DAY 1 - OFF TO THE RAINFOREST - (D)
Meet & Greet at the Belize International Airport on arrival and transfer to the beautiful rainforest area of San Ignacio near the Guatemalan border with a stop on the way at the Balize Zoo.
Two night stay at the comfortable 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 hotel rooms offer beautiful hillside views of 14 acres of Jungle Gardens 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 indoor-outdoor restaurant.
DAY 2 - WONDERS OF THE RAINFOREST - (B,L)
Whilst Europe was deep in the "Dark Ages", the inhospitable and hostile jungles of Central America were being transformed into the home of one of the World's great civilisations.
Temples, Pyramids and Palaces were built by peasant farmers and slaves without the benefit of beasts of burden or even the wheel. These were painted in the sacred colours of the Maya; red, blue, yellow and green and were ruled over by immensely powerful Kings who were regarded as living Gods by their subjects.
Today you will explore the realms of the mysterious Maya people by visiting two of Belize's favourite ancient Mayan sites in the company of an expert guide. Firstly, a stop will be made at Cahal Pech, once the home of a Maya Royal Family, and Xunantunich which is reached by crossing the Mopan River by hand-cranked ferry. There are spectacular views from the top of the temples offering great photo opportunities.
|Return to the hotel for Lunch before continuing on an adventurous drive towards the Mountain Pine Ridge area. In the middle of nowhere is a small Mennonite Settlement where canoes are waiting to row 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 stalactites, 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 the knowledgeable guide shares his incredible knowledge about the Maya's beliefs about the underworld.
DAY 3 - TEMPLES OF TIKAL - (B,L)
DAY 4 - ISLA FLORES - (B,L)
DAY 5 - ON THE ROAD TO RIO DULCE - (B,L,D)
Transfer by road through some of Guatemala's most spectacular scenery as we head for lovely Lake Izabal in the Rio Dulce area of Southern Guatemala.
Overnight stay at the Hotel Catamaran, a tropical resort located on a beautiful island on the waters of the Río Dulce. It's the ideal place to rest and unwind. All rooms are rustic, wooden bungalows, built over the water.
The Hotel Catamaran has a fully stocked bar, famous for it's "Piña Coladas" and "Margaritas", and the restaurant serves local and international dishes.
DAY 6 - SAILING IN THE PATH OF THE PIRATES - (B,L)
After breakfast, you will set off on a boat tour of Lake Izabal (Lago Izabal), the largest body of fresh water in Guatemala (30 miles long & 15 miles wide). The first stop is the historic Castillo San Felipé which was built in the 1600s by the Spaniards in a vain attempt to stop the maurading British pirates from stealing the gold and other treasures collected by the Conquistadors.
This beautiful little fort, in a tranquil setting on the banks of the lake, was restored to it's former glory in the 1950s and is the only one of its kind in Guatemala. It is an exciting place to explore with its maze of dark chambers.
Next is another highlight of the trip. Your boat continues down the dramatic Rio Dulce including a stop at the Chocón Machacas Wildlife Reserve, home of the shy and endangerd Manatees..
The Rio Dulce river flows through spectacular deep gorges with tropical vegetation and vines clinging to sheer cliff faces before reaching the Bay of Amatique on the Caribbean Coast of Guatemala.
Along the banks are a strange mix of the luxurious homes of wealthy Guatemalans and the simple huts of the local families who by night fish the river that is their only link with the outside world. Civilisation seems a long way away...
An Escape You Will Always Remember... To a Place You Will Never Forget.
|Echoes of the Past - 2010 Rates
|Double / Twin Rooms
|9 nights / 10 days
|Global Travel Club
|Tel: +44 (0)1268 541732
|Fax: +44 (0)1268 541363
|Copyright © 2010 Global Travel Club (BELIZE). All Rights Reserved.