Unknown to most people visiting Belize's crystal waters and barrier reef, is that this tiny country has probably the most concentrated mix of cultures of any country in the Americas. Kriols (Belize Creoles), Mayan, Indian and Garifuna are just a few of these rich cultures that live right alongside each other, yet they have remained very distinct and proud of their traditions, giving you the chance to experience them all in one short trip. We should warn you that Belize's people express their identity through their food, so you may need to bring a looser fitting pair of trousers!
Day 1: Welcome to Belize. After a restful night in the USA you will arrive into Belize where you will be met and whisked off to start you adventure. You will be driven to the small town of Hopkins, situated on the Caribbean coast.
Day 2: You will have the morning to relax and enjoy your some relaxing time on the beach or by the pool, either way your instructions are to relax.In the afternoon you will take a short drive to the local Garifuna. The experience starts with dressing in traditional Garifuna outfits which really gets you in the mood to work and learn. The owner, Uwahnie Martinez, of Palmento Grove brings you to her gallery of Garifuna artifacts where she gives you an overview of the history and culture of the Garinagu. After the gallery tour, you get to pull a young coconut from the tree and enjoy delicious, fresh coconut water! And the experience continues with husking a dry coconut, using a grater to prepare the coconut for the lunch or dinner you will be preparing and eating – hudut! Throughout the cooking experience, Ms. Uwahnie, instructs you as well as continues to provide stories and information about the Garifuna people. Once the meal isf finished, you get to eat in traditional plates with natural juice. After, the drumming lessons begin! Taught by a local musician of over 30 years, you will learn three Garifuna rhythms. After all of this you will head back to the hotel for a well deserved sleep! (B/D)
Day 3: Your journey continues south as you are driven to the Toledo district and to the incredibly peaceful lodge at bug falls. Once you reach the lodge you can spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool, exploring the forest trails or jump in a tube and float down the incredibly beautiful river on the property. (B)
Day 4: 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 5: Your 1st stop this morning is the Ixcacao Choclate farm where you will learn all about the Maya chocolate-making process at Juan and Abelina's beautiful cacao farm and chocolate factory. There's a variety of tour options, including farm tours, factory tours and traditional Maya lunch. Juan will walk you through the traditional chocolate-making process – from harvest and fermentation to drying and roasting, to deshalling and grinding, tasting as you go.After your delicious lunch you will head back to the lodge via the living Maya Experince.The Living Maya Experiencein Big Falls consists of two interactive cultural home visits that offer guests a fascinating glimpse into a fast disappearing world in which the local Kek’chi Maya depended upon the forest and found everything in it 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 and share a vegetarian meal with the family (B,L,D)
Day 9: Explore the marine life of the Belize Barrier Reef on this 6-hour boat tourto 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 TurtleAlley to swim with itsshelled namesakes before a relaxing boat ride backto your departure point. After you land at the southernmost of the three tiny islands, your guide will brief you on thearea and you'll get suited up in your snorkeling mask and fins. Explore the colorful coral andfish surrounding the cayes on a snorkeling dive that's well-suited for beginners. Fuel up witha traditional Belizean lunch served on the beach, and enjoy a stroll along the sand before your boat heads to Turtle Alley. In the afternoon, snorkel along the barrier reef in this popular gathering place for sea turtles. Watch the rays and harmless nurse sharks feeding on scraps left over by traditional fisherman cleaning their daily catch before your return tripto Placencia. (B,L)
Day 18: Sadly all good things come to an end… today it's time to say goodbye to Belize as you take an internal flight to Belize City to meet your return flight home. (B)
Prices from: £1200 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.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
Best Time To Travel
Best time to visit: December - April
Dec – Apr sunny and dry but cooler than the Summer. Jun – Aug rain showers, hot and humid. Sep & Oct heavier rain, hot and humid.
Nov & May are a mix and great for avoiding crowds