Imagine what it will be like when you stand at the foot of a towering pyramid, to see it like a stairway to the sky as the Mayans did. By itself it would be reason enough to visit Belize, but this amazing country offers so much more. Belize is home to some of the grandest archaeological treasures in the Western Hemisphere. Visiting them is made all the more worthwhile because they rise from a fascinating jungle, an environment you’ll explore in detail with your local guides. Though the Mayan culture fell into ruin, the country’s other great monument has never stopped growing. The barrier reef along the coast of Belize is second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size and diversity. We’re always on the lookout for destinations that provide the best in cultural or natural history experiences, and this tour offers both—only a few short hours from anywhere in the United States.
The Cayo rainforest is one of the finest in Central America and home to a cacao plantation where you can learn about growing the cacao beans, try your hand at grinding them, and taste the original Mayan-style “hot chocolate”. Nearby, in the limestone bedrock of Belize, great caverns are common, and the Mayans believed they were entrances to the underworld. Aboard canoes, float through the cave in search of pottery and other artifacts amid the fascinating rock formations. In San Antonio, meet some of the local women and learn from them how they make ceramics like the ancient Mayans, and then grind the corn for your homemade tortillas for lunch served with roasted chicken and handmade salsa, and your lunch is served.
DAYS 4-6 – XUNANTUNICH + AMBERGRIS CAYE
At a cattle ranch and stables owned by our friend Santiago, you have the choice of climbing into the saddle or taking a scenic hike through shaded forest, over the Mopan River by a hand-cranked ferry, to the 1,500-year-old ruins of Xunantunich. From the top of its 130-foot-high pyramid called El Castillo, you can see all the way to Guatemala. An al fresco at the ranch precedes a mid-afternoon flight to Ambergris Caye, an island right next to the Belize barrier reef.
From the decks of a private catamaran, join your captain as he dives for lobsters and fish that his sister (and on-board chef) turns into the freshest seafood lunch you’ve ever eaten. No worry about crowds, your experienced captain times your explorations at Hol Chan Marine Reserve for when the tourist boats have all headed back to shore. It is among the best snorkeling you'll find anywhere – shallow, clear and warm water. We provide all the gear, and you come nose-to-fin with natural life in the barrier reef. The coral forest is almost beyond words, with dazzling schools of fish flashing through clear water. Sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and docile nurse sharks are common sights. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
Starting Point:Belize City – 1:00 pm – Radisson Fort George Hotel lobby
Ending Point:San Pedro – 9:00 am – San Pedro Airport
Dates & Prices
The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won’t be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.Talk to an expert
Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
$395: This trip includes flights between Ambergris Caye and the mainland for a supplemental cost. (price subject to change)
Why Choose Classic Journeys
We believe in creating authentic connections by immersing you into the history and culture of a people and place. So we find the most well-connected local guides who share their relationships and knowledge with us. And with them, we handcraft walking tours in cinematic settings that allow you to see the world on foot and at eye level.
It’s why Travel + Leisure magazine has named Classic Journeys as the #1 World’s Best Tour Operator multiple times, and the editors of T+L say, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here’s what that access means for you every time you travel with us.
- Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
- Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
- Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it’s closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
- Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you’re exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World’s Best and Gold lists.
- Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
- Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
- Sustainable travel that supports the places you’re visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It’s your guarantee that you’ll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
We spend years cultivating personal relationships with our hoteliers to provide you thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region. Here is a sampling of our favorite hotels on this tour.
- All breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.