Belize

Belize Adventure Highlights

This example itinerary takes in our favourite parts of Belize. It offers a fantastic combination of jungle, wildlife and beach with a dose of ancient ruins thrown in. We have included lots of activities so teenagers will be kept busy. However we can of course slow the itinerary down and remove some of the adrenalin-fueled options so that this is suitable for younger families.

Highlights

  Dawn canoe in the jungle
  Nocturnal safari to find crocodile
  Explore ancient Mayan ruins
  Venture deep into ATM cave
  Snorkel in Shark Alley
  Relax on idyllic Caribbean beaches

14 days from £1,875 pp

Plus international flights from £750

A 2-week self-drive holiday in Belize for a family of four usually costs a minimum of £7,500 based on mid-range jungle lodges and beach hotels, excluding international flights

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Belize Adventure Highlights day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Belize City – Lamanai
Arrive into Belize City. After you have passed through customs you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and transferred by car and boat to your jungle lodge. You have three nights here, surrounded by steamy jungle rivers, wilderness and wildlife.


Day 2 Lamanai
This morning rise early as dawn breaks. Explore the jungle as it awakens and the mist rises through the canopy. In the company of a naturalist guide you’ll learn about the intricacies of a habitat that is home to creatures as diverse as the jaguar, the impressive Black Howler monkey, the jaguarundi and the vividly-colored Keel-Billed toucan.

Later visit the Lamanai Maya Ruins and explore the mysterious jungle-shrouded temples of this once powerful 3,000 year old civilization.


Day 3 Lamanai
This morning again rise early and strike out across the lagoon in a canoe. As you explore Dawson’s Creek and its surrounding tributaries, keep an eye out for manatee, otter, crocodile and parrots.

In the afternoon follow the ‘Maya Medicine Trail’ and walk through the jungle with a guide; you will learn about the local remedies that have been used for centuries by Belize’s indigenous population.

This evening perhaps take a sunset cocktail cruise or climb aboard a custom built river safari boat for a nocturnal safari. Watch for the gleam of eyes on the river bank as you search for Morelet’s crocodile and the elusive and endangered jaguar.


Day 4 Lamanai – Caye Caulker
This morning return to Belize City to take the water taxi to Caye Caulker, just off the coast. (You can fly if you prefer). The rest of the day is free for you to start to explore the island.

Just eight kilometers from end to end, Caye Caulker is an idyllic place with weathered clapboard houses, makeshift souvenir stands, small art galleries, and a ‘shoes optional’ policy. Streets are sandy and car-free (the locals get around by bike, golf cart, or on foot), and simple local eateries offer home-cooked lunches of spiny lobster, conch, and red snapper.

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Days 5-6 Caye Caulker
Two full days to relax and explore.

Caye Caulker sits on the Belize Barrier Reef and offers some of the finest snorkelling and diving in the world. Particularly popular for snorkellers is the half day trip to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley. At Hol Chan there is a natural break in the barrier reef that is home to an incredible variety of brightly coloured marine life and an abundant coral garden. A little further along the reef, at Shark Ray Alley, there is a particularly shallow area which has a large population of (harmless) nurse sharks as well as many rays and sea turtles.


Day 7 Caye Caulker – San Ignacio
After breakfast return by water taxi or plane to the mainland and continue on to San Ignacio.

San Ignacio is in the heart of Belize’s Cayo District, on the banks of the Macal River. It is the perfect base for many of Belize’s most exciting adventure activities and you will stay in a lodge in the middle of lush rainforest. The range of activities on offer this afternoon will depend on where you are staying. Perhaps follow a short hiking trail through the jungle or enjoy a canoe trip down the Macal river.


Day 8 San Ignacio – Actun Tunichil Muknal
A fantastic day as you take the newest cave tour in Belize, deep into Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave.

The adventure starts with a 45 minute jungle hike into the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. You will cross streams and then swim a short section of river to enter the cave itself. From here hike across a maze of rocks and then follow a tunnel with waist-deep water as you head deeper into the cave system. After half an hour or so you will reach the main chamber of the cave, home to a Mayan burial chamber with calcified remains, (including the remains of a Maya Princess laid to rest centuries ago), ceremonial vessels, and numerous artefacts used by the Maya in their ritual ceremonies.


Day 9 San Ignacio
A free day at your lodge. Perhaps take a tubing or canoeing excursion on the slow moving Macal River, passing by Mayan villages and tropical rainforest. Watch out for giant iguanas sunbathing high above in the branches and take a refreshing swim in the clear waters of the jungle river. Families with older children may enjoy continuing on to a white water section where you float through cascades, deep pools and a series of rapids.

Alternatively you can visit the fabulous ruins of Xunantunich, pop over the border to Guatemala to visit the Tikal ruins or enjoy a horse ride through the rainforest.


Day 10 San Ignacio – Placencia
After breakfast head for Placencia, a slender, 25-kilometer long peninsula that runs parallel to the Belizean mainland. Home to some of the country’s most spectacular beaches, this long ribbon of land is flanked to the west by a lagoon and views of the distant Maya Mountains. To the east there is nothing but mangroves and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Placencia Village draws the majority of the peninsula’s visitors and is a relaxed, somewhat ramshackle spot. Here you will find dive shops, restaurants, bars, and a colourful mix of expat and Creole locals. Just off Placencia’s shores, you’ll find diving, snorkelling and sailing and you can also explore nearby mangroves and deserted cayes by kayak.


Days 11 – 13 Placencia
Three full days to enjoy the beach.

Perhaps take a full day snorkelling trip off the coast of Placencia. This involves a boat ride to a small caye surrounded by Belize’s world famous coral reef. When you arrive you will be able snorkel straight from the caye, immediately finding yourselves in waters that are full of brightly coloured fish and iridescent coral. You will have a barbeque on the beach before continuing to a second snorkelling spot for the afternoon.

There are many other optional activities here. Perhaps hire bikes to explore the peninsula on two wheels, or take a boat ride on Placencia lagoon, passing through the lush mangroves to search for manatee and other wildlife. Or just find a beachfront bar or restaurant, curl your toes in the sand, enjoy the sea breeze and feel your worries drift away!


Day 14 Placencia – Belize City
Today you will return to Belize City either by road or by plane. Depending on flight times, you can fly home today or have a final night in Belize City before your flight.

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