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It’s a tiny country with a small population, but Belize is packed with an endless array of activities that surprise, delight, entertain and educate visitors of all ages. Thomson’s exhilarating family vacation in Belize showcases the country’s geographical diversity, its cultural wealth, and its amazing ecosystems—from high mountain forests to the longest reef system in the Western hemisphere.
Your adventure begins in Cayo, in the Mountain Pine Ridge region, the largest protected area in Belize. We’ll explore its network of underground caves by canoe, zip line through the rain forest canopy, tube down the Mopan River, learn about iguana conservation, and make new friends in a local community. Did you know that Belize was the center of the vast Mayan Civilization, founded about 2,000 B.C.? We’ll explore the mysterious Xunantunich ruins, once an important Mayan ceremonial center. Race to the top of the 130-foot El Castillo temple and take a panorama shot of the entire archaeological site from the top!
Spend four days in Placencia on Belize’s famous Caribbean beaches. Its 185-mile long Southern Barrier Reef is home to more than 250 species of fish and 60 species of kaleidoscopic corals. We’ll take you snorkeling in two idyllic spots—perfect for snorkel newcomers or veteran free-divers. Beautiful offshore cayes invite barefoot investigation and the relaxed lifestyle here will keep you in vacation mode long after you return home. Whether you’re traveling with youngsters or teens, or decide to introduce the grandkids to a new culture, Belize truly does have something tantalizing for everyone.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, where your Belize family tour begins.
- Belize Zoo
- Traditional rice and beans
Most Belizeans would agree that although each district has its own charms, Cayo stands out above the others – rich in history, culture and especially nature. You’ll explore waterfalls, lush jungles and huge cave systems. Xunantunich is just one of the important Mayan sites located in this area. Nearby, the 55-square-mile site of Caracol is home to the ruins of what was once one of the most powerful cities in the Mayan world. In neighboring Guatemala lies Tikal, one of the oldest Mayan sites in Central America and once the home of nearly 100,000 people.
- Green Hills Butterfly Ranch
- Canoe Barton Creek Cave
- Zip line Through the Rain Forest
- Ancient Jungle Garden Trail option
- Maya ruins of Xunantunich
- Mopan River tubing
- Green Iguana Conservation Project
- San Ignacio Friends Across Borders meeting (pen pals)
- Visit the Mayan village of San Jose Succotz
The underwater world of Belize's coral reefs is the greatest stretch of coral in the western hemisphere. It is home to hundreds of species of fish and over sixty species of coral – the most diverse marine ecosystem in the world. It doesn’t get more impressive than that! As you can well imagine, the snorkeling here is second to none.
- Placencia drive
- Go tubing through an underground cave
- Visit to Gravity Hill
- Snorkel the Southern Barrier Reef
- Laughing Bird Caye/SilkWater Caye snorkeling
- Free day
- Farewell dinner
Optional Community Service Extension
Hidden Valley Inn is located high in the Mountain Pine Ridge in the Cayo District of Belize. The lodge is situated amidst 7,200 acres of private reserve in the largest and oldest of Belizean parklands. It features 12 cozy cottages, each decorated in warm tones, with a ceiling fan and a fireplace. Highlights of the lodge include exclusive use of over 90 miles of trails, a swimming pool and hot tub, an excellent restaurant, a common area in the main house, and high-speed internet access.
Laru Beya Resort, whose name means "on the beach" in a local dialect, is located on the white beaches of the Placencia Peninsula. The resort is only three miles from the town of Placencia. The hotel features beautiful, air conditioned rooms with private patios. Highlights of the hotel include local art and furniture, wireless internet, a freshwater pool and its gorgeous beach-front location.
Why Belize with Thomson?