The Mayan Empire in Belize

8 days

If you have the desire to go on an adventure and explore ancient civilizations, then Belize is the place to visit. Belize is filled with deep cultures and friendly locals, with exquisite cuisine that is a must-try. Then you can park on one of their pristine beaches and go explore their beautiful reefs and clear waters. 

Once you’ve had your fun in the sun, you can take a journey for up to seven days that goes into the heart of the epic history that is now modern-day Belize. First, explore ancient ruins of the Mayan culture and immerse yourself in the lush nature this empire lived in. Then, walk down the same paths of this ancient civilization and relive this part of history. 

Cahal Pech

Caracol

Altun-Ha

Endless jungles

Highlights

The Mayan ruins of Cahal Peach, Xunantunich, Caracol, Lamanai, Altun-ha, Nim Li Punit, Santa Rita, and Cerros.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

After your long trip, we welcome you straight from the airport and take you directly to your jungle lodge in San Ignacio. This is a day to unwind and decompress from wherever it is that you came from. There won’t be any excursions this day. We want you to feel that connection with nature as soon as you land so that you can take the day to rest and relax in preparation for the adventure to come. 

You’ll have your specific itinerary, depending on the length and any optional items you might have selected for the trip. This is all about rejuvenating yourself for what lies ahead. 

Day 2. Xunantunich & Cahal Pech

After a fulfilling breakfast in the early morning, we start our day with two major ruins and sites to visit, starting our journey ahead.

Our first stop of the entire trip is where we head over to Xunantunich, or Maiden of the Rock, which is home to the second-largest Mayan pyramid/temple in Belize. Then, just on the border of Guatemala, We’ll traverse and look over the entire compound with its vast number of temples and palaces, as well as the homes where the Mayans would live. 

For those looking to explore Xunantunich more traditionally, we can also set up a horseback riding tour, which will allow us to explore more of the ruins from a different vantage. 

You’ll be able to work with our experienced horseback riding tour guides, and our horses are tame and gentle, making them suitable for all levels of experience. This is a great opportunity to have an experience to remember. 

Then we head to our next preserved ruins. Situated near the city of San Ignacio, we start to explore the archeological reserve of Cahal Pech or Place of Ticks. This is an entire set of ruins right outside of town and is where we will explore all the various structures throughout. 

We will see how the Mayans lived, where they prayed, where they played their infamous sports, and other important and significant pieces of history. 

Day 3. Caracol

Today we travel to one of the best-preserved reserves of the Mayan Empire Caracol. Known back in the day as the height of power and politics for not only the vast Mayan region but also with neighboring states, this ancient city is considered even larger than Belize city itself.

We take you through the discovered parts of Caracol, as there are still parts that still need to be discovered and excavated! All of this is via the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, which is its sole adventurous hike. 

The Mountain Pine Ridge reserve itself is filled with numerous activities for those that want to brave them. You can take the time to explore underground caves or take a scenic hike to explore the multiple gorgeous waterfalls throughout. 

You may be more interested in exploring the local rare birds and fauna in the area to catch a glimpse of these creatures. There’s also the possibility to explore and even dip your feet into one of the numerous pools in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. 

Day 4. Lamanai

This is our first transfer day, where we start to head towards the northern regions of Belize to explore the wonders therein.

Our first stop in this region is the ancient city of Lamanai. Here we’ll explore one of the longest settled cities of the Mayan culture. This includes even the Spanish Conquistadors calling this place home all the way up to the 1600s. It is rich in culture from different eras, with huge stone art carved directly into the walls and still preserved today. The ruins sit near the New River.

We’ll then help to get you settled into one of the most diverse places on the planet at the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. It hosts a few hundred different species that we’ll be able to explore while we get you to your new home. 

It is a critical component of biodiversity, with several different biomes all connected together, from wetlands to savannahs with interconnected lagoons and creeks. An excellent spot for tourists and eco-tourists alike and a great place to snap up some great pictures of the local wildlife.

Day 5. Santa Rita & Cerros

Now we start getting ourselves closer to the beach for some aquatic fun. Our first stop on this day is at the Santa Rita Archeological site, one of the few places that survived the collapse of the Mayan Empire. 

Located just outside of the town of Corozal, we’ll be able to explore the ruins and soak in the views of some of the incredible still preserved mural paintings. 

Then it’s off to the Cerros Mayan Ruins, which is the only Mayan ruin with a natural border being the Caribbean Sea. It’s one of the oldest ruins that had the least amount of renovations and remodels during its various periods. 

It’s a small yet critical trading outpost that is rich in history. Of course, we wouldn’t take you to this place in Northern Belize without a chance to be able to get yourselves in a good swim in the sea itself! 

Day 6. Altun-ha

We start our day off with a tour of the ancient Altun-Ha city that housed a significant population back then. It was home to around 10,000 people! Although vast in its original setting, it’s still being continuously excavated and discovered. 

We then head back to Belize to take a quick local flight to Dangriga and then transfer to one of our more paradise-based locations in Placencia. Placencia is a beach resort lined with palm trees and clean beaches. 

With 16 miles of beachfront, this once sleeping fishing village sits at one of the southernmost tips of Belize. It’s a great place to catch a suntan or to enjoy some of the local seafood options. 

We expect you to be able to take the time to enjoy and relax this day after a long day of exploration and travel. This is a good time to sample local, regional foods and offerings and get a good rest before we continue our journey. We always recommend to possibly extend your stay here or consider re-visiting this location as it has become home to luxurious resorts filled with five star accommodations and amenities. 

Day 7. Nim Li Punit

After a refreshing sleep and a full breakfast, we head out early in the morning back out on our journey of exploration. Located near the villages of Golden Stream and Indian Creek is the next location. 

This time we’re headed to Nim Li Punit ruins which are translated into Big Hat. This is an interconnected set of structures that has numerous artifacts, ruins, and structures to explore. 

As we head up towards the steep incline where these ruins are located, we’ll take a quick stop at the visitor centers that are ripe with perfectly preserved artifacts to observe and absorb. 

Day 8. Return

Alas, our trip has come to an end, and we will get you back to the airport of Dangriga in the early morning with a flight back to Belize international airport. We try to schedule everything depending on your connecting flight back to wherever your home is and always enjoy the fact that you considered us when it came to building out your itinerary. 

A few notes:
If you’d like the option of remaining longer at the beaches of Placencia, let us know, and we can customize your trip to be able to stay in southern Belize longer and to your liking. We completely understand being only a few days in paradise may not be enough for some and are happy to help ensure you have a safe extended trip there. 

In addition, if there are any types of customizations you want for your trip or something you’ve heard about along the itinerary that you’d like us to consider, please let us know. 

Although we are confident in the selected iterative paths we’ve chosen, we still want you to have the best trip possible. We take pride in offering the best tours in Belize, with a focus on critical ancient history, with the proper incorporation of the local culture, nature, and food scenes. 

With that said, we also keep an open mind and will do our best to make sure you will have a trip to remember for a lifetime. 

map, expenses & price

Discover the Mayan Empire in Belize

Expenses included:
-All private transportation.
-Seven nights of hotel accommodations.
-Professional certified guides.
-All park entrance fees.
-Tours as listed.
-Daily breakfasts.

Per person starting at $1,800

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