Belize Tour Options

Yoga at Xunantunich Mayan Temple

Life Time Journeys has secured special permission to host a morning yoga session at one the most revered Mayan sites in Belize. The ancient ruins of Xunantunich ("Maiden of the Rock," pronounced: “Shoe-nan-too-nitch”) are accessed by a short crossing on the Mopan River on a hand-cranked chain ferry which leads to the temples, courtyard and museum held within the Belize rainforest. 

 

The hills were first occupied between 400 BC and 200 BC. But it wasn’t until 600 AD that Xunantunich was first used as a ceremonial site making the entire site, some 1400 years old. Along with your special yoga session, our guides will explain the culture and beliefs of the Maya, and you will see the ancient ball court where the Maya warriors often lost their heads whether they were the victors or losers! Once on top of the Xunantunich Maya ruins, you will have a chance to take in the stunning views as a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains and valleys opens up before you. You'll be able to see all the way into neighboring Guatemala.

 

TOUR DETAILS - Included in Journey Package

Distance:  20-minute drive from Chaa Creek

Duration:  2 hours
Difficulty: At your own pace

Fitness:  Easy-moderate

Dress:  Yoga outfit - short or long pants and comfortable footwear - short sleeve lengths

What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear, if needed

Rainforest Cave Tubing

 

Step into an inner tube and enjoy a leisurely float the mysterious subterranean world of “Xibalba” - the mythical underworld of the ancient Maya. Enter an inner sanctum of crystal stalactites, stalagmites, rim stone pools, and ancient Maya artifacts. On this tour, trained guides lead visitors through a living natural cave system to witness the ongoing miracles that created this masterpiece of underground wonders.

 

The crystal room, which is located inside the cave, has many beautiful formations that are enhanced by the light of your head-lamp. At points within the cave your guide will lead you on foot to further explore the many wonders that await you in “Xibalba.” After emerging from the underworld, the optional Aerial Trek Zip Line awaits to provide you with an exhilarating rush as you zoom through the forest canopy for a true bird’s-eye view of the pristine jungle. The professionally installed Zip Line utilizes a double set of cables for added safety, and stretches 80 feet above the jungle floor through five runs from treetop to tree top. For a Grand Finale, this unforgettable experience will top off with an adrenalin rush as you rappel down to the ground.

 

TOUR DETAILS: Optional add-on

Distance: 1.5-hour drive from Chaa Creek

Difficulty: Moderate - must have the ability to maneuver in inner tube on water

Fitness: Moderate

Dress:  Long or short pants & sturdy, protective footwear recommended (Due to aquatic nature of tour, expect clothing to get wet. A change of dry clothing is suggested).

What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear, if needed

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Expedition


Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of the most impressive and artifact-rich Mayan ceremonial caves ever found, containing rare bloodletting altars used in sacrifices by Mayan royalty and over 1400 catalogued artifacts as well as sacrificial human remains.  The cave is home to the famous “Crystal Maiden,” the intact skeleton of a young female that, due to a covering of calcium carbonate, sparkles eerily in the lamplight.
  
Actun Tunichil Muknal is one of Belize’s most impressive adventure experiences. After an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive from Chaa Creek Resort, there is a 45-minute hike that includes three stream crossings before you arrive at Actun Camp for lunch.

 

The Belize ATM Cave is a wet cave.  You swim into the mouth and then wade through ankle- to chest-high water before climbing to a labyrinth of dry chambers which lead to the cathedral-like main hall, a towering chamber filled with artifacts and sacrificial remains. After this, another climb takes you to the stone sepulcher (after which the cave is named) where the Crystal Maiden lies.  This is an extraordinary Belize adventure and a rare opportunity to see ancient Mayan ceremonial sites and altars virtually untouched for centuries.

 

Chaa Creek has always taken an active interest in ensuring that Actun Tunichil Muknal remains as unspoiled as possible, and it is part of an ongoing effort to protect and preserve this invaluable piece of Mayan -- and Belizean -- heritage.  The ATM Cave involves swimming and some climbing with a reasonable level of fitness. 

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 

Duration:  Full day

Fitness:  Good to very good

Dress:  Short or long pants and sturdy protective footwear - sleeve lengths optional

What to bring along:  Socks, hat, extra clothes, water and insect repellant

Note: Children under 10 are not allowed to do this tour.

Feel Like a Mayan Goddess at The Spa

 

To truly immerse yourself in the Belizean rainforest experience, take time out to enjoy the benefits of professional spa treatments in one of the most stunning, relaxing settings imaginable.  Chaa Creek's Hilltop Spa is set above the winding Macal River with a panoramic view of the Maya Mountains and lush Caribbean Rainforest – an extraordinary, peaceful setting enhanced by the background music of tropical birds and gentle rustling of leaves.

 

Their professional therapists will help you select from a range of treatments to create a personalized spa experience guaranteed to put you in harmony with the beautiful natural surroundings – and yourself.  Imagine an al fresco massage as you breathe in deliciously fresh, clean air produced by the vast surrounding rainforest.  You’ll find cares and worries slip away into the peace and tranquillity of this timeless environment as their dedicated professionals work their quiet magic. 

 

Over the years, Chaa Creek’s Spa managers have developed a regimen of professional treatments to satisfy anyone, and their therapists will work with you to ensure the most personalized, rewarding experience possible. You’ll also be happy to know that your Chaa Creek Spa treatments don’t come at a cost to the natural environment.  The spa lives in harmony with its natural surroundings with scrupulous attention paid to product selection and waste management.

 

Their natural, herbal based approach sets an example for sustainable, environmentally friendly spas. Naturally mineral-rich mud treatments, herbal wraps and carefully chosen botanicals, sourced as locally as possible, enrich you without depleting the earth.  Pamper yourself with a Chaa Creek Spa experience and see what jungle luxury really feels like – it will be another once-in-a-lifetime Belizean experience.

Adventures by Horseback

Chaa Creek maintains a stable of well-groomed riding horses that are suited for all levels of riding experience.  Their guided rides traverse the trails of the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve through sub-tropical broadleaf forest past ancient Maya sites. As you ride along, your naturalist guide will highlight the various unique plant and wildlife species native to the reserve. Optional rides to the Maya Organic Farm may also be arranged.

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Terrain:  Moderately rolling, forest, covered foothills with some steep inclines
Distance:  4 to 5 miles
Duration:  2 1/2 to 3 hours
Fitness:  Moderate 
Equipment:  Western saddles with riding helmets 
Dress: Long pants and sturdy protective footwear - long-sleeve shirts recommended  
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant and camera

Fluttering Wings at The Butterfly Hatchery

The Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm continues to be a major attraction as people marvel at the splendid iridescent wings of these magnificent butterflies.  The "Belizean Blue" can be observed during every stage of their life cycle.  It begins its cycle as a pale green egg which looks like a dewdrop, soon after it changes into a voraciously hungry caterpillar, then into the bizarre form of a dormant pupa, and finally into a dazzling beauty that delights the public in butterfly houses throughout the world.

 

At Chaa Creek, their objective is to encourage learning about our environment and to have fun at the same time.  What better way than by illustrating the fascinating sights of an insect's life cycle to help us appreciate the rich diversity of our natural environment that makes Belize one of the world's best, and most interesting, destinations.

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Distance:  10 minutes hike from the office
Duration:  50 minutes
Fitness:  Basic
Dress:  Short or long pants and comfortable footwear -- sleeve lengths are optional
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant and camera

Rainforest Mountain Biking

 

Chaa Creek's team of experienced and specially trained naturalist guides will lead the way and share their extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna that you will encounter as you experience the sights and sounds of the tropical jungle. The trail system was designed to provide enjoyable cycling for riders of all experience levels. The designated routes will provide an exciting opportunity for beginners and adventurous thrills for the seasoned biker.

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
45 to 60 minutes on-site 
Fitness: Moderate - hilly terrain 
Dress:  Short pants and sturdy, comfortable footwear -- sleeve lengths are optional
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant, camera and binoculars

Canoeing Jungle Riverways

 

Join a naturalist guide for a paddle up the beautiful Macal River.  Watch as the sun sets and the birds of the day come home to their nighttime roosts along the verdant banks of this pristine jungle river.  As the daylight fades, your senses will become attuned to the mysterious sounds of the darkening jungle.  Awakening night creatures will begin to stir as a new and mysterious world unveils itself and surrounds you.  As you paddle along, your naturalist guide will point out the many species of tropical flora and fauna that thrive in abundance along the river banks.  He will also discuss the ecology of this riverine habitat and the cultural and historical importance that this timeless waterway has played in the history and evolution of Belize.


TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Fitness:  Moderate
Equipment:  Old town 3-seat canoes & life vests
Dress:  Sports or swim wear and sturdy water sandals or protective footwear recommended
What to bring along:  Hat, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear, if needed

Medicinal Hiking Trail

 

Guided and self-guided tours wind gently above the bank of the Macal River past medicinal plants, and introduce visitors to many of the plants and herbs used in traditional Maya medicine.  The Maya were masters at utilizing the jungle's natural resources for their practical and medicinal needs.  Here you will see and learn about vines that store drinking water, plants that help abate malaria, aid diabetics, cleanse the blood, plus many more.  The trail's most remarkable feature is that all the plants and trees were already there. The fact that none were planted is a testament to the natural diversity found in the rainforest.  Whether you're just out for an afternoon hike or planning a more extensive exploration, Chaa Creek's licensed naturalist guides can show you the jungle in a way you'd never see by yourself.

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Fitness:  Basic
Duration: 45 to 60 minutes 
Dress:  Long pants and sturdy protective footwear-- sleeve lengths are optional
What to bring along:  Hat, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear, if needed

Organic Farming The Mayan Way

 

The 33-acre Maya Organic Farm is an integral part of the Chaa Creek Reserve; It provides freshly harvested produce for The Lodge at Chaa Creek and the Macal River Camp.  The farm integrates traditional Maya farming with more advanced systems of irrigated, raised beds of composted soil fed with nutrients derived from natures store house.

 

Few people, including native Belizeans, understand the complexity of the Mayas organic farming techniques.  The indigenous Maya have survived for over 2000 years on subsistence farming for home use, barter and sale as the backbone of their existence. They have used resources supplied by nature to nourish the soil and protect their crops from insect devastation. Costly chemicals were simply not an option, and their continuing methodology has clearly stood the test of time.

 

You get to see all the different fruits and vegetables that are grown and the different organic farming methods with soil enrichment that are used based on a five-year rotation plan using Makuna beans and Lucina as nitrogen fixers.  Cacao, root crops and vegetables planted on the farm oftentimes can only be found in the older Mayan settlements.  Freshly harvested organic fruits and vegetables from their traditional Maya Farm are complimented by local dairy and meat products to create a distinct flavor of the Caribbean and Latin American region. 

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Duration: 1 to 1 1/2 hours at farm
Fitness:  Moderate hike
Dress:  Long or short pants and sturdy protective footwear - sleeve lengths are optionals 
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant and camera

The Colors of Belize - Birdwatching Tour

 

With 308 species of resident and migratory birds, the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve offers some of the best bird-watching in Belize.  Theirr Early Morning Bird-Watching tour will take you around our 365 private acre nature reserve where professional naturalist guides, who are trained and knowledgeable birders, will assist you in spotting many of the tropical avian species that abound in western Belize.  The Keel-billed Toucan, Blue-crowned Mot-Mot, Violaceous Trogan, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Collared Forest Falcon and a host of parrot species are just a few of the exotic birds awaiting you.

 

TOUR DETALS:  Optional add-on 
Meet guide at Chaa Creek's veranda bar for " Early- Morning" ... 6:30 am
Duration "Early Bird" walk 1 to 1.5 hours 
Fitness:  Average to good depending upon topography and type of physical activities entailed
Dress:  Short or long pants and sturdy protective footwear -- sleeve lengths are optional
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear, if needed

Belize After Dark

Join the creatures of the night tour and experience the undiscovered side of the rainforest!  Chaa Creek's experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides will take you through trails populated by Ocelots, Howler Monkeys, Tarantulas, Patoos, Jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents.


The exotic beauty of the tropical night comes alive with troops of fireflies dancing through the trees, decorating the river valley below.  The light from your head lamp may capture a surprised inhabitant, while a special ultraviolet light illuminates phosphorescent insects busy at work!
Nature's orchestra performs a live concert that promises to heighten your senses. When the lights go off the night comes to life.  Look out for Armadillos scampering through the bushes searching for food. Listen up for the chirping of Crickets, the hooting of the Owls in the distance, toads croaking nearby, and the distant barking of the Kinkajous.  Go ahead and dare to take a night walk on the wild side – it’s a jungle experience you’ll never forget!

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Departures
Nightly at 8:00 pm from the bar
Duration: 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Fitness: Easy - must be able to walk hilly terrain
Dress: Long pants and sturdy protective footwear-- sleeve lengths are optional
What To Bring Along: Hat, water, insect repellant, camera and rain gear if needed.

Rainforest Hiking

 

Chaa Creek has a picturesque trail network that will take you to many different areas of their 365-acre forest reserve.  All of the trails are numbered as shown on our comprehensive trail map. For your comfort, we suggest hiking boots or tennis shoes and sunscreen or a cap.  Feel free to explore on your own and at your leisure or join a guided tour and interact with an exotic tropical environment.  If you wish to venture out on your own, we request that you inform our front desk before doing so.

 

TOUR DETAILS:  Optional add-on 
Duration:  3 hours
Fitness:  Moderate - must have ability to hike rolling hills
What to bring along:  Hat, sunscreen, water, insect repellant and camera