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Ancient city of Lamanai, Belize

Maya World Extension

Crooked Tree Wetlands, The New River and the Ruins of Lamanai

Crooked Tree Wetlands, The New River and the Ruins of Lamanai


3 Days / 2 Nights
$749 USD or $889 CAD
When: Any date, any time of year
Starts: Belize City
Ends: Belize City
Activities: Mayan Ruins Hiking Birding
Birds Eye View Lodge

Trip Highlights

The Maya World Extension is a three day inland adventure to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, home to some of the best birding and wildlife viewing in Belize. 

By boat we explore Spanish Creek, Revenge Lagoon and the surrounding wetlands where we can see many birds including northern jacanas, white ibis, wood storks and the huge jabiru stork. We visit one of Belize’s oldest Creole settlements, then journey into the world of the ancient Maya. This extension combines easily with other IE trips, and is an great way to experience Belize’ astounding diversity of birds and wildlife, as well as its ancient Mayan culture. 

  • Stay two nights in Crooked Tree, a wildlife sanctuary managed by the Audubon Society. 
  • Visit the Mayan ruin of Altun Ha, known for the impressive temple of the Sun God. 
  • Tour the ancient city of Lamanai, returning by boat along New River lagoon, with opportunities to spot parrots, toucan and even Morelet’s Crocodile along the way. 

Trip Itinerary

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

Travelers beginning their Island Expeditions trip with this extension will arrive at the Belize International Airport. An Island Expeditions’ representative will meet you and assist with transfers to Birds Eye View Lodge in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. After checking into your accommodations, you’ll have a chance to meet your fellow travelers. Explore the nearby Creole village of Crooked Tree, and settle into the rhythm of ‘Belizean Time’. Transfers from the airport are included.

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

After breakfast your group departs for the ancient Mayan city of Lamanai. You’ll go on an extensive guided tour, visiting the many temples, plazas, palaces, and museums within the park boundaries. Depart Lamanai by boat for a return trip to the Crooked Tree area. On this scenic journey, you’ll have tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities. Anticipate spotting iguanas, parrots, toucans and even Morelet’s crocodile along the banks of the New River Lagoon. Upon arriving on the shore, you’ll travel overland for 45 minutes back to Crooked Tree Village and our lodge.

Day 3
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

With an early morning coffee and binoculars in hand, you can enjoy the waking wilderness and hundreds of birds feeding along the shores of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Lagoons. This protected area was created in 1984 primarily to preserve resident and migratory birds. It consists of a network of inland lagoons, swamps, and waterways that shelter one of the world's largest flying birds, the jabiru stork. After breakfast, enjoy a morning boat tour in the lagoons. 

After lunch, you’ll have time to relax and gather your bags before departing to the Mayan site of Altun Ha. Altun Ha is considered one of the major Mayan ceremonial centers of Belize. It officially dates as far back as 600 BC, and functioned as an important trading center between the interior and the Caribbean Sea during the classic period (250-900 AD). Within this site, there are the remains of more than 275 archaeological structures and 250 to 300 unexcavated mounds. 

You’ll return to the Belize City at approximately 4 pm. Guests traveling onto other Island Expeditions programs will continue from this point to their designated IE rendezvous. All other guests will be dropped off at the Belize International Airport or at the Belize Biltmore Plaza (in Belize City) to continue with their independent arrangements.

Please Note: If you are adding this extension onto an existing IE trip, transport to one of the rendezvous points in Belize City should be arranged in advance with our office. This rendezvous point is where you will meet your Maya World Guides.

If you are flying home on day 3, the transfer time from Crooked Tree to the Belize International Airport can be coordinated to connect with your international fight.

Please note all itineraries are subject to change depending on weather or safety considerations. Flexibility as our guest and as an international traveler is the key to an awesome experience.

Dates and Prices

Available any date, any time of year

Available any date, any time of year

Available any date, any time of year

$749 USD
$889 CAD
Includes taxes and fees. Per person based on double occupancy.
3 Days / 2 Nights
Family Pricing
$200 Deposit to secure your space

Click for a PDF Maya World Extension Trip Itinerary


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