Belize: Placencia and San Ignacio
Fly in/out: Belize City, Belize (often with connecting through Texas)
Ball Park Price: $1,350/person for 5 travelers
Recommended ages: 8 and up
Best Season: During the dry season, November–April
Language: English with some Spanish
Currency: Belize Dollars or BZ
DAY ONE: Fly United through Dallas/Fort Worth into Belize City, Belize BZE. (Point A) Rent an SUV. Drive three hours to Robert’s Grove Beach Resort. (Point B)
DAY TWO: Take a snorkel excursion to Laughing Bird Caye pre-booked by Robert’s Grove Beach Resort.
DAY THREE: Kayak in the a.m. among dolphins right off of Robert’s Grove Beach. Take a Monkey Tour by boat pre-booked with Robert Grove Beach Resort.
DAY FOUR: Snorkel to Silk Caye and Belize Barrier Reef. Take an afternoon sail on one of Robert’s Grove sailboats.
DAY FIVE: Drive to Mystic River Resort (Point C) about 3 hours and check-in and explore the resort.
DAY SIX: Go cave exploring to the ATM caves.
DAY SEVEN: Explore Xunantunich Ancient Mayan Ruins in a ⅔ day excursion. Take a relaxing tube ride down the river right outside Mystic River Resort.
DAY EIGHT: Zipline and repel all day.
DAY NINE: Drive back to Belize City and depart for home on United.
- This was a fabulous trip with two amazing resort locations with once in a life-time excursions beautifully coordinated by the resorts.
- Belize itself is still a third world country with hidden natural gems.
- Some of the best snorkeling with crystal clear waters we’ve ever seen. The snorkeling reefs are easy to get to by boat from the Placencia Beach area.
- The Mystic River Resort is a truly fabulous eco-friendly resort that planned excursions of a lifetime and the dining at Mystic River Resort was a five-star experience.
- The ATM cave experience was both educational and a once in a lifetime experience for the whole family.
- The service on the excursions were efficient and informative. However, they also have a no-frills approach for the adventurous elements. Don’t expect “Disney-Like” service and always take daily needs in your back-packs so you’re always prepared.
- Snorkeling in Laughing Bird Caye National Park took us snorkeling and lunching on this beautiful remote island.
- The Monkey Forest Boating and Hiking Tour to see some monkeys in their natural habitat was fun for the kids.
- The whole family enjoyed the educational day at the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins.
- The ATM caving excursion was a once in a lifetime experience. To explore a cave while both climbing and swimming to reach 800 year-old ruins inside the cave was almost surreal. My kids were 8, 12, and 15 at the time of this trip and they will never forget this experience. The kids need to be good swimmers and climbers. More importantly, if they’re ok with being in the dark and swimming in a cave, they will be fine.
Places to stay
- Robert’s Grove Beach Resort was a wonderful family resort with pool, beach, boat toys, and a beach villa that easily and affordably accommodated a family of 5.
- Mystic River Resort was truly a remarkable eco-lodge. The owners were extremely friendly and attentive. The only surprise on this trip was that Mystic River Resort did not have air conditioning and the last 7 miles to the resort was unpaved. However, this does make sense as they promote themselves as an Eco tour lodge and work hard at preserving this remarkable rainforest.
- For the most part, we ate lunches with the excursions and dinners provided by the restaurants at the two resorts.
- Just outside of Robert’s Grove Beach Resort is the Turtle Inn, Coppola Resorts, that also offers resort dining.
- The dining at the Mystic River Resort was a five-star experience for breakfast and dinner. The restaurant was situated right on the river in the middle of the rainforest.
- Prepare your kids for the contrasts of natural beauty mixed with obvious poverty. Lots of questions surface for such extremes.
- Make sure you rent an SUV with functioning air conditioning. Test it before you pull out of the lot. Also, pick up a local map from the car rental company as some of GPS directions don’t reflect accurate routes.
- Bring long sleeve shirts for sun and jellyfish protection while snorkelling.
- Have a back pack always filled with water, suntan lotion, extra snacks, and bug repellent. We were not always prepared and bugs will pop up in surprising places.
- Bring extra food from your resort for your long excursions. Places to stop along a drive are distant and sometimes shady.
- You can truly get lost in Belize! Try to bring specific driving directions with you in advance which include things like “turn left at the fork by the red building” as signals for GPS and WIFI are spotty or non-existent.
- Some roads are unpaved. Bring a travel pillow for extra cushioning!
- Bring extra Belize Dollars on your excursions in case you need it for entrance to park, special guides or lunches. Sometimes incidentals are not included and it’s better to be with than without!
Long Sleeve Shirt to protect you from jellyfish bites. We wish we had one of these with us for our snorkeling days.