Belize holiday, Mayan mountains and Caribbean caye

“This two-centre holiday to Belize takes in mountains, Mayan ruins and a beautiful Caribbean island Ė itís brilliantly priced, with lots of optional activities available if you choose.”

Highlights

Belize City | San Ignacio | Explore the Cayo District | optional activities including horse-riding, caving, tubing or canoeing | optional visit to Mayan site of Tikal in Guatemala | Mayan ruins at Caracol in Chiquibul Forest Reserve | Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve | Ambergris Caye | optional activities including hiring a golf cart to tour the island

Description of Belize holiday, Mayan mountains and Caribbean caye

This good-value Belize holiday takes you to two of the countryís most important ecosystems: the mountainous pine ridge forest and the Caribbean coastline. Choice is at the heart of this holiday, with a range of activities on offer that you can book locally in both regions, allowing you to do as much or as little as you choose. Visit Mayan ruins in the jungle, go abseiling, river or cave tubing, hike or horse ride along woodland trails, snorkel in the sea, or simply relax, soaking up the quiet and enjoying the landscape.

This nine-day holiday begins in the Cayo District near the Mayan Mountains. This is a lush region, home to huge numbers of birds, mammals and numerous species of tropical trees, shrubs and flowers. Itís peppered with remarkable buildings, sculptures and artefacts, left behind by the Mayan people, and we also travel two hours to Caracol, the largest Mayan site in Belize.

Spend the second half of your holiday at Ambergris Caye, travelling by light aircraft to this stunning coral island in the Caribbean, with white sand beaches fringed by palm trees. This wonderfully laid back island is the perfect place to unwind, but if you prefer to be active, thereís fantastic snorkelling at the Blue Hole and other watersports available from your beachside resort.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Belize holiday, Mayan mountains and Caribbean caye

Environment

Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.

As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.

This good-value holiday takes you to explore two of Belizeís most important ecosystems: the mountainous pine ridge forest and the Caribbean coastline. In the mountains you will stay at Gaia River Lodge in the heart of the beautiful Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The lodge itself is one of only a few properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified and its location right on the river means it has been able to take itself off the grid and become a hydro-powered hotel. Its hydro-powered rainforest tram is also the only one in Belize.

A country which has been moulded by a fascinating and eclectic mix of cultures, you will gain a deep understanding of this tiny English-speaking nationís indigenous Mayan history with a visit to the expansive Caracol ruins, the largest archaeological site in Belize. Your guide will walk you around the site, share his or her expert knowledge and inform you of ways in which you can reduce the impact of your visit to these ancient ruins, such as refraining from touching the fragile structures and sticking to designated paths. As well as this, the entrance fee that you have paid to visit Caracol goes towards preserving the complex for future generations.

Community

The lodges and hotels we have chosen for you are active in their support of their local communities.

During your stay at Gaia River Lodge you will notice the attention to detail that has gone into designing and decorating the property: each cabaŮa has been constructed with a traditional bay leaf thatched roof, local materials such as Belizean hardwoods have been utilised and the locally made mahogany furnishings ensure that local communities, traditions and craftwork are supported. In this vein, the lodge is entirely staffed by Belizeans: by providing good working conditions and training opportunities for employees the lodge has become an important source of employment to many people in the region and this mutually beneficial relationship has created a sense of pride in ecotourism that should continue long into the future.

This holiday also gives you the opportunity to book some activities locally. It is estimated that one in four people in Belize are employed in the tourism sector and, whether itís cycling through remote villages to Xunantunich Mayan ruins or snorkelling and diving around the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, by choosing to enhance your holiday with these experiences, provided by reputable local operators selected by our trusted partners, you can help support local communities and economies.

1 Reviews of Belize holiday, Mayan mountains and Caribbean caye

2 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 10 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Guatemala felt more authentic and affordable. We enjoyed the balance between organized trips and our own free time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would seriously look at a couple of the hotels you put us in. There were two that really fell short. The first was in the lakes, the hotel itself was okay, but
the rooms were really too hot, no air conditioning and felt quite musty - but the biggest annoyance was the continual music which you couldnt get away
from. Its fine to have it by the pool or in reception, but it really drove us mad. The hotel we were not happy with was the first one in Belize in San Ignacio -
in fact it really a back packers hotel and not suitable on several accounts - the pool was really designed for a backpackers party the music was off the scale
loud, so it didnt really make for a relaxing time. Secondly, the bedroom - the bathrooms were not safe at all, the floors were so slippy when wet, my
husband fell and broke his arm - this really destroyed the final part of our holiday - to matter worse the hotel called a Dr when I asked for help to get him to hospital - the Dr they called was useless and just wanted money from us for doing nothing, then accused us of not paying. Utterly disgraceful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We had our phone stolen in Guatemela in the market - so yes they benefited from that. The guide would only report it as lost to the police for us.... That did
not impress us at all.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Belize was expensive, and a real dampner that my husband couldnt do anything due to his broken arm.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your feedback, though I was sorry to hear your husband had an accident in the shower at one of the properties and you were also were the victim of robbery in Guatemala. I can appreciate both must have had a very detrimental impact upon your holiday enjoyment and we are sorry you had such unfortunate experiences.

In addition, we note your concerns regarding the music. Although we have previously found the simple cottages at the family run Midas Resort offer good value for money, as mentioned in our hotel description, the pool area is open to the public and as a result it can get lively. In any event, I regret this detracted from your stay and we shall review proposing this hotel in the future in light of your feedback.

We will be following up the issues you have raised and be in touch with you directly very shortly. Thank you again for bringing these matters to our attention.

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