Escape into the wild of Belize on a 5-day tropical adventure! Your custom journey will begin in the Cayo District exploring caves and investigating historic ruins. After your jungle discovery, continue onto the beachside paradise of Hopkins Bay for a coastal getaway and true vacation escape. Lounge on the soft white sand, to relish in the ultimate sense of relaxation. With just a taste of all that Belize has to offer, you are sure to be left wanting more!
Welcome to Belize! Upon arrival at the Belize International Airport at 11:15 AM, you will be greeted in the arrivals area by a local guide who will be holding a sign with your name on it, for easy identification. They will transfer you to your hotel in the Cayo District, stopping at Barton Creek along the way.
Travel through the scenic Mountain Pine Ridge area before going off road to the mysterious Barton Creek Cave system. Along the way, pass through a traditional Mennonite community where horse and carriage rule the road. Then pick up your paddle and high-powered light for your half-day expedition into the Barton Creek Cave, used by the ancient Maya as a ceremonial center and burial site. Gently paddle your canoe along the scenic creek and, with lights shining, venture into the dark, winding cave system known as a Mayan underworld. Stalactites hang high overhead as you float past impressive calcite crystal formations in cathedral-like chambers. Knowledgeable guides leading this tranquil, low-intensity adventure discuss the relevance of the cave to the ancient Mayan people and the archaeological significance of this 4-mile limestone formation. Please note that your cave tour at Barton may not be private, depending on demand on the day. After the cave tour, enjoy a visit to a butterfly farm before continuing on to your hotel in the Cayo District.
Rugged and remote, the Cayo District is a vast stretch of highland rainforests, cattle ranches, and pinelands. Located in western Belize and bordering on Guatemala's El Petén region, you'll find no beaches here, but you'll have countless opportunities to explore the great outdoors on foot, by horse, or via kayak, raft, or canoe. Belize's oldest and largest national park - Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve - offers caves to explore, cool rivers for swimming, and a seemingly endless forest that is home to myriad tropical birds. Cayo is also home to Chiquibul National Park, the largest intact tropical forest north of the Amazon. Here, you'll find endangered (and often elusive) animals like jaguars, Baird's tapirs, red-eyed tree frogs, and Morelet's crocodiles. Chiquibul also surrounds Belize's most expansive and popular archaeological site, Caracol. Belmopan, the country's capital, is also located in Cayo, although the real hub of the district is San Ignacio, a small town located 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Belize City. It features rustic, colonial-era streets, an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops, a lively weekly market, and Maya ruins like Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, and the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal only a few kilometers away.
Start-time: The canoe activity is run by your hotel so please ask reception the night before when you should be ready and where to meet.
This morning, beat the heat by taking a canoe trip on the Macal River! From Chaa Creek, you will join a guided group tour down the river to San Ignacio. The canoes launch right from the banks of the hotel and then you paddle down the river for about 2-3 hours. The river guides will help you spot the different types of birds and even Howler Monkeys! Once you arrive in San Ignacio, our private guide will be waiting for you as you come off the river to take you for lunch and a visit into town. Have fun doing some shopping or visit the local artists in the market square before your guide escorts you to the ruins at Xunantunich.
Duration: Approximately 2 hours + depends on the water level
What To Bring: Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant and camera
This afternoon, you will enjoy a private tour of the famous sites of Xunantunich - situated on the banks of the Mopan River. Xunantunich means "stone woman" in Mayan. Xunantunich was a thriving city near the end of the Classic Period (300-900 A.D.) with large plazas ringed with pyramids. The tallest is the 130 foot "El Castillo," which is large by Mayan standards and is only exceeded in Belize by the Caana pyramid at Caracol. The center of the site is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces. The large pyramid, El Castillo, is well known for the frieze or band of stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire temple. After the tour (including plenty of time to wander the ruins on your own), your guide will bring you back to your resort.
Pick-up time: 8AM
This morning, you will be picked up at your lodge by your private guide and transferred to your beach resort in Hopkins Bay. En route you'll enjoy a visit to Jaguar Paw for some fun cave tubing and ziplining!
After an early breakfast and checking out of Chaa Creek, you will meet up with your private guide for the 1.5-hour drive to the Jaguar Paw Caves. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Get your tube and embark on a 45 minute hike across the clear blue Caves Branch River. You will go along a trail heading upstream alongside the river. Your guide will point out interesting aspects of the local flora & fauna. Upon arrival at the designated starting point, your guide will brief you on the proper safety techniques for boarding & floating on your tube. If you’re adventurous, you’ll want to dive or splash into the water from a rock at the starting point. You’ll set yourself afloat through a series of caves which periodically open up to the sunshine & jungle. Your guide will occasionally point out various Maya artifacts with a chance to get up close.
After your tubing adventure, your zip line activity will be waiting! Ziplining is an exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping activity that is safe for the entire family. Located along the banks of the Caves Branch River, Jaguar Paw provides the best Zip Line in Eastern Belize. Enjoy a birds-eye view while “flying” over the river and trees. Jaguar Paw Belize provides expert guides to secure your gears and ensure a safe adventure. After a 10-minute nature walk to the main platform, your guides will fit you in a harness and secure you to the main cable. You will also wear a helmet and gloves for extra safety and comfort. A guide will be waiting at every station to assist in landing and taking off. Belize Zip Line also includes a short trail to higher stations hiking under towering cohune trees. Some lines are longer than others- leading up to 700 feet across the jungle. The entire tour takes about 45-60 minutes.
When your adventure is over, you will be transferred to your resort in Hopkins Bay! The rest of the afternoon will be free at your leisure.
Note: Make sure to dress comfortably with hiking shoes, water shoes, shorts, lightweight T-shirt, change of clothes, towels, sunscreen, hats, water, insect repellant, and a camera. Lunch will be included in the tour.
Hopkins is a beautiful coastal Garifuna fishing and farming village of about 1,000 people, about 40 km/25 mi north of Placencia. Tourism is still new here, where the locals fish, carve canoes, weave baskets, and drum making are still a big part of the culture. Wander past colorfully painted clapboard houses in town to find simple, local-run restaurants, small art galleries, and shops. Hopkins is home to several excellent beach resorts where you can relax by the ocean, set out on day trips to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (a jaguar preserve), go diving, snorkeling, or sport fishing along the Belize Barrier Reef.
Enjoy a relaxing free day to explore the area on your own. We'll also check with your hotel the week before to see if they have enough people to operate the optional snorkel trip below. You can also try to arrange snorkel trips locally on arrival at the hotel.
**Remember to schedule your Rapid Antigen Covid Test today with the hotel as required to fly home to the United States.**
Pick-up time: This transfer is operated by your resort, please check with reception at least one day ahead as to when you need to be ready to go.
Although your adventure must come to an end today, you will be leaving with new friends, amazing experiences, and memories to cherish for the rest of your life. Once you have checked out of your hotel, you will be transferred to the Dangriga airport in good time to board your flight back to Belize City airport (*transfer operated by Jaguar Reef Resort - shared basis). Upon arrival in Belize City you'll connect with your international flight departing at 12:40 PM.
We wish you safe and happy travels home!
Welcome to Chaa Creek, rated one of the world's best Eco Lodges and a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981. Set along the banks of the Macal River and reaching towards the foothills of the Maya Mountains, Chaa Creek has provided unique getaway for thousands of visitors. Experience an in-depth, yet civilized Belizean vacation, with a focus on Belize’s ecology and natural history. Guests will also get a taste of a vibrant, varied culture that includes the rich Maya civilization and impressive archaeological sites. This jungle lodge has 23 comfortable and heavenly palm-thatched cottage rooms. These include two Garden Suites or a Complete Garden Suite with Jacuzzi, two Tree Top Jacuzzi Suites, an Orchard Villa and a Sky Room, all nestled along the riverside in a setting of unmatched beauty and tranquility. Travelers are encouraged to share stories and relax at the verandah bar, before enjoying delicious meals in the Chaa Creek restaurant. Guests will be able to interact with nature, while exploring the river, miles of well-maintained forest trails and Maya temple sites. Also available, are endless activities such as hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking and bird watching.
For over twenty years, The Lodge at Jaguar Reef has been the resort of choice for thousands of travelers who enjoy our central location, our comfortable cabanas and suites, our beachfront dining, and our easy access to many of the natural wonders that have made Belize a world-class adventure travel destination! Our collection of superb beachfront resorts can be booked separately or combined for one unforgettable Belize vacation experience. Each resort offers a gateway to a breathtaking Belize experience. Whether it is a family vacation, a getaway for friends, a honeymoon, a trip to discover the local flavor and culture of a destination, travel for well-being, a diving or fishing adventure, group trip or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we have a resort that’s just right for you.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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