Belize

Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour

Tour:
8 Days
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SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single travelers staying in a room by themselves will be charged this additional single supplement fee, as all of our regular prices are otherwise based on double occupancy.

SINGLE SHARE OPTIONS (if available)
If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will make every effort to find you a roommate of the same gender, in which case you will not have to pay the single supplement fee. The single supplement will be charged until we are able to confirm a roommate for you. If we are able to match you with a roommate, the single supplement will be refunded. In the event that we cannot find a share for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee.

New: Click the Singles Find a Share' icon below or check our "Community" page to connect with other single travelers looking to share.

Rating:
Easy to Moderate

Belize

Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour

Destinations

  • Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll - Oceanic Society Field Station
  • World-Famous Blue Hole
  • Lighthouse Reef Atoll
  • Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
  • Snorkel Islands Frequented by Dolphins

Highlights

  • Snorkel the world's second largest Barrier Reef
  • Marine biologist guides
  • Oceanic Society field station on Blackbird Caye
  • The world famous Blue Hole
  • Lighthouse Reef & Half Moon Caye
  • Inland jungle lodge extensions for Mayan ruins, cave tubing, rivers, mountain biking & wildlife viewing

Itinerary at a Glance

  • DAY 1 Belize City / Blackbird Caye
  • DAY 2 Soldiers Reef
  • DAY 3-7 Turneffe Atoll / Lighthouse Reef / The Blue Hole
  • DAY 8 Belize City / USA

More Value! Compare our Itineraries!

Located just south of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world. Our Belize Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour focuses on this exquisite maze of coral reefs set in clear turquoise waters. The highlight of this itinerary is a visit to Lighthouse Reef Atoll to visit the Blue Hole made famous by a Jacques Cousteau.

Wild Planet Adventures has formed an exclusive partnership with the Oceanic Society to give you access to the Oceanic Society's field station on remote Blackbird Caye. This quiet tropical island paradise on the eastern side of Turneffe Atoll normally caters to scientists and researchers, and allows Wild Planet unparalleled access to Half Moon Caye National Monument, Lighthouse Reef, and Blue Hole.

Our location on Blackbird Caye gives you a distinctive advantage over nearly all other Belize tours, which are based out of Ambergris Caye, Caye Calker, or Placencia, and are heavily populated commercial centers located much farther from Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole. A special Oceanic Society marine biologist guide will guide the coral reef snorkeling. This expedition is one of the best ways for non-divers to discover Belize's spectacular coral reef systems.

Ultimate Wildlife 8-Day EcoTour

Wild Planet's exclusive partnership with the Oceanic Society allows you access to their field station on remote Blackbird Caye, at Turneffe Atoll. Unlike the heavily populated Ambergris Caye, Placencia or Caye Calker, this is a quiet tropical island paradise, which normally caters to scientists and researchers. Its prime location is right by Half Moon Caye National Monument, Lighthouse Reef and the famous Blue Hole. A special Oceanic Society marine biologist will also guide the barrier reef portion of your adventure.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 Belize City / Blackbird Caye

Blackbird Caye's warm, shallow water and thriving reef offers exceptional snorkeling, relaxing beaches and lazy island life. Arrive in Belize City and transfer by boat to Blackbird Caye (about 90 minutes) on the eastern side of Turneffe Atoll. We stay at The Oceanic Society's Field Station offering comfortable beach-side cabanas, each with an open porch to the sea. Evening trip briefing and welcome dinner.

DAYS 2 Soldiers Reef

Start your adventure with morning snorkeling right from the beach at Blackbird Caye. The atoll is exceptional for its warm shallow water, which permits snorkelers easy access to an extraordinary underwater paradise. Magnificently adorned with huge yellow tube sponges, and myriad tropical fish, the reef offers unmatched snorkeling opportunities. In the afternoon, take an afternoon boat trip to nearby Soldiers Reef for more snorkeling.

DAYS 3-7 Turneffe Atoll / Lighthouse Reef / The Blue Hole

Enjoy daily snorkeling trips to nearby islands and reefs chosen for their shallow waters and easy access on the most coveted part of the barrier reef, right by the Blue Hole and far away from the crowds. Explore the spectacular underwater playground of brilliant sponges, rich corals, and colorful tropical fish. Blackbird Caye's warm, shallow water and thriving reef offers exceptional snorkeling and serve as a feeding and resting area for dolphins, which we often spot en-route to our snorkeling sites on Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse reef, including the world-famous Blue Hole.

Lighthouse Reef Atoll is one of Belize's three coral islands. The reef's shallow walls, beginning at depths of only 25 feet, provide spectacular snorkeling in relatively shallow depths. Massive yellow sponges festoon the reef walls.

Half Moon Caye Natural Monument is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its clear turquoise water, unspoiled coral reef and prolific sea life. The Caye is divided into two distinct ecosystems: the western region has dense vegetation supporting approximately 4,000 breeding red-footed boobies and frigate birds; the eastern half of the Caye is composed primarily of coconut palms.

The Blue Hole is a magical sinkhole was made famous by a Jacques Cousteau documentary which revealed its unique underwater stalagmites and abundant marine life.

DAY 8 Belize City / USA

Return to Belize City for your flight home.

 

Belize Lodging

Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary specializes in small, one-of-a-kind lodges. Great care has gone into our selection of lodging partners, with particular emphasis on lodges that offer outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities. We are very proud to have an exclusive agreement with the Oceanic Society which gives us unparralleled access to their comfortable Blackbird Caye field station.

BLACKBIRD CAYE

Oceanic Society Field Station

Blackbird Caye, on the eastern side of Turneffe Atoll, is located 32 miles from Belize City. The Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station is bordered by white sand beaches and is situated adjacent to a series of coral islets that comprise the atoll's fringing reef. Because of its distance from the mainland, the waters are clear and the reefs are pristine. Participant accommodations are in six, comfortable double occupancy beachfront cabanas, each with an open porch facing the Caribbean Sea. Snorkeling from the white sand beach is excellent. The cabanas include private bath (bathroom facilities include flush toilet, sink and hot water stall shower), two full-size beds, small storage closet, a fan, and 110-volt AC electrical plugs, powered by generator usually 24 hours a day.

 

Belize Activities

At a Glance

We know you've chosen to travel with us for our wildlife emphasis, so we've included a wide variety of adventure activities designed to educate, inspire, and bring out the wonder in you. All of our activities are flexibly designed to accommodate different skill levels and interests, while exposing you to a variety of unique eco-systems in order to see the most amount of wildlife. And did we mention fun?

  • - Snorkel the world's second largest living barrier reef
  • - Visit nesting sights of red-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds and more
  • - Explore lagoons frequented by dolphins and manatees
 

Belize Wildlife

Wildlife of Belize

Belize is home to an amazing variety of wildlife, from howler monkeys and red-eyed tree frogs to kinkajous, hawksbill sea turtles and toucans. There are still places where no human has ever laid foot, at least not since the ancient Maya ruled these jungles from their magnificent pyramids. Most regions that have been explored are still wild and rugged, with an array of natural wonders and wildlife that includes the world's second largest barrier reef, the world's only jaguar preserve, the longest chain of caves in the Western Hemisphere, and the seventh highest waterfall in the world.

 

Belize Guides

Belize Guides

Wild Planet Adventures Blackbird Caye snorkeing tour is guided by an Oceanic Society marine biologist guide. There are simply no guides in Belize that are more qualified, more knowledgable, and more fun than Wild Planet Guides.

 

Belize FAQ

Belize Facts for Visitors

Location

Belize lies on the eastern coastline of Central America, bordered on the north by Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula), on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. It is separated by sea from its neighbor to the southwest, Honduras.

Government

Independent nation since 1981, member of British Commonwealth of Nations. Parliamentary democracy with two major political parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People's United Party (PUP). Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow. Belize has a Constitution, which includes a Bill of Rights.

Size

Approximately 8,866 square miles. Belize's mainland is approximately 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. Belize also consists of over 200 cayes (islands), ranging in size from a few hundred feet to 25 miles long and four miles wide; most of which are located inside the 200 mile Belize Reef.

Population

The population of Belize is approximately 200,000. There is a great deal of ethnic diversity among Belizeans, who include Creoles (African-European), Mestizo (Spanish-Indian), Garifuna (African-Indian), Mayan, Anglo-European, Middle Eastern and Asian.

Language

English is the official language and is widely spoken, as is Spanish. Other languages include Creole, Mayan and Garifuna.

Departure Tax

A tax of $39.25 US is charged when leaving Belize; this fee is usually included in the price of all U.S. airline tickets.

Entry Requirements

All U.S. citizens must have a passport valid beyond their planned departure date, proof of an onward or return ticket, and sufficient funds (a minimum of U.S. $60 per day) to cover the cost of the length of stay. No visas are required for citizens of the United States for tourist visits.

Customs

U.S. residents are permitted a $400 per person (or $1,100 per family) duty-free tax exemption upon returning to the U.S., and can also bring back one quart of alcohol and 200 cigarettes duty-free.

Currency

Local currency is the Belize Dollar. One U.S. dollar is worth two Belize dollars. The Belize dollar is fixed to the U.S. dollar so this rate of exchange does not fluctuate. U.S. dollars should be exchanged directly in purchasing goods and services, as banks will charge a fee (currently is at .0125) to exchange U.S. to Belize dollars. U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere in Belize. Credit Cards/Travelers Checks: Nearly all hotels, restaurants and shops in the major towns and tourist areas take all major credit cards. Street vendors and smaller establishments in remote areas may accept only cash or travelers checks. It's important to keep travelers checks in a waterproof pouch, as they are considered void if they get wet. Representatives of VISA, MasterCard and American Express can be contacted at the four commercial banks in Belize City (Atlantic Bank Ltd., Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Bank, and the Belize Bank. Banks are generally open Monday-Friday from 8 AM-1 PM and Saturdays, 8 AM-11 AM. American Express also has a representative at Belize Global Travel Services, Inc., at 27-7257.

Electricity

Same as US (110 volts AC). However, most jungle lodges, and most Cayes, are on diesel generators so electricity is both costly and environmentally unsound. We recommend that you minimize your use.

Time Zone

Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone, and does not utilize daylight saving time.

Sales Tax

Belize recently instituted the "value added" ("VAT") tax. This tax, set at 15%, is applied to all goods and services except hotel accommodations. There is a 7% hotel tax. Some hotels also add a 10-15% "service charge" to the bill; inquire about this when checking hotel prices.

Tipping

Tipping is voluntary; tips of 15% are acceptable; more if the service is exceptionally good. Some hotels and restaurants add a 15 percent service.

Climate

Belize is subtropical, with a mean annual temperature of 80 degrees F. Winter storms may bring the temperature down to the low 60's; it can reach the mid-90's on the mainland in the hottest part of summer. Trade winds blow along the coast and on the cayes most of the year, keeping temperatures pleasant even in the hottest months, except for a few weeks, generally around mid-August through mid-September. The dry season generally lasts from November through May; the rainy season is typically June-November. Hurricanes occasionally occur; they are most likely to hit in August through October. Rainfall is heaviest in the south and the jungle areas, lightest in the north and on the Cayes. Water temperature averages between 79 and 83 degrees F.

Water

Most Belizean homes and hotels use cisterns to collect rainwater for drinking and home use. In severe droughts, cisterns may run dry. Regardless bottled water is advisable. Visitors should be aware of the need to conserve water during the dry season, especially on the Cayes. Do not eat fruit you have not pealed yourself, stay away from leafy vegetables like lettuce, and avoid ice cubes. These are common causes of amoebic dysentery and giardia, both of which are unpleasant enough to be worth avoiding at all costs.

Choose Your Belize Travel Style! Any of our wildlife adventures are also available as fully customizable private trips, honeymoons or family wildlife adventures.
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We're Wild for Wildlife...
  • Marine biologist guides
  • Snorkel the world's second largest barrier reef
  • Oceanic Society field station on Blackbird Caye
  • The world famous Blue Hole
  • Inland jungle lodge extensions for Mayan ruins, cave tubing, rivers, mountain biking & wildlife viewing
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