Ambergris Caye, Belize
10 days / 9 nights
Our tour starts on the island of Ambergris Caye. It can be reached from the capital Belize City via a 1.5-hour boat ride or a very short and cheap flight. We pick up most customers from the airport in Belize City. Some customers prefer being picked up at the airport in Ambergris Caye. It's your choice. Ambergris Caye is commonly referred to as ‘Isla Bonita’ (beautiful island) thanks to the singer Madonna, who made reference to this island and its turquoise seascapes in a 1987 hit. We explore the island with a tour guide/golf cart driver.
Note that if your arrival time in the Belize City airport is after 3:30pm, then we ask you to directly purchase a 1-way flight from the same Belize City airport to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. A boat transfer would not be an option due to the late arrival time at the airport. The two airlines which operate this quick flight are Maya Island Air and Tropic Air.
Today we make a daytrip to the Great Blue Hole by boat.
In 2012, the Discovery Channel ranked the Great Blue Hole as number 1 on its list of ‘The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth’. This giant marine sinkhole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which is a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
*Note that in the event the boat company cancels the tour to the Great Blue Hole, which happens on occasion due to bad weather, we would offer you a suitable alternative for the day. A popular option is a visit to Secret Beach, which is about a 45-minute drive away from downtown. Alternatively, if a plane ride over the Great Blue Hole is available and if you are interested in that, we could offer it to you at an upcharge. Included with this upcharge is a visit to Secret Beach.
Today we make a daytrip via a quick boat ride (4 miles/6.4 kilometers) to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and later a boat ride to Caye Caulker.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve gives us the opportunity to swim with sharks and stingrays. These creatures have a great tolerance for snorkelers and look forward to being fed scraps of food. Caye Caulker measures about 5 miles (8 kilometers) north to south by less than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) east to west. There are only 3 roads in town, all of which are sandy. Despite its size, there are over 50 hotels and a number of restaurants and shops. Caye Caulker is especially popular with backpackers. The highlights of our visit there are a tarpon handfeeding center and a beach called ‘The Split’. Our boat ride back to Ambergris Caye takes about 30 minutes.
Today we take a boat ride from Ambergris Caye to Belize City, only to check into our room and then immediately drive to a Mesoamerican archaeological site called Lamanai. We return to Belize City in the evening. Lamanai was once a major city of the Maya (indigenous) civilization. Lamanai is renowned for its exceptionally long occupation spanning three millennia. It continued to be occupied up to the 17th century AD.
Today we relocate to Placencia Peninsula’s main village. En route, we first visit the Belize Zoo. It is home to more than 175 animals of about 48 species, all native to Belize. The natural environment is left entirely intact within the zoo, with the animals living in their natural habitat. Next, we head to the Nohoch Cheʼen caves. There we go tubing. It is quite an adventurous experience. Before arriving in Placencia Village, we pass by Maya Beach and the beach in Seine Bight village.
Today we make a daytrip to the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. It contains some of the healthiest parts of the country's reef system due to its elevation and good water quality. This is the best place in Belize to go snorkeling! Note that the Gladden Spit is included on today's tour only during whale season, which is usually March through June. A trip to Silk Cayes, however, is offered year-around.
Today we relocate to the small town of San Ignacio. This is where we are based for the remainder of our trip. Nonetheless, there are some worthwhile stops en route. The first attraction this morning is the Sleeping Giant Rainforest. There we are provided with a guided tour to the top of the mountain, where a beautiful viewpoint awaits us. Next, we head to Barton Creek. There we are provided with a guided canoeing tour inside a cave. The final stop before reaching San Ignacio is an archaeological site called Xunantunich. It is located a mere 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) away from Guatemala. Xunantunich served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the late and terminal classic periods. The first modern explorations of the site were conducted in the mid-1890s.
Today we make a daytrip to the Actun Tunichil Muknal (a.k.a. ATM) cave. There we climb, crawl and get wet as we check out ancient skeletons, ceramics and stoneware. Serving as an archaeological site and often called a ‘natural museum’ because of its fascinating limestone formations, the ATM cave is one of Belize’s top 2 most popular tourist destinations.
We make a daytrip first to Rio Frio Cave. There we see stalagmites and stalactites. Next, we head to an archaeological site called Caracol. It was once one of the most important regional political centers of the Maya lowlands during the classic period. After our guided tour there we have lunch, which is included on today’s tour. Lastly for today, we head to Big Rock Falls. There we have plenty of time to go swimming.
Transportation will be arranged for you to reach the airport in Belize City.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
10 days / 9 nights
|Tour type||Group tour|
|Your group size||Min 1, max 12|
|Duration||10 days / 9 nights|
|Food options||Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, halal, kosher|
Lunches x 5
All Entry Fees
Any airfare, alcohol, travel insurance, any government-imposed visa fees and anything not mentioned in the itinerary.
Although airfare is not included in the price, we will find you the exact flights you need. Just ask.
All participants are required to book travel insurance within 72 hours of booking this tour. At a minimum, such insurance must cover cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, flight loss or delays and 24/7 assistance.
Bring a lockable waterproof backpack (to bring onto the boat), a waterproof case for your identification card and credit cards (when swimming) and water shoes. On a different note, you may need to bring adapters for your electronic devices.
Early morning departure from Belize City to the northern part of the country. Visit Altun Ha Maya ruins, where the famous Jade Head of the Sun God was found. Tour continues after lunch and sodas, then on to the site of the Baboon Sanctuary, where you can view the popular Howler Monkeys. Tour ends in Belize City or place of pick up.