Mayan Temples, Tropical Jungles and Whale Sharks!
The anticipation and excitement is building. In less than a week we will board our flight from Vancouver to Belize City, exchanging our rain jackets and sweaters for flip flops and sunglasses. As revealed in a previous post titled our upcoming trip to Central America, our month of travel through Central America will focus on Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
Though we typically try to avoid a set itinerary, we have developed a few partnerships that have now shaped our journey. After reading some of our favourite travel blogs, we’ve decided to skip Belize City and head straight to the Cayo District upon arrival into Belize.
We’ve organized transportation from Belize International Airport direct to San Ignacio, located in the lush jungles of Belize near the Guatemala-Belize border. We have no plans for the first few nights, opting to find last minute deals or simply walk the streets of San Ignacio to find accommodations.
Our first order of business is to explore the the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala and spend a couple nights within the Tikal National Park. Originally we were going to stay in the lakeside town of Flores and make day trips, but we’ve had several people recommend we stay directly in the National Park instead – so we’re taking their advice!
During our stay in the Cayo District, we have been invited to experience jungle luxury at two of Belize’s most highly rated eco-lodges – Ka’ana Boutique Luxury Resort and the Lodge at Chaa Creek.
We then leave the tropical jungles behind and travel from San Ignacio to Placencia, a popular beach town on the Caribbean coast that offers easy access to the Belize Barrier Reef. We will join Splash Dive Center to fulfill one of Nicole’s lifelong dreams – a chance to swim with the gentle whale sharks! We will also visit Laughing Bird Caye, the region’s most popular inner reef dive destination (we’ve even purchased a new underwater digital camera for the upcoming snorkeling adventures!).
After our time in Placencia, we will catch a short flight to Caye Caulker where we will join Tsunami Adventures on a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark and Ray Alley. Our journey continues to the island paradise of Ambergris Caye, a late but welcome addition to our evolving itinerary. We’ve been invited to experience the intimate tropical getaway at Victoria House, a stunning beach resort that has received numerous awards and world-class recognition. We may spend a few more days on Ambergris Caye, but that will depend on if we find a last minute vacation deal that fits our schedule.
It’s then time to say goodbye to Belize and travel north up the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. We plan to meet up with Wandering Earl, a fellow travel blogger, in Playa Del Carmen before heading back to Tulum, Mexico.
We are excited to soak up the Caribbean sun at the luxurious Azulik Resort, a rustic seaside resort that is part of EcoTulum Resort and Spa, located just outside of Tulum. There is no power in the private beachfront villas, so the grounds are completely illuminated by candles at night – sounds fantastic!
It’s shaping up to be an unforgettable trip that will include a healthy mix of outdoor adventure, culture and relaxation.
Have you visited Belize, Guatemala and/or the Yucatan Peninsula?
Do you have any advice or recommendations for us?
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