June 23, 2017

Belize Ruins & Reefs: Maya Jungle Fun & Caribbean Sun (Upgraded Version), Choose Your Director and Date

Maya Jungle Fun & Caribbean Sun:

Embark on a grand adventure, exploring deep green jungles and ancient Maya ruins. Here rulers were considered gods and were worshiped at temples on top of pyramids. But this is only 1/2 the story. Cutting-edge research has now revealed an even earlier civilization (B.C. times). Come explore an area that was a cradle of ancient American high culture with great kings who controlled vast commerce networks and used their wealth to employ masterful architects and artisans to construct exquisite palaces, cement highways, and grand cities.

With a group of 10 travelers, see these places with a tour director of your choosing. If you are a birdwatcher, photographer or painter, bring your mentor as a director. Doctors & businessmen, mix business & pleasure & bring your associates. Hold workshops on your topic in dramatic settings. Build your tour around your theme!

Tour Description:

This tour focuses on Maya ruins & jungle excursions as well as the stunning Caribbean Sea. This particular tour is our upgraded version with the high quality atmospheric accommodations in each region, providing a superb way to experience Belize.

  • Feel like Indiana Jones as we visit one of Belize’s largest and most remote ruins — Caracol, which controlled the “Maya Pass” through the mountains to the Caribbean Sea. On our return, stop and swim in beautiful pools and falls of a pristine river.
  • Be ready for an extreme adventure — Cave Tubing! We hike a 1/2 hour through the jungle, with inner tubes in hand, and enter a small river that takes us underground for over a mile through a cave system. Don’t worry, the ceilings are high and we have lights. For many, this float is one of the funnest parts of the trip.
  • Fast river boats take us on a river ride deep into the jungle. At Lamanai, see pyramids, many of which date to B.C. times.
  • Explore B.C. era un-excavated ruins, overlooking the Mopan river (private property closed to the public!) Then see the great palace of the rulers of the valley at Cahal Pech, and finish at the valley’s temple complex at Xunantunich, with its towering “earthquake proof ” pyramid.
  • On the “reefs” portion of our trip, we enjoy a flexible plan. Switch gears and head to the deep turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, on Ambergris Caye (island). Many consider Ambergris a secret treasure, unspoiled by the massive high rise resorts. The reef that runs alongside this island is the 2nd longest in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef), and home to a tremendous array of wild sea life.
  • Snorkel or scuba dive at the Marine Reserve, hailed by many as the best snorkeling & scuba in the western hemisphere. There are many sites to choose from, including the world famous “Blue Hole”. Beginners can take scuba classes. Enjoy sea kayaking, windsurfing, glass bottom boats, sunset sailing cruises, beach picnics & snorkeling on deserted islands, birdwatching & searching for manatees. Bone & Tarpon fishing is considered the fly fisherman’s dream when fishing on the sea, & reef fishing will result in the ultimate fish bake.
  • For meals, breakfast is provided each day, but the town of San Pedro is half of the fun. Explore the town on foot, or by bike or golf cart. Choose from numerous hole-in-the-wall as well as fancy dining restaurants at your leisure for lunches and dinners. Fantastic cuisine awaits on Ambergris Caye (Key).

Belize Jungle Lodge Add-On

From $195 – $500 + tax/room/night (*based on room category)

Our mainland portion of the tour is packed with loads of fun at ruins and rivers. But Belize has much more to offer, and there is not a lot of down time at our excellent lodge. If you have interest, fly in a day or two early and enjoy the lodge to its fullest, with options like horseback riding, canoeing & swimming on the Macal & Mopan Rivers, bird watching, or just relaxing and recharging at the lodge.

A detailed day-by-day itinerary will be included in your welcome packet when you sign up for the tour.

Included in This Tour

  • A superbly crafted travel experience to some of the best Maya ruins in Central America, with arrangements made by a company with 10 years and over 80 tours experience to these very regions.
  • Detailed information on all sites visited by our excellent staff of local guides.
  • Crash course and/or workshops from the director of your choosing in the theme area of your choosing.
  • All land transportation included in the itinerary (new model luxury or best available motor coaches).
  • All water transportation included in the itinerary.
  • Upgraded hotels. This means the best available hotel in each region (three-four star category).
  • Entry fees for all activities included in the itinerary (not including entry fees for optional activities not done together as a group).
  • Tips (baggage handlers, maids, local guides, bus drivers, and waiters for pre-paid group meals, see recommendations on tipping below).
  • Border crossing fees
  • Airport fees and departure taxes
  • Professional Tour Director/Escort. A professional Company Tour Director will guide and assist this group for the entire tour. His costs are included in the tour price.
  • Meals included in the itinerary (see “Meals on This Tour” below)
  • Purified water (to put in your personal water containers)
  • Detailed itinerary and Tour Manual with trip preparation information

NOT Included in This Tour

  • All Airfares (International round trip from your departure city AND any any other flights during the tour, including those required for Add Ons if any. As airfare pricing can be constantly in flux, it is impossible to keep a tour price stable with any airfares included).
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Meals not included in the itinerary (see “Meals on This Tour” below).
  • Beverages of any kind at meal times (except purified water provided on the bus and those beverages included as courtesy welcome drinks from the hotels or included in breakfast buffets. If you are in doubt, please inquire to your waiter).
  • Extra transportation for any arrangements outside of those included in the tour itinerary.
  • All incidental charges at hotels such as phone bills, room service, mini-bar/snack bar consumption, fees for damaging or taking hotel property, etc.
  • Optional additional tips above the base tips including tip to your Tour Director. • Souvenir money.

Meals on This Tour

On the mainland, three meals are provided each day except international flight days (where dinner is provided on the first day and breakfast on the last day). Three meals daily are included on days 2, 3, and 4. On day 5, the last day on the mainland, breakfast and lunch are included, but dinner is not (our first night out on the island). On the island (Ambergris Caye), only breakfast is provided at the hotel. This is intentional for flexibility as eating out at the many restaurants at the town of San Pedro, on the island, is tremendously enjoyable. From hole in the wall restaurants that are out of this world to expensive, fine dining restaurants with incredible cuisine, the restaurants on the island are half the fun. Additionally, those who go on scuba diving excursions have the option to order lunches, and finally local convenience stores sell a variety of groceries (including many common brands from the USA) allowing those who would like to save money on food to purchase groceries and make simple meals such as sandwiches right in your hotel room. These many options of course will have a wide range of pricing, depending on what each individual selects to do at meal time, so lunches and dinners are not included in the tour price. Credit cards are accepted at many restaurants and also ATM’s are located in town (although not all are working at all times). US dollars also are accepted everywhere if they are in good shape (no nicks, tears, stamps, or writing on the bills). As a general rule, beverages are NOT INCLUDED. Be prepared to pay your waiter if you purchase a beverage. If your waiter offers you bottled water, do not assume that it is on the house. You will most likely be charged for it. Each day below details the meals included in this tour at the end of the daily description according to the following abbreviations:

Meals Included: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Tips for this Tour

The company provides standard base tips for meals included in the itinerary, bell boys, maids, guides, drivers, and other service providers on this tour. Have money to tip accordingly for any extra services you ask of any service provider, including meals not included and all beverages you purchase. The company recommends that you be generous with extra tips to those drivers, guides, and other service providers that work closely with the group (especially the ones that you feel have personally provided excellent service.) FOR THE OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES ON AMBERGRIS CAYE, TIPS ARE NOT INCLUDED, AND YOU SHOULD PLAN TO TIP ON THOSE EXCURSIONS/SERVICES THAT YOU PARTICIPATE IN. As members of the group will be on their own doing different things on Ambergris Caye, all optional excursions are separate, and appropriate tips for those services are likewise not included. Tips included on Ambergris Caye (the island portion of the tour) are bell boy and maid services at the hotel, and meal tips for breakfasts at the hotel. For all meals that are not included in the itinerary, tips are not included and you should plan to tip in the traditional manner (10-20% of the total bill price). At any meal, you should plan on tipping for beverages you purchase. As many clients inquire about tips for the Tour Director, these are also not included but are completely up to the discretion of each individual.

Special Items Needed for this Tour

Bring appropriate footwear that can get wet for the cave-tubing portion. Examples include, but are not limited to, Tivas, water socks, and other footwear designed to get wet. A swim suit is required for this tour, and depending on the amount of time one plans on spending in the water in the “reefs” portion of the tour, an additional swim suit may be handy. Recommended are swim shirts as well for men, as sun burns on full days of snorkeling can be severe on the back. For those interested in snorkeling and scuba diving, rental equipment is available. However, masks mold to each individual’s face and rental masks have often been worn by so many different people that it is hard to get a good seal. Dry snorkels also make snorkeling much more pleasant, as less water can enter the snorkel. Rentals usually do not include dry snorkels. Upgraded higher quality masks and dry snorkels can be purchased online and in scuba shops in most large cities, as well as in the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Fins can also be an issue, as rental fins often don’t fit all individuals well and can cause discomfort. Upgraded, higher quality fins can also be purchased at various outlets online or at scuba shops, as well as at shops in San Pedro. It is NOT recommended that you purchase cheap, economy priced mask, snorkel, and fins as they will take up much of your luggage space and will be no better (if not worse) than rentals. If you intend on bringing your own mask, snorkel, and fins, only do so if you have purchased high quality equipment. You may be able to find some good deals online for high quality equipment, but research well and be sure that you are getting equipment of the best quality and up to scuba standards. Do not take up too much luggage space, but pack a small towel for the cave-tubing day.

Airfare(s)

Airfare is NOT INCLUDED in the tour price as pricing fluctuates based on supply and demand until the moment of purchase. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE any price for airfare in advance. You should expect the international round-trip airfare from most major US airports to Belize City to be over $700 per person. You should also expect flights around the holidays to be more expensive, and increase in cost drastically as the holidays approach. This tour also requires a round-trip 15 minute hopper flight between Belize City and Ambergris Caye (island), which you should expect to be over $100 per person. Once the tour is guaranteed with ten travelers, our flexible plan allows you to:

  1. use your Frequent Flyer miles for your tickets
  2. or, purchase your tickets through your own sources
  3. or, go through our discount ticketing agent who will arrange for you to arrive at our starting destination by the appointed time. Our agents will arrange flights inside the tour for the group, and you will be billed accordingly for the rate extended at the time of booking (can vary). For those interested in travel insurance, our agents will provide detailed information on available policies.

Obviously, the sooner you make your reservation, the better the price and/or availability of flights. However, DO NOT make airline arrangements until you have received confirmation that the tour is guaranteed (with a minimum of 10 participants) and a confirmation that you have a guaranteed spot on the tour (tours are filled on a first-come first-served basis by deposit).

Questions?

If you have any questions about this tour, please call us at 801-737-6496 or email us here, and refer to tour code BZ10U110XXCATTBD.

Other tours and blog posts by Custom Director

About Custom Director
With a minimum of 10 participants you may choose your director from among the existing staff of The Passion Travel Company or you may recommend a director to lead this tour.