Trip Highlights

Trip Highlights

  • Tour the Belize Zoo rehabilitation sanctuary at night and observe jaguars, tapirs, and boa constrictors in their natural environments.
  • Stay on the tiny tropical island of Calabash Caye, and snorkel the world’s second largest barrier reef.
  • Team up with Belizeans to run an after-school program for young children and plant native crops.
  • Step into the world of the Maya while exploring ancient cities and underground ritual caves.

Itinerary

Itinerary

In Belize, thick jungles hide ancient temples, and a dazzling marine world lies just offshore. Discover fascinating ecosystems from our base at a wildlife sanctuary, and get to know local Belizeans while working on service projects in a rural community. Then travel by boat to a research station on the world’s second largest barrier reef, and swim through an underwater world of brightly colored corals, sea turtles, and tropical fish.

Days 1-4: Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Belize

Arrive in Belize and settle into the Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, a jungle reserve adjacent to the Sibun River. Encounter native wildlife on a nighttime visit to the Belize Zoo, where rescued animals—including jaguars, tapirs, and boa constrictors—are kept in their natural environments. Hear from zookeepers about the threats facing Belizean wildlife, and learn about their initiatives to reintroduce resident animals into the wild.

Discover the world of the ancient Maya while exploring the ruins of Xunantunich, built over a thousand years ago. Climb the steps of El Castillo temple, then descend into the Maya civilization’s spiritual “underworld” at the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. In this ancient burial site, seek out the ceremonial pots and artifacts that mark the locations where secret rituals took place.

Spend time in a local village, and work alongside community members on a service project. Run an after-school program, help plant and harvest native crops, or paint classrooms at the local school. In the town of San Ignacio, learn about the work of local artisans, visit an iguana conservation center, and tour a chocolate-making facility.

Days 5-9: CALABASH CAYE

Set sail for Calabash Caye, a tiny island located within the world’s second largest barrier reef system, and stay at the University of Belize’s field station. Discover mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and patch reefs while snorkeling amid schools of sea turtles, rainbow-colored fish, and manta rays. Learn about this delicate ecosystem from your guides, and discuss the factors impacting the health of the reef. On our final evening, we’ll celebrate our adventures and share what we’ve learned about the history, culture, and ecosystems of Belize.