Belize and Guatemala will enchant you. From the Maya temples at Tikal to rain forest trails overhung with bromeliads, orchids and sinuous vines. It's a thrill that dives deep - like a plunge into the blue Caribbean - reemerging with every toucan's squawk and howler monkey's roar. You'll feel it in a mysterious cave. And while floating on a picture-perfect jungle river. Seven days filled with wonders that stop you in your tracks - or flippers, as the case may be. We're thrilled to have you join us.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The hotels on this trip are among the best the region has to offer, and allow us to experience three distinct architectural styles and eco-climates. They may, however, seem more rustic than other Backroads hotels, ranging from cabins with thatched roofs in the rain forest to modern villas on the beach.
La Lancha's authentic cabins blend well into the surroundings, but the walls are thin and you may hear your neighbors moving around along with the sounds of monkeys and birds outdoors. Hopkins Bay Belize, a hotel we've chosen for its access to activities and beach front location in a local Garifuna village, offers a more modern villa feel than hotel rooms.
On this trip we have the pleasure of venturing from Belize to Guatemala and back again. On all our trips we make every effort to facilitate crossing international borders by removing as many obstacles and inconveniences as possible. Often we are able to create a seamless experience. But even with all the organization and effort of our leaders, sometimes border crossings take time. With a little patience we hope to make this experience as enjoyable and easy as possible.
Belize and Guatemala are incredible destinations for adventure and cultural interaction. However, due to the tropical climate and under-developed infrastructure, road maintenance is a continual challenge. Transfers can be bumpy and options for bike routes are limited. We've chosen the best routes for your trip, with a combination of quieter dirt roads and more traveled paved options.
As with other Level 1-2 Backroads trips, the distances traveled are on the shorter and easier side, though it might feel little harder as you hike the stairs at Tikal and La Lancha hotel due to the warm weather.
Days 1-2 A spelunking adventure in a cave harboring ancient Maya artifacts
Stop in for an exclusive tour at the Belize Zoo, a rehabilitation sanctuary for rescued animals Mountain bike amid picturesque villages, orange orchards and grazing cattle to a secluded boutique resort
Your canoe awaits - paddle on the Macal River to lively San Ignacio.
Days 3-4 Journey to Guatemala and pedal through tropical rain forest into Tikal Join a local guide to explore classic Maya pyramids amid the vast jungle, a scene almost too extraordinary to be real! Spend the day uncovering the mysteries of this majestic World Heritage site, while parrots and toucans animate the canopy Hike through subtropical forest to stunning miradors (lookouts) at the protected biotope of Cerro Cahuí A Guatemalan family welcomes us into their home for a meal and demonstration of traditional weaving techniques.
Days 5-7 Devote a day to warm water and exotic marine life during our snorkeling excursion on the Belize Barrier Reef, the longest coral reef outside Australia Fly above incredible mountain landscapes and pedal to the Caribbean coast Discover the rich Garifuna heritage of Belize and explore the quaint village of Hopkins.
- Mountain bike past small farms and broadleaf forests teeming with wildlife
- Feel your heart skip a beat when you first witness the ancient Maya city of Tikal
- Learn about Belize and Guatemala's rich blend of cultures, from Garifuna to Maya
- Grab your snorkel and float above the world's second-largest barrier reef
- Dine on delicious Caribbean specialties like conch fritters and lobster tail
Ka'ana Resort & Spa (2 nights):
A well-appointed and tranquil boutique hotel nestled in the Maya Mountains amid lush tropical gardens. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World member. (pool, spa)
La Lancha (2 nights): One of Francis Ford Coppola's eco-friendly resorts, this beautifully decorated lodge is set in the rain forest high above Lake Petén Itzá and is a comfortable base for exploring nearby Tikal. (pool)
Hopkins Bay Resort (2 nights): This collection of luxury seaside villas, just steps from the Caribbean Sea, offers outstanding access to one of the finest snorkeling spots in the world. (pool)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Zoo Tour (1.5 Hours)|
|Other||Canoeing on the Macal River (2 Hours)|
|Other||Weaving & Cooking Demonstration (1 Hour)|
|Other||Tikal Guided Hike (1.5 Hours)|
|6||Other||Caribbean Snorkeling Adventure (All Day)|
|7||Other||Cultural Tour (1 Hour)|
|Other||Yoga (1 Hour)|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 35% dirt and 65% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/20-26 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1250 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $390
- 12/30-1/5 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1250 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $390
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $4,698 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $3,898 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,198 pp dbl. occ.|
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
You'll get history, culture and nature all rolled into one on this trip into two of the most exciting new travel destinations. The history of the Maya and the Garifuna people; the culture found in bonding over handmade tortillas with a Guatemalan family; the caves, jungles, rivers, lakes and oceans of two spectacular countries. From west Belize to Maya ruins in Guatemala and back across the border to the Belizean Caribbean coast, this will be one unforgettable week.- Regional Manager, Latin America