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Maya Reef Explorer Belize

Maya Reef Explorer

Five days at spectacular Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary & the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai

Five days at spectacular Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary & the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai


8 Days / 8 Nights
$2399 USD or $2849 CAD
When: Weekly December through April - dates can be easily customized for your travel time frame, please call us at 1-800-667-1630
Starts: Belize City
Ends: Belize City
Activities: Rainforest River Travel Swimming Stand-up Paddle Boarding Snorkeling Sea Kayaking (Paddling) Sea Kayak Sailing Archeology Mayan Ruins Birding

Trip Highlights

The Maya Reef Explorer combines a three day inland adventure to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary with five days at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, a remote tropical marine park and designated world heritage site fifty-five miles off the shore of the Belize Mainland. 

Ideal for those wanting to experience both reef and inland, as well as the local Creole and ancient Mayan cultures. Well suited for families and couples of mixed abilities, our Basecamp trips offer a choice of guided activities on the reef and the flexibility for traveling companions to do things together or separately. All abilities welcome! Includes accommodation on the mainland before and after your trip to Lighthouse. 

  • Discover the diversity of indigenous birds and wildlife at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary on a boat tour of Crooked Tree Lagoons. 
  • Check out Crooked Tree, one of Belize’s oldest Creole settlements
  • Journey to the ancient Mayan ruins of Lamanai and Altun Ha.
  • Explore and stay on remote and renowned Lighthouse Reef Atoll, with four nights in a tent-walled cabana at our all-inclusive Adventure Basecamp on Half Moon Caye.
  • Paddle and snorkel ‘the Aquarium,’ as well as Jacques Cousteau’s legendary Blue Hole.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
Accomodation:Bird’s Eye View Lodge
Meals: Dinner

You’ll arrive at the Belize International Airport where an Island Expeditions’ representative will meet you and welcome you to the country. You’ll be taken to Bird’s Eye View Lodge in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. After checking into your accommodations you’ll have a chance to meet your fellow travelers, enjoy a fine meal and if time permits, explore Crooked Tree Village. Crooked tree Village is one of Belize’s oldest Creole Settlements. Airport transfers, dinner, and lodging are included.

Day 2
Accomodation:Bird’s Eye View Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

You will have a full day of exploration as you travel overland and by river to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai. With the very best guides you explore the many temples, plazas, palaces, and museums within the park’s boundaries. In the afternoon, you’ll depart Lamanai by riverboat and your guides will help you discover amazing opportunities for birding and viewing wildlife. Iguanas, parrots, toucan, aracaris, and Morelet’s crocodiles are frequently seen while traveling down the New River. You will return turn to your lodge along the banks of the Crooked Tree Lagoons.

Day 3
Accomodation:Bird’s Eye View Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Coffee is served at sunrise. With your binoculars in hand, you’ll enjoy the sounds and sights of the awakening wilderness. You’ll also have the opportunity to see hundreds of birds feeding along the shores of the Crooked Tree Lagoons. This protected area was created in 1984 primarily to preserve resident and migratory birds. It consists of a network of inland lagoons, wetlands, and waterways, which shelter one of the world's largest flying birds, the Jabiru Stork. On this day, you’ll enjoy boat tours through the protected lagoons and a tour to the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha. Altun Ha is considered one of the major Mayan ceremonial centres of Belize, and functioned as an important trading center between the people of the interior and the coast during the Classic Period (250-900 AD). Within the site, there are more than 275 structures and 250 to 300 unexcavated mounds.

Day 4
Accomodation:Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you’ll travel to Belize City, and board a chartered water taxi to Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Our route takes you along numerous white sand, partially submerged mangrove cayes until you cross Belize’s Barrier Reef. From there, you’ll enter the narrow passages within the Turneffe Islands before crossing the blue waters towards Lighthouse Atoll. Upon reaching our Half Moon Caye Basecamp, your guide team will orient you to your new setting and accommodations. You will receive thorough instruction on the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, and safety on the Caribbean Sea. In the afternoon, weather permitting; you’ll have an opportunity to sea kayak and snorkel within this marine reserve.

Days 5-7
Accomodation:Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early risers may want to go for a swim, do some yoga - or just grab a cup of coffee and watch the tropical sunrise. After a healthy Belizean breakfast everyone gathers to plan the day’s activities. The waters of Lighthouse Reef Atoll are exceptionally clear with a fabulously rich reef system, which offers some of the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Throughout your stay, you’ll have the opportunity to try a variety of activities as you explore this remote and magical part of Belize. Snorkeling at the ‘Aquarium’ is a favorite guest activity. The Aquarium has a profusion of tropical fish and towering coral formations, and is an unforgettable underwater experience. You’ll also be taken on a snorkeling excursion to the renowned Blue Hole, a site made famous by the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. The Blue Hole is an underwater cave and sinkhole in the middle of the Lighthouse lagoon. In the mornings and evenings, a favorite guest activity is to walk to the red-footed booby colony to watch nesting boobies come in from the sea to tend their nests and feed their chicks.

Day 8
Accomodation:Belize Biltmore Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

For your last day on Lighthouse Reef, choose from a variety of activities. Don a mask, snorkel, and fins and swim to a favorite patch reef. Circumnavigate Half Moon Caye by kayak or explore by Stand Up Paddleboard. Walk the trails, or beachcomb along the island beaches. Our water taxi typically arrives later in the afternoon to take everyone back to the mainland. The Belize Biltmore Hotel is your final destination for today, a comfortable hotel located on the outskirts of Belize City.

Day 9
Meals: n/a

This last day is yours to enjoy at your leisure before you fly home or continue on your travels. Relax by the pool or investigate the optional tours offered by the hotel activity desk.   

Note: Dinner on day 8, and breakfast  and transfer to the airport on day 9 are not included. 

Dates and Prices

Start Date   -

End Date

Jan. 15   -
Jan. 23
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Start Date   -

End Date

Check back soon for 2022 departure dates.
$2399 USD
$2849 CAD
Includes taxes and fees. Per person based on double occupancy.
8 Days / 8 Nights
Family Pricing
$200 Deposit to secure your space

Click for a PDF Copy of the Maya Reef Explorer Trip Itinerary


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