Latin America Vacations
Belize | Western Belize | Family
Skeletons, stalactites and sea turtles
8 days / 7 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Journey to Belize on this nonstop-action, family-friendly adventure. Our expert guides will introduce you to the natural beauty of this stunning Latin American country on an all-inclusive, carefully crafted vacation package that presents the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation. Experience the thrill of zip-lining through lush jungles, cave-tubing in the mysterious Mayan underworld, and keeping on the lookout for birds, monkeys, and a colorful collection of botanical delights. Race your kids up to the very top of the largest Pyramid, El Castillo, as you spend the day discovering Mayan ruins before settling into your cozy accommodations. Delicious local fare ensures you and the kids have plenty of energy throughout this unforgettable adventure while Austin’s signature touch of inspired, thoughtful service guarantees the details of each day are handled. Cave tubing. Zip-lining. Caribbean snorkeling. There’s never a dull moment to be had in Belize, home to 1.2-million-acres of pristine wilderness and a fascinating collection of ancient Mayan history. Create family memories that will last a lifetime with the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration on this adventure in Belize!
- Awaken to the call of exotic birdsong at Mystic River eco-resort, tucked into the heart of the jungle
- Paddle the Mopan River to the Xunantunich Macal Site and climb to the tip-top of El Castillo pyramid, where you can see all the way to Guatemala
- Marvel at the sparkling stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones on a hike through Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, where ancient stoneware and skeletal remains tell spooky stories of the rituals and ceremonies of the Mayan past
- Count to three before launching from a limestone cliff on a heart-thumping, zip-line ride
- Explore the crystal-blue waters and natural beauty of the Mayan underworld by inner tube
- Snorkel the turquoise shores on the hunt for sea turtles, eagle rays and arrow crabs.
- Enjoy two days of leisure at Chabil Mar with guided scuba diving, snorkeling, fly-fishing, horseback riding, kayaking and cave swimming, or simply relax with the family on an oh-so-perfect, white-sand beach
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Birds galore: Bring your binoculars, bird lovers! Belize has over 500 distinct varieties of birds. That's more than any other country in the world!
Pristine wilderness: Belize cares about the environment as much as we do! Due to strict government regulation, two-thirds of the Belizean natural forest is safe from exploitation. Phew!
The deeper meaning: Belize's national motto is “Under the Shade I flourish.” Discover where this phrase featured on the Belize flag came from and the importance it holds for nationals today.
Belize City, Belize BZE
Belize City, Belize BZE
Belize City Arrival
Arrive at Belize City International Airport. After passing through immigration and customs you will be greeted by your driver, holding a sign with your name on it. Transfer to Mystic River Resort, approx. two and a half hour’s drive. Relax in your cabana or by the shallow splash pool after a long day’s travel.
About Mystic River Resort
On a steep bank of the beautiful Macal River, eco-friendly Mystic River Resort Jungle Lodge offers the best of all worlds to those traveling to Belize. In this oasis of privacy, serenity, and rejuvenation, there are no crowds, just the soothing sound of birds, rustling trees, and soft breezes. Located in the jungle of Belize, seven miles from the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Mystic River Resort is the best place to find the perfect something – or nothing – to do. The friendly and accommodating staff will strive to make your stay at Mystic River a wonderful experience. Mystic River takes pride in the fact that they generate their own electricity, without sacrificing the small luxuries life has to offer. They also collect and purify their own water, which is safe to drink anywhere on the property. As part of a reforestation program, Mystic River has endeavored to replant many indigenous trees cut down during the logging years in Belize. Hotels may have fancy lobbies and high-rise views, but Mystic River is returning to nature – in comfort and style!
Accommodations: Miles of well-kept trails, Lily pool, Complimentary use of tubes and boogie boards, Free Wi-Fi, Complimentary basket of tea or coffee in the morning
Canoeing to San Ignacio / Xunantunich / Cahal Pech Ruins
This morning, paddle and float downstream the Macal River to San Ignacio Town, enjoying the beautiful scenery and variety of birds and wildlife along the way. Upon arrival to San Ignacio, your guide will take you on a tour of the Xunantunich Maya Site located in the San Jose Succotz Village. The center is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 unexcavated temples and palaces. The largest pyramid, El Castillo, is well known for the frieze or band of stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire temple. El Castillo rises 131 feet above the main plaza and offers an impressive panoramic view over the Mopan River valley including views of Belize’s neighboring country, Guatemala. Our second stop will be the Cahal Pech Maya site, once a hilltop home of an elite Mayan family and recognized as one of the oldest Maya sites in Western Belize. Later this afternoon, we’ll head back to Mystic River for some downtime.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
After breakfast, your guide will transfer you to the start of your tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. After a short hike to reach the cave entrance, swim a short distance, leading to an amazing underworld realm. A 45-minute trek leads to the main water passage where you can admire sparkling stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. This chamber is known as Xibalba; a world beneath the face of the earth, into which kings and shamans of the Mayan past could communicate with gods and ancestors through rituals and ceremonies. Late afternoon, we’ll head back to the resort.
Chabil Mar Villas / Jaguar Paw
Today, we drive to Chabil Mar located in Placencia. En route to Chabil Mar, we’ll stop at Jaguar Paw to experience an exhilarating zip-lining and cave tubing adventure. The zip lining adventure gives you the ultimate bird’s eye view of the lush jungle that leads you into a cavernous opening to one of the Maya’s ancient ceremonial caves. Hike a short distance across the subtropical forest where you begin your underworld tubing experience. Once there, sit back and relax while you float through a series of caves with crystal blue waters, limestone walls, and much more! After lunch, we’ll continue on our three-hour transfer to Chabil Mar via the Hummingbird Highway, one of the most scenic highways in Belize.
About Chabil Mar Villas
Maya for “Beautiful Sea”, Chabil Mar is nestled on 400 feet of Caribbean beachfront, just five minutes from Placencia Village. Nineteen individually designed Villas, each with a personal sea-facing veranda, grace the property. A private pier for dining, lounging, and sunning, al fresco dining at “Café Mar” beach-side, and two infinity swimming pools amidst lush tropical gardens top the list of amazing amenities at Chabil Mar. Because of the resort’s premier location, guests can enjoy Belizean culture, the people, shops, and nightlife of the Village at your leisure and convenience, on your own schedule, and as often as you like. The luxury accommodations strike a perfect balance between Belizean flair and modern amenities. Original art and local artifacts complement the comforts of home. One- and two-bedroom villas (some with lofts) grace the properties. King-sized beds, fine linens, and bedding, Belizean hardwood cabinetry, granite countertops, fine tiling, and marble, in spacious 1000-square foot living areas, create a tranquil resort experience.
Accommodations: Two beachfront modern infinity pools, Kaleidoscope Seaview Bar and Lounge, Cafe Mar (exclusive beachside restaurant with tropical outdoor seafront dining), Free Wi-Fi, Complimentary bicycles, paddleboards, and kayaks, Complimentary evening shuttle service to and from Placencia Village, Room service, Gift shop
Snorkeling Belize's Barrier Reef
This morning we’ll depart the nearby marina en route to Belize’s Barrier Reef – the second-longest in the world! We’ll experience one of the many snorkeling spots off the coast of Placencia, the coast of Southern Belize is known for its abundance in aquatic life, fish stocks, and coral reef biodiversity.
Placencia / Chabil Mar
Experience two days of leisure at Chabil Mar with countless options of how to spend your time at this beautiful resort. Choose to relax by the beach, enjoy one of the many complimentary activities offered by the resort or go on an organized tour. You may opt to visit the Placencia Village which is only a short drive or bicycle ride away; the resort can help you get a cab to take you into the village if you desire.
Placencia / Chabil Mar
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast before taking on another day exploring Placencia’s peninsula paradise at your leisure. Opt to bike along paved roads past colorful beach houses in Placencia Village. Enjoy a casual gourmet lunch at the resort. Spend the afternoon wading in crystal Caribbean waters, or relaxing while soaking up the Belize sunshine. Dine on some of the best island cuisines this evening while reflecting on your incredible Belize adventure. Tonight, watch the sunset paint the sky in brilliant orange shades illuminating a quivering path across the waters.
Departure to Belize City International Airport
This morning, you will shuttle 3 hours from Placencia to the International Airport by private transfer. From here, make your post-trip connections home.
*This trip is operated in partnership with Darah Travel.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather, and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Darah Travel.
Arrival & Departure
Upon arrival at Belize International Airport, pass through immigration and immediately enter the luggage claim area. After collecting your luggage you will pass through customs and then continue towards the airport exit door on your right-hand side. Outside look for a representative of Austin Adventures who will be holding an Austin Adventures sign with your name on it. Your driver will then transfer you two and a half hours to Mystic River Resort, where you may spend the rest of the day resting and preparing for your adventure. On your last day, you will take a 3-hour private transfer to the International airport where you will make your post-trip connections home.
Activities at each location are customized to meet the interest level of each guest and include snorkeling, jungle hiking, swimming, safari cave tubing, and zip-lining. Adventures also include exploring Mayan ruins and primeval caves, wandering nature trails on foot, and watching over 400 species of exotic birds and other wildlife — or simply luxuriating on a beautiful tropical beach. Your guides will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions are included as indicated by the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Most alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths as noted in the itinerary.
- Meals as indicated in detailed daily itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Non-alcoholic beverages during meals.
- Road and boat transfers throughout the duration of the trip.
- Daily tours and activities as listed in the itinerary.
- 10% service charge at Mystic River & Chabil Mar (includes tips for hotel and restaurant staff).
- Tour entrance fees and equipment.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures Guide and Driver.
- Gratuities to cave tubing and snorkeling guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Any meals not indicated in the itinerary.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Latin America Expert
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.