Jungles, caves & reefs in Belize

8 days

Get ready to spend 8 magical days in the jungles, caves, and reefs of Belize with our expert tour guides. Belize is a jewel of a country, where nature is preserved and celebrated, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers. 

From plunging waterfalls and pristine ocean reefs to Maya ruins and ancient caves, there’s something for everyone in Belize. If it’s adventure you’re craving, traveling through Belize’s natural wonders will satisfy you in every way.

River Caves

Caves in the jungles

Big Rock Falls

Jungles

Altun-Ha

Mayan Ruins

Coral Barrier Reef

Snorkeling tours

Highlights

Belize is a unique country in that it’s largely undeveloped and has many protected areas, both on land and in the sea. The reefs along its coasts are packed with fish and aquatic life in abundance and the history of the area is rich. You can visit ancient ruins and natural sights all in the same day, thanks to the compact nature of Belize.

Itinerary

It’s your first day in the beautiful country of Belize! You’ll be welcomed by one of our guides at the International Airport of Belize City (BZE) and get your first taste of the natural beauty here when you arrive at your jungle lodge in the Cayo district. This area is known for its lush flora, so don’t be surprised to find yourself surrounded by greenery and flowers.

Take some time to settle in and enjoy the warmth of the country before you get started on your adventure.

Wake up to birdsong and palm fronds before having a delicious breakfast with plenty of fresh fruit. It’s the perfect start to a busy day of activity. 

You’ll start by heading to Barton Creek Cave, which Maya people used as a ceremonial site and burial grounds. While the area has been thoroughly looted, there are still pottery shards throughout the cave. This is one cave system that cannot be explored on foot, as it’s filled with water. Relax on your canoe while your guide points out interesting sights as you float along, including an impressive cathedral ceiling, rock formations, and bits of Mayan history scattered along the ledges throughout.

Fresh off your adventure through the cave system, you’ll travel 30 minutes to Big Rock Falls. You’ll need to do a little hiking to get to the actual falls, set back into the forest, but this only makes the view that much sweeter when you arrive. Stairs lead down to the natural pools at the bottom of the 150-foot falls. Take your time and enjoy the water before heading back to your hotel.

You can’t visit Central America without seeing some of the ancient wonders built by the Maya people, thousands of years ago. We’ll cross the border into Guatemala and travel to Peten, where Tikal is located and spend the day exploring the incredible temples and history here.There are five temples still standing, as well as three acropolis where nobles once lived. This city was one of the largest Maya cities during its peak. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, preserved for its incredible history. It’s truly awe-inspiring to stand in the shadow of nearly intact temples with their intricate stone designs and carvings. The city center covers roughly a square mile of territory and is surrounded by thick jungle. Many visitors enjoy spotting the monkeys and other wildlife that live in the verdant growth.

To start the day off, you’ll head to the lesser-known Maya ruins of Yaxha, not far from Tikal. The crowds are less here since most people just visit Tikal, but the views are stunning and the city itself is well worth a visit.

Built alongside a lake, Yaxha wasn’t populated until a few hundred years after Tikal. Today, the lake is divided into two, Lago Yaxha and Lago Sacnab. Watch carefully and you may even see some of the crocodiles that the lakes are famous for.

Once you’ve thoroughly explored the site, it’s time to head back to Belize where you’ll settle in for a night of relaxation in Cayo district.

On day 5 of your tour, you’ll delve further into the history of Belize by visiting the ancient city of Altun-Ha.

Next up is the Baboon Sanctuary where you can see the fauna of the country up close and personal. While it’s named for the baboons, the sanctuary is best known for black howler monkeys. You may spot crocodiles and other types of wildlife as you hike through the lush forest. 

From the Baboon Sanctuary, you’ll return to Belize City where a small plane or water taxi will take you out to San Pedro Island, Ambergris Caye.

Today, you’ll take a private catamaran to Hol Chan Reserve, which features over 160 different species of fish, a variety of corals, and turtles. In Shark Ray Alley, we’ll pause to watch nurse sharks and stingrays swimming. If you’re brave, you can take a dip with them!

Our next stop, at Coral Gardens gives you the unique opportunity to see a wide variety of corals in small area. You’ll snorkel over the reef, which features dozens of colorful coral species, ranging from elegant fan corals to branching fire coral. You’ll also spot plenty of tropical fish darting through the water.  

Boost your energy with a delicious Belizean buffet for lunch, served aboard the catamaran. There will be a nice variety of foods to taste and you can get a better feel for the culinary culture of this area. Once you’re done eating, rest a bit and enjoy the view before hopping back in the water to scope out the Northern Channel. It’s a good spot to see brightly colored fish and maybe even a sea turtle or two.

Caye Caulker is the next stop on our itinerary, where you can have a drink or a snack at one of the shops or cafes along the sandy main street. Make sure you take advantage of the many photo opportunities here . . . it’s a lovely town to walk through. 

You’ll finish up this incredible day with a sunset cruise. It’s a breathtaking sight to watch the sun dip below the horizon across the glittering ocean and you’ll have an open bar and fresh ceviche to make it an even more memorable experience. Click here for more information about this tour.

Today, you’ll have time to check out the picturesque town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, one of the largest Belizean islands. At 25 miles long, it’s easiest to explore San Pedro Island in a golf cart. You’ll find that the town is full of welcoming people, both local and foreign, as well as small shops and restaurants. However, the real fun lies outside San Pedro.

After driving around the island in your golf cart, you’ll take some time to relax on the pristine white sands of Secret Beach. The water here is clear and shallow, making it ideal for swimming and lounging in the sun. You may even catch a glimpse of some of the brightly colored fish that Belize is so well known for.

Sadly, your journey has come to an end and this is the day you return home unless you choose to extend your trip. You’ll be taken to the International Airport in Belize City to fly home. 

map, expenses & price

Jungles, Caves and Reefs in Belize

Expenses included:
-All private transportation.
-Seven nights of hotel accommodations.
-Professional certified guides.
-Domestic flights.
-All park entrance fees.
-Tours and excursions as listed.
-Daily breakfast.

Extensions
Aerial view of the Great Blue Hole in Belize

jungles, caves & reefs

The Great Blue Hole

One of the most fascinating water features in Belize is the Blue Hole. This 400-foot hole in the reef can only be truly appreciated from the air, where you can see the shift from crystal clear sea to the rich marine hues that earned the Blue Hole its name. You’ll fly in a small aircraft over the brightly colored homes of Belize, soar above the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoy photogenic views of the cayes that cluster along the coast.

jungles, caves & reefs

ATM Cave

Looking for more of an adventure? The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our guide will lead you on a fascinating journey through this ancient cave, once used by Mayas for their ceremonies. After a trek through the jungle, you’ll swim through the cave entrance and begin your walk through history. There are still human remains in the cave, as well as a variety of artifacts preserved throughout history. It’s a truly awe-inspiring addition to your Belize vacation trip.

A crystal clear water lagoon is inside the ATM cave in Belize.
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