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. All strongly individual, all proudly Belizean. 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: A short visit means getting stuck in right away as you are met at the airport and whisked off to the sleepy, Caribbean coastal town of Hopkins. Its important you sit down with a rum in your hand and take a long deep breath before the adventure really gets going. (B)
Day 2: After the morning by the pool or on the beach you will take the short drive to the local Garifuna community at Palmento Cove where you will be immersed into all aspects of the Garifuna Culture. Climb and 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 will be time to finish off with an epic drumming session. 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: Heading further south you will enter the peace and tranquillity 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 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:Welcome to the Ixcacao Choclate farm, home to the slogan on earth “chocolate will save the rainforest”, where 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 chocolate-making process – from harvest and fermentation to drying and roasting, to de-shelling and grinding and of course tasting as you go. This is all before you sit down for one of the most delicious meals you are bound to have in Belize. Abelina will cook you a mouth watering 3 course meal with chocolate running through every course. We highly recommend the chocolate chicken!
The Living Maya Experience consists of an interactive cultural home visit that offer guests 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 6: Say goodbye to the magical Lodge at big falls and take the short journey to the peninsula of Placencia, where the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean meet the white sands of Belize’s southern coastline. (B)
Day 7 & 8: Free days for you to relax and enjoy the beach and waters of the Caribbean (B)
Day 9: 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 and where you can watch rays and harmless nurse sharks feeding on scraps left over by traditional fisherman cleaning their daily catch before your return trip to Placencia. (B/L)
Day 10: Sadly 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