Mesmerising Belize Tour
For a small country, Belize punches well above its weight in terms of world-class tourist attractions. From paradisiac Caribbean beaches and jungle adventures, to fascinating archeological sites and a rich blend of cultures, this is a country that offers something for everyone. This Mesmerising Belize Tour includes some of the country’s top highlights before taking you off the beaten track to explore the less-known but equally vibrant and exciting south of Belize.
- Explore the ancient Maya past with guided tours at two fascinating archeological sites and enjoy spectacular views over Belize and neighbouring Guatemala.
- Kick back and relax for a couple of days in Placencia, a colourful beach town where you will stay in a guesthouse by the beach and wake up to the sun rising over the Caribbean Sea.
- Discover Belize’s magical underwater world by snorkelling over its colourful coral reefs teeming with life.
- Enjoy Belize’s lush jungle and diverse wildlife from the river, during boat and tubing experiences, and cool off in refreshing waterfalls and swimming spots.
- Join members of the community who are reforesting areas of river bank that were damaged during Hurricane Iris in 2001 and taste a traditional Maya lunch in the village.
- Spend a morning with a Maya women’s group to find out about their traditions and try your hand at the ancient art of chocolate-making.
- Experience an action-packed day with a local conservation organisation exploring three protected areas, including a marine park and a pine savannah that is home to several endangered species.
This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide and driver throughout, in a private vehicle. All activities and excursions in this tour of Belize are private (only for you). The price displayed is per person based on four people sharing. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.
This tour is designed for travellers who want to get off beaten track and explore some of the harder to reach but equally rewarding parts of this beautiful country. As well as paradisiac beaches and world-class snorkelling opportunities, you will discover the heart of southern Belize to meet diverse cultural groups, learn about local conservation efforts, and even contribute to local projects. This Mesmerising Belize Tour includes the perfect balance of Caribbean relaxation, amazing nature and fascinating culture, both past and present.
After your arrival, you will spend your first two nights at the charming Jaguar Creek Lodge, located close to the capital city of Belmopan. From here, you will explore the ancient Maya world with guided tours at two fascinating archeological sites in the Cayo district.
It is then time to kick back and relax for a couple of days in Placencia, a colourful beach town where you can lie in a hammock and swing in time to local rhythms. You will stay in a cozy guesthouse right on the beach and wake up to the sunrise over the Caribbean Sea. Placencia offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars, including something for every budget. Here you will be able to take part in optional excursions or simply enjoy the exquisite beaches and chilled Caribbean vibes.
Next, you will head to the town of Punta Gorda in the south of the country, for the final part of your Belize tour. Few travellers make it this far south, but that is not for lack of things to do or places to discover. Here you will have 3 days to explore lush protected areas, learn about conservation efforts in Belize and meet members of several local communities.
You will be able to learn about the traditional Maya way of life, work alongside volunteers in a community affected by Hurricane Iris and refresh in the cool waters and waterfall of Rio Blanco National Park. You will also meet the rangers responsible for protecting several endangered species, including manatee, jaguars and yellow-headed parrots. Along the way you will be able to savour the many local flavours of this multiethnic nation, and feast on traditional Maya dishes, cracking Creole fare and of course plenty of fresh seafood.
There is a little something for everyone in this pint-sized country, and this tour of Belize showcases some of the best bits, along with some of the best kept secrets. Guests will leave feeling like they have really connected with local people and places, and that they have made a valuable contribution in the process.
Day 1: Welcome to Belize! (-/-/D)
Upon your arrival in Belize City International Airport, you will be welcomed by an English-speaking guide, who will be with you most days during this tour of Belize. After a 1h20m drive, you will arrive to the Jaguar Creek Ecolodge, where you can enjoy a free afternoon and evening to relax and acclimatise after the flight, with the Belizean jungle all around. The ecolodge has two trails, in case you want to do some trekking and wildlife watching with your guide. Dinner will be served at the lodge. Optional: a private transfer can be organised from your hotel in El Remate or Flores, near Tikal National Park in Guatemala (approx. 3 hours).
Day 2: Xunantunich and Cahel Pech archeological sites (B/L/D)
After breakfast, your guide will drive you west into the Cayo district of Belize. Rolling hills, jungle and small villages will surround you during this pleasant journey. Your first stop of the day will be the ancient Maya archeological site of Xunantunich, meaning ‘Stone Woman’. The site dates to between 700 – 1000 AD and from the top you will be able to enjoy spectacular views over Belize and neighbouring Guatemala. A local site guide will provide the history of the site, talking about ancient stone carvings, astrology, ritual sacrifices, and ball games. After lunch in a local restaurant, learn even more about the ancient Maya with a visit to Cahel Pech archeological site, just a short drive away. This site dates back to 1200 BC, and you can learn about ancient relics within the site’s museum, before exploring the site itself. Smaller than Xunantunich, the site offers visitors a closer look at this famous ancient civilisation, with visitors able to walk through the passages and see where the ruling family slept. At the end of the day, return to your accommodation for dinner and overnight stay. optional: add one more night in the Jaguar Creek Lodge and take a day-trip to Tikal National Park in Guatemala tomorrow.
Day 3: The Hummingbird Highway to Placencia (B/-/-)
After breakfast, check out of the ecolodge and travel south for around 2.5 hours to the colourful beach community of Placencia. The Hummingbird Highway is an attraction in itself, winding through citrus farms, villages and lush jungle. The laid-back Caribbean vibes will hit you upon reaching Placencia. This is a place where time does not matter and it is difficult not to adopt the chilled and friendly demeanour of the locals as you explore the vibrant walkways of this small village. Once you have checked in to a charming hotel, your guide will depart and you will have the next two days to relax in hammocks, swim at the beach, meet local craftsmen, or book optional tours in the local area. There are a variety of restaurant options to suit everyone, from upscale restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes, to small roadside shacks selling local snacks.
Day 4: Free en Placencia (-/-/-)
Free day to relax or to explore Placencia at your own pace. Optional activities:
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: Travel to the famous Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for a day of adventure! Recognised as the first jaguar preserve in the world, this is one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Belize. Start the day on a forest trail, where a experienced local guide will tell you about all the flora and fauna. Next, sit back and relax whilst river tubing through the jungle, with exotic birds flying overhead as the currents gently guide you downstream. Finally, for the more adventurous, hike to the top of some small waterfalls and then slide down into cool and refreshing pools!
Snorkeling: Submerge yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Belize with a day snorkelling above vibrant and colourful coral reefs. You will stop at 2 to 3 snorkel spots, and at a nearby sandy caye (island) for lunch. Don’t worry if you’ve never snorkelled before as your guides will be on hand to help you get used to it, and before you know it you will be swimming with the fishes!
Day 5: Community reforestation & Rio Blanco National Park (-/L/D)
After an early breakfast, your guide will meet you to begin a wildlife and cultural journey in Southern Belize. You will first travel by road to the Maya village of San Pedro Columbia and meet members of the Xucaneb community group. This group of volunteers formed with the aim of reforesting areas of river bank that were damaged during Hurricane Iris in 2001. Here you will visit the tree nursery where they grow young saplings, before taking some down to the river to replant along the banks. When you have finished planting, you will enjoy a local Maya lunch prepared in the village. After lunch, a short drive will take you to Rio Blanco National Park. Cross the swing bridge over the river start exploring the trails and learning about medicinal plants and the trees of the forest in this lush jungle setting. You will also be able to cool off in the park’s refreshing pools and waterfall. Finally, travel to Punta Gorda, a relaxed fishing town nestled in a bay, where on a clear day you can see the hills of Guatemala and Honduras in the distance. Check into a well located hotel and enjoy a free evening.
Day 6: Conservation & exploration around Punta Gorda (B/L/D)
All the Belize tours on this platform support a local conservation organisation, and today you will learn about the work they do as you venture into the three protected areas they manage in Southern Belize. Begin the day with an early breakfast, before boarding a boat in Punta Gorda. Your first stop of the day is the marine reserve managed by your hosts, where you will meet the ranger team and learn about the work they do in the reserve, before visiting the pristine beach and turquoise waters. Here you’ll discover the underwater world of the marine park by snorkelling over its vibrant coral reefs. After a fresh seafood lunch at a beachfront restaurant, you will navigate an intricate lagoon system as you enter the second protected area. Largely pine savannah, this park is home to several endangered species including manatee, jaguars and yellow-headed parrots. Here too you’ll meet members of the park ranger team to learn about the conservation work they do. Finally, you will take a boat along the Rio Grande River, the third and final of the protected areas. As you travel upstream, you will be surrounded by jungle that is home to tropical birds, river turtles, howler monkeys and mammals. After a little time on the river, the boat will return you to Punta Gorda, where you can have a hearty dinner and relax after your long day of exploration.
Day 7: Mayan culture and river adventures (B/L/D)
After breakfast, your guide will take you for the final excursion of this tour of Belize. First, you will visit the village of Indian Creek to spend the morning with a Maya Women’s group. Here you will learn how the Maya are continuing the traditions that have been passed down through generations. You will help to prepare a lunch made from foods grown on their farms and learn the ancient technique of chocolate making. You will also experience a traditional dance and try your hand at some craft-making. In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Medina Bank where the community have developed a river tubing experience as a way of improving livelihoods in the village. You will be able to learn all about the village and local wildlife as you drift gently downstream. After this fun and rewarding day, you will head back to Punta Gorda for a grand finale. You will learn about Creole culture and food with an entertaining cooking experience, followed by a fresh seafood dinner overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Day 8: From Punta Gorda to Home (B/-/-)
Free morning to relax or for more optional activities (scuba diving, snorkelling, water sports, etc). At scheduled time, transfer to the local airport in Punta Gorda where you can catch your flight back home (via Belize City). Alternatively, transfer to the Punta Gorda ferry terminal where you can take a 40-minute boat ride to Livingston in Guatemala. End of tour.
- Trip duration: 8 days
- Countries visited: Belize
Adventure: Accommodation in hostels (always in a private room) and B&Bs, and sometimes in hammocks, rustic cabins or tents. Internal transport is overland rather than by plane wherever possible.
Note: this is a guideline; please refer to the tour detailed description for what is and is not included.
- Level of difficulty: Low
- Accommodation: Two nights at the Jaguar Creek Lodge near Belize City, two nights in a cozy guesthouse by the beach in Placencia, three nights in a comfortable and well-located lodge in Punta Gorda
- Transport: Private vehicle, boat
- Meals included: 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 5 Dinners
Percentage of cost going to local communities:
- Bilingual guide: Available in English and Spanish
- Extra services:
You will be greeted at the airport on arrival by a local guide who will take you to your hotel and will be able to answer any questions, make any additional arrangements and generally ensure everything goes smoothly.
No minimum number of passengers required. Prices quoted are per person and based on at least 4 people travelling. You should expect a higher price for smaller groups and a cheaper price for bigger groups.
Your passport is required at time of booking. For information on visa requirements, immunisations and health formalities please visit the FCO Travel Advice Website or the US Travel Advice Website (direct links to Belize’s page).
Information on money changing in each destination, as well as what it is customary to tip for various services, will be provided.
This tour of Belize, like most of our adventures through Latin America, has a low to mid level of physical difficulty and participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like.
What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sun glasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries, comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts, rain coat, dry bag / ziplock bags for valuables, and waterproof cover for your luggage in case of rain.
- Best time to travel: November to May
- Extra budget recommended: Around £250 / $300 per person for additional meals and snacks
- What is included: Pick up at Belize City International Airport. Overland transport (in a private vehicle). Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides. Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner). Contributions to the social projects visited. All proceeds retained by tour hosts are donated to local community and conservation programs in the protected areas and villages you will visit in southern Belize.
- What is not included: Flights. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs.
There is no minimum duration and you can include only the activities or destinations you want. To start creating your ideal, tailor-made tour to Belize, please complete and send this form. One of our Belize local experts will be in touch shortly:
Mesmerising Belize Tour
£ 1,435 GBP
Pint-sized Belize boasts more than its fair share of world-class tourist destinations. From paradisiac beaches and vibrant coral reefs, to jungle adventures and fascinating Maya culture, there really is something for everyone. This Mesmerising Belize Tour includes many of the top highlights and takes travellers to explore the less-known south of the country.