In Lamanai it isn’t just monkeys that make a noise – the birds create a dawn chorus that is worth leaving your lodge for. Other attractions that will draw you into the forest include 3000 year old jungle-shrouded temples and sacred Mayan ritual spots like the Stone Sepulchre Cave in Cayo District. Not to mention swimming in Roaring River and discovering the medicinal properties of many of the jungle’s indigenous plants.
And after the jungle? Relax on a splendid beach.
Your morning flight will take you to Miami, were you’ll have an overnight stay at a hotel connected to the airport.
Stay: One night in the Miami International Airport Hotel.
Miami – Belize City – Lamanai
Today you fly to Belize City where you’ll be taken, by car and boat, to an eco-lodge on the shores of New River Lagoon. Over the next three days you’ll experience the jungle at dawn, as the birds and animals – like howler monkeys, toucans and jaguarondi – awaken with sky-piercing cries. An expert guide will escort you to Lamanai Ruins – a collection of over 700 buildings and mysterious, jungle-shrouded temples dating back 3000 years. You’ll experience the Maya Medicine Trail and learn about the secret properties of jungle plants, and go on nature walks, spotlight safaris and night expeditions through the forest. You can even view the wildlife whilst taking a sunset cocktail cruise.
Stay: Three nights in a superior, garden view cabana at Lamanai Outpost Lodge.
Now you journey through wetlands by powerboat and drive to Belize City, and onwards to another eco-lodge, set in a 300-acre private reserve in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. This is an excellent spot for birdwatching without even leaving the lodge’s terrace. A short hike will put you amongst abundant orchids, medicinal plants and the wildlife that lives in the palm and hardwood forest. You’ll swim in Roaring River, tunnel into the Stone Sepulchre Cave to discover untouched Mayan ritual places, or go horse riding beneath the forest canopy.
Stay: Three nights in a standard cabana at Pook’s Hill Lodge.
Your forest adventures continue at Punta Gorda where you’ll be able to trek along jungle trails, immerse yourself in the local culture. On a village visit you’ll meet an artisan harpist and instrument maker, before kayaking on emerald rivers. There are birding walks in the early morning, trips to Blue Creek Cave and tours of Lubaantun Mayan archaeological ruins. Your lodge is also perfectly situated for views of the Maya Mountains and the Rio Grande where locals bathe and wash their clothes.
Stay: Three nights at the Lodge at Big Falls.
After days spent discovering local cultures, delving into ancient history and watching the creatures of the forest it’s time to wind down and relax. A short flight will take you to Dangriga where you’ll transfer to a delightful beachfront resort. The diving is excellent here, but if you really want to chill out the beach is beautiful and usually virtually deserted.
Stay: Four nights in a standard beach front room at Hamanasi.
Belize City – Miami – Home
Fly from Dangriga to Belize International Airport to meet your flight to Miami, where you’ll board your plane for home.