pace and charm. Once you’ve arrived on Caye Caulker, join your leader on an orientation walk to get to know this tiny and laidback island. You’ll notice there are no cars here, which makes it a real pleasure to explore. This evening, why not get your hands on some freshly caught seafood, often served up in causal and colourful restaurants to a soundtrack of reggae music.

Day 6: Caye Caulker

If your idea of paradise is white sand, blue waters and palm trees then you’re going to dig Caye Caulker with the next couple of days to explore, relax and get active. Chill out on the beach with a book, or head out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to the magnificent Blue Hole and the world's second-longest barrier reef. Here you might like to take the chance to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters among colourful corals and see tropical fish, sharks, and the occasional manta ray.

Day 7: Caye Caulker

Your time in Caye Caulker is all about taking it easy, so do as much (or as little) as you want with another day here. After a day of swimming and lazing on the beach, you’re sure to get hungry. If you're interested in sampling local cuisine, Belize is famous for its barbequed food, with some of the best meals cooked on the roadside. Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster – not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so (so) good. Always make sure that you respect the season: the lobsters can only be caught between June and February. If you’re out of season, how about some grilled shrimp and a lovely rum and coke made with the local firewater?

Day 8: Caye Caulker

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check out. If you would like to spend more time in Caye Caulker, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

8 days, from $1,530

to book call 1-844-205-6226


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