Belize Cayo and the Caye

With Tikal, Guatemala, Mayan ruins, coral islands, and canoe-friendly caves


Belize is full of mystery and famous for a wild, yet accessible diversity of habitats, archaeological sites, and outstanding small ecolodges. Who were the Maya and why did they disappear? What natural wonders are camouflaged in the jungle? What fantastic formations are hidden in dark caves and underwater worlds? Your great local guide calls upon his own native heritage to bring life to the legends of the Maya, meaning to the medicinal plants, and names to the birds and animals that abound in the forests. Visit famous Tikal and the unique Blue Hole ocean park. Below is the itinerary for Cayo and the Caye (rhymes with "Sky-o and the Sea").

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  • Day 1: cayo, here we come
    Into the rainforest!

    Upon arrival in Belize City, you will be met at the airport and transferred (about 2 hours) to a rainforest lodge in the Cayo District where you will spend the next four nights. Arrive at the lodge in  time to freshen up before having a delicious Belizian dinner.

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  • Day 2: ruins and river canoeing or tubing
    It takes a good spotter to find me!

     Xunantunich, Belize’s most accessible Mayan site of significance that is reached via ferry crossing at San Jose Succotz, is your destination today. The main structure, El Castillo, rises 130 feet above the jungle floor. The views from the top are superb, with forest stretching out all around you and the rest of the ancient city mapped out just beneath you. Then in the afternoon, relax as you coast down the Macal River in a canoe or rubber tube. Listen for the sounds of the howler monkeys or watch for hidden iguanas basking in the treetops.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 3: cave canoeing and horseback riding
    Canoe through Barton Creek Cave

    Travel to the small Mennonite Community of Upper Barton Creek to the river and Barton Creek Cave. Used by the ancient Maya for ceremonial purposes and a burial site, this cave is an amazing display of crystal formations.  Gently paddle through the cave system in your canoe and with wour spotlight view the magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. You may even come across some Mayan artifacts. Then enjoy a two hour morning horseback ride through the rainforest’s stunning scenery. Teak trees, iguanas and many species of birds will catch your eye. (*Routes are available for all levels of riding experience*). Stop for lunch at the ranch lodge. This is not a day to forget your camera!


    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Day 4: tikal: the mayan marvel

    Tikal, once the grand capital of the Mayan world, may be the most impressive site in all of the Americas. In Guatemala, just two hours from your Belize lodge, these famous ruins lie in a vast rainforest sanctuary rich with bird and animal life. Wonder at the Great Plaza, the 200-foot temple pyramids, the mazes of courtyards and tiny rooms and extensive areas of ruins still under jungle cover. Fifteen hundred years ago, the population here was 100,000; by 900 AD, the civilization collapsed. Some of you may choose to hike or climb, others may want to explore the nature and wildlife. All will learn a tremendous amount, and leave you pondering the same questions that engage archaeologists and scholars. Return to the lodge in the evening for your last night in the rainforest.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
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  • Days 5-7: southwater caye: an island paradise

    Head to the coast this morning along the magnificent Hummingbird Hwy. En route, stop for a swim at Blue Hole National Park. Once you arrive in Dangriga, you'll transfer by boat to Southwater Caye where you will spend the following three nights. A coral island paradise, small enough to walk around, Southwater offers snorkeling opportunities right from shore in one of the best areas of the Caribbean Reef. This is a rare island where accommodations are lovely and unassuming, service is superb, and development has, thankfully, been kept to a minimum. Spend these days at your leisure, exploring all that the area has to offer. Optional boat excursions and scuba diving are available at extra cost.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Pelican Beach Resort
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  • Day 8: departure home
    Watch beautiful Machaca Hill sunsets

    After breakfast, return by boat to the mainland. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Belize City and connecting flight home.

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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
Domestic flight Dangriga/Belize City included
Single Supplement:
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Need to Know

Need to Know

8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
(see full descriptions)
Comfortable & delightful lodges
Activity Level:
(see full descriptions)
As active as you like
Group Size:
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 


Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or FAX. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Tikal Ruins

Duration: 3 days

Tikal is the site of one of the greatest ancient Mayan ruins. Settled more than 2,500 years ago, the ancient city of Tikal is spread over six square miles with over 3,000 separate constructions. Towering temples, immense palaces, enclosed courtyards... read more

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.