Belize and Guatemala will enchant you. From Maya temples to jungle trails, the thrill dives deep. Like a plunge into the Caribbean, reemerging with the call of the toucan and the beat of the Garifuna's drum.

Maya Temples to the Caribbean: Belize & Guatemala Multi-Adventure Tour with Backroads

Price: $5,799 USD Per Person

(Price per person, based on double occupancy.)

Departure Date: March 3, 2024

Return Date: March 9, 2024

Photo: Kayaking

Belize and Guatemala will enchant you. From Maya temples to jungle trails, the thrill dives deep. Like a plunge into the Caribbean, reemerging with the call of the toucan and the beat of the Garifuna's drum. Days filled with wonders that stop you in your tracks—or your flippers, as the case may be. We're thrilled to have you join us.

Inclusions:

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Photo: Kayaking

Day 1: Arrival

On the first day of the trip, meet your Backroads Trip Leaders (the folks in Backroads T-shirts) at 8 a.m. at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza, located at mile 3, Philip Goldson Hwy (Northern Highway) in Belize City, Belize. Alternatively, you can meet the group at 8:30 a.m. at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport BZE in Belize City at the Tropic Air counter. Be sure to confirm your pick-up location choice with your Trip Consultant or your Trip Leaders before the first day of the trip. Please arrive dressed in comfortable clothing and bring your luggage and a daypack with your biking clothes, biking accessories, bathing suit, rain gear and anything else you may need for today's activities (your luggage will be transported directly to our first night's accommodations).

Welcome to Belize! After meeting we shuttle to the Belize City airport, where we board a private charter flight to Flores, Guatemala, to begin our week's adventure. On an island in stunning Lake Petén Itzá, Flores is a charming town with a fascinating colonial past. We take a walk around the city, strolling along the cobblestone streets and uncovering its hidden gems. After taking some time to explore town, we get our first taste of Guatemalan cuisine in one of our favorite local eateries. Then your Trip Leaders fit your bike and give a brief safety talk before we set out for our first ride. Our route takes us out through the lively streets of Flores and around the western side of Lake Petén Itzá toward the lakeside town of San José. Riding these backroads gives us an intimate view of Belize's sometimes loopy rural world— did you ever think you would ride alongside a motorbike stacked high with chickens? Both our route options end at our home for the next two nights, Bolontiku Boutique Hotel. This hotel is unique in the area in that it is Guatemalan-owned and operated (most other hotels are owned by foreigners). Enjoy this local pride while taking a dip in the refreshing waters of the lake. Then take some time to get settled in your spacious room. This evening we gather for a welcome reception before dinner at the hotel's open-air restaurant. 

Day 2: El Coaba

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we start our adventure into Tikal National Park, a World Heritage site and a sure highlight of the trip. Once the largest city of the Maya civilization, Tikal flourished between AD 200 and 900. What remains are 3,000 ancient structures spread across 6 square miles, highlighted by six Mesoamerican step pyramids. After our morning shuttle, hop on your bike to begin the journey to these majestic ruins, spinning on a quiet paved road as you make your way through the park's lush vegetation. Upon arrival at Tikal, our local guide then takes us through the grounds, offering an in-depth interpretation of the citadel. As you look up at the pyramids, watch for monkeys, parrots and white-nosed coatis, among the many species that call this ancient site home. Take an upclose look at the elaborate glyphs on an altar or get a bird's-eye view from a pyramid summit. Once we finish exploring, enjoy a bite to eat before a shuttle takes us back to Bolontiku. This afternoon enjoy some downtime relaxing by the lake or taking in the views from the terrace at the hotel before dinner. 

Day 3: Belize

After breakfast at the hotel, a short shuttle takes us to a lakeside town for interpretive hike through the subtropical rain forest. Hike to a stunning mirador (lookout) over Lake Petén Itzá while you keep an eye out for the area's incredible wildlife, including ocellated turkeys, agoutis, and howler and spider monkeys. After our hike we stop to visit a local family who treats us to an overview of their masa-making techniques and a traditional Guatemalan cooking demonstration. Learn to make your own corn tortillas before sitting down to a lunch featuring your culinary creations. Learn some words in the local Mayan dialect and take a tour of the garden. After lunch we make our way to Belize for the second half of our Maya adventure. Get ready for a real cultural experience as we cross the border by land—with your passports in hand and the help of your expert Trip Leaders. After crossing through border immigration, we make our way to the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, our home for the next two nights. Once you settle into your room, relax in a hammock and enjoy the sounds of the jungle before dinner tonight at your leisure in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 4: Sleeping Giant Ceremonial Cave

This morning we take a short shuttle to the start of our hike to Sleeping Giant Ceremonial Cave. A trail leads us into the broadleaf forest, where we learn about flora, fauna, and medicinal plants along the way before arriving at our destination, a series of chambers once used as ancient Maya ceremonial centers. Don a helmet and a headlamp and descend into the large opening in the hillside and enter a dark cavern with stalactites and stalagmites, bats and clay pots where Mayas stored offerings for their gods. After the hike, we head back to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon you can choose from a variety of different activities, such as cave tubing, horseback riding, rappelling or zip-lining. The lodge also has mountain bikes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards available to use. Or, if you're in the mood for a quiet afternoon of deep relaxation, lounge by the pool or schedule a massage. (Note that these activities are not included in the trip price.) If you are interested in experiencing the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave instead of our programmed activities, you can reserve a full-day tour through the hotel. This evening, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel restaurant.

Day 5: Placencia

Join us this morning for an exploratory walk through the Sleeping Giant property, admiring the jungle from a series of hanging bridges. Then a climb takes us to a viewpoint above the forest canopy. After the hike, we bid farewell to our jungle paradise and head out for a scenic shuttle along the Hummingbird Highway to the coastal beach resort town of Placencia. Along the way we will stop for lunch and a chocolate making demonstration before continuing our journey to the coast. Our destination is Naïa Resort & Spa, a luxurious beachfront hotel surrounded by a picturesque natural reserve. Settle into your room this afternoon, then hop into kayaks to explore the nearby waters and see the peninsula from a different perspective. If you'd rather take some time to soak up the sun and enjoy the view, take a stroll along the beach or grab or a chair by the pool. This evening dinner is at your leisure at the hotel.

Day 6: Caribbean snorkeling adventure

If Mother Nature favors us, today is devoted to sunshine, warm water and exotic marine life. Head out from our hotel and board a boat to a postcard-perfect island where our island experience begins. Relax on the white sands of our island or drift through the colorful underwater forests with a mask and snorkel while our expert guide points out brilliantly colored snapper, nurse sharks, manta rays, schools of angelfish and other sea creatures. After our snorkeling excursion we head to the quaint fishing village of Placencia for lunch at our favorite restaurant. Take some time to explore some of the local shops in town or feel free to enjoy the resort's amenities: take a dip in the pool, indulge at the world-class spa, hit the water with a stand-up paddleboard or kayak or just relax with a book on the beach. Tonight we celebrate our week together with a farewell drink and a festive meal.

Day 7: Departure 

For your final morning, grab a mat and stretch out in a yoga class. Or choose to spend a relaxing morning at your leisure. After your chosen method of sun salutations, a shuttle takes you to the Placencia airport for the flight back to Belize City, where our trip ends. Please see "Arriving & Departing" for end-of-trip logistics.

Don't delay, book your adventure today! 

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