If Belize is famous for anything it would be diving along it's reef and it's eco-tourism inland. Belize is fast becoming known as the most accessible, easiest to travel, safe, tropical piece of wilderness in the Western Hemisphere. Located on the Caribbean coast of Central America, it is 9,000 square miles (23,000 sq km) in area. It's neighbors are Guatemala to the west and south and Mexico to the north. The word is getting out that this eco-destination is an untouched paradise.

Clearly visible from the air and 185 miles (308 km) long, Belize's most known feature is it's coral reef. It is second in size only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Belizean's will, however, point out that it is the longest unbroken reef in the world. Three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere are here in Belize. Lighthouse Reef, with the great Blue Hole, Turneffe Islands, popular for it's wall dives and Glover's Reef, a virtually untouched underwater world, are all rich with marine life. Hol Chan Marine Reserve just off Ambergris Caye and only a ten minute boat ride away, is preserved and filled with fragile coral and schools of fish.

The mainland holds many adventures for those who have always wanted to trek in the jungle, visit the rain forest or simply birdwatch. The northern and coastal regions of Belize are flat and hot, mostly made up of mangrove swamps and lagoons that provide the spawning environment for marine life.

Further inland and rising to around 3,000 feet (915 m) above sea level, the south and central regions are covered by tropical pine, hardwood and rainforests. Largely uninhibited, these regions are rich in flora and fauna as well as containing a number of pristine waterfalls. The limestone formation of the country has left it riddled with cave systems that boast to be some of the largest in the world.

Ambergris Caye is the largest of the Belize islands. In fact, it really started out as a 25 mile (40 km) peninsula extending from the Yucatan and separated from Mexico by a small trench originally dug by the ancient Maya. Belize's population is around 200,000 while 1,500 reside in San Pedro. The people of Belize are diverse, coming from many cultures.

There is plenty to enjoy on Ambergris Caye, primarily the diving and snorkeling with the reef only 1/2 mile (1.5 km) off-shore and Hol Chan Marine Reserve a 10 minute boat ride away. Living is casual and going barefoot is appropriate anywhere. Putting aside a day or two will give you the chance to travel inland and see the splendor of the northern and central regions.

Whether you would like a taste of the Mayan history through ruins or a tour of the eco-system famous in our rivers, traveling from Ambergris Caye can be done on one day excursions, easily and economically.

About the time when Jesus was in Judea, about three-quarters of a million Mayans lived in what is now called Belize. The mystery of the Maya is only a day away with either of these tours offered.

The ruins of Altun-Ha are famous for many reasons. Here they found a Jade Head, the largest carved jade object in the whole Maya area, representing the Sun God, Kinich Ahau. This find was uncovered by David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum in 1986. It is the national symbol of Belize, which you can see cornered on every Belize bank-note in circulation. Altun-Ha was a major Ceremonial Center in the Classic Period (250-900 AD) and functioned as a vital Trading Centre linking the Caribbean shores with other Maya centers in the interior. Altun-Ha is Mayan for "Rock Stone Water".

The tour begins when you are picked up by boat at your dock at 8:30am and taken on a scenic ride around the southern tip of the island. After a little more than a half an hour, you arrive at the mainland at the mouth of the North River. Here you tour by boat up the river for about an hour until reaching the small Belizean village of Bomba. Once at Bomba you board a bus and travel about 30 minutes south through the jungle to Altun-Ha. After a guided tour, about an hour and a half, you are taken to the Maruba Jungle Resort. Here you can enjoy lunch in the open restaurant then indulge in a cool swim in the resort swimming pool or scenic horseback ride. You will return home before sunset.

The tour includes transportation, guided tour of the ruins, beverages, horseback riding and the chance to swim at the resort swimming pool. Lunch is not included. There is a $2.50US park fee at the Altun-Ha site and a minimum of 6 passengers required.

Located on the New River Lagoon, this is one of Belize's largest Ceremonial Centres. It displays the more exotic features of ancient Mayan art and architecture. Lamanai had one of the longest occupation spans, dating from 1500 BC to the 19th century, which includes the contact period with the Spaniards. Historical occupation is represented in the remains of two Christian churches and a sugar mill. Lamanai is Mayan for "Submerged Crocodile". The site is the largest yet discovered in the Mundo Maya. The entire site covers 950 acres with the main site 1/2 mile (1.5 km) square and is the third highest temple in Belize at 125 feet high (38 m). It is the only Mayan site in all of Belize that has a museum.

The tour begins when you are picked up at 7:00am by boat at your dock. Then there is a little more than a half an hour boat ride around the southern tip of the island to the mouth of the North River on the mainland. You will tour by boat down the river less than an hour until reaching the Belizean village of Bomba where you board a bus that will take you north to the fork of the New River Lagoon at Carmelita. This bus ride is scenic, with your tour guide pointing out interesting sites along the way for about an hour. Boarding another boat you will travel for an hour and a bit south to the Lamanai site, sightseeing everything from bats and unique birds to rare orchids and maybe even a crocodile. Arriving at Lamanai about noon, you will enjoy lunch, which is included, then continue on a guided tour. First you'll learn about the history of the Maya at the primitive museum, then spend a few hours with your tour guide hiking and climbing the ruins. Be sure to bring something long-sleeved as you will be returning just after sunset.

Tour includes transportation, guided tour of the ruin site, beverages and lunch. There is a $2.50US park fee at the Lamanai site and a minimum of 6 passengers required.

If watersports are more your idea of fun, we offer a Manatee Tour and a variety of snorkel destinations that will wet your appetite.

You will be picked up at your dock at 8:30am and taken for a visit to the secluded mangrove island, Drowned Cayes, just outside of Belize City. It is a natural habitat for the West Indian Manatee, giving you the opportunity to take pictures and visit from the boat with these shy and elusive animals. Next you will visit the small but quaint island of Goff's Caye where lunch will be provided and there will be an opportunity to snorkel. Next it's off to Caye Caulker where you can enjoy the shopping or indulge in the local cuisine. A second snorkel stop along the way will finish the day. You'll return home around 5:00pm.

Tour includes transportation, snorkel gear, beverages and lunch. There is a 6 passenger minimum required.

The Rum Punch is a full size sail boat. It takes you on a full day sail to Caye Caulker that includes two snorkeling stops. A line in the water on the way over keeps interest in what could be the "catch of the day". This tour begins at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The park offers the best in marine life. An additional $2.50US park fee will be collected by the Park Ranger. Caye Caulker is your island destination where you can relax for a few hours and to enjoy the shopping and lunch time cuisine. After Caye Caulker it's off to Shark Ray Alley, a popular snorkeling destination where you can swim with nurse sharks and rays. Depending on the weather and preference of Rum Punch passengers, the snorkeling destinations may change.

Tour includes a full day sail, snorkel gear, snacks and beverages. There is a 3 passenger minimum required.

The Rum Punch also sails north on another full day trip. This spot is inside the reef, thus a calm sail. The captain of the Rum Punch will provide a traditional BBQ featuring the local cuisine of the day. A line in water may even be what you'll have for lunch. A snorkel stop to and fro and it makes for a perfect get away.

Tour includes a full day sail, snorkel gear, snacks, beverages and lunch. There is a 3 passenger minimum required.

Both sails leave at 9:30am and bring you back at sunset. Schedules vary, but we would be happy to arrange the sail of your choice.

The Winnie Estelle is a 66 foot classic Island Trader, rebuilt and re-commissioned in 1990. She is safely inspected and licensed. Her owner/captain, Roberto Smith, is US Coast Guard licensed and has chartered for many years in the Caribbean. The crew are experienced divers and fisherman.

She features a large deck with sun shade and restroom facilities.

Leaving at 9:00am, this day cruise returns at sunset. The cruise includes a light snack with beverages. You'll explore aquamarine waters and snorkel inside the reef. For lunch you will visit Caye Caulker where you can enjoy a little shopping or cuisine.

Tour includes a full day charter, snorkel gear, snacks and beverages. There is a 6 passenger minimum required.

This half day snorkel leaves two times daily, 9:00am and 2:00pm. The first stop is Hol Chan. A marine reserve filled with sea life where the depth starts at 8 feet (2.5 m) and goes to 30 feet (9 m). This stop will last approximately 45 minutes and then it's off to Shark Ray Alley. This tame marine adventure is filled with nurse sharks and rays. For another 45 minutes you can snorkel with these creatures in this safe and amazing environment. Water is provided on the boat.

Tour includes transportation, snorkel gear and beverages. There is a $2.50US park fee at Hol Chan and a minimum of 2 passengers required.

Mexico Rocks is an unspoiled destination 20 minutes north of San Pedro. It leaves twice daily at 9:00am and 2:00pm. Here you will snorkel with untouched marine life while viewing the beautiful coral. You may even have a chance to visit with a sea turtle. Water is provided on the boat.

Tour includes transportation, snorkel gear and beverages. A minimum of 2 passengers required.

Explore the waters of Belize's first underwater marine reserve, Hol Chan, or circle with the nurse sharks and rays at Shark Ray Alley. The first destination is your choice. Then visit Coral Gardens where you will see the largest and most colorful variety of coral located inside the reef. Water is provided on the boat.

Tour includes transportation, snorkel gear and beverages. There is a $2.50US park fee at Hol Chan and a minimum of 2 passengers required.

If you enjoy the adventure of the high sea and have always wanted to catch something from the deep, fishing might be a great way to spend the day.

San Pedro offers three types of fishing experiences. For the solitude of a calm surrounding, reef fishing may be the answer to de-stressing upon your arrival. For the fly fisherman, bone fishing will get you in shape. For the sport fisherman, there are lots of fish in the sea for a deep sea troll.

All of these choices are offered everyday, and especially when the fish are biting. We do recommend booking your fishing excursion in advance, especially during high season, as it can be a very popular sport.

Fishing experiences are offered on the full or half day charter. If you prefer to leave your gear at home or for the first time fisherman, all of our operators provide tackle and bait.

For reef and bone fishing, the half day charter runs between $ and $ with a maximum of 4 passengers. The full day charter goes for $ to $.

Deep sea fishing is also done on the full or half day charters. For the half day it ranges from $ to $ and for the full day $ to $. Maximum passengers vary from 5 to 8.

We are happy to arrange the best possible day of fishing for you along with the best possible rate.

All of these excursions can be reserved in advance. Let us know when and where via e-mail and we'll be happy to reserve your Tour of Belize.

The Palms
PO Box 88, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone: +501-26-3322 Fax: +501-26-3601 Email

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