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15-Day Belize and Tikal Adventure
Product Code: 1113-25714
OVERVIEW

Highlights

  • • 3-day canoe adventure in central Belize
  • • Spot tropical sea life while snorkelling the second-largest barrier reef
  • • Explore the jungle-set ruins of Tikal
  • • Listen to reggae music as you walk down Caye Caulker's sandy main street
Tour Code
1113-25714
Duration
15 days
Departure City
Belize City
End City
Caye Caulker
Tour Type:
Bus/Coach
Language:
English
IS THIS TOUR FOR ME?

Experience: Backpacker, Historical, UNESCO, Nature

Geared to the "Get up and go!" traveler who want to enjoy independent or semi-guided adventures; Encounter rich historical landmarks with expert guides; Visit locations designated as World Heritage Sites by the United Nations; Get in touch with Mother Earth

Style: Escorted

Tour director/guided escort is available from the beginning to the end of the vacation

Group Type: Small group

Take an intimate and semi-private trip with a small group

Activity Level: Strenuous

Activities are geared towards experienced and fit travelers

Quality: Standard

Travel with professional guides, enjoy more time at attractions and/or stay at comfortable accommodations

Itinerary
Day 01

Home - Belize City


Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are therefore free to relax and explore the Belize City. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

For many years Belize has been a relatively unknown destination, and tourists have only recently begun to explore this fascinating country. Mention “Belize” and conjure up visions of unbelievably clear blue waters, diving and snorkelling along the barrier reef and remarkable marine life. Belize consists of massive amounts of jungle vegetation, ancient Mayan ruins, and above all, friendly, easygoing people. Belize is this and much more!

In many ways, Belize has more in common with its Caribbean rather than its Latin neighbours, although it has plenty of distinctively Central American features as well. It exhibits a unique blend of cultures that include Maya, Mestizo, African, European, Arabic and Asian. English is the first official language (as a former British Colony) and Spanish runs a close second, though the locals speak Creole the majority of the time.

Belize City straddles the estuaries of Haulover Creek, part of the Belize River, which empties into the Caribbean Sea. At 60000 inhabitants, this is a small but busy city and we recommend that you do not go wandering alone at night. With Belize's independence in the early 1980s life has changed somewhat. To get a taste of what colonial life was like "back when," visit Belize City before the old Swing Bridge is replaced and one can no longer watch the twice daily traffic jam when the bridge pivots to allow tall-masted boats to pass through and out into the sea.

You should know that Belize City is not a Caribbean "paradise." The city is aging, rustic, and although perched on the edge of the gorgeous Caribbean, has no beaches. Antiquated clapboard buildings on stilts (often unpainted, weathered, tilted or streaked with age) line the narrow streets. Such buildings are slowly being replaced by concrete structures and a few modern glitzy buildings. Residents of Belize City take pride in the local attractions. It has the oldest Protestant church in Central America, St. John's Anglican Cathedral. This lovely old building is the only typically British structure in the city and is surrounded by well kept lawns. In 1812, slaves in Belize built this graceful piece of architecture using bricks brought as ballast on sailing ships from Europe. Several Mosquito Coast Kings (from the Waiki tribe) were crowned in this Cathedral with much pomp and grandeur. The last king was crowned in 1815.

The Supreme Court Building is located across from Belize City's Central Park. The antiquated town clock sits atop the white clapboard building and shows a different time from all four sides (each wrong since it stopped running); locals nicknamed it the “four-faced liar.” The Government House is another example of colonial Caribbean architecture. Bliss Promenade meanders along the waterfront and eventually runs to the Bliss Institute, where social functions and seminars are held. This is the location of a theatre, museum and library, as well as the National Arts Council. Take a look at the display of Mayan stelae and altars retrieved from the Cayo District.

Tips:
Please note: the heat and humidity of Belize may affect you upon arrival, with a general sense of lethargy and/or loss of appetite. This is no cause for alarm, it is simply your body’s reaction to the heat. Be sure to drink plenty of water (cold bottled water is available everywhere) and do not attempt too much in any given day. We prefer fan-cooled rather than air conditioned rooms to avoid having to acclimatize to the heat and humidity every time you go outside. This is also a more energy efficient method compared to air conditioning.
Day 02

Belize City - Guatemala


Depart Belize City by bus after breakfast and cross the border into Guatemala. Immediately notice the difference in culture, with the heavy Mayan influence and Spanish language. Here we have entered Guatemala’s northeast jungle Peten region. The descendants of the Maya of Chichen Itza migrated to the Peten area several centuries after the collapse of the great Mayan cities in the Yucatan.

Visit the mysterious lost city of Tikal, buried deep in the rainforest. Tikal is probably the most impressive of all sites in the Mayan world, intensified by its secluded setting. It boasts a dense concentration of wildlife and the highest pyramids of the Mayan Civilization. The sheer scale of the ruins at Tikal is daunting. Even if you only make it to the main plaza and spend an hour relaxing in deep contemplation, you will certainly not be disappointed. The central area, with its five main temples, forms by far the most impressive section. To explore beyond this you can wander endlessly into the maze of smaller structures and outlying complexes hidden in the jungle growth. A local bilingual guide will accompany us through the site during our foray into Tikal.

Day 03

Flores/Tikal


On your way back from visiting the ruins of Tikal, perhaps you're interested in exploring lakeside El Remate for lunch, a swim and relaxation. El Remate is a small, relaxed little village on the east side of Lake Peten Itza.

It was in this region of great natural beauty that their descendants founded the city of Tayasal, on an island in Lake Peten-Itza. They lived here for about four hundred years, isolated and forgotten by the rest of the country, including the Spanish conquistadors. It was not until 1697 that this small city was finally conquered by a military expedition led by Martin de Ursua, who stumbled upon the city by accident. The city of Tayasal was transformed into the city of Flores, officially founded by the Spanish in 1700. It remained an isolated area, relying on the subsistence farming of corn and beans and the gathering of chicle (gummy rubber obtained from trees).

Despite the recent growth in the Peten, Flores remains a small island town, with narrow, cobble-stoned streets, small, brightly painted houses and friendly people. Few modern conveniences are embraced here, and though the island is now attached to the mainland by a causeway, many of the locals still get around by cayuco (dug-out canoe). All in all, Flores remains one of the most scenic and charming towns in the Peten. It is particularly attractive to visitors because of Lake Peten-Itza, a large lake (12 km long and 3 km wide) offering all sorts of possibilities for fun including swimming, boating, fishing, bird watching, a small zoo and a nature preserve.

The rainy season in the Peten is generally from mid-May until early January. Be prepared to get wet. Make sure you have plastic bags to wrap around the items in your daypack while hiking, and bring a good (light) waterproof jacket. Also make sure that you have strong insect repellent. The dry season runs January until mid-May. During this time you need to make sure you have adequate sunscreen.

Tips:
Estimated Travel Time: 4.5 hours
Day 04

Flores/Tikal - San Ignacio


Return to Belize and the town of San Ignacio, situated on the banks of the Macal River. San Ignacio is perfectly situated to visit the sites of the surrounding countryside. All activities here are optional, so the choice is yours: explore the Mayan cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal, containing relics dating back 1400 years, visit the butterfly gardens or go tubing or canoeing through the natural limestone caves of the region.

The San Ignacio/ Mountain Pine Ridge area is the highlight of the trip for some travellers to Belize. The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve covers almost 500 square kms (310 square miles) and only controlled logging is allowed. Interesting stops include Hidden Valley Falls, spectacular waterfalls dropping more than a 300 m (984 ft) over the granite edge of the jungle. Further along you will cross the Rio On, and a climb over an assortment of worn boulders and rocks will bring you to a delightful site with waterfalls and several warm water pools. The Mountain Pine Ridge area is also renowned for its system of caves, the biggest and most famous being the Rio Frio Cave. There is an enormous arched entrance into the kilometre-long cave, the largest in Belize.

Day 05

San Ignacio - Belize


Also well worth a visit, the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, Actun Tunichil Muknal involves a 45-minute jungle hike to the opening of the cave, wading across a river three times before the adventure begins! Inside the cave, you’ll find a Mayan cermonial site. There you will be amazed by the natural museum of Mayan relics left just as it was by the Maya 1400 years ago. Ceramic pots, skulls, and calcified skeletons will enthrall even the most experienced speleologist.

Days trips can also be arranged to Xunantunich,an impressive Maya ceremonial centre located on a natural limestone ridge providing a grand view of the entire Cayo District and Guatemalan countryside. The tallest pyramid on the site, El Castillo, has been partially excavated and explored, and the east side of the structure displays a unique stucco frieze. The plaza of the ceremonial centre houses three carved stellae. You can get a group together and hire a taxi to take you to the site. Getting there includes crossing a narrow river by a hand-cranked ferry which shuttles you across! There is a small fee to enter the grounds and a guide can give you the lowdown on the site.

Tips:
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours
Day 06

Belize River(1B,1L,1D)


Enjoy the slow pace of the river as our local crew expertly guides you on the many twists and turns of the Belize River. Previous canoe experience is not required as the local expert guides know the rivers well and are happy to share their knowledge of the flora, fauna and history of the area. Spend at least half of each day canoeing, with plenty of time for swimming and enjoying the scenery.

Tips:
Note that we camp for the nights we are on the river. Make sure you bring waterproof bags to help keep your things dry. Please note that for the 2 nights of camping, no bathroom facilities are provided. The guides will brief you on environmentally safe practices in this regard.
Day 07

San Ignacio(1L,1D)


Spend at least half of each day canoeing, with plenty of time for swimming and enjoying the scenery. Enjoy the slow pace of the river as our local crew expertly guides you on the many twists and turns of the Belize River.

Day 08

San Ignacio (1B)


After three days and two nights on the river, you will return to San Ignacio for one more night. Enjoy resting your head on a pillow after your camping trip!

Day 09

San Ignacio - Hopkins


This is your chance to visit a part of Belize that has not yet hit the well-trodden tourist trail. Hopkins is considered by some to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population in Belize. This town is famous for its Garifuna artists, artisans and vibrant festivals throughout the year. Located on the coast, Hopkins is an excellent hopping off point for daytrips to the nearby cayes such as Tobacco Caye, which is excellent for diving, snorkelling and fishing.

Day 10

Hopkins


Opt to rent a bike to explore the area or enjoy talking to the locals in what some call the friendliest village in Belize. In the evenings, you might be lucky enough to search out some Garifuna drumming somewhere out and about in town.

Also located nearby are both the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world's first jaguar sanctuary, and the Mayflower Archeological Reserve, home to beautiful waterfalls and some ruins.

Tips:
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours
Day 11

Hopkins - Caye Caulker(1L)


Travel to one of Belize's famed island paradises - Caye Caulker, where "Go Slow" is the island's motto. Snorkel on a full day trip out to the barrier reef where you may have the chance to view nurse sharks, stingrays, barracuda, and other marine life.

Day 12

Caye Caulker


Caye Caulker is a relaxed and easy-going island with friendly and welcoming local residents. The main street is a sandy pathway through the centre of town surrounded by small bakeshops and seafood stands. There is not much to do on the island except relax and explore the reef. Snorkel and dive boats leave daily for full or half day outings to the reef, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Blue Hole and manatee spotting tours at Swallow Caye. These animals are gentle giants but sadly are one of the most endangered marine mammals on the planet. Enjoy an included full day snorkeling trip with your group that visits three different spots to snorkel including the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Depart late morning, enjoy lunch in between snorkels, and cruise back to Caye Caulker just before sunset with a complementary glass of rum punch in your hand.

Day 13

Caye Caulker


The barrier reef is the world's second longest (after Australia’s) and offers some truly amazing sights including coral canyons and an astonishing range of tropical fish, Manta Rays, sharks and barracudas, as well as the more mundane, edible varieties of fish.

Tips:
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hours
Day 14

Caye Caulker


Enjoy your free time in the Slow city. Do whatever you want!

Day 15

Depart Caye Caulker


Depart at any time. This trip finishes in Caye Caulker, which is located one hour by water taxi from Belize city. There are frequent departures between 7:30am and 5pm.

Tips:
Please Note: 2015 will not offer the airport pick-up service.
Please note that order of day-to-day itinerary is adjustable depending on tour start day.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Package Includes

  • Tikal guided tour. Jungle canoe trip (3-day, fully guided). Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Belize Barrier Reef snorkelling trip (full-day). Caye Caulker stay. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners. (Allow USD290-390 for meals not included.)
  • Hotels/bungalows (12 nts), camping (2 nts).
  • Public bus, private van, canoe, water taxi, walking.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
  • Small group experience; Max 15, avg 12

Package Excludes

  • Airfares or related transportation between your home and Belize.
  • All personal expenses including hotel room service and meals; however, you have the option to pay for meals that tour guide arranges
  • Allow USD290-390 for meals not included.
  • Gratuity for escort(optional).
Special Notes
  • Important Notes:
    - For the 2 nights of camping by Belize River, no bathroom facilities are provided. The guides will brief you on environmentally safe practices in this regard.
    - For any post tour accommodation you have the option of booking at either Caye Caulker or Belize City.
    - Please note that this trip finishes in Caye Caulker, which is located one hour by water taxi from Belize city. There are frequent departures between 7:30am and 5pm.
  • Joining Hotel:
    The Coningsby Inn
    76 Regent street
    Belize City, Belize
    Ph: (+501) 227-1566
  • Joining Instructions
    The best way to get to the arrival point hotel is via taxi from the airport – there are fixed rates from the airport. ($20.00 USD at time of writing)
    Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
  • In order to protect your own property, please bring any valuable items with you at any time. Please do not leave any valuable items on the bus/hotel/attraction/restaurant etc. Tours4fun, local operators, drivers and tour guides will not take any responsibility for any theft loss at any location.
  • This tour/activity is overseen by a select local operator in the region. Upon booking your tour or activity and after receiving confirmation, you will be issued an e-ticket detailing the local operator's name and contact information. If you require assistance finding a specific tour, please contact us for more information.

Pricing Info

Your reservation is always subject to confirmation by email, normally within one to two business days.

*Prices listed have been adjusted.

*Price for Single Occupancy applies when one person stays in one standard hotel room.
*price for Double Occupancy applies when two people stay in one standard hotel room respectively.
*Children under 12 years of age are not permitted on this tour.
*Child shares the same price as adult.
*Adult: 18 and older
*Child: 12-17
*Maximum room capacity: 2 people.
Please note that if you have booked the "Singel Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Nights 6-7 River Canoeing, Nights 9-10 Hopkins, Nights 11-14 Caye Caulker
*Please include the birth date of your children when booking.

Reservation Info

    1.Immediately after submitting your reservation you will receive a Receipt of Reservation via email.
    2. Within one to two business days of submitting your reservation you will receive a confirmation email from us. If you need to book an airline ticket, we recommend that you do so after you receive a confirmation of your tour reservation from us.
    3. An E-Ticket will be sent to you via email as soon as details of your reservation are confirmed or your supporting information is received by us. We will provide you with all detailed information about your tour on the E-Ticket. Contact information for local tour provider will be included on E-Ticket for your convenience or re-confirmation purpose if re-confirmation is required.
    4. Simply print your E-Ticket and present it with your valid photo ID on the day of your activity to your tour guide. Please remember E-Ticket is your proof of purchase.

Terms and Conditions

    - Your purchase does not guarantee confirmation. Your purchase will initiate a reservation process. We will confirm with you via email within one to two business days.
    - Prices may vary due to availability. We reserve the right to make price adjustment without prior notice.
    - Please refer to our Standard Amendment, Cancellation and Refund Policy before you make reservation.
    - Please refer to Customer Agreement before you make reservation.
    - Local tour provider reserves the right to make modifications to tour arrangements including order of tour activities, hotel and its location if deemed necessary.
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Departure Date:jul-01, 2017
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