Once upon a time, responsible travel essentially boiled down to the old adage, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
Belize: Rainforest, Reefs & Ruins
Belize: Rainforest, Reefs & Ruins
The small country of Belize offers adventurous travelers a remarkable variety of experiences. Nowhere else can you find such a dazzling blend of nature and history - vast rainforests, pristine barrier reefs, magnificent Maya ruins and fantastic tropical wildlife.
Lush tropical rainforests, mystical Maya ruins and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere—nowhere else in the world can you experience a greater diversity of environments, wildlife and culture than in Belize. Nestled on the coast between Mexico’s southern Yucatán and Honduras, this small Caribbean country is home to over 300 species of birds, Jaguars, thousands of colorful and exotic tropical fish, and countless Maya ruins.
The country is a stable, peaceful democracy where English is the primary language and the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere. The population is small—about 330,000 warm, friendly people who welcome all visitors as honored guests.
Our programs are led by superb, local naturalist guides who accompany you throughout your trip, sharing their knowledge of the wildlife and culture. The accommodations are among the finest and are chosen for their superior locations, amenities and natural surroundings. You will be delighted with the meals and the friendly, personal service our expeditions offer.
Howler monkeys calling in the high jungle canopy, exotic birds perched on ancient Maya temples, green crystalline rivers and blue Caribbean waters are all part of an unforgettable expedition to Belize. We invite you to discover a tropical paradise where Rainforests, Reefs and Ruins come together to create one of Earth’s most spectacular natural wonders.
It is one of the most interesting and varied travel destinations imaginable. It can satisfy the demands of both casual and dedicated nature lovers, birders, archaeologists, snorkelers, divers, fishermen and hikers. It is great for first-time international travelers, families and individuals who want to escape the stress of everyday life.
Its location makes it a perfect gateway to the neighboring countries of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Whether your interest is in nature, snorkeling, exploring Maya ruins or just relaxing on a secluded island, Belize has it all. Rainforests, Reefs and Ruins—an incredible array of environments.
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Lamanai Night Tour
Belize: Rainforest, Reefs & Ruins Itinerary
Home / Belize City / Lamanai
We are met upon arrival by our guide and drive to the Mennonite village of Shipyard. Here we board a boat and follow the ancient Maya Trade Route which once linked coastal Belize with the Yucatán. We wind our way up the jungle-lined New River to Lamanai Outpost Lodge, located high on a bluff overlooking the New River Lagoon and the Maya site of Lamanai. It’s possible to encounter rare Morelet’s crocodile and black howler monkeys on our boat ride. We arrive at our home Lamanai Outpost Lodge in time to freshen up before dinner. (D)
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
After breakfast we visit a local milpa, or family farm, to learn the ancient Maya farming method of slash and burn. We also learn about the foods grown here and discover which are local and which were introduced. In a nearby village we help prepare our lunch, a typical Spanish meal. We spend the afternoon exploring the mysterious jungle-shrouded temples of Lamanai. This archaeological reserve was once home to a powerful 3000 year old civilization where nature and ancient history coexist. The ruins of Lamanai encompass over 700 structures, a visitor’s center and museum, highlighted by a 130-foot pyramid. Spend the night at the Lamanai Outpost Reserve. (B,L,D)
New River Lagoon / Maya Medicine Trail
Morning calls of Black Howler Monkey awaken us as the mist rises from the lagoon and surrounding rainforest. We boat across the lagoon for an early birding expedition that promises to be exceptional since the shoreline and tropical forest provide excellent habitat to more than 280 species that reside here. This afternoon we take a walk in the jungle to learn about the abundant medicinal plants that grow in the area. After dinner we go on a spotlight safari in search of nocturnal animals, such as Morelet’s Crocodile. (B,L,D)
Lamanai / Belize City / Jaguar Reef
This morning we transfer back to Belize City and take a flight to the town of Dangriga. We meet our representative and transfer to the spectacular Jaguar Reef Lodge. (B,L,D)
Spend your days enjoying activities such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking or relaxing. All activities are booked on day of arrival with the front desk because of minimums required and weather conditions. Diving in Belize is quite the experience! It is a world of excitement and wonder in the lush Caribbean Sea. The Belize Barrier Reef System is more than 185 miles long, is the largest coral reef in the Western Hemisphere and is the longest unbroken barrier reef in the world. It is home to an astounding variety of coral reef formations including walls, pinnacles, spur and groove, and ‘swim throughs’. Farther offshore are three enormous rings of coral known as atolls which provide hundreds of miles of additional diving opportunities? The closest of these is Glover’s Reef Atoll which rises to the surface from a depth of over 2,000 feet. Equally impressive is the Turneffe Atoll which also hosts an abundance of marine life as well as the world famous ‘Blue Hole’ which is situated at Lighthouse Atoll. Jaguar Reef Lodge’s central location provides relatively easy access to thousands of acres of coral reef with unlimited opportunities for snorkeling and diving in Belize.
Only 1.5 hours from the beautiful village of Hopkins, reveals a majestic marine reserve known as Gladden Spit which attracts one of the largest aquatic animals on earth known as the Whale Shark. Every year during the period of March to June, especially during a full moon, this area hosts a large multitude of them. These docile sea creatures are known to grow up to 60 feet and weigh over 47,000 pounds. They are rare and migratory sharks which are attracted to our tropically warm waters, and feast largely on planktons. Even though you can swim with Whale Sharks in other parts of the world, the diving experience at Gladden Spit is more phenomenal than anywhere else. It is the only place where you can swim with these sharks while experiencing large quantities of spawning fish from more than 20 species at the same time. Diving alongside these Whale Sharks in Belize can be one of the most exhilarating experiences. Despite its enormous size, Whale Sharks are remarkably gentle, curious and are not a historic endangerment to humans. Our Belize Whale Shark diving and snorkeling services along with our PADI 5 Star Centre will ensure you have a truly safe and enjoyable marine experience. Our Belize diving services are provided by a reputable team of professionals who will ensure you have a thoroughly safe and enjoyable diving experience. Their many years of diving and teaching experience make them well qualified to show you the underwater wonders that has made Belize one of the world’s top dive sites. Spend the nights at Jaguar Reef Lodge. (B)