* Includes ten of the most memorable Belize experiences on one exciting journey: • Xunantunich Maya Temple • River Kayaking • ATM Maya Cave • Black Hole Drop / River Cave Expedition • Cave Kayaking • Local Cultural Experiences • Belize Zoo w/ Jaguar Encounter • Jungle Waterfall Rappel • Belize’s longest Zip Line • Reef Snorkel on Belize Barrier Reef • Sea Kayaking
Fall asleep under the stars and awaken to new adventures every day on this extraordinary journey through Belize, packed with adventure and filled with exciting discoveries! Follow the ancient footsteps of the Maya as you climb mighty temples, trek into the jungle reserves to discover hidden caves, delve into the world reknown Barrier Reef of Belize, kayak along incomparable terrain – remote jungle rivers and the wide open Caribbean sea. Experience local culture through the eyes and hearts of Belizeans. Your guide team is the best in Belize! Born and raised in Belize, highly trained, with a true passion for what they do – their knowledge and experience will open the doors to a wildly fascinating Belize experience. Come let us share Belize with you…
Day 1 – Arrival / Transfer to San Ignacio (2 nights)
Day 2 - Xunantunich Maya Temple & River Kayak
Day 3 - Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Maya Cave / Transfer to Hummingbird Highway (3 nights)
Day 4 - Black Hole Drop or River Cave Expedition (your choice of adventure)
Day 5 – Cave Kayak & Belize Zoo with Jaguar Encounter
Day 6 – Transfer to Placencia / Waterfall Rappel & Zip Line / Island Transfer (2 nights)
Day 7 – Reef Kayak & Snorkel
Day 8 - Reef Kayak & Snorkel / Placencia (1 night)
Day 9 – Departure / Transfer to International Airport
Travel west to the Cayo District where you will explore the Maya temples at Xunantunich, embark on your first kayak adventure along the jungle lined river, and discover the mysteries of the Maya at Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, one of the top caving experiences in Belize.
From here we journey along the Hummingbird Highway where the Cayo District meets the Stann Creek District, in the heart of Belize’s adventure terrain. Your second kayak adventure is within the caves branch system, the longest river cave system in Belize. Paddle seven miles into the remote jungle and through multiple cave systems. Upon exiting you will make your way to the Belize Zoo where all of Belize’s native animals, including the jaguar, wait to meet you on a personalized tour of the Zoo. Then, take your pick of adventures - Trek to through the jungle to Actun Loch Tunich, straddle the edge of the sinkhole and rappel 300ft down through the treetops. Or grab a tube on an underground expedition off the beaten path and into the river cave system to explore ancient Mayan ceremonial centers, pottery, artifacts, altars, obsidian blood letting blades, jade and the actual footprints of the Shaman and priests that date back to 400 A.D. – this isn’t a relaxing tube float, you will exit your tubes often to explore chambers within the cave.
After three nights in the jungle, you will travel by boat charter to the beautiful Silk Cayes – coconut trees are home on sun-kissed islands at the reefs edge. Its time to kayak and snorkel the islands nearby islands teeming with a remarkable diversity and abundance of marine life for some of the best snorkeling in Belize. Your island base camp is the ideal combination of sea and stars for your island experience. Paddle or if weather conditions are right, sail into Placencia where you will spend your last night in a comfortable room with a hot shower!
Note: This is an adventurous expedition – the best of its kind in Belize - taking us into remote regions on outstanding adventures. Participants should be relatively fit in good physical condition. Unexpected situations may occur and participants should be ready to handle these. Weather conditions affect water levels, hiking trails, and tour conditions and may increase the level of difficulty. Trip itineraries may vary significantly depending on water levels.
TYPICAL DAILY ITINERARY
Day 1 – Arrival & Transfer to San Ignacio, Cayo District. Your van and driver are waiting to meet you when you arrive in Belize at the International Airport. Transfer by comfortable air-conditioned van to San Ignacio, Cayo District where you will enjoy a local dinner and have the opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. San Ignacio and sister-town, Santa Elena make up Belize's second largest urban area. The two towns are separated by the Macal River and Belize's only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawksworth Bridge (Built in 1949). Together the towns have a combined population of about 20,000 including: Creole, Mestizo (Spanish-Maya), Lebanese, Chinese, Mennonite, Maya and other cultures. Known locally as "Cayo", San Ignacio is located along the Western Highway about 70 miles west and 90 minutes drive time from Belize City and 9 miles east of the Guatemalan border. Teeming with archaeologists, peace corps workers, North American retirees and thrill seekers, "Cayo" is a unique blend of America's Old West and tropical backwater with frontier-like wooden shops on narrow streets. Burns Avenue is "Main Street" and a good place to begin a tour of the town. Time permitting (and energy levels!) learn about the Green Iguana in Belize at the Green Iguana Conservatory. Accommodation: Hotel / Meals: Dinner
Day 2 – Xunantunich Maya Temple & River Kayak. This Classic period (300-900 AD) ceremonial center offers large plazas ringed with pyramids. The center is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces. We highly recommend that you make the steep, but short, 130ft climb to the top of "El Castillo" for a breathtaking, 360 degree, panoramic view over the river valleys. Then its on to the river kayak portion of our day. This stretch of river offers the tranquility of lush rainforest, vibrant flora and active fauna that you expect to encounter in a sensitive intact eco-system. Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 – Actun Tunichil Muknal / Transfer to Hummingbird Highway. Rise early today to start on Belize’s top caving adventure. Head out on a 45 minute jungle trek where you will wade across the river at three separate crossings to arrive at the mouth of the "Cave of the Stone Sepulcher", one of the most impressive caves in the Maya Lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean Rainforest in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, this cave was a sacred place to the Maya of Belize, who first began to use the entrance during the early classic period. It was not until the late terminal classic period that the Maya travelled deeper into the Cave to conduct their ceremonies. The cave system consists of a series of chambers, ending in a large Cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Here lie those individuals sacrificed to the gods of the underworld. After the tour continue en route to our jungle base camp where we will spend the next three nights. Accommodation: Lodge / Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 – Your Choice of Adventure. Today is yours to choose! Starting point for either tour is just 10mins away. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast then pick your hiking boots or your water shoes. On the River Cave Expedition you combine cave tubing and cave exploration to explore this incredible river cave system where ancient Maya Ceremonial centers, pottery, artifacts, altars, obsidian blood letting blades, jade and the actual footprints of the Shaman and priests dated to 400 A.D. are still seen. Spectacular crystal formations over 5,000,000 years old cast eerie shadows into the black abyss as you explore and experience the most sacred area of the ancient Maya. Or opt for the Black Hole Drop. Spectacular, incredible, a rush! These are the adjectives used to describe your next adventure! This expedition starts off with a vigorous hike into the foothills of the Maya Mountains. The edge of the Actun Loch Tunich sink hole sits over 300 feet above the basin below, 200 feet above the rainforest canopy that grows out from the sink hole basin. Your fully trained caving guides rig a system of rappelling ropes for your decent to the basin below. The first 10 feet provides the adrenaline, the next 200 feet provides an unforgettable experience and sights to behold, the last 100 feet takes you down through the rainforest canopy. Accommodation: Inland Base Camp / Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner Out
Day 5 – Cave Kayak & Belize Zoo with Jaguar Encounter. Gear up and get comfortable in your kayak in a quiet jungle lined pool. Follow the gentle currents 7 miles downstream through a series of caves and as well as along the jungle lined open river. At the midway point, you will break for a picnic lunch enjoying the view of the jungle all around and the crystal clear river as it flows by. After a refreshing swim, grab your kayak for a 10minute jungle portage to the mouth of another cave where you will set your kayaks for the home stretch. A true Belize adventure sure to have lasting memories of your Belize vacation! Your cave kayak adventure ends at the doorstep of the Belize Zoo which begs a visit. The zoo, created to care for 17 abandoned animals is now home to over 150 animals – all native to Belize. The Jaguar Encounter program serves to protect and preserve the mighty jaguar.
Day 6 – Transfer to Placencia / Jungle Waterfall Rappel & Zip Line / Island Transfer (2 nights). Sixteen miles of natural sandy beach, a virgin mangrove-fringed lagoon, a wonderland of coral-studded cayes, nearby jungle rivers and pristine rainforest Garifuna, Creole and Mayan cultures and ancient Mayan ruins make Placencia the ideal location for the adventure traveler! The people of Placencia are from as diverse a background as are its visitors. En route to Placencia, we will stop in at Bocawina National Park for a 300ft waterfall rappel and zip line along Belize’s longest cable system. Upon arrival in Placencia we’ll board our boat for the 35min transfer to the nearby island where we will spend our first night. Accommodation: Island Base Camp Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 – Reef Kayaking & Snorkel. Wake up to breakfast on the beach then start with an introduction to sea kayaking and gear. Your guides review the fundamentals of kayaking on the Barrier Reef. Test our new-found skills with a paddle and snorkel along the reef teeming with marine life. Enjoy the camaraderie of adventure with your guides and fellow paddlers as you chat about Belize’s marine life, local culture and personal experiences. Accommodation: Island Base Camp. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 – Reef Kayaking & Snorkel / Placencia (1 night). We rise early today to snorkel the reef and then we continue our paddle in towards Placencia where comfortable beds and hot showers await us! If wind conditions are right, we will sail our kayaks in for an outstanding kayaking experience. Accommodation: Placencia hotel Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – Departure. After breakfast, its time to depart to the International Airport for your flight home or connect to our Post Trip Extension at Tikal, Guatemala Accommodation: not included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
INCLUDED: - all meals, nightly accommodation for 8 nights, transfers and tour experiences as described on itinerary - unlimited use of equipment and facilities - use of dry bags for sea kayaking portion of trip - Superior licensed professional Belizean guides - All Hotel Tax (9%), Sales Tax (12.5%) and applicable Service Charges (varies per hotel)
NOT INCLUDED: • Extension nights not included • Alcoholic drinks are not included • Country departure tax not included (may already be included on your international flight ticket) • International flight costs are not included • Personal gear • Gratuities are optional and are not included • Extra costs due to late arrival, lost baggage and/or circumstances beyond our control
Days 1 and 2: we begin our Belize Expedition staying 2 nights In San Ignacio at Cahal Pech Lodge perched on the hilltop overlooking downtown. The view is magnificent, accommodations are individual thatch roof cabanas dotted along the hillside. Just a few steps from the resort, is the temples at Cahal Pech available for you to explore on your own.
Days 3, 4 and 5: we stay on the Hummingbird Highway at Yamwits Lodge. Set on the outskirts of a citrus grove and overlooking the jungle with a perfect view of the “sleeping giant”, this lodge is ideally situated for upcoming adventures.
Days 6 and 7: Silk Caye and Lark Caye Range, making our way back toward Placencia we are on a kayak “moving trip” where we set our tents for each night
Day 8: hot showers and comfortable surroundings await us in Placencia Village at the Paradise Hotel. Tomorrow we prepare for the transfer to the International Airport to catch your departure flight. Or opt for a post trip extension visiting Tikal, Guatemala.
Maximum Group Size on Expedition: maximum of only eight guests for personalized attention and outstanding experience! Based on double occupancy for itinerary as described.
PRE AND POST TRIP EXTENSIONS:
PRE TRIP EXTENSION: Lamanai Temple Discovery: US$382.52pp, double occupancy, meals, transfers, tours inclusive
Arrival – Transfer to North Belize
Next Day – Lamanai Maya Temple Tour
Following Day – Transfer to Expedition meeting point
POST TRIP EXTENSION: Tikal Maya Temple Discovery: US$541.98pp, double occupancy, meals, transfers, tours inclusive
Day 9 – Transfer San Ignacio, Cayo District
Day 10 – Tikal Maya Temple Tour (or overnight at Tikal!)
Day 11 – Transfer to Belize City / International Airport