Family Belize Wildlife Adventure

Family Belize Wildlife Adventure

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14 Days
From

$3760

$3520

Family Belize Wildlife Adventure

14 Days Starting in Belize City and ending in Belize City

Visiting: Belize City, Crooked Tree, Lamanai Archaeological Reserve, San Ignacio, Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Blue Hole National Park, Tobacco Caye, Caye Caulker

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

FBZ

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 20

Physical rating:

Medium, Moderate

Age range:

7-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From:
$3760
$3520 (USD) Operator discount: -$140 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$100
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Tour Overview

Belize is one of the world's leading ecotourism destinations, with swathes of untouched rainforest, prolific wildlife, mangrove coasts, and one of the most extensive coral reef in the western hemisphere, second only in size and grandeur to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Add to that ancient monuments (over 900 ancient Mayan ruins are located in the country) and fantastic beaches and you have an ideal family adventure destination.

Highlights

  • Opportunities to see howler monkeys, spider monkeys, toucans, parrots, crocodiles and much more in the tropical forests Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

  • Mayan sites - Journey by boat through the deep jungle to the ancient temples of Xunantunich and Lamanai

  • Tropical islands - Experience laid back Caribbean island life on two tropical islands, be as active as you want.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Join Trip In Belize City
Location: Belize City
Accommodation: Hotel, Ramada Princess
Meals Included: No Meals

Arrive in Belize City, the capital of Belize until 1970 at which time it moved to Belmopan. Its a typical Caribbean town, parts of the town are still largely built of wood and galvanised iron, with many of the original colonial style houses in an elegant state of disrepair.



For those arranging their own flights our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6 pm for the welcome meeting after which we head for dinner at the hotel. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Belize City at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Belize's Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (airport code BZE), which is 16km, around 20 minutes' drive from the airport. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.



If you have booked your flights through our office then you will spend the first night of the trip in Houston at an airport hotel. Our hotels have a frequent complimentary shuttle service from the airport that you will need to catch (further details about this will be given to you in the joining instructions section of your trip notes), and you'll have the evening free to explore. You will then fly on to Belize City tomorrow morning to meet the rest of our group and our local leader.

Day 2: Visit Community Baboon Sanctuary. Drive To Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Crooked Tree
Accommodation: Lodge, Birds Eye View Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Free morning in Belize City.



Heading along the northern highway, we pick up those joining from London at the international airport, before continuing to the Community Baboon Sanctuary. Here we have a chance of up close encounters with the world's second loudest land mammal - the Yucatecan black howler monkeys in their natural habitat and learn about the close relationship these animals have with local people who benefit from their protection - confusingly the local people call the monkeys 'baboons'.



Later in the afternoon travel inland to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, an important wetland habitat. Settle down for two nights enjoying the hospitality of our local hosts on the shores of the Crooked Tree Lagoon. Established in 1984, this maze of waterways and lagoons supports a wonderful variety of wetland species. For our first close up encounter with Belize's famed wildlife it's possible to use the hotels kayaks for an afternoon paddle in the lagoon. If the weather is fine we may take a sunset cruise on the lagoon in search of Green Iguanas and numerous wetland species including several species of kingfisher, heron, waders and raptors.

Day 3: Boat Trip To Jungle Ancient Mayan Site Of Lamanai, Deep In The Jungle
Location: Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Accommodation: Lodge, Birds Eye View Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

If we failed to do the sunset cruise yesterday we can rise early this morning to explore the lagoon by boat. In this birdwatchers paradise we may spot wood stork, boat-billed heron, vultures, kingfishers, grebes, hawks, snail kites, jacanas and, perhaps most notable of all, the rare jabiru - the largest flying bird in the hemisphere with a wingspan of up to 4 metres. Over 250 resident and migratory bird species have been spotted in the park.



Returning to the lodge for breakfast, this morning we venture by vehicle to the New River and Tower Hill bridge for the boat ride upstream to the 2000 year old jungle ruins of Lamanai, one of Belize's largest Mayan ceremonial centres.



Water birds are abundant in this ancient rainforest and freshwater crocodiles may be spotted lurking along the river bank. Lamanai, the original name of these Maya ruins, means 'Submerged Crocodile', which helps to explain the numerous carved crocodile representations at the site. The ruins are only partially cleared; most of the structures are still consumed by the surrounding rainforest with its thick canopy of huge trees, in total 718 known structures have been uncovered. The humid atmosphere adds an aura of mystery to the scattered and overgrown relics and there is some evidence that the Maya practised human sacrifice here.



We return to our lodge mid-afternoon. For keen bird watchers you won't have to venture far from the lodge, the lake hosts an abundant population of neotropical birds, just fifty feet from the lodge.

Day 4: Explore Crooked Tree Village And Lagoon, Wildlife Watching. Drive To San Ignacio, Visit A Green Iguana Breeding Programme
Location: Crooked Tree
Accommodation: Resort, Cahal Pech Village Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we make a short excursion on foot to explore Crooked Tree further. This was one of the first settlements the British made in the area in the early 17th century. Testimony to this is the many Scottish titles and surnames that still exist. The extraction of logwood for textile dyes is what brought the original settlers here and we can still see the logwood tree growing commonly along the shores today.



We bid farewell to the reserve mid-morning, heading by bus to San Ignacio, a traditional Belizean town. Straddling the Macal River, once a critical transportation artery for the Maya and later the European settlers, it is now a centre for visiting ancient Mayan sites making it an ideal place to base ourselves for the next couple of days.



This afternoon we will visit a Green Iguana breeding programme in San Ignacio dedicated to re-releasing these magnificent reptiles back into their native habitat. The rest of the afternoon has been left free to enjoy the pool or head into town to explore. Our base is a resort just ten minutes outside of San Ignacio, featuring individual cottages, beautiful landscaped gardens and a swimming pool.

Day 5: In San Ignacio. Visit Xunantunich Mayan Site. Afternoon Canoeing In A Cave System.
Location: San Ignacio, Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Accommodation: Resort, ResortCahal Pech Village Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we make a visit to the great classical Maya site of Xunantunich, Mayan for 'Rock Stone Maiden'. We travel the short distance to the area by bus, crossing the River Macal by traditional hand-winched ferry to arrive at the site. Occupied until about 850 AD, the main plaza is dominated by an awesome structure called El Castillo - a massive pyramid which rises to 40 metres. On the top is a partially restored stucco frieze representing the Sun God and astronomical signs of the Moon and Venus. The views are superb view from the summit, looking out over the forest with the Maya mountains to the south and the lowlands of Guatemala to the west.



This afternoon we drive through the traditional orthodox Mennonite Community of Barton Creek to a remote cave system. Leaving our vehicle, we board canoes and paddle into the Mayan underworld to explore the striking cave formations.

Day 6: Free Day With Optional Tours Around The Area Including Tikal, A Unesco World Herital Site
Location: Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Accommodation: Resort, Cahal Pech Village Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast

San Ignacio is at the heart of Belize's (small) inland tourism and offers many different activities. Today you can choose from several different optional tours in the surrounding area. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal just over the border in Guatemala is one of those options. Set in one of the America's greatest forest reserves known as "The Maya Biosphere", Tikal and the surrounding forest are also home to many endangered animal species that are often seen here, living amongst one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world. Abandoned in the 10th century and rediscovered 900 years later, this huge site lies amongst an example of more than 1000 years of undisturbed tropical forest regrowth. The ancient site provides an atmospheric backdrop to some superb wildlife spotting; it's possible to spot hummingbirds flycatchers and honeycreepers, all to the chorus of Howler Monkeys roaring in the distance.



Other optional tours include a visit to the archaeological site of Cahal Pech. You may instead wish to visit the Belize botanical gardens and jungle lodge where we can tour the gardens, lunch, and then paddle back to San Ignacio along the Macal River, rich in birdlife, butterflies and iguanas; alternatively simply relax at the hotel pool.

Day 7: Travel To The Blue Hole National Park And Green Valley Project Organic Farm, Boat To Tobacco Caye
Location: Blue Hole National Park
Accommodation: Joe Jo's by the beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we head south along one of Central America's most scenic roads - the Hummingbird highway. Our first stop will be at the Blue Hole National Park operated and run by the Belize Audobon conservation society. Broad leaf semi deciduous rainforests cover the limestone cliffs with a network of cave complexes hidden amongst the rich vegetation. Subject to local conditions, we aim to visit a large cave complex and swim in a crystal clear limestone sink hole surrounded by lush jungle.



Continuing along the highway through orange and cacao groves we make a break at a local organic farm and tree planting project for lunch, it's an opportunity to learn about local food products and may even plant a tree to help to keep Belize green.



Our final destination is the tropical island of Tobacco Caye, located ten miles off the coast, a 20 minute boat ride from Dangriga Town. As one of the smallest island in Belize, Tobacco Caye has an intimate, relaxed feel with a host of activities to choose from. We stay in cabins right on the reef's edge overlooking the ocean at the delightful Joe Jo's by the reef resort, a laid back collection of brightly coloured characterful beach cabins. Each cabin has a private deck complete with a hammock to sit back and relax with the sounds of the waves breaking in front of you.

Day 8: Free Day With Optional Trips Including Snorkelling In The Belize Barrier Reef System
Location: Tobacco Caye
Accommodation: Joe Jo's by the beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tobacco Caye measures just 200 feet wide and 400 feet long. Optional trips include visiting the small coral cayes, such as Bird Island a renowned local bird sanctuary. There are excellent snorkelling opportunities in the World Heritage Site of the Belize barrier reef system off the island as well as fishing tours, manatee watching and tours to nearby islands. A full list of costs of these activities is provided in the optional excursion section. Alternatively you can play beach volleyball, use one of the hotels kayaks or simply unwind in a hammock overlooking the ocean.

Day 9: To Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, Home Of Jaguar. Walk Reserve Trails And Stay In Jungle Lodge
Location: Tobacco Caye
Accommodation: Cockscomb
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We return to the mainland by boat, heading to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve. Southern Belize has a low population density and high forest cover, ideal conditions for one of the world's rarest big cats - the Jaguar. The reserve is the only one of a few throughout the world, and is a protected area designated especially for the protection of this elusive creature. It is thought that the area is home to one the densist populations of Jaguars in the America's. Although we are unlikely to see them their prints are commonly found and numerous other animals make the National Park their home. Staying in the heart of this jungle environment is a unique experience, getting to know both the forest and the local Mopan Maya population that today protect it and benefit from the tourist industry around the park.

Day 10: Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Sanctuary
Location: Tobacco Caye
Accommodation: Cockscomb
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we explore the park and its numerous trails. The park is considered the best inland national park in the country owing in part to the extensive network of trails through out. There are marked trails as short as 15 minutes and as long as four days in length! We intend to explore a number of the trails along the creeks and rivers as well as climbing to view points that offer stunning views of the expanse of green tropical forest throughout this mountainous area. In the evening we will explore by night through this enchanting location. As we walk we will be looking for the wildlife hiding amongst the vegetation and searching for jaguar footprints.

Day 11: Drive To Belize City, Water Taxi To Caye Caulker
Location: Belize City
Accommodation: Costa Maya Beach Cabanas
Meals Included: Breakfast

We leave the park this morning and head towards Belize City to take a water taxi to Caye Caulker. Once a pirate lair, this tiny but enchanting tropical island lies 34km northeast of Belize City and about 1.6km inside the greatest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. The water taxi transfer takes about an hour and is a highlight in itself, speeding through the turquoise waters. The island remains uncrowded and unluxurious, with relatively modest prices in restaurants and bars, owned and run by the friendliest of local people. The local fishermen catch lobster, conch, fish and crab to supply the domestic and foreign markets, so fresh seafood is readily available. (Lobster is the best buy when in season from Jun to Feb). There's time to relax - our hotel has a small beach with can accommdate volley ball and basketball courts. The location is ideal to enjoy a number of optional trips. You may take a snorkelling trip out to the nearby Hol Chan Marine Reserve & 'Shark and Ray Alley', or take a full day trip out to Swallow Caye to observe the manatees in their natural mangrove habitat. Scuba diving is also available. (All optional).

Day 12: Free Time On Caye Caulker
Location: Caye Caulker
Accommodation: Costa Maya Beach Cabanas

A free day to do as much or as little as you wish, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Caye Caulker.The island remains uncrowded and unluxurious, and the local fishermen catch lobster, conch, fish and crab to supply domestic and foreign markets. It's a popular place with backpackers, so there is a proliferation of good, reasonably priced restaurants. There's time to relax or enjoy a number of optional trips. You may take a snorkelling trip out to the nearby Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark and Ray Alley, or take a full-day trip out to the Manatee Reserve to observe manatee in their natural mangrove habitat. Scuba diving is also available.

Day 13: Free Time On Caye Caulker
Location: Caye Caulker
Accommodation: Costa Maya Beach Cabanas

Another free day to relax or enjoy the optional activities available. Caye Caulker is surrounded by coral reefs and excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities along the reef. You may like to take one of the free sea kayaks from the hotel to explore mangrove forests rich with birdlife, alternatively it's possible to hire bikes to explore the island at your own leisure taking in the fine views of the crystal clear Caribbean ocean, coral sand beaches and swaying palm trees. For those looking to kick back and relax the hotel has a fine beach front location with stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

Day 14: Trip Ends In Caye Caulker

The trip ends at our hotel on Caye Caulker. From here, we get a water taxi back to Belize City. The water taxi takes around one hour. The earliest water taxi is at 6am and operates throughout the day. An onward road transfer to Belize's Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (airport code BZE), will be provided. The earliest your flight can depart is 9.30am.



For those on later flights we will provide unaccompanied water taxi transfers later in the day with connecting onward road transfers to the airport. If departing today from Belize City, these transfers will be provided free of charge.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Fully Guided

  • Meals – Breakfast Only

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Country Entry Visas

Why Book this Tour

This adventure is for families who want an unusual family destination that is easy to travel around and is relatively untouched by mass tourism and allows for included visits to Mayan sites, walks in lagoons, viewing wildlife in sanctuary's and reserves, stays in jungle lodges and time at the end to relax by a barrier reef. An adventure with a difference and a time that will be remembered….

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  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Richard  

Family Belize Wildlife Adventure

An excellent trip in a beautiful country with a fu

An excellent trip in a beautiful country with a fun group and great tour leader.

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Saturday

Jul 07, 2024 - Jul 20, 2024
$3760 $3520 (USD)

Operator discount: -$140 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$100 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Jul 28, 2024 - Aug 10, 2024
$3870 $3637 (USD)

Operator discount: -$130 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$103 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Aug 11, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024
$3760 $3657 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$103 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Apr 06, 2025 - Apr 19, 2025
$3910 $3802 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$108 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Jul 20, 2025 - Aug 02, 2025
$3910 $3802 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$108 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Jul 27, 2025 - Aug 09, 2025
$3910 $3802 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$108 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Aug 10, 2025 - Aug 23, 2025
$3910 $3802 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$108 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Saturday

Dec 21, 2025 - Jan 03, 2026
$3910 $3802 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$108 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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