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Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs Belize Adventure Vacation

Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs Belize Adventure Vacation

per person

Belize encompasses realms of magnificent rainforest with exotic jungle creatures, dreamlike islands surrounded by mesmerizing marine life and astonishing Mayan ruins reclaimed from the lush forest.

gfa-belize-all-inclusive-travel-2

Belize Adventure Travel Vacation Package

Belize All-Inclusive Adventure Tour: Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs

Tour Belize, “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” through Exclusive Access
Imagine a journey into a world unlike any you have ever experienced. Belize encompasses realms of magnificent rainforest with exotic jungle creatures, dreamlike islands surrounded by mesmerizing marine life and astonishing Mayan ruins reclaimed from the lush forest. Great Freedom Adventures has created a magical adventure to the less-traveled southern part of the country using connections to gain access to a private, primary rainforest preserve and wildlife sanctuary, a Mayan ceremonial cave not long ago revealed to outsiders, and a private island located within a U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Site. This stunning caye sits on the world’s second largest barrier reef in a marine zone containing some of the healthiest and most abundant marine and coral life along the reef.

Belize: Many Cultures, One People
Along the journey, meet friendly Belizeans with diverse cultural heritages like Q’eqchi’ Yucatet and Mopan Mayan, Mestizos, Garifuna, Creole, Brits and Mennonites, among others. Discover one of the most ethnically and biologically diverse places in the Americas on an incredible adventure – one that provides time for both exhilaration and relaxation.

gfa-belize-all-inclusive-travel-10Tour Belize’s Rainforest
Discover the magic of the rainforest from the rustic luxury offered by your eco-lodge, set within a 100-acre rainforest preserve. Walk under a canopy of towering kapok trees and lush tropical understory plants. On the forest floor, parades of industrious leaf-cutter ants march along carrying their green burden. Discover a subterranean limestone cave system with flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, Mayan artifacts, and sparkling stalagmites and stalactites. Above ground, swim in crystalline pools and soar over forest and stream on an exhilarating zip-line course.

A Symphony of Sound and Color
A chorus of rainforest sounds includes the roar of the howler monkey and the call of the colorful toucan among the unique songs of other exotic birds. See iguanas lazing on tree branches and some of the dozens of other reptiles, amphibians and mammals that live in the jungle; miniscule downy nests of the hummingbird or fanciful hanging nests of the antwren; delicate white orchids and bold red ginger flowers. Experience this tantalizing concert.

Explore Mayan Ruins and Villages
Visit Mayan villages with thatched roofed huts inhabited by large, close-knit families. Meet friendly villagers and learn about Mayan expertise in farming, crafting, chocolate making and much more. Visit the Mayan ruins at Nim Li Punit, a hilltop site renowned for the many carved stelae (stone monuments) discovered here, including the tallest ever found in Belize.

gfa-ize-adventure-toursAn Island Paradise on the Barrier Reef
Travel to South Water Caye, winner of Outside Magazine’s “World’s Best Beaches” award. A popular travel handbook says: “This southern caye is what dream getaways are made of – it’s easily the most beautiful caye in southern Belize.” The private island is part of the country’s largest marine reserve and the pristine offshore reef is the 2nd largest coral reef system in the world. It’s an easy swim right from the beach where snorkelers will find an amazing underwater world teeming with tropical fish and colorful coral gardens.

Kayak, Paddleboard, Swim, Snorkel, Sunbathe and Sip Belizean Rum
Yes, this truly is the life. Boat to your guide’s favorite snorkeling spots where he will help you identify some of the many species of tropical fish. Float in the warm, crystal-clear waters while watching fan corals sway in the current and sea turtles swim lazily by. Visit a raucous bird-covered mangrove island and see uninhabited islands, simple studies in white sand and emerald palms.

Note – This trip may be undertaken primarily as a service trip to benefit local schoolchildren, subsistence farming families or the preservation of fragile ecosystems.

Tour Highlights:

  • Spending 3 nights in the rainforest and 4 nights on a tropical island
  • Discovering astonishing biodiversity in the rainforest and marine reserve
  • Viewing exciting jungle wildlife
  • Swimming with turtles and schools of colorful fish
  • Caving in awe-inspiring limestone cave systems
  • Swimming in crystalline pools, blue rivers and clear Caribbean waters
  • Zip-lining
  • Hiking in the rainforest
  • Kayaking in river and sea
  • Sightseeing by plane and boat
  • Visiting with Mayan villagers
  • Exploring Mayan ruins
  • Drumming lesson
  • Snorkeling on the barrier reef
  • Paddleboarding and beach volleyball
  • Sunning and relaxing
1

Day 1

gfa-belize-all-inclusive-travel-4Arrive at Belize International Airport (BZE) in Belize City. After clearing immigration and customs, you will be met by a Great Freedom Adventures representative who will direct you to your flight to Punta Gorda – a one-hour sightseeing journey south along the coast of Belize in a 14-passenger aircraft. After touching down, meet your captain/guide and take a scenic boat or van shuttle to Cotton Tree, your rainforest eco-lodge in the Toledo district.  Settle into your room then join your fellow adventurers for a delicious dinner of Belizean specialties. Fall asleep to the magical sounds of the rainforest.
2

Days 2 & 3

gfa-belize-adventure-tours-2After breakfast, embark on a journey of rainforest discoveries that you will carry with you for a lifetime. Explore the Moho River by foot or kayak and view the tropical and cultivated gardens surrounding the lodge. Discover plants that have medicinal qualities and watch for some of the hundreds of species of tropical birds. Take excursions with expert Mayan guides who share their knowledge of rainforest and cultural history. Travel to neighboring villages to talk with families and experience the Mayan way of life. Discover an ecologically spectacular region, and hike to an intricate cave system called “Hokeb Ha,” Mayan for “where the water enters the earth.” Explore the crystalline pools and cascading waterfalls near the mouth of the cave. Conditions permitting, swim with your guide far into the enormous cave following the underground river to the waterfalls within. Turn and float back out to the sunlight – it’s an unforgettable experience! Next, experience some man-made exhilaration on an elaborate zip-line course that takes riders over the tree tops and the waters of Blue Creek. If you prefer, take a swim in Blue Creek or walk the area trails to discover toucans, iguanas and magnificent rainforest flora.
3

Day 4

gfa-belize-all-inclusive-toursAfter breakfast, depart Cotton Tree and travel to the Mayan ruins at Nim Li Punit, a ceremonial center built and occupied during the Late Classic Period (AD 730-890). The site’s hilltop location affords distant views of the southern coastal plains. A total of 26 carved stelae, or stone monuments, have been excavated here, including a 30-foot tall stela, the tallest ever found in Belize and among the tallest in the Mayan world. Explore the excavated ruins consisting of plazas, terraces and a ballcourt. Next, travel to the coastal town of Hopkins, a fishing village inhabited mostly by the Garifuna. Become immersed in the upbeat Garifuna vibe while enjoying lunch on the waterfront. Drums are a major part of the Garifuna culture as a symbolic connection to African ancestors and you will have an opportunity to take a drumming lesson from a famous drum master. After, travel by boat across the turquoise Caribbean to your tropical island paradise – IZE at South Water Caye. Following your orientation to the facilities, settle into your seaside cabana. Later, make your way to the waterside bar to sip a tropical drink with your fellow travelers. Watch the sun sink to the horizon, creating a multi-colored display reflected by the calm waters. Watch the pelicans dive for dinner, then head to the open-air dining room for your own dinner with the group. After, stroll the sand paths under a canopy of countless stars to the water’s edge. You never know whether the bioluminescent organisms will be putting on a sparkling display!
4

Days 5-7

gfa-belize-adventure-tours-5In the mornings, travel by boat to your guide’s favorite snorkeling sites and become immersed in an underwater world of magnificent beauty. View towers of unspoiled coral and schools of colorful fish. Swim with sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and seahorses. Your expert guides will help you identify many of the species found on the reef. For those new to snorkeling, your guides are happy to get you going, and the warm, shallow waters help make it easy. Discover uninhabited islands including Man-o-War Caye, a critical breeding ground and rookery of the magnificent frigate bird. Visit Carrie Bow Cay, home to Smithsonian’s research field station. Return to South Water Caye for a delicious lunch prepared by IZE’s talented chef. In the afternoons, enjoy the resort’s kayaks, paddleboards or sand volleyball. If you like, swim to the reef for additional snorkeling. Of course, you may choose to do nothing more than swing in a hammock under the waterside coconut trees with your book in hand. At dinner, enjoy fresh Belizean specialties and after, perhaps roasted marshmallows and a movie at the fireside “theater under the stars.”
5

Day 8

gfa-belize-all-inclusive-travelAfter breakfast, board the boat to Dangriga and transfer to the airstrip for your 20-minute flight back to Belize International Airport and your flight home. Great Freedom Adventures’ Rainforests, Ruins and Reefs tour is an incredible adventure you won’t soon forget!

cotton-tree-lodgeCotton Tree Lodge, San Felipe, Belize - 3 NightsFeatured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine, Cotton Tree Lodge provides rustic luxury within a 100-acre rainforest preserve. Set on the banks of the Moho River, the eco-friendly lodge focuses on sustainable tourism. The main lodge houses a fully-stocked bar and a dining room serving Belizean and American favorites featuring fresh ingredients from local farmers and their own organic garden. Handcrafted rosewood and thatch cabanas with private baths are scattered throughout the property and are connected by boardwalks. Wireless internet is available in the main lodge. Enjoy on-site kayaking, swimming, birding, nature and medicinal plant walks.

izeIZE Belize, South Water Caye, Belize - 4 NightsThe IZE resort on South Water Caye is a stunning place of azure waters, white coral sand, tropical flowers and coconut palms. Sleep in a private cabana nestled among the mangroves on the windward side of the island, where cooling trade winds make sleeping comfortable and palm leaves rustle. Listen to the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore at the edge of your deck and awaken to the sight of the sun rising over the barrier reef. The cabanas have private baths and wireless internet is available in the resort’s main dining room. Enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling or playing beach volleyball. The resort offers an open-air dining room with ocean views, serving Belizean specialties of fresh fish, savory meats, healthful vegetarian dishes and more. The waterside bar is the perfect place to talk, watch the sunset and enjoy the sea life. IZE is also a research station offering education on marine biology with a focus on preservation. You may wish to take advantage of the on-site research library to learn about the marine life surrounding you and, if one is running, sit in on a class taught by a marine biologist.

2018 tours booked by December 31, 2017 will receive the 2017 price (shown)

2018 Dates

January 13-20  |  February 17-24 | March 17-24

2017 Prices

$2,795. Per person, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: $895

Trip Length

8 days, 7 nights

Start/Finish

Belize City, Belize

Activity Level

Easy, Moderate or Challenging depending on desire and activity choices

Primary Language

English

Weather: December to April is considered the best time to visit Belize and is generally the time with lowest rainfall and predominately sunny skies. Humidity is generally low and the trade winds typically blow regularly keeping things comfortable.
  • January – Average low/high: 70°F/80°F
  • February - Average low/high: 70°F/80°F
  • March - Average low/high: 74°F/83°F
  • April - Average low/high: 76°F/85°F
Currency: Belizean dollar. US bills (but not coins) are accepted almost everywhere we visit. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at most sites. Exchange rate: 2 BZD = .44 EUR = 1 USD Documents: A current passport is required. What’s Included:
  • 7 nights lodging
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8
  • All drinking water
  • All domestic flights
  • All in-country transfers by boat or vehicle
  • Daily guided rainforest excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Activities and admissions as per the itinerary
  • Daily guided reef snorkeling and sightseeing excursions on South Water Caye
  • Unlimited use of the resorts’ sporting equipment: snorkel gear, kayaks and paddleboards
  • Use of IZE research library
  • Belize country and service taxes (21.5%)
Frequent Adventurers, GFA alumni, may deduct 5% from the tour price. Please contact us for youth and group rates. Custom dates and duration are available for groups of six or more.

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