Belize Nature Lover
Belize Nature Lover
Belize Nature Lover: Belize may be a relatively small country, but it is packed with natural beauty both on land and in the sea. Over a third of its land is protected by over 95 reserves, creating a rich, lushl environment for over 600 bird species and 145 mammals. The turquoise Caribbean Sea is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, with over 100 types of coral and over 500 species of fish. With this package you’ll start your trip in Western Belize and work your way to the Caribbean Coast continuing south along the coast until you reach the Toledo district. Along this journey you’ll stay at award winning, eco-friendly accommodations with nature right at their doorstep. Trek through the dense jungle in search of traces of the elusive jaguar while exploring ancient Mayan ruins and artifacts. Cool off in a waterfall pool and then snack on freshly made chocolate in a bean-to-bar Mayan chocolate workshop. Scuba dive or snorkel off of powdery sand cayes for unbelieveable marine life viewing. Try to spot the majestic whale shark (seasonal) or spearfish the invasive lionfish for dinner. Wake up early for sunrise birdwatching and finish the day with a night swim under a sky full of stars.
Destinations: San Ignacio, Belmopan, Hopkins Village, Punta Gorda
Duration: 13 days
*Price Range: $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Belize Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE). Outside the airport you’ll find your private driver who will be holding a sign with our logo and your name on it. They will then assist with your luggage and drive you from Belize City to San Ignacio. Feel free to stop at anytime during your private ground transfer for photo and nature viewing opportunities, restrooms, lunch, or to simply stretch your legs. Stop in route from the airport to San Ignacio at The Belize Zoo to see native rescued animals up close while also learning about the zoo’s conservation efforts. Stock up on any snacks or drinks as you pass through San Ignacio and continue onwards through small farms and fruit orchards. Enjoy the scenic views as you navigate alongside the Macal River until you reach your 242-acre nature retreat, Black Rock Lodge. Sip on a welcome drink on the observation deck and take in the towering views of Black Rock Canyon and The Macal River below.
Wake up before the surrounding jungle comes alive to enjoy an early morning birdwatching hike with over 390 bird species spotted on the property. Return to the main lodge and observation deck after your morning hike for a delicious a la carte breakfast consisting of hand-squeezed juices, organically grown fruits, and homemade breads. Enjoy another guided nature hike this morning to the Flour Camp Caves which contain ancient Mayan pottery, stalagmites (from cave floor) and stalactites (from cave roof). Return to the lodge in time for lunch or enjoy a picnic lunch on a longer nature hike to unexcavated Mayan ruin sites. In the afternoon enjoy river tubing down rapids in front of the hotel or take out a Trek mountain bike and ride along the Macal River. After a hearty family-style dinner with fellow guests explore the jungle again on a guided night hike to see all the nocturnal critters and creatures.
Start your morning with a scenic canoe trip for the opportunity to see an array of birds, including herons, oropendolas, and swallows. Return to the lodge for breakfast and spend the rest of the day exploring nearby Mayan ruin sites, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, on horseback (or on a hike).
Enjoy a restful morning and then continue your journey back towards the middle of Belize for your stay at Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge located on the east side of Blue Hole National Park. In route, ask to stop for a swim at the Inland Blue Hole or enjoy a cave tubing experience through St. Herman’s Cave followed by a visit to the Inland Blue Hole. Check into the beautiful Sleeping Giant and take in the sights and sounds of the Sibun River that passes alongside the property. This unique property has access to thousands of acres of rainforest with magnificent views of the Maya Mountains. Tonight, enjoy dinner under a star-filled sky and then head back to your suite for a night swim in your private plunge pool.
After a peaceful night’s sleep and a leisurely breakfast, kayak along the Sibun River on a guided nature tour. Your knowledgeable guide will help point out tropical birds, monkeys, and a diverse array of plants and flowers. After your kayak trip, walk through the botanical gardens or learn to make chocolate from cacao through a bean-to-bar tour (samples included!).
Before breakfast or shortly afterwards, hike up The Gazebo for panoramic views of the Sibun Forest Reserve. The Gazebo is surrounded by fruit orchards, making it the ideal spot for sunrise birdwatching or simply enjoying the views. Take a guided nature hike the rest of the day today or opt for an adventure tour, including the 300-foot Black Hole Drop, waterfall cave rappelling, or a canopy zip-line.
Today you’ll make your way from Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge over to the Caribbean Coast for a stay at Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort located outside of Hopkins Village. If you’re up for a challenging hike with a rewarding view along the way, stop in route at Antelope Falls in Mayflower Bocawina National Park. This rigorous 1.5 mile trek to the top of Antelope Falls, a 1000-foot waterfall, offers incredible views out to the Caribbean Sea. Make this an adventure tour by rappelling a portion of the falls and/or zip-lining Belize’s longest cables after the hike. Continue onwards to your boutique beachfront oasis, Hamanasi. Voted one of the top hotels in all Central and South America, Hamanasi offers some of the best marine and land adventures in Belize. Whether you’re a diver or snorkeler, make sure to spend at least one full day (if not both full days) taking in the colorful coral reef and abundant marine life along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Start the day with a tropical breakfast consisting of locally made yogurts, granola, homemade sweet breads, fruit, eggs, coffee, tea, and fresh juice. After a hearty breakfast, hop aboard one of three boats for a day of diving or snorkeling the second largest barrier reef in the world. Snorkelers and divers will enjoy warm waters, calm currents, shallow reefs, and clear visibility averaging between 60-80 feet. Divers can choose from many famous sites including Glover’s Reef Atoll, Gladden Spit (seasonal whale sharks), Turneffe Islands, and even the famous Great Blue Hole. Return to Hamanasi after a day on the water to enjoy the pool, sandy beach, spa, tropical drinks, and delicious gourmet meals.
Spend another full day on the water snorkeling, diving, sailing, or fishing. Intermediate to experienced divers can spearfish the invasive lionfish for lunch or dinner. For a land based nature tour, explore the world’s only jaguar reserve at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This 120,000-acre reserve is home to jaguar, jaguarundi, margays, ocelots, pumas, deer, howler monkeys, tapirs, and over 290 species of birds. In the afternoon, bike into Hopkins Village to learn about Garifuna culture through a cooking workshop or drumming lesson. Then, in the evening, enjoy live Garifuna drumming and dance while dining on an exquisitely prepared catch of the day!
Today you’ll make your way south along the Caribbean coastline to the Toledo District for your stay at the luxurious Belcampo eco-retreat in Punta Gorda. This National Geographic Lodge is located on 15,000-acres, divided between a 12,000-acre nature reserve and a 3,000-acre organic farm. Check into your room and explore the amenities around the property, including a Jungle Spa, pool, and wraparound observation deck. Enjoy some of the best dining in all of Belize with farm-to-table gourmet meals.
Parrots, parakeets, trogons, hummingbirds, toucans, woodpeckers, flycatchers, tanagers, honeycreepers, and more will join you for a hot cup of coffee or tea while watching the sunrise over the Caribbean on the observation deck. After breakfast, you and the chef will hop aboard an 8-seater riverboat for a day of snorkeling in the Gulf of Honduras. During this snorkeling adventure in crystal clear Caribbean waters, look for conch, crab, lobster and lionfish to bring back aboard for a freshly prepared lunch. Celebrate your catch with a cold beverage while you feast on a delicious prepared catch of the day. Return to the hotel in time for a bean-to-bar chocolate demonstration (and sampling) or a coffee cupping session.
Spend your last full day in Belize exploring nearby Mayan ruin sites – Lubaantun or Nim Li Punit. Combine either of these ruin sites with either 1) a visit to a local Maya village for lunch and then a swim in Hokeb Ha Cave or 2) lunch at a local restaurant followed by a swim in Rio Blanco Waterfalls. Return to Belcampo for a rum demonstration and sampling before your final gourmet dinner.
Take a 50-minute domestic flight back to Belize City for your international flight home.
- Kayak down the Sibun River in search of monkeys, birds, iguanas, and beautiful flora
- Cave tube through St. Herman’s Cave followed by a swim in the Inland Blue Hole
- Hike atop the 1000-foot Antelope Falls within the Mayflower Bocawina National Park
- Dive incredible sites, including Glover’s Reef Atoll, Gladden Spit (seasonal whale sharks), Turneffe Islands, and even the famous Great Blue Hole
- Listen to Garifuna drumming and dance while enjoying sea-to-fork and farm-to-table meals
- Search for jaguar tracks in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s only jaguar reserve
- Snorkel with the chef in the Gulf of Honduras in search of conch, crab, lobster and lionfish for a deliciously prepared lunch
- Tour a 3,000-acre organic farm to learn sustainable farming practices while learning about the production of sugar cane, cacao, coffee, and rum (samples included!)
Best for: Family, Couple, Nature Lovers, Eco-tourism, Luxury
Bucket list experiences: Belize Zoo, birding, rainforest, yoga, horseback riding, Mayan ruins (Xunantunich, Lubaantun, Nim Li Punit, Hokeb Ha Cave), St. Herman’s Cave, Inland Blue Cave, river tubing, Black Hole Drop, Antelope Falls at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, snorkel, dive (Glover’s Reef Atoll, Gladden Spit, Turneffe Islands, Great Blue Hole), Mesoamerican Reef, spearfishing, coffee roasting, chocolate making, rum sampling
Accommodations & Location:
- Black Rock Lodge, San Ignacio
- Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, Belmopan
- Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Hopkins Village
- Belcampo Belize, Punta Gorda
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!