7 days in Belize

Highlights

  • Swim with the turtles at Mexico Rocks and Hol Chan.
  • Wade through the incredible ATM caves.
  • Snorkel Hol Chan's beautiful coral reef.
  • Kayak along the crystal blue waters surrounding San Pedro.
  • Zip-line through the Belizean Jungle.
  • Relax on the beaches of San Pedro.

Day 1: San Pedro 

If travelling to Belize by plane you will arrive at the International Airport in Belize City.  From there take a 15 minute flight to San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye with Tropic Air - a very safe and beautiful flight! 

Get your bearings and enjoy a relaxing cocktail and creole food on the beaches of San Pedro.

Day 2: San Pedro - Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley

If you could only do one thing in San Pedro this would be it.  Hol Chan, which is Mayan for "Little Channel", is located less than 10 minutes by boat from San Pedro.  The small gap in the reef or the 'little channel' means that the marine life can easily get to and from the open ocean.  This means that the area is teaming with over 160 species of fish, turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, eels and lobsters.  If you are lucky you could even snorkel with dolphins and manatees although the latter is very rare.

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Shark Ray Alley is visited on the same tour as Hol Chan.  After visiting Hol Chan the tour boat will pull go for about 5 minutes before stopping and throwing some dead fish in the water.  As soon as you hop in, you will be swamped by 5 or 6 nurse sharks, countless fish and, of course, stingrays. 

Nurse sharks are harmless to humans and don't attack.  Though they can be intimidating growing up to 4 metres and weight up to 300kg. 

To get to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley there are many tour groups which leave San Pedro; all of which take you on similar boats and cost about the same - approximately $US50.  The best time to go is noon while the sun is at its highest point and therefore visibility is at its best. 

Swim with the Nurse Sharks at Shark Ray Alley

Swim with the Nurse Sharks at Shark Ray Alley

Day 3: San Pedro - Mexico Rocks 

Mexico Rocks is located slightly North of San Pedro and takes about 20 minutes to get to by boat.  It does not have the same coral formations as Hol Chan but makes up for that with thousands of fish and a very inquisitive turtle.  Well worth a visit but not at the expense of Hol Chan.

Alternatively, if diving is your thing there are many great dives just outside the reef that is the perfect place for both beginners and experienced divers.

Day 4: San Pedro - Kayak

Kayaking in San Pedro is the perfect way to enjoy the crystal blue waters and the second longest barrier reef in the world. We organised a kayak through our hotel and went out to the reef.  We would then take into turns at swimming through the coral - we were lucky enough to spend a few hours swimming with a friendly turtle too!

Alternatively, try reef or deep sea fishing.

Day 5: San Ignacio - Xunantunich

Today, travel to the Belizean Jungle town of San Ignacio near the boarder of Guatemala.  To get here you can either fly direct to San Ignacio or to Belize City before taking an hour and a half car.

Just over 10 kilometres from San Ignacio and only 1 kilometre from the Guatemala boarder lies Belize's most famous archeological site; the Mayan temple Xunantunich.  Xunantunich is a perfectly preserved example of Mayan civilisation dating back to 600-900 AD. 

ATM Caves

ATM Caves

Day 6: San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves

The Actun Tunichill Muknal Caves was the highlight of our trip and is less than a half hour drive from San Ignacio. You can only visit the ATM Caves on a tour and you are not allowed to take a camera.  You will also need to bring waterproof shoes (or shoes that you at least don't mind getting wet) as well as a change of clothes for after the tour. 

The tour starts with a hike along a jungle path which forces you to wade across the Roaring Creek three times before you reach the cave entrance.  To get into the cave system you have to swim through the beautiful hidden entrance before reaching a point about 10 metres in where you can stand in the warm water. 

Once in the cave the tour guide, assisted by the headlights attached to your helmets, takes you about 1 kilometre into the cave to the location of sacred Mayan ceremonies.  The hike/swim through the cave is a real adventure as you squeeze through small openings and wade through the fresh cave waters.  The centre of the cave allows you to see calcified skeletons from sacrifices performed by the Mayans over 1,000 years ago along with various other artifacts.   

Day 7: San Ignacio - Zip Lining & Cave Tubing

Zip Lining and Cave Tubing is the perfect mix between adventure and relaxation and a great way to see the Belizean Jungle. The tour starts off with a short hike through the jungle before you get to the zip lines. There a multiple zip lines of difference heights and lengths that take you over and through the canopy of the jungle. A very exciting and enjoyable experience for all ages!

After the adrenaline of the zip lining, cave tubing is a great way to relax. Your group will start by floating down a jungle river before entering various caves. A great afternoon of fun and a good way to see the Belizean Jungle.