You begin your connoisseur’s tour staying in a luxurious lodge at Chan Chich, surrounded by 100 foot high mahogany trees and riotous birdlife. You move to Cayo where the rainforest is also home to an ancient Mayan temple, and on to Toledo to swim in crystal clear pools and explore the Rio Grande and a Mayan burial ground.
Then it’s time to stretch out on a fine sand beach beside the Caribbean at Placencia.
London – Miami
You fly out of London Heathrow in the morning to arrive in Miami in the middle of the afternoon.
Stay: One night in the Miami International Airport Hotel. Or a South Beach hotel if you’d prefer.
After a restful night you fly out of Miami Airport and land in Belize around an hour later. From there a light aircraft will take you to Gallon Jug where you’ll be met and taken by Jeep to your lodge in the Rio Bravo Conservation Area. You’ll be staying amidst Mayan ruins deep in a dense jungle that is home to troupes of monkeys and any number of colourful, noisy birds. You’ll take guided treks around the Mayan ruins, wander through a sub-tropical forest of gigantic mahogany trees, go horse riding through the jungle and canoeing on beautiful Laguna Verde. Not to mention drives to discover the surrounding area and trips to La Milpa and Lamanai.
Stay: Three nights in a regular room at Chan Chich Lodge.
Returning to Gallon Jug airstrip you’ll fly off to Central Farm airstrip where you’ll be met and taken to a valley in the foothills of Cayo District’s Mayan Mountains. The Macal River, with all its opportunities for canoeing, exploring and watching wildlife awaits. But you’ll also spend your days horse riding and mountain biking along miles of forest trails.
You’ll take sunset river trips, go on early morning bird walks and visit a butterfly farm. A knowledgeable guide will show you centuries-old Mayan temple sites, and you’ll learn about the region’s extraordinary flora at the natural history centre and the rainforest medicinal trail.
Stay: Three nights in a cottage room at Chaa Creek.
Today you embark on a two hour drive through some very photogenic scenery, to Belize International Airport where you’ll meet your flight to Punta Gorda. Here, in Southern Belize’s Toledo District you’ll be amongst coastal mountains and rainforest offering world class birdwatching, angling, forest hiking and mountain biking. You’ll swim in freshwater pools, or in the Rio Grande, as well as visiting various ancient Mayan sites, including a sacred burial ground.
Stay: Three nights in a rainforest canopy suite at Belcampo Lodge.
11 – 14. Placencia
After the mountains and forests of Toledo it’s time to chill out for a few days on a sublime Caribbean beach. You’ll take a short flight from Punta Gorda Airport to Placencia where you’ll be met and driven along the peninsula to a beautiful beachside resort. It’s a perfect place for relaxing and soaking up the tropical sea-sun-and-sand atmosphere. You can watch basking iguanas from a hammock slung between palm trees and stroll along the fine sand beach.
But you can also indulge in cruises along Monkey River, trips to a jaguar reservation as well as watching wildlife like manatees, crocodiles, howler monkeys and exotic birds. Highlights of Placencia are scuba diving on an untouched barrier reef, or sea angling for your supper.
Stay: Four nights in a sea view cottage at Turtle Inn.
Placencia – Belize – Miami – London
From Placencia’s airstrip you take a short, 30 minute hop to Belize International to meet your connecting flight to Miami, arriving in the early evening. Your overnight flight to London departs later in the evening and arrives the next morning.