Mayans, Marine Life, and More… oh Mayans!
10 days / Year Round
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Explore Mayan ruins, including the sites of ancient human sacrifices, as well as the Lost Valley of the Mayans and the Caracol Ruins.
• Snorkel off Laughing Bird Caye, and enjoy the coral reef abundance that makes this one of Belize’s most stunning natural treasures.
• Take a day long catamaran cruise through the turquoise waters and lush cays off of Placencia.
Day 1: ARRIVAL, SAN IGNACIO, NIGHT CANOEING ON THE MACAL RIVER
We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to San Ignacio, where you can check into your hotel before we embark on a night cruise down the river in a canoe, an adventure you won’t soon forget! We will paddle from Benque Viejo Del Carmen to Bullet Tree Falls, with a chance to admire Clarissa Falls along the way. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a chance to spot the local wildlife in the beam of our flashlight as they come to drink from the river.
Day 2: Caracol Ruins and Mountain Pine Ridge Tour
Caracol is Belize’s largest archeological site nestled in the Chiquibul Rainforest Reserve. This is the site of the kingdom of Lord Water, a ruthless ruler during the Mayan classical period, who fought and conquered his neighbors. In about 556 AD, he captured and sacrificed the Double Bird of Tikal. Our archeological guides will take us back to this ancient period as we ascend to Caana, the largest building in Caracol. Known as the “Sky Palace,” it offers a panoramic view of the landscape of the Chiquibul Rainforest Reserve.
Day 3: The Lost Valley of the Mayans
This is one of the most spectacular sights in all of Belize. You will see limestone valleys, pristine jungle, unexcavated Mayan ruins, and caves that were the location of ancient human sacrifices, just to mention a few of the highlights. It will be like travelling back in time. One minute, we will be deep in the valleys, and the next minute we will be looking down. Along the way, we’ll see Dinosaur Head Rock Formations, as well as a gibnut (paca) refuge. We will spend the day walking through areas rarely seen by human eyes.
Day 4: Actun Tunichil Muknal Tour
Actun Tunichil Muknal is named after the sacrificial chamber within the cave where the remains of a young woman were found. The cave also contains two slate stelae in front of which Mayan elites cut themselves with obsidian blades to collect their blood as an offering to the gods. A stream flows out of this cave, providing the main water supply for the camp. After an exciting drive, we will trek for 45 minutes through dense jungle in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. At the entrance of the cave, you will be outfitted with the necessary equipment for the tour. This will be a slightly challenging day, with a short swim into the cave and lots of climbing and scrambling once we’re inside.
Day 5: Rappeling and Tour of Unexcavated Ruins
We will enjoy a vigorous day of rappeling, as well as exploring some unexcavated ruins. We’ll finish the morning with two dry caves before heading back to San Ignacio.
Day 6: Placencia, Zip lining, and Cave Tubing
We will start the day with a zip-line tour through the broadleaf rainforest canopy. You will climb to a platform high above the rainforest floor and then zip between treetop platforms on six different routes. You will be as high as 85 feet in the air and travel along lines that are as long as 300 feet! Once we’ve completed all six lines, we will rappel down 70 feet to the jungle floor.
Our Cave Tubing Tour starts with a short river crossing followed by a 40-minute hike on easy terrain. Our guide will point out local plants and describe their medicinal and traditional uses along the way. Once at the beginning of the cave system, you can choose to ease into the river or opt for a jumping start! You will get to see spectacular cave systems by the light of your lamp as you float -- flat on your back -- downstream.
Day 7: Snorkeling Laughing Bird Caye
Laughing Bird Caye is 17 kilometers off the coast of Placencia. It is named after a laughing gull species that used to nest on the island. Here frigate birds, pelicans and brown boobies nest, fueling an explosion of marine life among the mangrove roots, seagrass beds, and dropoffs. All are all very accessible even to a novice snorkeler. The island is alive with hermit crabs of all sizes, all wearing different borrowed shells. Laughing Bird Caye National Park is one of Belize’s national treasures. The small island offers sandy beaches and aqua blue water. The coral reef supports parrot fish, yellowtail snapper, lobster, and barracuda, as well as excellent examples of soft and hard coral. Because of its extraordinary ecological significance, the rangers enforce strict environmental rules on Laughing Bird Caye. The washroom facilities are eco-friendly and there is a “carry-in-carry-out” policy.
Day 8: Catamaran Sailing and Snorkeling
Considered by some to be the highlight of the trip, this full-day cruise includes the opportunity to swim, snorkel, fish, kayak, and even learn to sail! We’ll be sailing with an experienced captain and crew, and the boat includes an open bar as well as snacks and lunch. We’ll take the whole day to explore the various cays off Placencia, and finish up with a beach BBQ.
Day 9: Beach day
If you want, you will rest and recover from your adventures with a restorative day on the beach. Or you can keep your adventure going and take advantage of the sea kayaks.
Day 10: Departure
Wave goodbye to the beautiful coast of Belize as we fly you to the airport.
Because Laughing Bird Caye is such an ecologically sensitive and significant area, we enforce the strictest of environmentally responsible practices. That means a carry-in-carry-out policy while we’re on the island and using the eco-friendly washrooms.