Undiscovered Belize: Whale Sharks & Private Isles

  • Trip Type
  • Adventure
  • Length
  • 12 Days / 11 Nights
  • When to Go
  • November - August

  • You better Belize it

    Cloaked beneath a green rainforest canopy, we’ll show you a Belize that feels nearly untouched by human hands. On this epic Central American journey, explore a variety of landscapes, from jungle to mountain peaks, coral reefs to pristine islets and golden sand beaches. Sail to the Great Blue Hole and overnight on a private island. Hike to hidden waterfalls, stroll through cacao plantations, and dine on traditional Garifuna cuisine in Punta Gorda. Finally, spend a few days on the beaches of Placencia, where, from March through June, you can snorkel alongside whale sharks, gentle giants of the sea, who show up near these shores each spring to feed on the eggs of mating snappers. Exhilarating, breathtaking, and utterly unique, this adventure is one for the ages.

    Note: daily breakfast, and all meals at Turneffe Island Resort included in package price.

    Trip Highlights

    lush jungle & private islands • deserted beaches & ancient ruins • exotic wildlife • snorkel Belize's Barrier Reef • Great Blue Hole • Caracol ruins • waterfall hike • mangrove boat tour • chocolate farm & workshop • whale shark snorkeling • rainforest hikes • beach time

    Full Package per person from:

    $5,575.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $5,900.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: Turneffe Island - Arrival

      Touch down at Belize City's international airport where your driver will be waiting to whisk you off to the marina. There, you’ll cast off, traveling in style with a welcome cocktail in hand and a cold towel around your neck for a two-hour boat ride to the remote and spectacular Turneffe Island Resort, located on a private isle in the Caribbean Sea.

    • Day 2: Turneffe Island - Sun, sea & sand on a private island

      Your four days on Turneffe Atoll will be spent making the most of the resort’s veritable array of amenities and unique location. Nestled on the coral island of Little Caye Bokel, Turneffe Island Resort sites at the southern elbow of one of the world’s unspoken wonders, the Turneffe Atoll. Each day, swim with schools of fish, gargantuan turtles and rays with two guided snorkeling excursions, exploring a place where shades of sapphire and turquoise collide in the shallows of the Caribbean Sea.

    • Day 3: Turneffe Island - Explore undersea splendor on the barrier reef

    • Day 4: Turneffe Island - Great Blue Hole & Half Moon Caye

      Today, you’ll set out to explore Belize’s legendary Blue Hole, the world’s largest underwater sinkhole, located at the center of Lighthouse Reef. Don a snorkel and explore the mysterious underwater depths, before cruising to Half Moon Caye and Long Caye Wall.

    • Day 5: Turneffe Island to Punta Gorda - Gateway to natural wonders

      After breakfast, embark on a two-hour boat ride back to Belize City, where you'll board a puddle-jumper flight across expansive, rugged jungles and pristine blue waters to the southernmost stop in Belize – Punta Gorda! When you land, a guide will be waiting to pick you up in an open-air Land Cruiser, and in only 15 minutes, you’ll be pulling up to breathtaking Copal Tree Lodge.

    • Day 6: Punta Gorda - Mayan ruins, hidden waterfalls, and a visit to a Mayan community that still exists today

      Set out into the heart of the jungle on a guided exploration of the site of Lubaantun, whose ruins date back to the Mayan Classic Period. Walk in the footsteps of the ancients, exploring the city’s unusual rounded-edge black slate rock architecture, and learning about the civilization that once existed here.

      Next, venture into the modern-day Maya village of Blue Creek for lunch with a local family, and try your hand at making corn tortillas. Then, head deeper into the rainforest, following a pristine river that leads to the mouth of Hokeb Ha Cave – a mystical place leading into the underworld, where the Maya believed the Rain God resided.

    • Day 7: Punta Gorda - Serene jungle surrounds

      Spend your day relaxing by the pool, hike the network of trails that wind through Copal Tree Lodge’s 12 000-acre private reserve, or grab a bicycle and go for a ride! There’s plenty to see here – one trail will take you through a cacao plantation, while another extends around the sugar cane fields outside of the Copal Tree gates. If you’re craving a little pampering, the lodge offers a full-service spa that boasts locally-sourced ingredients and botanicals, with services ranging from massage to body wraps, scrubs, facials, and manicures and pedicures.

      In the afternoon, after you’ve allowed yourself to slow down to vacation speed, spend an hour relaxing on the lush, tropical Rio Grande, watching as the sun dips low in the sky and finally disappears as you sip wine or beer and enjoy snacks above a comfortable 12-seater catamaran.

    • Day 8: Punta Gorda to Placencia - Trade jungle for beachy bliss

      Once you’ve had your nature fix and you’re longing for some sun, sand and sea, you’ll head north to the beaches of Placencia – powdery sand and azure water as far as the eye can see. Check in to the beautiful Naia Resort & Spa, for a taste of barefoot luxury that is all yours for three blissful nights.

    • Day 9: Placencia - Paradise found on Caribbean beaches

      This perfect stretch of sand is the perfect spot to relax – beautiful powdery beaches studded by palm trees, and calm, turquoise waters that reach as far as the eye can see. Still, if you’re craving a dose of civilization and a bit of colorful Caribbean flair, take the complimentary shuttle just 15 minutes south to the nearby town of Placencia, where you can sample the local fare and savor an ice-cold beer or a tropical cocktail at a laid-back waterfront restaurant.

    • Day 10: Placencia - Snorkel with whale sharks

      Today you’ll check an item off your bucket list, taking part in a magnificent adventure that few visitors ever have the opportunity to do. Board a boat to take you in search of the biggest fish in the sea – the whale shark. This species, despite its enormous size, does not pose significant danger to humans. They’re gentle giants, playful at times, and divers and snorkelers can swim alongside them without risk, apart from unintentionally being hit by the shark’s large tail fin.

    • Day 11: Placencia - Hike deep into the heart of the rainforest

      On your last day in Belize, head inland to the Cockscomb Basin, home to a well-studied and healthy population of jaguars. Nocturnal and elusive, it is unlikely that you’ll see one, but there are a number of other rainforest animals and birds to look out for. Enjoy a guided hike along lush jungle trails, followed by a relaxing tube ride down Stann Creek River before heading back to Naia for a restful night’s sleep before a busy travel day tomorrow.

    • Day 12: Belize City - Departure

      Transfer to the Placencia airstrip, then board a quick 30-minute flight back to Belize City to arrive 3 hours prior to your international departure.

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    We'll give you everything you need, everything you want, and a few little surprises to make your trip extra special. We've got you covered, from start to finish. Unique, unforgettable destinations; private tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations and new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; perfect romantic touches; blissful relaxation; and a feeling of total freedom. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy an unparalleled, hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup

    • All hotel accommodation

    • Meals as indicated

    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide

    • All special events and tours

    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off

    • All baggage transportation

    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Belize.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • If departing Belize by air, most major airlines include exit taxes in the price of your airfare.

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.

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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Belize’s international airport: Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City (airport code: BZE). Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Belize from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.

    When you arrive in BZE, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your first destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

    Ready to book, or just want to get more information? Let's get started! Fill out the form below, and we will send you a no-obligation quote.

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