The tiny Caribbean nation of Belize is packed full of wonders, from the world’s oldest known Maya sites to the second largest reef system on the planet. On this refreshing journey, immerse yourself in the world of the Maya on visits to mysterious jungle ruins, and glimpse the living traditions of this ancient civilization as you learn to make tortillas alongside local women. Gain insights into community conservation at a wildlife sanctuary founded by a National Geographic grantee, and culminate your adventure on the idyllic isle of Caye Caulker, perched along the pristine Belize Barrier Reef.
Day 01: Belize City/Burrell Boom
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.
Arrive at any time in Belize City and transfer to our hotel, located just near the village of Burrell Boom.
Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to arrive at any time to the Belize City airport where you will be met and transferred to our hotel near Burrell Boom village, which is about 30 minutes from the airport.
Day 02: Burrell Boom
Enjoy a full day boat excursion to Lamanai—a Maya archaeological site dating from as early as 1,500 BC. Located on the wildlife-rich shores of the New River Lagoon and surrounded by dense jungle, Lamanai is one of the oldest known Maya sites in Central America. Explore the sprawling stone ruins with a local guide, and note the abundance of crocodile motifs at the site; the name “Lamanai” translates as “submerged crocodile” in the regional Maya dialect. Afterward, return to our hotel to relax at the patio bar and pool, or stroll the grounds to spot local wildlife.
Lamanai Ruins Guided Tour
Lamanai is located on the shore of the New River Lagoon and is one of the largest Mayan ceremonial site within the region. Lamanai translates as “submerged crocodile” in ancient Mayan, and the site was occupied as early as 1500 BC. The onsite museum has interesting artifacts on display.
Orange Walk Riverboat Wildlife Excursion
Duration : 0.75 hr – 1.0 hr
Enjoy a thrilling boat ride upriver to Lamanai, past lush forest dripping with vines, orchids and air plants. View the abundant wildlife along the way including tropical and migrating birds, spider monkeys and freshwater crocodiles.
Day 03: Burrell Boom/San Ignacio
This morning, we’ll visit the Community Baboon Sanctuary, co-founded by National Geographic Grantee Dr. Robert Horwich. This community-run organization is dedicated to the conservation of the Yucatán black howler monkey, locally called a baboon. Tour the sanctuary with a guide and observe these endangered monkeys in the wild. Then head to the village of San Antonio to visit a G Adventures–supported women’s cooperative. Try your hand at throwing clay in the cooperative’s pottery workshop, and learn how to prepare corn tortillas using ancient Maya techniques. After lunch, continue to the bustling town of San Ignacio.
The town of San Ignacio is situated on the banks of the Macal River. It is a perfect location to visit the surrounding countryside. All activities here are optional, so the choice is yours: explore the Mayan cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal, containing relics dating back 1400 years, visit the butterfly gardens, or go tubing or canoeing through the natural limestone caves of the region.
Corn tortillas are a staple of Belizean cuisine, and the fresher they are the better. Drop by the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative for a tortilla-making lesson and demonstration. Help grind wet corn kernels on an ancient stone that’s been passed down through generations to the special ladies who work here. Then try your own hand at making perfectly round tortillas, which is harder than you may think. Afterward, enjoy the results of the group with a cup of atole, a local corn drink.
Howler Monkey Experience
Founded by five-time National Geographic-grantee Dr. Robert Horwich, the Community Baboon Sanctuary is a conservation project that works to protect the natural habitat of the black howler monkey through community education and sustainable ecotourism practices. Go for a nature walk in the rainforest with a community guide to observe monkeys in the wild. The sanctuary also promotes the economic development of the surrounding communities through the ecotourism it brings in. Over 200 private, local landowners in seven villages, stretching over 20 square miles, have voluntarily pledged to conserve their land for the protection of the black howler monkey, resulting in an increase in the monkey population. So as part of the experience, also enjoy a cultural demonstration of rice beating and cashew roasting.
San Antonio Women’s Cooperative visit with Pottery Class.
Visit a G Adventures-supported local women’s cooperative, which was founded as a way for under-educated women to earn income and share centuries-old Mayan techniques and knowledge. Meet some of the inspiring women here and gain insight into the tradition of throwing pots. Then sit down to lunch together, sampling traditional foods of the Cayo region.
Day 04: San Ignacio
Discover the stunning Maya ruins of Xunantunich, built over a thousand years ago on a hilltop above the Mopan River. Climb the steps of El Castillo, the site’s tallest structure, to enjoy panoramic views of the jungle; and wander amid intricately carved stelae and well-preserved temples and palaces. Spend the afternoon at leisure, choosing from a variety of optional activities.
Duration : 2.0 hr – 4.0 hr
Distance : 11 km
Getting there includes crossing a narrow river by a hand-cranked ferry which shuttles you across! There is a small fee to enter the grounds and a guide can give you the lowdown on the site. If you would prefer, you can take a taxi (for extra cost) who will also cross on the hand-cranked ferry and drive to the site.
Day 05: San Ignacio
Enjoy a free day to explore San Ignacio and the surrounding countryside. Opt to descend into the spiritual “underworld” of the Maya at the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, an ancient burial site where mysterious rituals took place; visit a butterfly garden to see the brightly coloured local species; or go canoeing or tubing through the region’s breathtaking limestone caves.
Day 06: San Ignacio/Caye Caulker
Drive back towards the coast and catch a ferry to Caye Caulker—one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful cayes or islands—located along the Belize Barrier Reef. Settle into your hotel in this breezy island paradise and choose to take a walk through laid-back Caye Caulker village, home to a small but diverse community of local residents and expats.
Caye Caulker is a long thin limestone caye off the coast of Belize. Fewer than 2,000 people live here full-time – an eclectic mix of Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mennonites, along with a few hippies and retirees. The main street is a sandy pathway and people get around on foot, by bike or golf cart. Apart from eating some sensational seafood (lobster is a local specialty), the main activity is snorkelling and boating along the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.
Day 07: Caye Caulker
Set out to explore the island on a leisurely bike tour with a local guide from the G Adventures–supported Bike with Purpose project. This afternoon, opt for a snorkelling excursion on the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef on the planet. Come face-to-face with sea turtles, manta rays, parrotfish, nurse sharks, and other fascinating creatures as you swim through the warm tropical waters. In the evening, choose to take a relaxing sunset cruise around the island.
The barrier reef off Caye Caulker is a true wonder of nature. Optional snorkel trips get you up close and personal with nurse sharks and rays, to name a few of the wondrous resident creatures.
Belize Bike with Purpose Tour
Duration : 2.0 hr
Take a leisurely bike tour around Caye Caulker with a guide from the G Adventures for Good supported Bike with Purpose project. See the island through the eyes of a local on this two-hour tour, and live the island’s motto of ‘Go Slow’. Feel the island breeze in you hair while knowing you’re supporting a program that helps youth from Caye Caulker build skills for tourism jobs upon graduation from high school.
Day 08: Caye Caulker
Spend the day at leisure, opting to join a full-day sailing and snorkelling trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve—the first marine reserve in Belize. Swim alongside schools of tropical fish in this spectacular natural aquarium and visit the Coral Gardens, perhaps spotting a manatee or two among the vibrant coral formations. Cap off the day with a cruise back to Caye Caulker just before sunset.
Day 09: Caye Caulker
Depart at any time.
|Burrell Boom||02||Black Orchid Resort|
|San Ignacio||03||Mystic River Resort|
|Caye Caulker||03||CayeReef Beachfront Boutique|
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– 08 Nights accommodation
– Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.
– Entrance Fees as per program
– Local English-speaking guide.
– All transfers, sightseeing, excursions as per the program by private vehicle.
– Transport, Parking, Gasoline & Toll ways.
– All present government taxes.
– International Airfare.
– Tips, gratuities, Portage, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks, camera/ video camera charges, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
– Visa fees, personal insurance.
– Any item not specified under cost includes.
– Accommodation in good hotels.
– Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
– Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost.
– Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
– A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
– If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
– Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
– In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
– Sometimes, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
– While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
– Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
– In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.