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A Week in...

A Week in Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Rainforests

9 days |  12 days with Tikal & Belize City extension
Group size1022 travelers
several travelers climbing the xunantunich mayan ruins
two men leading a garifuna drum lesson at caye caulker
hummingbird sitting on a tree branch
four kayaks sitting on coast of beach with palm trees
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    A biodiverse hotspot that's just waiting to be explored.

    Nestled along the Caribbean Sea in the northeastern corner of Central America sits a country that beckons beachgoers, history buffs, and nature lovers. How does one tiny nation hit this travel trifecta? Well, Belize is home to one of the world's healthiest barrier reefs, archaeological sites once at the center of Mayan civilization, and a lush rainforest. We could go on, but we'll let those views and the local culture on this small group Adventure Tour wow you.

    Your tour package includes

    • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 8 breakfasts
    • 2 lunches
    • 4 dinners with beer or wine
    • 1 cooking class
    Read more

    Included highlights

    • Lamanai Mayan ruins
    • Hol Chan Marine Reserve
    • Coral Gardens snorkeling
    • Orange farm
    • Garifuna drum lesson
    Read more
    Start planning today

    An expert specializing in tours of this region is here to help.

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    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Belize City2 nights
    Day 1: Arrival in Belize City
    Included meal: Welcome dinner

    Welcome to Belize! Join your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner tonight.

    Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Lamanai Mayan ruins
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Meet up with a local guide for a sightseeing tour of the Lamanai Mayan ruins, a once prominent pre-Columbian city named after the crocodiles that live in the nearby river.

    • Board a boat and cruise along the New River Lagoon, the country’s largest fresh body of water
    • Keep an eye out for a variety of wildlife including spider monkeys, crocodiles, and birds
    • Walk through the archaeological site to see the Jaguar Temple and ball court
    • Opt to climb to the top of the High Temple and soak in the views of the ruins
    • Enjoy an included lunch before traveling back to Belize City
    Ambergris Caye2 nights
    Day 3: Ferry to Ambergris Caye
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Board a ferry and travel to Ambergris Caye. This stunning island, which is the largest in Belize, is located off the country’s eastern coast and known for its white-sand beaches and diverse marine life. You’ll pass the surrounding barrier islands and Caye Caulker en route. Then, sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Day 4: Marine biologist chat, Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Coral Gardens
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Join a local marine biologist to learn about the MesoAmerican reef ecosystem.

    • Hear about the coral, fish, turtles and sharks that live here
    • Discover how NGOs and the government are working to increase conservation efforts and address coral bleaching

    Then, meet up with a local guide and board a boat to explore two of the world’s top snorkeling spots—Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Coral Gardens.

    • Admire views of the sparking blue water
    • Relax on the boat or hop in the water to snorkel through the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef
    • Try to spot local wildlife including turtles, dolphins, and some of the over 160 species of fish that call the marine reserve home
    • Learn about the country’s commitment to preserving the coral reef and marine life

    Head back to Ambergris Caye and spend free time relaxing on the beach.

    Southern Coast2 nights
    Day 5: Ferry to Belize City & transfer to Southern Coast via orange farm
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

    Board a ferry and travel back to Belize City this morning. Then, visit an orange farm to learn how the fruit is grown and picked.

    • Join a local guide for a walk through the orange groves and try your hand at harvesting the fruit
    • Sample your fresh-picked orange as you learn about the farm’s sustainable practices, including how the farmers plant and care for the orange trees
    • Stop at an on-site cottage and sip some fresh-squeezed orange juice

    Continue on to the Southern coast, an area famous for its beautiful beaches, and sit down for an included dinner.

    Day 6: Garifuna drum lesson
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Enjoy a free morning on the Southern coast or add an excursion.

    This afternoon, learn about the country’s traditions and heritage.

    • Visit a cultural center to meet the local Garifuna people and learn about their Afro-Caribbean culture, language, and musical traditions
    • Participate in an interactive Garifuna drum lesson, a UNESCO-recognized art form

    South Water Caye Snorkeling

    From $69 per person

    Cayo District2 nights
    Day 7: Mayan chocolate factory & transfer to Cayo District
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

    Tour a Mayan chocolate factory to learn about the history of one of the country’s most delicious foods. You’ll see how cacao is produced, harvested, and turned into chocolate before sampling the sweet treat.

    Then, travel through the rainforest to the Cayo district. Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

    Jaguar Paw Cave Tubing in Belize

    From $59 per person

    Day 8: San Antonio Women's Cooperative & Xunantunich Mayan ruins
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell dinner

    Join a local guide to dive into the region’s Mayan history and culture.

    • Head to the San Antonio Women's Cooperative and meet the women dedicated to preserving Mayan traditions
    • Participate in a hands-on lesson to learn about Mayan weaving and basket-making techniques
    • Discover how the women use the proceeds they receive to support their community
    • Enjoy a cooking lesson to see how to make tortillas over a fire and sit down for an included lunch

    This afternoon, set off on a guided tour of the Xunantunich Mayan ruins.

    • Cross the Mopan River by ferry en route to the Xunantunich Mayan ruins, which translates to “Sculpture of Lady”
    • Hear the stories behind the archaeological site’s more than 25 temples and palaces
    • Choose to climb to the top of the famous El Castillo pyramid, the second-tallest structure in Belize

    Celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

    Flight Home
    Day 9: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the Belize City airport for your flight home or continue on to Guatemala.

    Extension to Tikal & Belize City
    Cross into Guatemala where your culture and history lesson continues on a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Tikal Mayan ruins. You’ll discover that the only experience that tops exploring the world-famous site is seeing the views from the ancient temples and plazas.
    Tikal Region2 nights
    Day 9: Flores via Yaxha Mayan ruins
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Travel to Flores, Guatemala and enjoy an included lunch. Then, tour the Yaxha Mayan ruins with a local guide.

    • Travel through Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park
    • Learn about the history of the archaeological site
    • Watch the sunset over the magnificent Mayan ruins, pyramids, and plazas

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Tikal Mayan ruins
    Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    Meet up with a local guide and take a tour of the UNESCO-recognized Tikal Mayan ruins.

    • Explore the great plaza, pyramids, and temples in the heart of the rainforest
    • Discover why these are considered to be the most famous of all Mayan ruins
    • Enjoy an included lunch
    Belize City1 night
    Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Flores & transfer to Belize City via hot sauce factory
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Dinner

    Join your Tour Director on a walk through Flores, a town located on an island in Lake Petén Itzá.

    • View the colorful colonial architecture
    • Stroll through the Spanish plaza

    Travel back to Belize City and stop to tour a hot sauce factory en route.

    • See where the peppers are grown and how they’re harvested
    • Sample different kinds of locally made hot sauces and learn about the unique carrot-based recipe
    • Hear why hot sauces are a must-add to any local dish

    Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Flight Home
    Day 12: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the Belize City airport for your flight home.

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    Overall rating 4.6 out of 5
    Based on 13 authentic and unedited traveler reviews
    Sort by
      R Barnes
      07/10/21 by 1st-time traveler Robert

      Thought the meals were not for the area. Big seafood area, little selection of local seafood. I think that EF should walk their talk. Plane delay for nx day. Called told we were on our own. Tks EF.

      EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 08/10/21

      Dear Robert, We understand that our travelers have...

      Read more +
      Belize tour
      07/10/21 by 1st-time traveler Anonymous

      Overall, I had a great experience. Our tour guide, Keith, was great and the bus driver, Javier, was very competent and safe. My only complaint would be the included meals, we were only given 2 options

      EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 08/10/21

      Dear Traveler, Thank you for your review. We take...

      Read more +
      07/10/21 by 1st-time traveler Hilary

      Keith was a fantastic tour director! This was my first trip with EF and I am looking forward to many more. Belize is a wonderful place to visit full of great sites, food, and people!

      EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 08/10/21

      Dear Hilary, Thank you for your wonderful review!...

      Read more +
      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza
      Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza

      This traditional hotel is located in the Belama Phase 2 neighborhood. Guests enjoy a restaurant, spa, and outdoor pool. Nearby, you’ll find the Caribb...

      Read more +
      Sunbreeze Hotel
      Sunbreeze Hotel

      This seaside hotel is located in San Pedro, Belize facing the second largest barrier reef in the world. Guests enjoy the sun deck, onsite dive and sno...

      Read more +
      The Lodge at Jaguar Reef
      The Lodge at Jaguar Reef

      This tropical hotel is located on the Caribbean Sea. Guests enjoy beach access, kayak rentals, and restaurant options. Nearby, you’ll find downtown Ho...

      Read more +
      Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
      Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge

      This nature-focused hotel is located in the rainforest. Guests enjoy a restaurant, spa, and outdoor pool. Nearby, you’ll find St. Herman's Blue Hole N...

      Read more +
      Hotel Casona del Lago
      Hotel Casona del Lago

      This lakeside hotel is located in Flores, Guatemala on the edge of Lake Peten Itza. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, gardens and on-site coffee shop. Ne...

      Read more +


      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
      • Airport transfers at your destination
      • A great price locked in today
      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      Local weather

      Tikal, Guatemala
      Weather averages
      High 95 °FLow 72 °F
      Hopkins, Belize
      Weather averages
      High 91 °FLow 74 °F
      Flores, Guatemala
      Weather averages
      High 94 °FLow 70 °F
      Belize City, Belize
      Weather averages
      High 92 °FLow 78 °F
      Cayo, Belize
      Weather averages
      High 99 °FLow 72 °F


      Print FAQ
      Passport, visa & entry requirements
      • In order to enter Belize (and Guatemala on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
      • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
      • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
      • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code BEL.
      Tour pacing & mobility
      • You will walk for at least 2.5 hours daily over moderately uneven terrain including paved roads, grass, and sand with some hills and stairs.
      • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
      • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of boats and ferries.
      • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
      • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
      Transportation & arrival information
      • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in and depart from Belize City. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
      • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
      • Boat rides to the Lamanai Mayan ruins, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Coral Gardens, and the Xunantunich Mayan ruins, as well as a round-trip ferry from Belize City to Ambergris Caye, are included in the price of your tour.
      • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
      Baggage allowance
      • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include boats and ferries.
      • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
      • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
      • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
      Clothing & packing tips
      • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
      • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
      • Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended for daily activities.
      • Binoculars are handy for a closer look at local wildlife and scenery.
      • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.
      • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
      • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
      • Take proper care with sun exposure, as the sun can be especially strong in this region.
      • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from ingesting tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
      • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
      • Travelers prone to seasickness should note that this tour includes several boat transfers.
      • There are inherent risks associated with water activities, particularly for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss your planned activities with your doctor or healthcare provider for the best advice on participation.
      • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
      • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code BEL.
      • Belize’s culinary influences derive from Spanish, Mexican, African, Caribbean, and Mayan cultures. While staples such as rice, beans, corn, and fruit are involved in nearly every meal, seafood is the shining star. Lobster, shrimp, and fish can be found on most menus. Local fruits like pineapples, mangos, and melons are abundant and fresh. For dessert, you’re likely to find favorites like bread pudding and flan.
      • Guatemalan cuisine, on the tour extension, is inspired by both Mayan and Spanish traditions. Most meals are centered around staples such as rice and beans or stews and seasoned meats. Don’t miss the tamales, dough filled with meat or fruits and wrapped in green maxan leaves. Traditional treats include arroz con leche, tres leches cakes, and locally grown fruits, such as mango, papaya, banana, and avocado. Coffee lovers will want to sample Guatemala’s world-class brew.
      Electricity & air conditioning
      • Belize operates on 110-120 volts and uses Types A, B, or G plugs with two flat pins, two flat pins and one round pin or three flat pins, respectively.
      • Guatemala (on the tour extension) operates on 120 volts and uses Types A or B plugs with two flat pins, or two flat pins and one round pin, respectively.
      • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
      • The strength of the air conditioning in Central American hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
      • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
      • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
      • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
      • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
      Time zones
      • Belize (and Guatemala on the tour extension) are six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and one hour behind Eastern Time (ET). These countries do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
      • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 11am on tour from November through March and 10am from April through October.
      • You will use the Belize dollar in Belize (and the Guatemalan quetzal in Guatemala on the tour extension).
      • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
      • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
      • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
      • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
      • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
      • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
      • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
      • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
      • Tips can only be paid in cash.
      Purchasing excursions on tour
      • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
      • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
      • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
      • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
      • International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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