Jungles, caves & reefs

10-day trip in Belize

Adventuring through Central America can be some of the most memorable and exciting trips you’ll always remember. While Belize offers some sun and sand relaxation options, there’s also plenty where you can explore the luscious jungles, see ancient caves, and dive into beautiful paradise-like reefs. As a result, you’ll feel energized every moment of this exciting excursion.

Hopkins

Kayaking in the Sitte River

Hermans Blue Hole Park

South Water Caye

Highlights

-Feel like a true explorer with a canoe trip through the winding rivers of the jungle.
-Head deep into the Mayflower Jungle with the expedition leading towards a remote waterfall.
-Walk down ancient Mayan steps to explore the St. Herman’s Cave and limestone formations.
-Get up close with the Glover’s Reef Marine Atoll by swimming and snorkeling through them.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival

 On your initial day, you will arrive at Belize City International Airport. Upon arrival, you will take a quick 15-minute domestic flight to Dangriga. 

After the overall journey is complete, one of our drivers will eagerly welcome you and pick you up to bring you to your lodge in Hopkins. From here, you’ll rest for the adventures to come.

Day 2. Birdwatching and jungle river

 We start first thing in the morning, where you’re going to be able to explore some of the beautiful exotic tropical birds. Depending on the season, you’ll be able to see a wide range of colorful birds in the region, whether it’s parrots or toucans. Those are only two of the several hundred species of birds that call Belize their home. 

You will be able to savor a hands-on experience of how to do proper birding, regardless of your experience. This is a mild hike focusing on the location and scouting of some of these beautiful birds in their home. 

After you’ve had your fill and count of the many birds possible to view, your first slightly more rigorous adventure begins, which is getting into a canoe and exploring the jungles as explorers did in the past! The journey will take place on the Sittee River near the Maya mountains. It will all begin at a small idyllic village and wind its way out to open waters. 

During the exploration, you will not only be powering the canoes yourself but also see all the wildlife from the jungles themselves. What you’ll see will go beyond just the tropical birds from the bird watching previously but also go to the local wildlife in the waters, from fish to manatees, or see some iguanas relaxing in the rising sun. 

Then it’s heading back to the lodge for a well-deserved rest.

Day 3. Mayflower jungle & waterfall

We continue the rigors of adventure with the Mayflower Bocawina National Park jungle hike. After a quick drive to the site itself, the hike will begin. Keep in mind that this is quite an intense hike, so pack accordingly and be prepared. As we complete our journey to the top of the waterfall, we’ll get beautiful picturesque views of the surrounding area and even a glimpse of the Sea from a distance. We’ll take a break here and cool off before heading further in. 

Then it’s off to Mayflower, which is an old Mayan City. It’s an active archaeological site with new discoveries continuously happening and the histories of this great civilization continuing to take shape. All of this with gorgeous nature all around you.

Day 4. Cave and jungle adventure

With rivers and hiking conquered, we move into the depths of the earth and head into St. Herman’s Cave. We get here by heading to Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. Once we get to the cave, you’ll notice Mayan engineering as their steps are the foundation of the more modernized version overlayed on top of them. You will also be quick to see some ancient history as there’s Mayan pottery to be found throughout the cave. 

This is truly rigorous, so make sure you’re prepared again. We’ll provide you with headlamps in the dark, and you’ll also be going down nearly a mile into the earth to exit from the other side. But, don’t worry; you’ll have expert guides who will take all the necessary precautions so you can enjoy the limestone formations coming off of the ceiling and see through the eyes of ancient Mayans. 

These guides will also help explain how the Mayans used the caves and everything that is using these caves as a natural habit, flora and fauna alike. 

Keep in mind that some places will be particularly dark here, hence the helmets with the headlamps, so make sure to always keep your ears open for any instructions and ensure that you’re able to do some climbing and navigating through some large rocks to get through the caves. It’s meant to be easily passable and doesn’t require any type of specialized cave exploration equipment. Everything needed will be provided ahead of time. 

Day 5. South Water Caye

Day five is a transportation day to help to bring you to your next part of the journey while at the same time giving you a much-needed recovery from the previous intense adventures. First, you’ll be driven back to Dangriga. Once you arrive there, you’ll take a boat to the small island known as South Water Caye. 

This island is on the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, which itself is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although you’ll have some free time to explore locally, consider this day to take a breather for the rest of the days. This is the staging area for the next few days to explore the Belize Barrier Reef. You’ll be staying in beautiful rustic accommodations that will give you that much-needed rejuvenation from the previous days and what will be possible in the next upcoming days as well. 

Day 6. Island adventure

On the first day on the island, we’re going to have a half-day snorkeling exploration tour that will take you to the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. This is quite the explorative day because it’s many islands, such as Man O’ War Caye, Bread and Butter Caye, Bird Island, and Tobacco Caye, to name a few. 

You’ll discover marine bird species or swim with the manatees. You’ll also be able to explore the Carrie Bow Caye, where you will see critically important coral reefs that are essential to the local wildlife. Finally, you’ll see the underwater creatures in their colorful and natural habitats through this snorkeling experience. 

After that, we head back and take a breather and some free time for the rest of the day.

Day 7. Snorkeling tour

We keep the aquatic theme on this day and head back out to snorkeling. You’ll venture to Blue Marlin Resort and explore the ecology and wildlife in their natural habitat. This is situated right in the middle of the South Water Caye, previously explored partially the day before. You’ll be in shallow waters enjoying the Belize barrier reefs in the area and see corals in various colors you didn’t expect. 

You will witness a wide variety of marine wildlife from dolphins to sea turtles, but also eels, lobsters and conch, even smaller sharks, and angelfish. The list here is just a small sampling as you spend the tour in warm waters that are shallow enough to enable snorkeling. There’ll be so much for you to see that you may want to bring an underwater camera to capture it all. 

Day 8 – 9. Explore Glover’s Reef Atoll

The final two days before departure, you’re going to have a wide variety of options and a flexible schedule. You can explore Glover’s Reef as you see fit, and we’ll help to set up all the arrangements. 

On the other hand, maybe you’re a bit tired from the varied adventures of the past week, so you can take this time to simply work on your tan and soak in the beautiful views surrounding the Atoll and dip your feet in the warm waters. After all, you’re in paradise, so there are no issues there. 

There are plenty of water sports available if you want to continue a more rigorous approach, and you’re able to go on kayaking trips or even stand-up paddle boarding. So take the chance to explore the whole circumference of the island and head out into the open waters to experience that true freedom and connection with the Sea. 

Maybe you feel as if you want to head back to enjoy exploring the coral reefs again or other parts of the waterways and head back to snorkeling and exploring directly what’s in the water. 

And finally, for those looking for a simpler pastime akin to relaxation, there are even traditional fishing excursions you can go on and fish as your ancestors did. There’ll be plenty out there to catch and possibly a chance to even cook it!

Day 10. Return home

As with any of our trips, eventually, they must end, and this is what happens on this day. After a delicious breakfast of local fares, we’ll get you back on a boat transfer to the Garifuna town of Dangriga. From Dangriga, you’ll head back on a domestic flight to the Belize International airport and head on to the next flight that will take you back home. 

As with many of our trips, if there are any parts that you wish to extend, especially with the free time and days on Glover’s Reef Atoll, always let us know beforehand so that we can accommodate and extend your trip as per your request. We try to keep our itinerary comprehensive but always understand that some want to catch a few more sun rays before heading home.

Expenses included

10 days & 9 nights

From $2,000* per guest

Private transportation, door to door service

Domestic flights

 9 nights hotel accommodation

Local certified onsite guides

All park entrance fees

 Snorkeling gear, kayaks, and all equipment needed

Daily breakfast

Taxes

Price varies by group size

Not included: flights, travel insurance and other expenses than indicated

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