Belize & Guatemala
What It's Like/What You'll Do
Spend your days actively exploring
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is a natural wonder—the largest reef in the Northern Hemisphere and home to hundreds of species of fish and over 90 species of coral. National Geographic Quest is the only ship of her kind offering in-depth, personal exploration of this vibrant seascape. Explore it over five nights aboard ship, then venture to Guatemala’s UNESCO World Heritage site of Tikal National Park. See the stone temples, palaces, and public spaces of people long-lost—the once great city now surrounded by lush tropical rainforest and home to monkeys and myriad tropical birds.
Choice of daily activities
Snorkel, dive, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard along Belize’s extensive barrier reef. Take Zodiac cruises or choose hikes from compact to far-ranging. Since guests are never assigned groups, you’re welcome to explore alongside whichever naturalist's interests mirror your own, so you can choose to focus on birding, the undersea, geology, photography, or more. Need a break? Take a pass on a hike or snorkeling outing and relax with a massage or treatment in the LEXspa.
Actively explore the region's wild places & incredible undersea
Ship-based exploration allows us to venture far from tourist infrastructure and go wherever wildlife is most active as conditions change. A fleet of Zodiac landing craft let us call at any protected beach or park so we can go ashore to hike rain forest trails or launch a spontaneous snorkeling outing. Venture inland to the Maya ruins of Quiriguá, lunch on the shore of Lake Izabal, and return by small boat through the limestone canyon of the Rio Dulce. Choose to linger closer to shore while our naturalist points out spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and colorful tropical birds. Or join your Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor to work on shooting fast-moving wildlife flitting through the trees.
Discover ancient ruins on an immersive exploration
Emerge from the jungle canopy to discover vast stone temples swathed in tropical rain forest. The Maya ruins of Tikal are superb, and our day-and-a-half exploring them allows us to see some of the lesser-known ruins where the only sounds are your footfalls, bird calls, and monkeys shaking the trees. Explore the Mayan ruins of Quiriquá, with its highly detailed stonework sculpted to glorify Maya kings. And spend time in the little-visited Mayan ruins of Yaxha, the third largest in the Maya world, beautifully situated on a ridge overlooking Yaxha Lake.
Enjoy the daily ritual
A tradition on all Lindblad-National Geographic expeditions is the gathering of staff and guests each evening to exchange stories about the day’s events—a get-together known as “Recap” and it’s often one of the most engaging parts of your journey. Enjoy a cocktail and some hors d’oeuvres as our naturalists talk about the highlights and sightings of the day. It’s a relaxed time with opportunities for questions and anecdotes. Your expedition leader will outline the next day’s activities before everyone heads to dinner.
Savor time aboard ship
The new 100-guest National Geographic Quest is a purpose-built expedition ship designed from the keel up to explore wild, coastal regions in supreme comfort. Enjoy relaxing on her top deck, sipping a beverage from the outdoor bar, or cozy up in the lounge and enjoy the view while our naturalists explain and illuminate all we see.