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Active Belize: Jungle and reef adventure

Active Belize: Jungle and reef adventure


Private Journey


Day 1

Arrive in Belize City, transfer to your lodge in the interior.

he scenic drive to the lodge Pook’s Hill, set at the foot of the Mayan mountains in Cayo District, takes about two hours. This is a tightly forested region of profuse biodiversity populated by a multitude of bird, mammal and foliage species and sheltering the vestiges of Mayan temples. The misty mornings and ancient trees strangled by vines create a magical atmosphere enhanced by secret caves and shimmering streams.

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Day 2

Visit the Actun Tunichil Muknal caves.
ATM Caves Belize

Prepare for a real Indiana Jones adventure on this excursion into an extraordinary Mayan ceremonial cave, the 5km long Actun Tunichil Muknal. It's more than evocative of the bloodletting traditions of the Mayans: you'll actually come across gruesome skeletal remains. You'll see where the Mayans have manipulated cave formations to create the faces of men and animals, project shadows or serve as makeshift altars.

It's not all history and death though: bats flit around and tropical fish inhabit the waters. It is quite a challenging exploit: you have to swim under the arch of the cave’s sweltering roof, climb over slippery rocks and spend hours in the dark. But it is a truly unique experience which you are unlikely to forget in a hurry.

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ATM Caves Belize

Day 3

Travel to Bocawina Rainforest Lodge.
Bocawina rainforest resort

Mayflower Bocawina National Park, in the southern district of Stann Creek, hosts a carpet of lush jungle, waterfalls cascading over foliage-fringed rocky cliffs and the remains of settlements of the Mayan empire: temples, ceremonial sites and residences. Set in a natural bowl fringed by the Mayan mountains it feels remote, but is in fact only an hour or so’s drive from some of the county’s major towns. Living and thriving in the rainforest are an estimated 238 species of birds; troops of black howler monkeys lurk in the canopy while beneath there are walking trails to explore.

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Bocawina rainforest resort

Days 4,5

Activities at the lodge.

During your stay at the lodge you can take part in any of a wide variety of activities and excursions. Choose from the guided Bocawina Rainforest trail hike, or, if you are up for thrills, ride the longest rainforest canopy zipline in Central America, with a birds’ eye view over the forest. It takes up to two hours to complete the zip which is four km long, has 14 platforms and nine different runs. Not only is it long, offering you the opportunity thoroughly to get absorbed in the experience and spot birds and mammals high up in the branches, but you can also opt to ride the line at night…with a head torch. This is a rare chance to experience the canopy under the cover of darkness, which has a completely different feel to the daytime adventure:  you may spot owls, howler monkeys and bats.

You could also choose to take a two hour walk through humid jungley vegetation to Antelope Falls. It’s a bit hilly, but satisfying for that. Upon arrival you will enjoy views over the rainforest to the Caribbean Sea beyond. Slowly rappel a staggering 75m down the rock-face of the waterfall to a pool of cool clear water at the bottom – a dip here will be most welcome.

Other options include a visit to the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve to explore the trails which call at spectacular waterfalls with mountain views, and have great bird-spotting opportunities. Budding historians will be attracted by the chance to visit Mayan archaeological ruins while those of you more interested in contemporary indigenous culture may visit a spice farm and see how local communities source the resources of the jungle in their daily lives for medicine, furniture and jewellery making.

Some of these options have an extra charge, paid locally.

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Day 6

By road to the coast, glamping on a coral atoll.

It’s a drive of only about 45 minutes from the mountain fringe down to the Garifuna village of Dangriga on the Caribbean coast.  From there you’ll embark on a couple of hours’ boat ride to Glover’s Reef Atoll, a protected marine park. It consists of an elliptically shaped reef measuring 32 by 11km, situated around 64km offshore. You’ll be staying at a unique safari-style camp there, right on the water’s edge, stepping out of your furnished tent onto pearl-white sands - magical. 

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Days 7,8

Water-based activities from the camp
Glovers Reef Belize

The camp is perfect for active families and couples of mixed abilities, offering flexibility and choices in daily guided activities, so that you and your travelling companions can do things together or separately. You can choose between kayaking in the mangroves, stand-up paddling on the surface of super-calm waters (or choppier seas depending on the weather), or snorkelling in the warm, glass-clear lagoon – in places it is less than a couple of metres deep, making the abundant marine life really accessible: view a plethora of dazzling tropical fish, eels and turtles, all thriving among the live coral.

It’s a very relaxed place: the activities offered on any day will depend on the weather and guests’ interests. There’s so much to do (though not all activities are always available, check with us): sunrise yoga, fly-fishing, and you can even take your first steps in learning to sail. You’ll have professional briefings and training on the activities: all of which are guided by skilled specialists in their field: among them are naturalists, fishermen, marine biologists and experienced kayakers.

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Glovers Reef Belize

Day 9

Return to Dangriga and onwards to Parrot Cove.
Parrot Cove

Upon arrival by boat back at Dangriga you will proceed to Hopkins, a sunny low-rise village sprawling along the Caribbean coast with flour-white, palm-flecked beaches stroked by turquoise seas.  It’s regarded by many as the capital of the country’s Afro-Caribbean Garifuna culture, and is as laid-back and informal as you might expect. It is a good spot to view manatees near the mouth of the river or in the sea early in the early morning.

Your accommodation, Parrot Cove Lodge, is located at the southern end of the village, an easy stroll, taxi-ride or complimentary-bike ride from the town’s bars, restaurants  and the marina, around 1.5km away.

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Parrot Cove

Day 10

At leisure at the resort

It’s your last day: situated right on the sands, Parrot Cove is a truly low-key beach resort: kayaks and paddle boards are available as well as bikes and there is a long list of activities and excursions to choose from, but you may be tempted just to swing to and fro in a hammock or laze around the intimate outdoor swimming pool.

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Day 11

Hop by air from Dangriga airstrip to connect with international flight.

About Private Journeys

Private Journeys are pre-planned holidays crafted by our experts, featuring routes and combinations that are proven to work well.

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Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

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