Belize & Guatemala Family Holiday
from $2850
Duration: 8 Days
Spend some time in Central America exploring two travellers' favourites. Explore Belize City and the small town of San Ignacio before crossing into Guatemala to discover the ancient citadel of Tikal, a magnificent Maya site hidden deep in the jungle. From here, travel back to Belize's coast and spend four days on the island paradise of San Pedro exploring the world's second-largest coral reef. Finish the holiday in the most relaxing way possible as you and your family switch it up between white sand and warm water.
  • Delve deep into the jungle and discover the ancient ruins of Tikal, one of the most magnificent Maya sites in the world.
  • Explore Belize's famous freshwater cave systems by canoe and tube, learning about their geological and cultural significance as a headlight leads the way.
  • Relax on San Pedro, an island off Belize's coast that's loved by travellers. Snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef, kick back on the white sands and show your family the meaning of Caribbean charm.
  • San Ignacio - St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park
  • San Ignacio - Cave tubing
  • San Ignacio - Barton Creek canoe trip
  • Tikal National Park - Guide for Ruins (per group)
  • San Pedro - Boat trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve
  • Day 1 Location: Belize City
    Welcome to Belize City, the starting point for this family adventure. Located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture, and the area surrounding the hotel is the safest in the city – it's often called the tourist village. Things officially kick off at 5 pm with a welcome meeting, but why not take some time to walk to the nearby lighthouse and enjoy the ocean views if you arrive early.
    Day 2 Location: San Ignacio
    After breakfast the group will travel to San Ignacio in a private minivan (approx. three hours). You'll stop en route to visit St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, where you and your family can go tubing in St. Herman's Cave. The park contains two cave systems, a number of natural trails and a jungle pool. After a 20-minute hike through the jungle you'll come to the entrance of St. Herman's Cave and enter an otherworldly arena where rivers disappear into the darkness. Float through with a headlamp lighting your way, then jump back into a more traditional form of transport as you continue to San Ignacio, arriving in the late afternoon.
    Day 3 Location: San Ignacio
    San Ignacio lies alongside the Macal River, in the Cayo District of western Belize. Spend the morning on the water at Barton Creek, a remote cave that, like many of Belize's caverns, was used by the ancient Maya people for ceremonial purposes. Jump in a canoe at the entrace to the cave and paddle into the cave passage with your headlight showing the way. As you float deeper into the passage you'll learn about the geology, archaeology and Maya history of the area. After exploring the caves, jump in for a refreshing swim then return to San Ignacio for a free afternoon exploring. We highly recommend Cahal Pech, a Maya site that was once a major ceremonial centre and stands on a hill overlooking San Ignacio. 
    Day 4 Location: Tikal National Park
    Travel approximately four hours west to Tikal National Park. In the middle of the jungle you'll discover the five granite temples of Tikal, an ancient Maya citadel that is simply astounding. Enjoy a guided walk through the ruins, and you'll find a range of smaller structures scattered through the dense jungle. The best views can be found by climbing to the top of the ruins for a spectacular perspective of the jungle canopy and from here, you may be able to spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds. Spend the evening staying beside this incredible site.
    Day 5 Location: San Pedro
    It's a long travel day today as the group heads to the island paradise of San Pedro. The transfer back to Belize City will take approximately six hours, depending on the border crossing, and from there you'll board a water taxi to San Pedro. The Belize Cayes are a group of islands just a short ride from the coast and while each island has its own personality, they all have an unmistakably Caribbean pace and charm. They're also part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. From your base on San Pedro, it's possible to arrange day trips to the other islands, boats out to different parts of the reef or to the local snorkelling areas around San Pedro. Alternatively, kick back in a hammock as the kids enjoy a swim, a coconut and some serious natural beauty.
    Day 6 Location: San Pedro
    After breakfast we head out on the water to visit the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize's oldest marine reserve,the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for 'little channel." The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef (called a quebrada). Our boat trip out to the reef  will give you an opportunity to go snorkelling for those who wish to see the sea life up close and personal. Back on land the afternoon will be free for you to further explore.
    Day 7 Location: San Pedro
    Today is a free day. Maybe take a boat ride to neighbouring Caye Caulker and while you're there try sampling the local cuisine, Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster. Not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so good. Or for the more adventurous family’s why not hire a sea kayak or stand up paddle boat and hit the water.
    Day 8 Location: San Pedro
    Farewell your island stay today. For those wishing to fly home you can take a water taxi back to Belize City in the morning, which will arrive by approximately 10:30am (this is included in your trip) Please advise that if flying out of Belize on the same day, flights must be booked for after 2:30pm.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    18JUL2020
    Return Date:
    25JUL2020
    2920NZD
    not available
    Departure Date:
    01AUG2020
    Return Date:
    08AUG2020
    2850NZD
    not available
    Departure Date:
    19DEC2020
    Return Date:
    26DEC2020
    2850NZD
    not available
    Departure Date:
    26DEC2020
    Return Date:
    02JAN2021
    3110NZD
    not available
    Last modified (date)

    06 Apr 2020

    Trip title

    Belize & Guatemala Family Holiday

    Trip code

    QBFA

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Spend some time in Central America exploring two travellers' favourites. Explore Belize City and the small town of San Ignacio before crossing into Guatemala to discover the ancient citadel of Tikal, a magnificent Maya site hidden deep in the jungle. From here, travel back to Belize's coast and spend four days on the island paradise of San Pedro exploring the world's second-largest coral reef. Finish the holiday in the most relaxing way possible as you and your family switch it up between white sand and warm water.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Family

    Transport

    Private minivan,boat

    Physical Rating

    1

    Joining point

    Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Hotel

    3 1/2 Miles Philip Goldson Hwy

    Belize City

    BELIZE

    Phone: +501 2232302

    Finish point

    Banana Beach Resort

    Seagrape Drive, San Pedro

    San Pedro

    BELIZE

    Important information

    1. Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you. 2. Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old. 3. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/safety-guidelines

    Communications

    With the modern world you may want to bring along tablets of smartphones for the children to document their adventure - there are a wide variety of apps out there which we suggest downloading before you depart. There will be opportunities to charge ( just make sure you bring the correct adapter) and there will be wi-fi available on your trip, although it will probably not be at the speeds you are used to at home and it won't be available everywhere.

    Visas

    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking

    Why we love it

    Delve deep into the jungle and discover the ancient ruins of Tikal, one of the most magnificent Maya sites in the world.

    Explore Belize's famous freshwater cave systems by canoe and tube, learning about their geological and cultural significance as a headlight leads the way.

    Relax on San Pedro, an island off Belize's coast that's loved by travellers. Snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef, kick back on the white sands and show your family the meaning of Caribbean charm.

    Is this trip right for you

    Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

    Health

    VACCINATIONS: Vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel. For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see http://www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at www.traveldoctor.com.au.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

    Money matters

    Belize currency information - The official currency of Belize is the Belize dollar (BZD). You can pay with major credit and debit cards at many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most businesses accept US dollars without question, but change is usually given in Belizean dollars. You can use major credit cards and some debit cards to withdraw Belizean dollars from ATMs and over the counter at banks (USD$, GBP£ and CAD$ are exchangeable). Guatemala currency information - The official currencies of Guatemala are the Quetzal (GTQ) and the US dollar (USD). ATMs are not always reliable although you can pay with major credit and debit cards at many hotels, restaurants and stores. Banks offer currency exchange but casas de cambio (currency exchange offices) are usually quicker and may offer better rates. The US dollar is the only currency freely exchanged in Guatemala.

    What to take

    Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame. When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Keep in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations. Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. - Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, final itinerary and this document - Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets - Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card - Money belt and small padlocks - Small first-aid kit - Daypack - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes/ tissues - Insect repellent - Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses - Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers) - Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required) - 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) and dry bags - Refillable water bottle - Phrase book - Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates - Wind and waterproof rain jacket - Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks - Camera - Binoculars - Swimwear (dependent on itinerary)

    Climate and seasonal

    Belize's weather is sub-tropical. The humidity while high, is seldom oppressive for long and is most noticeable along the coast. The Belize coastal area is exposed to southeast tradewinds, with July being consistently windy along the coast. Weather contingencies: Please note that Hurricane season is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

    A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

    Feedback

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below: Intrepid’s Local Operator: +506 6022 4721

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website:

    Accommodation notes

    GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS: Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room. Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in a handful of places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room. Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (5 nights),Resort (2 nights)

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