Eco adventures for a greener world

2 Reviews

Belize Family Adventure

Start Your Journey
North America
Belize,  8 Days From $ 3,250 per person Themes
Eco Adventure
Eco Wildlife & Nature
Styles
Little Greenies

Highlights

This weeklong package designed for families showcases Belize from the comfort of two sustainable eco-lodges. From the natural serenity of the Maya Mountains to the water's edge of Placencia, we are reminded that paradise can exist in more than one locale.

Summary

You'll stay three nights in a stylish two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa at a mountain hideaway eco-lodge, where you can swim beneath cascading waterfalls and explore the exotic flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest. The kids will love the new infinity swimming pool and the swimming hold and sandy beaches along Privassion Creek. There will be lots of activity options for the whole family from learning about the jaguar, raptor, Scarlet Macaw and bat research projects to birding and nature treks to exploring the nearby ancient Maya sites. On arrival, the adventure coordinator and conservation officer will help you decide which activities are best for your family. 

Availability

Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.

Activity (Activities)

Horseback Riding
Birding
Cycling
Hiking & Trekking
Rainforest
Wildlife
Conservation
Eco Lodge

Green Approach

Eco-Luxurious

Certification

Rainforest Alliance Verified

Why Authentic Ecotourism?

  • Design and Construction of Facilities with Limited Guest Rooms
  • Positive nature experience
  • buildings that blend into the natural environment - thatch, hardwoods, pine and bamboo along with regionally produced tile are the mainstay of our construction materials. Local construction crews are used for building work and the vast majority of materials are sourced locally.
  • Sympathetic landscaping in harmony with local ecology - we use local and regional plants for landscaping that are not reliant on intensive irrigation.
  • Self-sustaining in energy use through our hydroelectric plant that harnesses the energy of Privassion Creek. Excess energy we generate is used to heat the hot pool at the Waterfall Spa. Piping for the hydro is hidden beneath raised walkways thus minimizing visual and environmental impact.
  • Use of natural light
  • Water efficiency including waste water recycling
  • Composting
  • Hiring and training of local staff
  • Biodegradable detergents and organic soaps
  • Maintain 3 acre organic garden that produces vegetables, herbs, and fruits and with keeping own chickens to serve free-range eggs
  • Locally sourced fish and meat

 

Conservation: Eco-lodges sponsor and collect data for Dr. Marcella Kelly's Ix Jaguar Density Project. The project is a long term effort by Virginia Tech to monitor and evaluate the jaguar, puma and ocelot populations in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Sponsor the work of Ryan Phillips and the Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI). BRRI has a new Solitary Eagle Project and often works hand in hand with the Peregrine Fund. Close cooperation with local NGO Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) helps preserve the Chiquibul National Park, the breeding site of Belize's endangered Scarlet Macaws and the Maya Mountain Massif.

Day 1: Arrival at Lodge

You will be met on arrival into Belize International Airport and transferred overland to Blancaneaux Lodge. The drive takes approximately two hours twenty minutes. Upon arrival, you will check-in your luxurious two bedroom villa and have a chance to relax before dinner.

Day 2: Caracol Maya Site and Night Walk

After breakfast, we'll leave on our tour to the Mayan site of Caracol, located deep in the Chiquibul Forest. First, we will visit the impressive Rio Frio Cave system before continuing on to Caracol, the largest and most important Maya site in Belize. The site of Caracol is one of the highest in the Maya lowlands, situated at 1600 feet above sea level in a karst limestone landscape of hilly rainforest. At the heart of the site lies the impressive Caana pyramid that reaches 135 feet in height and houses a series of courtyards, residential areas, temples and burial chambers that the kids will love exploring. From the top of the Caana, there are unbroken views over the rainforest of the Chiquibul National Park. The epicenter of the site is home to howler and spider monkeys and the birding is excellent. On our return to the lodge we'll stop in at the Rio On Pools where a series of spectacular waterfalls tumble over granite boulders. The kids will enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools before we return to the lodge in the late afternoon. Your evening will be at your leisure or you can take an optional night walk with one of our expert naturalist guides. See lightning bugs, moths, frogs, bats and if you're lucky the rare stygian owl who often roosts on property.

Day 3: Barton Creek Cave & Zip Lining

We'll leave the lodge at 8am and drive through the traditional Mennonite community of Upper Barton Creek to the nearby Barton Creek Cave system. Once at the cave entrance we'll take an exciting canoe trip travelling almost two miles into this fascinating cave system that was once a sacred site for the Maya. Signs of their presence are everywhere from pottery shards to bones from ancient burials. Your guide will illuminate impressive stalactites and stalagmites and explain how the cave was formed and how the ancient Maya used it. We'll enjoy a packed lunch at the cave entrance before driving back toward the Lodge. Calico Jack's Zip Line is a short drive away and you can choose (and pay for locally) from a range of zip line options that suit your family needs. It's a 30-minute drive back from Calico Jack's to the lodge. The evening is free to relax with the family.

Day 4: Cave Tubing & Placencia

After an early breakfast we will drive for 90 minutes to Caves Branch for an amazing cave tubing float through a series of massive 'tube-like' caverns. The float starts with a gentle jungle walk along well maintained trails. You'll float sitting in a 'tube' for about 1 hour before reaching back to our entry point for the short walk back to the vehicle. Your guide will be with you throughout the gentle float and you'll be amazed at the stunning beauty of Xibalba, the Maya underworld. On arrival back at the vehicle there is time to change at the on-site toilet and changing block before we enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch, we'll continue our drive down to Placencia and the next eco-lodge, Turtle Inn. After a brief orientation by your new hosts you'll be shown to your spacious two bedroom thatch-roof Villa. The rest of the day is free to relax at the infinity pools. For the adults, the Sunset Spa offers wonderful Thai massage therapies and a range of body wraps and facials. The kids will enjoy the pool, as well as optional activities such as sit on top kayaks, paddle boarding or fishing in the lagoon.

Day 5: Snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef

After breakfast we will head to the dive shop to select snorkel gear for the family. We'll soon be around the tip of the Placencia Peninsula heading due east towards the Silk Cayes and the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we quickly move over the water pods of dolphins may circle the boat or ride its pressure wave. Soon we're passing patch reefs and the many coral and mangrove cayes fill the distant horizon. Once we reach the Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, the ranger will give a quick orientation of the role local NGO SEA Belize plays in protecting and conserving this delicate environment. Your guide will take you through a snorkel orientation and ensure that everyone is comfortable and ready to safely explore Belize's magical marine world. After a fun filled day of snorkelling we'll return to the resort in the late afternoon. Please note that scuba diving is available to trip participants on snorkel days for a small surcharge.

Day 6: Relaxing at Lodge, Placencia

Today is a free day to relax or take optional tours. Walk, cycle or take our shuttle bus into Placencia village, paddle a kayak, search the lagoon for shy manatee, take a boat tour to Monkey River or explore the world's only jaguar preserve. Alternatively head south into Toledo District and visit the Maya site of Nim Li Punit followed by a Maya cultural experience at Indian Creek. Explore, read a book or simply chill out by the pool with a cocktail.

Day 7: Belize Barrier Reef

After breakfast you'll enjoy another fantastic day out on the Belize Barrier Reef exploring this stunning marine world, the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Today we'll explore different snorkel or dive sites, somewhere between the South Water Caye Marine Preserve in the north and the Sapodilla Cayes in the south. Spotted eagle rays, Southern Sting Rays, Nurse sharks, Logger Head Turtles, Atlantic bottlenose and spotted dolphins are all commonly observed. The family will learn about corals and reef ecosystems and enjoy a wonderful picnic lunch on the beach. We'll head back to Turtle Inn in the early afternoon after another wonderful marine encounter.

Day 8: Belize International Airport / Departure

Today it is time to say farewell to Belize. After breakfast it is time to take the short flight north to Belize International Airport for onward connections.

 

Departure City

Belize City

Finishing City

Belize City

Group Size

Minimum of 4 people

Meals

At Blancaneaux Lodge - all breakfasts, lunches and dinners. At Turtle Inn - all breakfasts and lunches; two dinners at the Mare Restaurant and one dinner at the beachfront Gauguin Grill.

Transport

Transfers from Belize International Airport to Blancaneaux Lodge, from Blancaneaux Lodge to Turtle Inn and from Turtle Inn to Placencia Airport.  One-way domestic air from Placencia to Belize International Airport on departure date

Optional Activities

FULL DAY JUNGLE HIKE

Explore hiking at Blancaneaux Lodge with an expert guide. Follow fresh jaguar tracks through the jungle-clad hills of the Elijio Panti National Park, marvel at delicate orchids and observe charismatic bird species such as the keel-billed toucan.  Discover medicinal plants used by the ancient Maya thousands of years ago and learn their secrets. After lunch beside a cooling waterfall, conclude the day by meandering along old logging trails in the tropical pine forest while the sun begins its descent.

HIKE TO BIG ROCK FALLS

Begin your adventure following a trail that overlooks the creek and waterfalls. Keep a slow pace and admire the abundant brightly colored orchids that adorn the granite rock outcroppings and that thrive in the thin soils of the savannah meadows.  Relax at one of the many streams crisscrossing the trail, lie in the shade of an ancient granite outcropping and enjoy the spectacular scenery.  Dip into the creek to be energized by the cool mountain water and receive an invigorating massage provided by the massive waterfall.

ORCHID HEAVEN TREK

Blancaneaux Lodge is located in Gallery Forest at the intersection of the Mountain Pine Ridge and the broadleaf forests of the Elijo Panti National Park. This unique region provides world-class orchid hunting opportunities with approximately 150 orchid species found in a 10-mile radius of Blancaneaux Lodge. Follow orchid trails close to the lodge in the Mountain Pine Ridge and along a landscape of tumbling waterfalls and granite outcroppings where trees often have five or six different orchid species and are complemented by a wide array of ground orchids. Heading to the west, spectacular viewpoints are accompanied by trees literally stacked with orchids.

SUNRISE HORSEBACK RIDING

Enjoy the beginning of a new day in a truly natural setting. Ride about 30 minutes into the rainforest where first light offers a kaleidoscope of colorful birds to observe, all under a canopy of vines, palms and exotic bromeliads. You may also catch sight of a whitetail deer, grey fox, and many types of butterflies.

HORSEBACK TO BIG ROCK FALLS

A gentle ride through the forest takes you to hidden falls.  Take a break from the saddle and swim under a cascading waterfall.  Recommended for beginners or those who just want a short time in the saddle.

We take care to match the rider with the most suitable horse to ensure comfort and safety. Riding helmets are available upon request.

MOONLIGHT JAGUAR QUEST

As darkness covers the rainforest, the predators start to roam their kingdom in search of prey.  As most of Belize’s large mammals are nocturnal, this is your best chance to actually see them in their natural habitat.  After a short drive from the lodge our guided walk begins along the edge of the pine forest and into the jungle.  At a slow and quiet pace, we search the forest for gibnuts, armadillos, peccaries and other wildlife, including the elusive jaguar.

GUIDED MOUNTAIN BIKING

There’s no better way to explore the diverse eco-systems of the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve than a bike tour.  Guided bike trips will take you on scenic routes and trails around the Reserve.  Check with the Concierge to discuss departures times, difficulty or terrain, and desired length of trip. 

SUNRISE BIRD WATCHING

As the sun rises at Blancaneaux, the forest is alive with the sound of exotic birdlife.  Take a short walk around the property’s gardens and trails, and let your guide point out the well-camouflaged birds hiding in the nearby forest.  Explore sunrise bird watching at Blancaneaux Lodge and learn about our migrant species and the many secrets of our feathered friends.  With almost 600 species documented in Belize, this walk is an excellent introduction to the birds of the region. 

OTHER TOURS

Tours are available to Mountain Pine Ride Reserve, Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, Xunantunich, Cahal Pech & Green Hills Butterfly Farm, Tikal and Guatemala.

CAVE EXPLORATIONS

Available for Actun Tunichil Mucnal, Barton Creek Cave, and Caves Branch Nohuch Che'en Reserve Cave Tubing

Single Supplement Fee

The package includes meals for the children 12 years and under to be selected from the children's menu. For children between 13 and 18 years of age there is a supplemental charge of $294.50 + $70 tax/service per child, which includes meals from adult menus.

Best for:

Little Greenies

Not as good for:

Solo

Other Necessary Information

Rates are based on a family of four (4) with two (2) children 12 years & under.  The package includes meals for the children 12 years and under to be selected from the children's menu. For children between 13 and 18 years of age there is a supplemental charge of $294.50 + $70 tax/service per child, which includes meals from adult menus.

Extra nights may be added for supplemental fee. Tours and activites not included. Gratuities are optional. 

Rating Summary:
10 based on 2 votes
Uniqueness
10.00/10
Sustainability
10.00/10
Service
10.00/10
Fun
10.00/10
We will be recommending 
(10.00/10)

On 26 Aug 2012, Daniel W. wrote:
What a fantastic spot! Our family loved our visit here. The activities and scenery are incomparable and the staff has been amazingly friendly and helpful.
Uniqueness
10/10
Sustainability
10/10
Service
10/10
Fun
10/10
Paradise! 
(10.00/10)

On 19 Aug 2012, Mark and Rhonda H. wrote:
Dive shop – the excursion guides are very knowledgeable. We enjoyed our stay. Turtle Inn is paradise! We loved the relaxation of not having TV. Our children did not miss TV at all. They loved playing the board games – how thoughtful of you. Greatest staff ever - very friendly and attentive.
Uniqueness
10/10
Sustainability
10/10
Service
10/10
Fun
10/10

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