Belize’s beautiful waters are home to the second-longest barrier reef on Earth, which shelters an astonishing array of marine life. The ancient Maya flourished here as fishermen—settling on the islands that have formed atop the reef—which now draw beachcombers and divers from around the world.
- It's Included:
- Ferry from Belize City to Ambergris Caye, plus an internal flight from San Pedro to Belize City
- Accommodations for 3 nights in Ambergris Caye
- 4 meals—3 breakfasts and 1 dinner
- 2 small group activities
- Services of an expert local guide who speaks English and the native language
- All transfers
- Porterage for 1 bag per traveler
Having concluded our Route of the Maya adventure, today we board the ferry from Belize City to Ambergris Caye. This is the largest of Belize's 200 islands (at about 25 miles long), with its highest point only ten feet above sea level. As many as 10,000 Mayans are believed to have lived here during ancient times, settling in fishing villages that later became trading centers. Mayan people were still living on the cay at the time of the first European contact in 1508.
Upon arrival, we enjoy a walking tour of San Pedro, the island’s principal settlement, enjoying its picturesque buildings, gorgeous tropical setting, and relaxed atmosphere. We have an opportunity to explore San Pedro on our own this afternoon, before gathering for a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
Today after breakfast, we enjoy a half-day tour of Hol Chan (Mayan for "little channel") and Shark Ray Alley, where we'll snorkel in clear waters amid nurse sharks, large rays, and a plethora of tropical fish. This is a protected marine nature sanctuary where the walls of underwater canyons are covered with colorful sponges, and the water is clear, with visibility often more than 100 feet.
Afterwards, we set out on our own, with suggestions from our local guide. You can continue snorkeling, or choose from among many other options, from birdwatching cruises to beach barbecues. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Join our optional tour for Snorkeling at Mexico Rocks & Tres Cocos this morning. We'll head out by small boat to snorkel at these two prime spots on Belize's barrier reef. Or explore San Pedro at your own pace. Serving as a base for the island's many attractions, the town offers deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. You could also rent a golf cart to explore the town's quaint cottages, laid out along sand streets, keeping an eye out for charming local restaurants where you can enjoy lunch and dinner on your own.
Another option is to visit the nearby Marco Gonzalez Maya site, believed to have been an important trading center where the Maya lived for around 1,600 years. Set on the edge of mangrove swamps, this area is covered with shards of Mayan pottery, and has several low platforms and foundations whose building materials incorporate seashells.
After breakfast this morning, transfer to the San Pedro airport for your return flight home via Belize City.