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BELIZE

All the best of Belize

15 Days

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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
Saturday

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Day 1 - Saturday – USA – Belize City - Ambergris:  Depart the USA on to Belize City where you will be met and assisted with connection to domestic flight to San Pedro, Ambergris. In Ambergris, your hosts from the hotel will meet you and transfer you to the Victoria House.

Day 2 - Sunday – Ambergris:  Day at leisure to bask in the tropical sun. (B)

Day 3 - Monday -  Ambergris:  Another day to relax, unwind or take an optional off-shore excursion.  (B)

Day 4 - Tuesday – Ambergris – Belize City - New River Area:  Return flight to Belize City.  Upon arrival you will be met and will proceed directly to the northern area of the country. First you will drive to the New Toll Bridge and then take a motorboat up the New River.  Just before you reach your lodge, you will debark and visit Lamanai, “Submerged Crocodile", the only Mayan enclave built near a river bank. Probably inhabited as far back as 3,500 years ago, the first buildings date from around 700 B.C.. The tallest with a height of 112 feet might have been the tallest Maya structure of its day. There are over 700 mapped structures, the most notable are the Temple of the Mask, Jaguar Temple and the Lord Smoking Shell stelae. After the tour, continue to the Lamanai Outpost Lodge. (B)

Day 5 - Wednesday - New River Area:  Today enjoy a leisurely dawn canoe trip for an opportunity to view the various bird species  of the area along with other flora and fauna of the rainforest. In the afternoon there will be a guided walking tour to discover some of the tropical forest’s most fascinating secrets - herbs and plants used by the ancients for medicinal purposes. Late afternoon board the lodge's Florida Everglades-style air boats for an exhilarating ride along the New River savannahs and floodplains for nature watching & discovery as the sun sets over the rainforest and river. The boat ride is about 2-hours, with private guide. (B)

Day 6 - Thursday - New River Area:  Early this morning your guide will take you for a trek to view how the Howler monkey forages in the forest canopy. Learn about the species life style, dynamics and interaction (about 2 hours). Balance of the day will be at leisure. (B)

Day 7 - Friday - New River Area - Gallon Jug Area:  Your local host will drive you west, about 1.5 hours, to the area known as “Gallon Jug” (named in 1943 by the foreman of the Belize Estates Company when he found 3-gallon jugs near his home).  Surrounded by 250,000 acres of steaming jungle, you come to the manicured site known as Chan Chich (Kaxil Uinich, “Little Bird”).  This Maya site has two levels of plazas, each with its own temples and unexcavated mounds. After years of remoteness, known only to the   logger, pot farmer and grave robber, it was rediscovered in 1986.  The property’s current owner built 12 thatched roofed cabanas on one of the plazas. Cleared trails now run through the forest with daily sightings of ocellated  turkeys, deer, peccary, spider monkeys and, with luck, puma, tapir and even jaguar.  On the way to Chan Chich a stop will be made at the Gallon Jug Coffee plantation where you will learn about the planting, harvesting and processing of the “java” brew. (B)

Day 8 - Saturday - Gallon Jug Area:  In the morning visit a rather large Maya ruins known as “Punta Cacao”, named after the logger’s road.  It is best reached by horseback, but one can come within a 30-minutes hike off the main road. Afternoon at leisure. (B)

Day 9 - Sunday - Gallon Jug Area - Cayo District/Mountain Pine Ridge Area:  From the property’s private airstrip, fly by small charter aircraft south to Central Farms, near Georgeville on the Western Highway, where you will be met and driven to the Guatemala border area for a visit to the Maya sites Cahel Pech, El Pilar and Xunantunich. A short distance from the town of San Ignacio lies the medium sized, but impressive site of Cahel Pech (Place of Ticks), first discovered in the 1950’s.  It has 34 structures within its 3 acres. Also visit El Pilar Archaeological Reserve for Maya Flora and Fauna, a 94 acre site on the border with Guatemala that has been left largely untouched  There are 3 archaeological trails and 2 nature trails. El Pilar contains a dozen pyramids and 25 known plazas. To reach Xunantunich (Maiden of the Rock),off of the Western Highway, just before Benque Viejo, take the hand-cranked ferry across the river and hike about 1 mile to the country’s first site. Said to date from the Classic Period, there are 3 plazas, many temples, a ball court and, until recently, the tallest known Maya structure, El Castillo at some 130+ feet, with exquisite friezes and from the summit have a spectacular view into Guatemala and the surrounding Peten jungle. Continue west towards the Maya Mountains, San Ignacio and your hotel, Ka'ana Boutique Resort & Spa. Lunch en route. (B/L)

Day 10 - Monday - Cayo District/Mountain Pine Ridge Area:  Morning at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilities. Afternoon glide through the remote underground cave of Barton Creek believed by some to have been site of Maya ritual ceremonies or a burial site. As you canoe, view colorful and large formations of stalactites, stalagmites, and cultural artifacts left behind centuries ago. (B)

Day 11 - Tuesday - Cayo District/Mountain Pine Ridge Area:  Deep in the Chiquibul Forest you will visit the Maya site Of Caracol, The Snails.  Many believe it will one day rival  Guatemala’s Tikal.  Discovered by area loggers in 1938, the present site covers some 30 square miles, and dates back to the Classic Maya period. Today one can see the work being carried out by archaeologists of Tulane University and University of Central Florida on three plaza groups, central acropolis, two ball courts as well as a number of smaller structures. A picnic box lunch will be provided on this excursion. (C/L)

Day 12 - Wednesday - Cayo/Mountain Pine Ridge Area - Placencia:  Today your host will drive to the Caribbean coast along the Hummingbird Highway, cutting off to the Southern Highway with stop at the world’s only jaguar preserve, Cockscomb Basin. This subtropical rainforest sanctuary covers some 100,000 acres surrounded by the Maya Mountains, with well maintained trails that reflect the region's biodiversity and are of various lengths and difficulty. While you most likely will not spot the nocturnal jaguar, the forest is lush and abounds with countless plant species, jungle flora and fauna.  There are over 300 species of birds, such as scarlet macaw, keel billed toucan, king vulture, reptiles such as the red-eyed tree frog and 55 mammals (like coatis, tapirs, deer, otter). Lunch will be included before continuing to the Placencia peninsula and the Turtle Inn. (C/L)

Day 13 & 14 - Thursday and Friday - Placencia:  These two days are set aside for relaxing in the tropical sun or taking optional excursions to nearby Maya sites or quaint Garifuna villages, snorkel or fish.  (C)

Day 15 - Saturday - Placencia-Belize City International Airport - USA:  A member of the hotel staff will take you to the nearby airstrip for the short flight (small aircraft, luggage allowance may be restricted) to the international airport in Belize City and your connection with the return flight home. (C)

RATES and DETAILS:

SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON - from Miami: (All rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2017 Request $7,900 to $9,700 Request
2018 Estimate 10% increase
Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes
PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature
Deposit - Per Person 2nd deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$500 in order to confirm To complete 30% deposit
upon confirmation of all space
65 days prior departure
CHANGES:
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents
CANCELLATIONS:
Cancelled Between Up to 90 days 89 - 61 days 60 - 31 days 30 - 00 days
Fees Per Person $500 30% 50% 100%
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly recommended.
RATE INCLUDES:
  • Hotel accommodations with hotel taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated, table d'hôte basis
  • Transfers as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Luggage handling at airports
  • Sightseeing as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Surface and overland travel as indicated
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • Air fares
  • USA and Foreign airport departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys, ship's personnel
  • Meals not specifically indicated as included
NOTE: Information was last updated January 2, 2017. Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions