Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers & Ruins of The Maya World
Embark on a unique land-and-sea expedition to discover the marine wonders of Belize and the Maya ruins of Guatemala. Snorkel amid hundreds of species of fish and corals on the Belize Barrier Reef with the National Geographic Sea Lion as your base for exploration. Skirt the shores of white-sand islands by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, and swim in turquoise lagoons teeming with marine life. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is the largest reef system in North America. Then venture to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tikal and other intriguing Maya ruins to encounter thousands of ancient temples and shrines scattered beneath the rainforest canopy. Dedicate enough time to see them, including the little-visited Maya ruins of Yaxhá, the third largest ruin in the Maya world, beautifully situated on a ridge overlooking a lake.
Venture into the jungles of Guatemala with local experts to discover the spectacular temples and pyramids of both Tikal and Yaxhá
Spot rainbow-colored fish, turtles, and rays while snorkeling or diving the corals of the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world
Explore Belize’s coastal rivers by Zodiac, to sight toucans, green iguanas, and other wildlife
See dazzling birdlife and monkeys amid a towering forest in the Maya Biosphere Reserve—twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, it is home to over 400 bird species
Discover wild, beautiful places few will ever have the chance to see. Explore the most vibrant reef system in North America and then venture into Guatemala for an inland adventure into the myth and ruins of the Maya people. Hike, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, Zodiac and get a taste of local culture. Because groups are never assigned, choose which naturalist to explore with each day to get exposure to a variety of expertises and personalities.
Book by July 31, 2021, and receive FREE ROUND-TRIP economy group airfare between Miami/Belize City. Complimentary air is based on economy group flights and must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions. In the case that Lindblad's group flight is not available at time of booking, we reserve the right to issue a credit. Baggage fees may be additional. New bookings only and not combinable with other offers or pre- or post-extensions. Call for details.
Cabins, Dates & Rates
Travel on this itinerary from $5,880 per person
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An incredible sunrise was our welcome gift, when we were arriving to the Coiba National Park. A protected area that is consider part of an important marine corridor that connects Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Crystal-clear waters, volcanic rocks and a green vegetation containing one of the planet’s richest ecosystems were all part of today’s itinerary.
The morning began with birdwatching, while others went off to explore the area by kayak. Later, snorkeling among the area’s coral reefs and walking the white sandy coastline. Birds, lizards, and monkeys were among the species we saw today. We later visited a small islet known as Granito de Oro, where the turquoise waters and the variety and vibrance of marine life blow the collective mind. It was another remarkable day at paradise – now our voyage sails on toward Costa Rica.
After cruising during the night from the Bay of Panama,
National Geographic Quest
dropped its anchor in front of Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge. Isla Iguana is a small island off the eastern coast of the Azuero Peninsula. Declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1981, Isla Iguana protects marine birds, tropical fish, and a large coral reef.
This 136-acre (55-hectare) reserve is surrounded by the oldest coral reef in the Gulf of Panama. The island itself attracts a variety of avian species, and is especially famous for its frigate colony, which includes some 5,000 birds.
We disembarked right after breakfast to explore this reserve. Our guests had the opportunity to walk around the premises and had a lovely encounter with the wildlife of this white sandy hidden paradise.
This morning and after the halfway crossing
was anchor in the middle of Gatun Lake and in front of
Barro Colorado Island also known as BCI.
BCI is a former hill which top became an island in this manmade
lake once considered one of the biggest artificial lakes back in the time.
The island became one of the first Tropical research centers in
the Neotropics and till today still one of the most important of its kind in
The among of knowledge over the tropical ecology, flora and fauna
that this research center have had generating is invaluable as well of the many
of the long-term projects that studied the effect of temperatures change over
this fragile ecosystem.
Today after breakfast our guests have had the chance to visit the
island and its surroundings, some by walking the same trails generations of
tropical biologist walked once and others by Zodiac cruising the periphery. There we saw Central American agouties, three-toed sloths, howler monkeys as well as several beautiful birds like the crested guan, slaty-tailed trogon, chestnut-mandibled toucan and others.
After, all came back on board for a delicious lunch we continued
our transit towards the pacific site. Later,
National Geographic Quest
made a stop in front of Gamboa just before Culebra Cut and nest to the Chagres
Gamboa is where the main equipment uncharged of the maintenance
of the canal is locate and it is here where we got the chance to enjoy a little
salsa time in the sundeck. The weather was perfect and in combination with the
delicious ceviche and the salsa dancing it made a perfect. A vessel that will
be tandem with
National Geographic Ques
t for the transit throughout the
Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks.
Last day of the Belize expedition spent on the tranquil island of Ranguana Caye. Guest enjoyed snorkeling around the Island meeting up with their favorite friends, nurse sharks, spotted moray eel, spotted eagle ray, southern stingrays, tropical fishes and coral reef. Paddleboard and kayaking was also an exquisite exploration on the calm clear waters of Belize. As the sunset on this voyage, it was a pleasure to have all enjoy the thrilling wanders of Belize.
Our morning begins when we took the Zodiacs from
National Geographic Quest
to the beautiful Village of Placencia where our bus to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was waiting for us.
The drive to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was just short of an hour and a half, and we got a great introduction on the way about the culture and the people of this side of Belize as all about the conservation and study going on at the wildlife sanctuary.