It combines tropical nature with Mayan Archaeology and culture that features the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Blue Hole National Park, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Caracol ruins and Crooked Tree Bird Sanctuary. It offers the chance to overnight in a rural Mopan Maya village, and an opportunity to visit some of the less trodden and emerging regions of this fascinating and diverse Central American Nation.
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Why book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies. Would you like to combine this chapter of Belize with a more active one? Or mix in a unique birding experience? We can take care of this for you!
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population and to promote cultural authenticity and preservation. Our partners ensure that wildlife and culture conservation efforts are valued first and foremost.
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2021 - 2022 Departure Date & Costs
Private departures each Monday with local guiding based on 2 or more persons (customizable)
Tour cost: $ 2,775 USD per person from Belize City
Note: Birding departures available January - April 2022
Flexible Cancellation policy
Contact us for more details 1 (800) 690.7887
Day 1 Flight to Belize (D)
Morning flight to Belize City where you will be met by and transferred to the Stann Creek district in Southern Belize. Overnight Tutzil Nah Cottages. The rustic cottages part of are a Maya family / community eco-tourism project in the small Mopan Mayan village, with a population of some 300. The cottages are located 10 miles from the sandy beaches of Hopkins Village, and 25 minutes from the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Reserve.
Day 2 Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve (B,L,D)
Full day of birding and exploring in and around Cockscomb one of the world’s premiere jaguar preserves. The preserve is located in the shadows of the Maya mountains (an elevation of 300 feet to 3675). The Cockscomb Preserve was established in 1984 to protect the areas jaguars. The reserve has Belize’s best-maintained system of jungle and mountain trails, and they are alive with endangered flora and fauna. Many of Belize’s mammals and birds can also be found in this area and it has been called a bird watchers paradise with 290 species recorded here, Scarlet macaw, Montezuma Orependola, Great Curassow, Agami heron, Keel-billed toucan and King vulture.
Day 3 To Western Belize (B,L,D)
Depart for the Macal district of Western Belize for 3 nights. A stop will be made at an inland sinkhole names the Blue Hole National Park. Time for swimming, lunch and exploration of the trails. On arrival at our jungle lodge, an orientation around the grounds, a great area for bird watching. Accommodation at Duplooys or Chaa Creek or similar lodge nestled on the banks of the Macal River, and situated on extensive acres of lush tropical forest. Our chosen lodges feature several miles of well-maintained trails and a sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, swimming and launching your canoe or tube.
Day 4 Macal River/Medicine Trail (B,L,D)
The Macal River originates in the Maya Mountains of Belize and flows down to the town of San Ignacio. In San Ignacio, the Macal and Mopan River conjoin to form the Old Belize River that flows to Belize City and empties into the Caribbean. We begin the canoe trip at Negroman Farm about 14 miles upstream from San Ignacio. The trip is all downstream and therefore is not a very strenuous paddle. Along the way you will see huge iguanas and many species of birds. You may even see a troop or two of howler monkeys. A stop at the Rainforest Medicine Trail will give you a chance to stretch your legs and get an introduction to many of the medicinal plants of the Belize rain forest. Those wishing to continue paddling may do so while the option of returning to the hotel is also available.
Day 5 Caracol (B,L,D)
Discovered in 1938 and later explored in the 1950’s, Caracol was thought to be little more than a Maya ceremonial center. It was not until more extensive excavation efforts began in 1985 that the importance and expanse of Caracol became known. In 1986, a round, elaborately carved altar stone was uncovered which described a victory by Caracol over Tikal, once considered to be the most powerful Maya metropolis. This discovery filled an important missing piece of Maya history, covering approximately 140 years in the Middle Classic period, and positioned Caracol as the “Supreme” Maya city. The largest pyramid at Caracol, the Canaa, (Maya for “sky place”) rises 140 feet and is the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize. This will be a full day departing at 7:30am and returning at about 6pm and will include a drive through the Mountain Pine forest region where a scenic combinationof cool pine forests, tumbling streams, lush river valleys, caves and waterfalls compliment the day.
Day 6 Crooked Tree Sanctuary (B,L,D)
Early morning departure to the Belize Zoo where 100 species of native Belizean animals live in open habitats that resemble their natural surroundings. Continue to Crooked Tree Sanctuary. Overnight Birds Eye Lodge. Afternoon boat tour on the lagoon.
Day 7 Crooked Tree Sanctuary / Lamanai (B,L,D)
From Bird's Eye Lodge we will head to Tower hill to board a boat for a scenic journey up the New River to Lamanai. Along the way guests can observe the characteristic flora and fauna of swamps as well as varied wildlife including several kingfishers, Black-collared Hawks and maybe even crocodiles. Lamanai is one of Belize's largest ceremonial centers. It's name means "submerged crocodile" in the Mayan language and many representations of the crocodile can be found here. This site, situated along the New River Lagoon, features monumental architecture of temples and palaces dating from the Classic and PreClassic Periods. The Great Mask is one of the distinctive features of Lamanai. There will be opportunities to paint or sketch. After a tour of this site with lunch included guests will journey back via boat and land. Overnight at Bird's Eye lodge.
Day 8 Crooked Tree Sanctuary/Belize departure (B)
Morning to explore the lagoon and shoreline, and departure to the Belize airport for the flight home. Extensions on an individual basis.
CAYE CAULKER, or PLACENCIA
Add time on one of Belize’s offshore islands that fronts the Barrier Reef. Snorkeling and scuba diving can compliment your journey. Or consider La Placencia and the Souther reefs of Belize.
CHAN CHICH EXTENSION OR LA MILPA
Chan Chich is one of the best overall birding destinations in the Central American tropics. The birding groups that use the facility have been able to record up to 200 species during their stay. Chan Chich Lodge is pure jungle luxury with gourmet meals, a swimming pool and jacuzzi and has only a handful of cabanas set in the rainforest. These are very comfortable with private bath, a restaurant and outdoor jacuzzi. There is a natural swimming area. The property is located within a private 125,000 acres private reserve, bordering on an additional 150,000 acres of protected land making it one of the largest expanses of tropical forest outside the Amazon. The lodge has its own well-groomed trails. Howler and spider monkeys are frequent. 3 days for birding and wildlife viewing at Chan Chich. Options for horseback riding and canoeing are available. Or consider La Milpa a more rustic but comfortable option adjacent to Chan Chich.
Customized tours to Belize. We are pleased to offer individual, family or group tours catering to your special interest in Belize. Best time to visit December to April. Airfare available from your home city to Belize City.