Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5395  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Belize City
Depart: Belize City
Lodging: 8 nights in hotels and lodges
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Snorkeling, Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Rainforest hikes, nature walks, river swims, snorkeling, zip lines


  • Snorkel from Turneffe Island Resort on Belize’s Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole
  • Discover the mysterious stone temples of Lamanai
  • Cave hiking, swimming, river floats, nature hikes in the Maya Mountains
  • Ride a zip line through the jungle
  • Extend your journey to magnificent Tikal or the Guatemala Highlands

This trip combined an eclectic mix of activities and locales which made it very interesting and enjoyable. Turneffe Resort was fabulous. The inland Belize sites were very interesting with plenty of active activities. the Guatemala Highlands extension was a real highlight.Patrick T.—Danville, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

How can one tiny country have such an amazing diversity of environments? From the dazzling warm waters of Belize’s Barrier Reef to jungle-draped Maya ruins, our active adventure is an unforgettable experience of them all. Enjoy phenomenal snorkeling among tropical fish and vibrant corals, just minutes from our enchanting resort on Turneffe Atoll, a World Heritage Site. Boating down a jungle-lined river reveals Lamanai, where 10-story-high Maya temples emerge from the forest. And amid the nature reserves of the Maya Mountains, you’ll explore a hidden ceremonial cave, ride a zip line, and float on a tropical river. At journey’s end, you can extend your adventure to experience mystical Tikal and its towering stone pyramids.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Turneffe Island Resort / Belize Barrier Reef

In the pristine waters of Turneffe Atoll, you’ll enjoy world-class snorkeling over exquisite coral gardens, including the geological wonder of the Blue Hole, discovered by Jacques Cousteau. Our resort, the only one on the island, has a breezy Caribbean style, wonderful fresh seafood, and opportunities to sea kayak or just relax and watch the tropical sunset.

Day 5-6
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve

For a total change of environment, we glide up the New River, watching for birdlife, including flashy kingfishers, along the lush banks. At a bend in the river, the jungle-shrouded ruins of Lamanai rise straight out of the rainforest, and just beside a nearby lagoon is our welcoming lodge, with howler monkeys scampering overhead. We explore the atmospheric ruins of a major Maya city, discover the wetlands by airboat, and have the option of an evening excursion with researchers to tag crocodiles.

Day 7-9
Maya Mountains

Aerial views are fantastic on our charter flight to the Maya Mountains. From Pook’s Hill Lodge, you’ll swim and hike your way through Actun Tunichil Muknal, a unique riverside cavern system. Nature hikes, a zip line through the treetops, and a chance to float on the Caves Branch River fill our adventurous days. Depart on Day 9 or join our extensions to Tikal or the Guatemala Highlands.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 2+, easy to moderate, according to our trip grading system, but for your own enjoyment of the trip, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. We enjoy moderate nature hikes of two to three hours on several days (the exploration of Actun Tunichil Muknal is more challenging—an easier option will be offered), and there can be extended walking at the ruin sites, often involving steep stairs and rough, uneven surfaces. The zip line excursion is optional. On the Barrier Reef portion, both novice and experienced snorkelers will enjoy the snorkeling excursions.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Jan 23-31, 2016  Philip Burns
Feb 6-14, 2016  Philip Burns
Nov 5-13, 2016  Philip Burns

Trip Cost

Prices valid through November 30, 2016
$5395 (10-12 members)
$5695 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1395
Internal airfare: $195 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Guatemala Highlands Extension
   from: $1425
Tikal Extension
   from: $675

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing, tours, and airport transfers as indicated in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Belize City
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Belize International Airport, Belize City (airport code BZE)
Suggested arrival time: no later than 12:00 noon
Belize City
Date: Day 9

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Belize International Airport, Belize City (airport code BZE)
Suggested departure time: after 12:00 noon

Turneffe Island Resort

Turneffe Island Resort

Days 1 to 4 (4 nights), Barrier Reef, Belize

Turneffe Island Resort's original lodge, built by Mennonite craftsmen in the 1960s, was recently remodeled to enhance the original “old ...
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Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Belize

Set on the banks of a huge spring-fed lagoon, Lamanai Outpost Lodge enjoys an exclusive location right near the ruins of this ancient Maya city (a ...
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Pook’s Hill Lodge

Pook’s Hill Lodge

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Belize

Pook’s Hill Lodge, set on the edge of a 9th century Maya complex, is located within a private 300-acre reserve of primary rainforest bordering ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Philip Burns

Philip Burns, a native of San Ignacio, a bustling riverside town in western Belize, looked around after college graduation and decided that Trip Leading was the life for him. He entered Belize's official guide school, studying everything from the ancient Maya to tropical ecosystems, with a special focus on ornithology and archaeology. Immensely proud of his beautiful country—he calls it “a jewel”—Philip has since been featured in several travel shows and named Guide of the Year by the Belize Tourism Board. He loves being an ambassador for the rich cultural and natural heritage of Belize, and brings a deep understanding of the country as well as his good sense of humor to each adventure. “The diversity of Belize amazes me every day. I never know what will show up in the trek, underwater, or on the trails.” The father of three boys, he likes to cycle in his free time.

Upcoming Trips:

Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests, January 23-31, 2016
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests, February 6-14, 2016
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests, November 5-13, 2016

Client Testimonials:

Philip ranks with the top guides that we have experienced. He is very friendly and personable, knowledgeable, and willing to assist where needed. His explanations were well organized and clear, and his knowledge of the Maya culture was particularly outstanding. George V., Saint Louis, MO
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Philip is very knowledgeable about all things Belize—Mayan history, local birds, and even hot sauce! He is an energetic and caring trip leader, accommodating many different personalities and activity levels. Alexis K., San Diego, CA
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Phillip was wonderful!! He was like a walking encyclopedia regardless of the subject regarding the areas we visited. He was well-organized, friendly, and caring. Ingrid E., Sharon, MA
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Philip was personable, knowledgeable, and fun. He did everything he could to ensure we had a good trip. Lynn M., Brooklyn, NY
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Philip was the best guide we have ever had. It was like traveling with a good personable and genuine. We could tell he really loves his job and his country. He could also answer every question we had. What a delightful young man! Gayle P., Benicia, CA
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Philip was very professional and possesses an amazing knowledge in all aspect of the life in Belize and its flora, fauna, etc... He was always willing to explain anything and could answer any question. An A#1 Leader! Marie-Claire T., Danville, CA
Belize: Reefs, Ruins and Rainforests
Philip is very knowledgeable, loves his country and what he does—a true professional. Cecilia C., New York, NY
Belize and Tikal

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Tikal Extension

Mystical Mayan Temples

Archaeology, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2+


Guatemala Highlands Extension

Antigua, Chichicastenango, and Lake Atitlan

Cultural Adventures
5 days  -  Level 1

Tikal Extension

Mystical Mayan Temples

Archaeology, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2+