Day 1 - Sun 13 Nov - Off to the Rainforest! - (D)
Meet & Greet on
arrival at Belize International Airport and transfer up the Western
Highway to the beautiful rainforest area of San
Ignacio near the Guatemalan border with a stop along the way
at the small and informal Belize Zoo.
3 night stay at The San
Ignacio Hotel conveniently located on the Highway to Maya
History. The hotel is situated on a hill just along the Macal River in
San Igancio. The 25 rooms all offer beautiful hillside views of 14
acres of Jungle Gardens, the large swimming pool and the Macal River.
Balcony rooms or suites with ceiling fans, cable TV, and in-room
telephones are available. Delicious meals are served in the
Day 2 - Mon 14 Nov - Wonders of the Rainforest - (B,L,D)
Today you will enjoy a full day of rainforest adventures. After breakfast a visit will be made to the nearby ancient
site of Xunantunich which is reached by crossing the Mopan
River by hand-cranked ferry. There will be plenty of time to
explore and climb the ruins which are great for panoramic photographs
before a visit the Butterfly Farm followed by a tasty local lunch.
This afternoon we will enjoy a relaxing end to the day, a
canoe trip down the Macal River where you will see iguanas
sunning themselves on the overhanging branches along the river banks.
you so much! We had such a wonderful time in Belize! Everything was
perfect.... it was a memorable vacation for all of us. The Rainforest
adventures were particularly fascinating. Again, thank you so much for
all your help.." Theresa Dolloff
Day 3 - Tues 15 Nov - Mysteries of the Underworld - (B,L,D)
Today you are in for a real treat! An adventurous drive
towards the Mountain Pine Ridge area from where your guide will
row you deep inside Barton Creek Cave (about 1 to 2 miles depending on water levels). Sit back,
relax and direct your 1,000 candle lamp at the amazing formations
inside the huge cave believed by the Maya to be the Underworld,
"Xibalba", (pronounced SheeBALba) the Kingdom of their Gods.
Float under stalagtites, see ancient skeletons and pottery and
prepare to be awstruck by cathedral-like caverns. Marvel at the 5
million year old crystalline structures over 50 feet in length as your
friendly guide (affectionately known as "Dave the Cave") shares his
incredible knowledge with you about the Maya's beliefs about the
Continue further into the Mountain Pine Ridge area for a packed
lunch and visits to the highlights of this region. The area is dotted
with beautiful waterfalls, streams and the amazing Rio Frio
Cave that you can walk through. The Rio On Cascades and
Pools is a cascading river which tumbles over some of the oldest
rocks in all of the Americas. The water has eroded numerous pools that
are perfect for bathing. Most of the pools are connected by small
waterfalls that have a massaging effect if you lie underneath them.The
water is clear enough to drink. Deep within the reserve is a 1000
foot falls, a spectacular ribbon of water which drops from pine
forest to tropical forest below. An overlook allows you to see the top
part of the falls.
|Rio Frio Caves
||Rio On Cascades
Click on any of the above photographs for larger images
of the Mountain Pine Ridge area.
Day 4 - Wed 16 Nov - Temples of Tikal - (B,L,D)
Hidden for 1,000 years in the midst of rainforests teeming with wildlife are
enormous ceremonial cities with magnificent Temples and Pyramids built
by the mysterious Mayan people. THE TEMPLES OF
TIKAL in the Peten region of Guatemala is the most fabulous
site of all!
Today we will cross over the Guatemalan border to
visit the Tikal National Park. Of the park's 222 square miles
only 10 square miles of central Tikal has been mapped and over 3,000
separate buildings have been revealed: temples, shrines, ceremonial
platforms, residences, ball courts, terraces, causeways and plazas. We
will return to the San Ignacio Hotel for dinner and our final night in
the Cayo region.
Imagine the ceremonies where human sacrifices were offered
to the Gods.
Listen carefully and you will hear the still-beating
heart of a dying Civilisation
historians, was peopled by savages; but savages never reared these
structures; savages never carved these stones." John Lloyd Stephens, Explorer
Day 5 - Thurs 17 Nov - ISLA FLORES - (B,L,D)
The adventurous can get up before dawn to watch the sun rise from the top
of Temple IV and after breakfast there will be more time to
explore Tikal on your own.
Late morning we will be driven to
the island of Flores on Lake Peten Itza. After lunch on
the shores of the lagoon we will enjoy a boat trip on the lake.
It is also fun to explore the cobbled streets lined with
handicraft stores, shopping for Guatemalan goodies. The shops stay
open into the evening and you can purchase wonderful garments made of
fabulous woven fabrics.
Day 6 - Fri 18 Nov - (B,L)
After breakfast transfer down the
most scenic road in Belize, the Hummingbird Highway, past the citrus
plantations of the Stann Creek Valley to Dangriga
which takes it name from the local Garifuna language, loosely meaning
"here, the sweet water is close at hand." It lies peacefully along the
banks of the North Stann Creek River, whose water is legendary.
An African Voice on the Caribbean Breeze!
Tonight is the Eve of the
Garifuna Carnival when everyone takes to the streets, and drumming
and Punta dancing go on most of the night. The Garifuna are friendly
and relaxed and there are none who more truly live the Caribbean
creed. But when the drums commence and the women chant their history
in a distant tongue, hips swaying, conch shell wailing, one senses the
strength of their African heritage.
Day 7 - Sat 19 Nov - GARIFUNA CARNIVAL DAY
Today we will join in the fun and festivities of
the Garifuna Carnival in Dangriga Town
Garifuna history began more than 300
years ago when two ships filled with African slaves were wrecked on
the Caribbean's Windward Island of St. Vincent. The next century saw
their intermarriage with the Carib Indians, creating the Garifuna.
Their mixed blood children developed fishing, hunting and farming
skills but were staunchly independent and resisted colonization by
both the Spanish and British for several decades. In 1795, the
Garifuna chief was killed by an English soldier's bullet and his
conquered people were rounded up and shipped off to the inhospitable
Bay Islands off Honduras.
On November 19th 1823, a large group of Garifuna
from the Bay Islands joined about 200 others who had settled at the
mouth of Stann Creek some 20 years earlier. They had left Roatan in
dugout canoes with a few meager necessities to start a new life in a
The date of this mass landing is celebrated each
year when everyone waits on the bridge early in the morning for the
first sighting of the canoes as they re-enact the arrival of their
Late afternoon a boat will
be waiting to whisk us to one of the most idyllic tropical islands of
Belize, Southwater Caye for a FABULOUS 7 night stay at Blue Marlin Lodge in Belizean-style island accommodation situated on a
beautiful beach overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Southern
Belize Barrier Reef.
The island falls within the Southwater
Caye Marine Reserve which has been designated a World Heritage
MEALS: Three delicious meals including fresh seafood,
fresh fruit and home baking.
NON-DIVERS : Sunbathing, Swimming, Snorkelling or lazing in a hammock with a
Caribbean Rum & Coke!
DIVERS: 3 days diving x 2 boat dives on
each diving day including tanks, weights & belts.
dives are drift dives because this section of the barrier reef is
without any permanent moorings due to the small number of divers who
are able to visit these private islands in the South.
Southern Belize Barrier Reef offers access to some of the most
spectacular wall dives, ocean drop-offs and amazing marine life
anywhere in the world. Wall dives range from 30 to 120 feet with water
visibility averaging 80 to 100 feet and water temperatures between 75
to 85 degrees year around.
Day 14 - Sat 26 Nov - Departure
Unfortunately it is time to pack your bags for the short commuter flight back to Belize
International to connect with your homebound flights.
An Escape You Will
To a Place You Will Never Forget.
Place of Yesteryear's History,
Today's Hospitality and