Belize and Guatemala: talk about immersive. This cave exploring, barrier reef diving, howler monkey hearing, toucan spotting, Maya ruin wandering, Caribbean blue water rejuvenating, tropical rainforest exploring, suspension bridge crossing adventure immerses you in every conceivable way. Make tortillas with a Guatemalan family. Dance to a Garifuna drummer's beat in Belize. At every turn, you and your family will find a new adventure. So go on: immerse yourself. What are you waiting for?
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.
AccommodationsThe 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.
Border CrossingsOn 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.
Road MaintenanceBelize 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.
Activity LevelAs 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 Get up close and personal with jaguars on an exclusive tour of the Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center Hike to Flour Camp Cave, a series of cavernous chambers once used as an ancient Maya ceremonial center Mountain bike amid picturesque villages, orange orchards and grazing cattle to a secluded boutique resort Your canoe awaitspaddle on the Macal River through a broadleaf forest to lively San Ignacio.
Days 3-4 Journey to Guatemala to explore Tikal, where Maya pyramids tower over the vast junglea 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 Try your hand at making tortillas, then sit down to a lunch featuring your very own culinary creations.
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*
- 12/22-28 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1400 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $390
- 12/28-1/3 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1400 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $390
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to kayak and snorkel: 6 years
- No Burley Cub trailers or Kazoos available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping Trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ cultural appreciation, difficulty/restrictions of activities and route
- 9+ several long adult dinners; difficulty/restrictions of activities and route
- 6+ several long adult dinners; parent may not be able to pull a Burley Cub trailer and/or there may be multiple activity restrictions
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.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
Get ready to spelunk, snorkel and scavenger hunt your way through two incredible destinations on this Belize & Guatemala adventure. The whole family will discover a brand new world as you bike along jungle paths to organic farms, take a guided tour of famous Tikal, enjoy weaving presentations and drumming demonstrations, and snorkel through colorful underwater forests. If you're looking for a family vacation with no shortage of adventure - this is it.- Regional Manager, Latin America