February 20: Salt Lake to Belize City. Today we will fly via Houston on UNITED AIRLINES to Belize City (only a 2 hour flight) arriving in the late afternoon. Our coach will be waiting and we’ll transfer 90 minutes north to the town of Orange Walk where we’ll have a welcome dinner and rest this evening. Tour pays for dinner.
February 21: Lamanai. Our lovely hotel overlooks the New River Lagoon. You can sit on your private balcony and watch the variety of birds that come and go. After breakfast, there will be an optional lecture about “The Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica.” We then board our twin engine boats that will take us on an exhilarating 40 ride on this snaking, jungle river. We’ll then arrive in a man made lagoon on which the Mayas built an impressive city over 2,000 years ago. It’s called Lamanai and it’s locked deep in the jungle. Amidst the howler monkeys and towering trees, this breathtaking site is a place you’ll long remember. Upon arrival, we’ll have a homemade Belizian barbecue lunch followed by a guided tour of the site. We will then return via our jet boat to our hotel where you’ll have some free time this evening. Tour to pay for breakfast, boat rides, admission and lunch today.
February 22: Today we drive a short distance to a smaller Mayan site known as Altun Ha. We’ll spend an hour here as there are some interesting things to see. We then visit the Belize Zoo to see the fascinating animals native to Belize (and a chance to be kissed by a Jaguar…you’ll see). We’ll have lunch while there. In the afternoon, we drive to the west side of the country (about 2 ½ hours) to the town of St. Ignacio where we stay in a resort hotel overlooking the beautiful, lush valley for two nights. Tour to pay for breakfast, dinner and admissions today.
February 23: Tikal. Today is perhaps the highlight of the week. Just across the border in Guatemala (just over an hour away), is the most impressive of ALL the Central American sites: TIKAL. It is in a league of its own and one that should be on every bucket list. Supporting over 100,000 people at its height, this Mayan city locked in the Peten Jungle is magnificent. It is made up of multiple temples piercing the jungle canopy, interesting writings they left behind, and a high quantity of well preserved buildings in thus unique setting. A local guide will show us around – and we’ll discover what may be some interesting Book of Mormon connections. It will be a day to remember. Lunch is included after departing the ruins. We return to our hotel in St. Ignacio, Belize. A departure tax must be paid, in person, as we leave Guatemala returning to Belize. Tour to pay for breakfast, Tikal and lunch today.
February 24: Mountain Pine Ridge. We will leave the hotel around 10:00 today. For those interested, there is an LDS sacrament meeting or a Catholic Mass. We then drive to nearby Mountain Pine Ridge. We’ll visit the Green Hills Butterfly Farm where we’ll spend an hour (fabulous butterflies and hummingbirds in a beautiful jungle setting). A few minutes away is an interesting cave with a river system. After lunch, we’ll enjoy a safe, relaxing canoe ride through the interior of the cave. You can row your own or a guide will row for you. It’s perfectly calm, and very beautiful. Getting back to the main road, we’ll travel 2 hours back to Belize City to catch our boat for a 75 minute ride to beautiful Caye Caulker, an island along the barrier reef of Belize. We’ll relax this evening in our ocean front resort called Island Magic. Tour to pay for breakfast, tours, lunch and boat ride.
February 25: Caye Caulker. This is a day to explore and enjoy as you wish. Stretching over 160 miles off the coast is the UNESCO protected Belize Barrier Reef, second only to the one in Australia. Our island, is just one mile from the reef. You’ll have some free time today. Take a ferry to neighboring San Pedro, enjoy some shopping on the island, or sign up for a very reasonably prices scuba or snorkeling activity. There are no motor vehicles on the island. For a small fee, you can rent a golf cart and explore the island on your own. In the early evening, we’ll board a private CATAMARAN for an hour ride on the sparkling, Caribbean waters. Those who want to take a swim are welcome to. We will have a farewell dinner with our group tonight. Tour to pay for breakfast and dinner today.
February 26: After a relaxing morning and breakfast, we’ll return via ferry to Belize City. We have time for some shopping and lunch before going to the airport for our flight home. Tour to pay for breakfast today.