Travel to Belize and Guatemala and embark on a unique land-and-sea expedition to discover Mayan ruins overgrown with tropical rain forest and incredible, seldom-seen reefs. 


  • DAY 1: Belize City / Embark

    Arrive in Belize City where we embark the National Geographic Sea Lion. (D)

  • DAY 2: Belize Barrier Reef

    Awake anchored in the northern cayes of the Mesoamerican Reef System, a not to be missed place for all lovers of marine nature and biodiversity. We enjoy a full day to immerse ourselves into this dynamic ecosystem. If weather and conditions permit, we visit Half-Moon Caye with its red-footed booby and magnificent frigatebird colony. Here, or if conditions dictate, closer to the coast at the Turneffe Islands, we take to the water by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or don a mask and fins and dive into turquoise waters, encountering sea turtles, swirling schools of tropical fish, and harmless nurse sharks. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 3: Mayflower-Bocawina National Park

    Spend the morning discovering Mayflower-Bocawina National Park. Join our naturalists for a hike along one of the trails to photograph tropical plants, scan the treetops for winged wonders, and spot the tracks of tapirs and jungle cats. The national park is dotted with remote and strategically placed “camera traps,” which frequently capture images of the legendary and mystical jaguar, so revered in Maya culture. At Bocawina, we learn about ongoing research into the behaviors of Belize's jaguars from scientists and researchers. Tonight, an internationally acclaimed drumming group, The Garifuna Collective, joins us on board for a festive music performance. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Monkey River / Belize Barrier Reef

    At morning light we are at the mouth of Monkey River where we board Zodiacs to cruise inland through the Belizean jungle, in search of toucans, green iguanas, and myriad bird species. Few experiences rival hearing the first throaty roar of a mantled howler monkey echoing across the canopy. This afternoon, the Belize Barrier Reef calls us, home to idyllic sandy isles and vibrant corals, where we enjoy more opportunities to explore by snorkel, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard. For scuba divers, incredible dive opportunities abound (additional cost). (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Belize Barrier Reef

    Our second straight day on the reef brings us into the central cayes where we anchor close and go snorkeling, paddleboarding, diving, or kayaking inside the fringing reef. Coral patches dot the shallow lagoon, harboring parrotfish, butterflyfish, octopus, and other marine species. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Belize City/El Remate

    Disembark in Belize City and drive to El Remate, Guatemala gateway to Tikal—one of the largest cities in the Classic Maya world. Enjoy lunch on the way before reaching the shores of picturesque Lake Petén Itzá and transferring to the Hotel Camino Real Tikal. Later, set out on an optional birding walk with our naturalists, or take a sunset boat cruise on the lake. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Tikal

    Spend a full day exploring Tikal, where ancient pyramids tower more than 200 feet, and thousands of temples, shrines, and plazas are scattered beneath the rain forest canopy. Discover the site’s archaeological treasures, including the Temple of the Great Jaguar and the North and South Acropolis. Encounter ancient Maya art and hieroglyphs, and examine carved stone inscriptions that illuminate the history and spiritual significance of Tikal. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Yaxhá

    Explore Yaxhá, a former Maya ceremonial center situated on a ridge overlooking Yaxhá Lake. The world’s third largest known Maya site, Yaxhá spreads across nine plazas and contains multiple pyramids, ball courts, and stelae. Examine its features with your local guides and, if you wish, climb a temple for panoramic views. Later, enjoy lunch at a traditional Guatemalan restaurant, followed by an evening at leisure. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: El Remate/Belize City/Home

    Drive this morning from El Remate to Belize City to connect with flights home. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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