Tropical wilderness, abundant wildlife, hidden caves, ancient ruins, wonderful lodges, cultural immersion and the second largest barrier reef in the world. Is there anything else you could possibly need add to make the perfect trip? Considering the experiences on offer it is truly astonishing how little mainland Belize has been explored. On this 14 day trip you will immerse yourself in all things Belize and come away wondering how an earth it has stayed such a secret.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
14 Days: Lamanai - Caracol - Actun Tunichil Muknal - Hopkins - Big Falls – Placencia - Barrier Reef
Activities: wildlife & birding, jungle lodges, Mayan ruins, Garifuna & Maya communities, chocolate making, beach time, snorkelling
Day 1: There is no hanging about as you are met on arrival and driven north to meet your boat, taking you inland to the stunning Lamanai Outpost Lodge and the start of your adventure through Belize. Lamanai Lodge is situated on the banks of a 28 mile long spring-fed lagoon amid the remnants of a major Mayan city. It is surrounded by an incredible variety of habitats that facilitate unsurpassed nature-based and soft adventure activities that depart right from your cabaña’s doorstep without the need for day trips. (D)
Days 2 & 3: Lamanai lodge offers a choice of activities that allow you to explore the natural and cultural surroundings of this special place. (B/L/D)
Day 4: Continue your journey to your lodge at Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, the gateway to the ancient Mayan world. From here you will explore the magnificent Maya site of Caracol, the largest archaeological site in Belize. Covering 30 square miles of high canopy jungle, it includes five plazas, an astronomic observatory and over 35,000 identified buildings. The loftiest among them, a massive pyramid (Caana) is capped by three temples and rises over 140 feet above the jungle floor. (B/L)
Day 5: Actun Tunichil Muknal, The 'Cave of the Stone Sepulchre' is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya Lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean rainforest, this cave was a sacred place to the prehistoric Maya. You will explore the cave system by way of a series of chambers, ending in a 300 by 50 metre cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Here you will be able to travel into the Mayan past and witness a living museum where the human sacrifices and artifacts can be viewed in their original context. (B/L)
Day 6: Time to continue your journey as you head south to the a small laid back coastal town of Hopkins. You will have the afternoon to relax and dip your feet in the warm waters of the Caribbean. (B/L/D)
Day 7: After the morning by the pool or on the beach you will take a short drive to the local Garifuna community at Palmento Cove where you will be immersed into all aspects of the Garifuna culture. Pick your own coconuts to husk by hand, the same coconut you will then grate and cook with whilst you prepare your delicious traditional fish dinner of Hudut. After you have filled your belly with the tastiest of food and listened to stories explaining the history of the Garifuna, it's time to finish off with an epic drumming session. Taught by a local musician of over 30 years, you will learn three Garifuna rhythms before heading back to the hotel for a well deserved rest! (B/D)
Day 8: Keeping on your southern trajectory, enter the peace and tranquility of The Lodge at Big Falls. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing in the pool, staring up at the giant iguanas sunbathing on the branches above, explore the forest trails surrounding the lodge or jump in a tube and float down the incredibly beautiful river on the property. (B)
Day 9: Birding! Spend a day with the local birding expert Steven Choco, a vastly experienced, knowledgeable and skilled birding guide. There are varied habitats to explore from high forest and swamp lands to savannah grasslands and coastal forest and mangroves. (B)
Day 10: Welcome to Ixcacao, home to the best slogan on earth 'chocolate will save the rainforest'! Here you will learn all about the Maya chocolate-making process at Juan and Abelina's beautiful cacao farm and chocolate factory. Juan will walk you through the traditional process – from harvest and fermentation to drying and roasting, deshelling and grinding and of course tasting as you go. This is all before you sit down for one of the most delicious meals you'll have in Belize as Abelina cooks you a mouth watering 3 course meal, with chocolate running through every course. We highly recommend the chocolate chicken!
The Living Maya Experience is an interactive cultural home visit that offers a fascinating glimpse into a fast disappearing world, in which the local Kek’chi Maya depended upon the forest to satisfy their needs from food to furniture to medicine. The Cal family showcase a Mayan home as it would have been fifty years ago and guests help prepare some vegetarian snacks with the family. (B/L/D)
Day 13: Explore the underwater world of the Belize Barrier Reef on this 6-hour boat tour to the turquoise waters of the tiny islands of the Silk Cayes. Snorkel among the fish, harmless rays and nurse sharks before enjoying a traditional Belizean lunch on the beach. Then head to Turtle Alley, a popular gathering place for sea turtles where you can watch rays and nurse sharks feeding on scraps left by fisherman cleaning their daily catch. (B/L)
Day 14: Sadly today it's time to say goodbye to Belize as you take an internal flight to Belize City to catch your return flight home. (B)
Prices from: £1995 per person.
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!