Ruins to Reefs
Start your vacation with three nights in Western Belize’s rainforest viewing incredible wildlife and visiting Mayan ruins. San Ignacio is home to adventure tours, eco tours, great hotels, and is closer to many of Belize’s top Mayan sites. End your vacation in the beach town of Placencia, one of the most popular beaches in Belize and our personal favorite. Southern Belize is home to some of the best flats fishing in the world so here you’ll find bonefish, permit, tarpon, and snook. You can also head to the Mesoamerican Reef and fish light tackle for larger species like snapper, grouper, barracuda, jacks, and mackerel.
Destinations: San Ignacio & Placencia
Duration: 7-9 days
Fly into Belize City, Belize where you will be met and taken directly to your waiting private transfer. You will spend your first three nights near the city of San Ignacio in western Belize. You’ll stay at the boutique Mystic River Resort, another back-to-back Certificate of Excellence Award winner on Trip Advisor. Owned and operated by a Canadian/American couple you are sure you get personalized service, privacy, and luxury during your time here. Each private suite features a king bed, private patio, private bathroom, and an in-room fireplace to enjoy a bit of romance in the rainforest.
The sounds of the rainforest will gently wake you up and remind you that you are fortunate enough to be in the middle of the Belizean rainforest at the foothills of the Mayan Mountains. The Mystic River Resort owns and operates its own tour company, Bushdog Adventures, so the quality and service is maintained to the owners’ lofty standards. Today you can actually visit two different Mayan sites, Xunatunich and Cahal Pech. Xunatunich, Mayan for “Stone Woman”, sits above the Mopan River and is rumored to have been named for the ghost of a woman who inhabits the site, dressed in white with glowing eyes!
Today you’ll visit perhaps the most important ancient Mayan site of all, Tikal. Actually located in Guatemala, Tikal was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979 and is a national park full of stunning wildlife like tapirs, monkeys, jaguars, and hundreds of birds. Tikal was once the capital city and center of all Mayan civilization, being both a major economic and trade center as well as home to an estimated 100,000 people. Located just 3 hours away, you will easily be able to cross into Guatemala and back for an incredible day trip.
Late in the morning we will pick you up and drive you three hours to southern Belize and the Placencia Peninsula. Often overshadowed by the more developed Ambergris Caye, Placencia is increasing in popularity with its beautiful beaches, friendly local culture, and spectacular fly fishing. You’ll spend your last four nights at the beautiful Chabil Mar, the leading boutique luxury hotel in the Placencia. The 19 luxury villas enjoy a beach front location, close proximity to the town of Placencia, two pools, open air restaurant, bar & lounge area, and the always-on-hand concierge service they provide. Creature comforts include free wifi, fully equipped kitchens, AC, and flat screen TVs with international cable.
Let’s go fishing! Meet our local fishing guide on his 23’ super panga on the lagoon side of the peninsula for a full day of fishing the clear Caribbean waters. Literally miles of saltwater flats, countless cayes, a huge lagoon, and being just 22 miles from the Mesoamerican reef combine to create an incredibly diverse and productive fishery. Our expert guides have been fishing in Placencia their entire lives and will take you to a specific island if you want bonefish, to the flats to fish for permit, the lagoon and rivers for snook and tarpon, or out to the reef for barracuda, jacks, snapper, and grouper . Whether you are fly fishing, spin casting, or trolling they will provide all the gear, tackle, and bait for you but you are always welcome to bring your own favorite flies or lures and give them a shot.
Take a break from fishing and get into the water for a fun day of snorkeling or diving. Snorkel at the world heritage site Laughing Bird Caye or go diving at famous dive spots like Glover’s Reef or the Silk Cayes. Snorkeling or diving you are likely to see green sea and hawksbill turtles, rays, nurse sharks, lobster, shrimp, barracuda, grouper, snapper, and large schools of tropical fish. You may very well see the beautiful but invasive lionfish as well.
Let’s go fishing! Head out for another day of flats fishing! Bonefish are one of the most sought after game fish in the world for their fighting ability and because the majority of the time you are sight casting to them. Target big tarpon out at Tarpon Caye or juvenile tarpon and snook in the lagoons or head out to the reef to try and catch a snapper or barracuda for dinner. Chabil Mar has grills set up next to the bar specifically to grill your catch, so bring enough back to share with the other guests and staff!
Chabil Mar will take you to the Placencia Airstrip for your 50 minute flight back to the BZE Airport and your flight home.
Ruins to Reefs Package Highlights:
- Meet & Greet upon arrival into the BZE Airport
- Private air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
- Spend three nights in the rainforest and Mayan Mountain foothills in Western Belize
- Visit Mayan ruins, explore caves, or set up one of the area’s adventure tours
- End your trip with 3-5 nights in the quaint beach town of Placencia, our staff’s favorite beach in Belize.
- Fish 1-2-3 full days with our expert local guides (fly fishing the flats or light tackle reef fishing)
- Set up a day to snorkel or dive the Silke Caye or Laughing Bird Caye marine national parks
- All Belize taxes
- Free quotes on travel insurance
- 24/7 support once you are here in country