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.
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.
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 HALF DAY SNORKEL
CORAL GARDENS HALF DAY SNORKEL
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