DAY 1 ST GEORGE’S CAYE
Steeped in history, St George’s Caye was the first capital of the British settlement in Belize. The island is principally home to private families; however it is possible to use this as a base for some great snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. On the island there is a very special aquarium in the boathouse at the St Georges Caye Lodge. Your tour guide is the resort owner’s son Karly Ricky Bischof, aged 12. Karly is a budding marine biologist and if his impressive little aquarium and his knowledge of the 100-plus fish inside is any indication, he’s going to be a good one.
DAY 2 CAYE CAULKER
Sail to the sleepy island of Caye Caulker, fish along the way and enjoy a swim on arrival. ‘No shirt, no shoes, no problem’ is the motto of this island and typifies the vibe. The white sandy beaches, ocean breezes, fresh seafood, azure waters and a fantastic barrier reef on its doorstep make it a perfect place to relax and unwind. A trip to Caye Caulker is not complete without a late afternoon Belikin beer or a rum punch at the Lazy Lizard bar at ‘The Split’ – a lively swimming area, which separates the two islands of Caye Caulker.
DAY 3 HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE
Enjoy a morning of snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swimming amongst beautiful shoals of tropical fish, turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, moray eels and grouper. Follow this with a dip at Shark Ray Alley, a site where local fishermen used to clean their catch, which attracts more carnivorous species such as big southern stingrays and nurse sharks!
DAY 4 AMBERGRIS CAYE
Ambergris Caye is the most northerly Caye in Belize and touches the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Lying only a quarter of a mile from the barrier reef, it’s one of the best locations in the world for scuba diving, snorkeling and sports fishing. The main town San Pedro has the broadest range of tourist amenities in Belize, including art and craft shops, boutique hotels, fine dining establishments and plenty of fun local eateries to explore.
DAY 5 SWALLOW CAYE
Swallow Caye has been declared a wildlife sanctuary to protect the manatees and other marine life that call it home. Manatees, which are also known as ‘sea cows’ are gentle, slow moving, plant-eating herbivores and their closest living relatives are elephants and aardvarks. They can grow over 13 feet in length and weigh up to 3,500 pounds. Despite being an endangered species, manatees are present in the waters of Belize and can be seen throughout the year. (Please note it is not possible to swim with the Manatees).
DAY 6 GOFF’S CAYE
Goff’s Caye is one of our favorite islands because it reminds us why postcards were invented. The 2 acre island sits right on the barrier reef so you can snorkel straight from the shore, or simply relax in the water on the sandbar with an icy cold Belikin beer. Dolphins frequent the waters and we’ve on occasions spotted a manatee, amongst the other kaleidoscope of marine life.
DAY 7 EXPLORE BELIZE ISLANDS: RETURN TO BELIZE CITY
Enjoy breakfast under sail as we make our way back to Belize City for a late morning departure. This is a wonderful time of the morning for dolphin watching and trolling for fish.
SOUTHERN ROUTE – 10 Day Option
DAY 1 RENDEZVOUS CAYE
Rendezvous Caye is a tiny private island located right on the Belize barrier reef, with a collection of palapa shades, beach loungers and hammocks, the perfect place to relax or enjoy a beach picnic. You can snorkel along the deep water wall right from the shore and experience the contrast of deep sea and shallows of the corals. Look out for the graceful spotted eagle rays, there are several who come to visit the boats to check on any scraps from the catch of the day!
DAY 2 BLUEFIELD RANGE
Bluefield Range is a mangrove cluster teeming with wildlife which makes for a fantastic kayaking destination. Kayak through the tiny channels, look out for manatees and even take some bait and a fishing line and see if you can catch dinner.
DAY 3 SOUTH WATER CAYE
South Water Caye is a pristine 12 acre private island that is one of the most beautiful and exclusive islands in Belize. South Water Caye sits on the reef on the north side of South Water Cut, which is a ¼ mile wide gap in the reef. Grunts, black groupers, snappers and moray eels all hide out in the overhangs and making for a spectacular snorkeling experience. Sundowners are a must at the Blue Marlin Lodge, one of favorite little bars in all of Belize.
DAY 4 MAN-O-WAR CAYE
Man-O-War Caye is a designated bird sanctuary. From afar it looks like any other tiny mangrove island, but as you journey closer to shore the frenzy of activity becomes apparent, with birds soaring in the sky above in every direction… and the guys strutting their stuff (or inflating their red gular pouches) for the ladies during breeding season. The three different types of mangrove vegetation provide a perfect sanctuary to a variety of indigenous bird species, including Pelicans, Brown Booby birds, and the Magnificent Frigate birds (also known as Man-O-War birds).
DAY 5 TOBACCO CAYE
Tobacco Caye is a 5 acre palm-fringed coral island perched on the barrier reef, which makes it a great place to snorkel or dive from the shore, plus its central location means it is within 10 minutes by boat to some of the best snorkel sites in all of Belize. There are a couple of small laid-back resorts and a tiny beach bar serving fresh coconut water and icy cold rum cocktails with hammocks to lounge in. 39 local islanders call this rock their home and it’s a great place to learn about their way of remote island life.
DAY 6 PLACENCIA
Placencia was once a sleepy seaside village that is slowly growing up into a small popular beach town, with a collection of local hangouts and some more international and upscale spots, making it a great stop off point for those wanting to indulge in a spa treatment, have dinner on shore, check out the local arts and crafts shops and lots more. The main street has won the Guinness World Record award for being the narrowest main street in the world, making a popular photo op! The mixology at Rumfish Y Vino is not to be missed and our favorite cocktail is the ginger mojito.
DAY 7 RAGUANA CAYE
Ranguana Caye is a remote island on the barrier reef home to a tiny resort with colorful wooden structures, plus a fun beach bar that is welcoming of sail boats and day visitors. The resident parrot ‘Charlie’ is a star attraction, along with the tall swaying palms and pristine white sands of the island.
DAY 8 PELICAN CAYES
8 Pelican Cayes is a great anchorage on our journey north or south, as this hidden away collection of mangrove islands are surrounded by some of the most impressive coral heads in the country and teem with incredible marine life. Furthermore, there is a tiny bar hidden away that runs on solar panels and a generator, which makes for a fun pit stop after a day on the water and is not surprisingly called ‘Hideaway Caye’, as if you’d blink you’d miss it.
DAY 9 NORTH LONG COCOA
North Long Cocoa is one of our favourite islands as it’s a fisherman and snorkelers mecca, with a maze of sand bars, coral reefs and deep channels in between. There are some palapa structures over the water that make for a perfect place to enjoy an al-fresco lunch and 9 times out of 10 not a soul to be seen for miles around.
DAY 10 BELIZE CITY
Enjoy a day sail back to Belize City for a late afternoon departure.
THE RIO DULCE, GUATEMALA
Complete a southern itinerary with a one way trip to the spectacular Rio Dulce, Guatemala. Journey 20 miles up river through a spectacular gorge of 300ft towering limestone cliffs, which edge dense walls of tropical rain forest. En route, call in at Rio Lampara for a fresh fish lunch. Across from the restaurant are hot sulphur springs where you climb up the embankment of rocks to soak in the steaming hot springs. The climb is worth the reward!
Once at Fronteras, you can also explore the north shore of Lake Izabal to Finca El Paraiso, a fabulous working farm. From there travel via horseback or tractor through farmland to the lush tropical setting of Aqua Caliente, a 25-ft waterfall and deep pools of hot spring water.
Guests are responsible for the fees incurred clearing and entering both countries, which are approximately $400 US. This includes Belize & Guatemala Port Captain fees and Customs & Immigrations.