The Best Tours for Your Belize Family Vacation
Imagine coming face to face with the king of the Belizean jungle, the mighty jaguar. Or watching a curious spider monkey dangle from one foot. You can even journey back in time 1,500 years and explore the ancient Mayan city of Xunantunich (Shoe-naan-too-neech). Now picture your whole family getting to experience these wonders together. From the youngest to the oldest, and everyone in between, visiting the Belize Zoo and the Mayan monument of Xunantunich are must-do’s.
Traveling with young children or a multi-generational family group does not mean you need to give up the adventurous spirit or settle for monotony while on vacation in Belize. One of the most popular excursion combos is a day trip to the mainland where the thrill of the jungle awaits. We know that family travel can bring the unexpected, and to make the experience as smooth as possible we have streamlined the process. We are committed to booking our guests with the best qualified and licensed guides in the country. Belizean Shores Resort is pleased to partner with a top-rated tour operator, Tuff E Nuff Tours, for all our mainland adventures. You may book your tours with them at their excursion table near the dock or with our concierge desk in the resort lobby.
Xunantunich Mayan Site
Located close to the western Guatemala border, Xunantunich, meaning “maiden of the rock” or “stone woman”, features the country’s 2nd tallest structure, El Castillo, rising 130 feet. During its prime, Xunantunich served as a Maya civic ceremonial center and is known for its eastern frieze depicting symbols of Maya astronomy and cosmology.
Accommodating only orphaned and rescue animals indigenous to the country, the Belize Zoo is a Tropical Education Centre founded by Sharon Matola, a fierce advocate for wildlife, and the inspiration of the book entitled The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw. The zoo uses native landscaping to showcase the incredible diversity of both the fauna and the flora to be found in Belize. The paved walkways are accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. Wagons for young kids are also available for rent at the entrance.
The day trip to Xunantunich and The Belize Zoo begins at 5:45 am with pick up at your resort for transfer to San Pedro town where you will enjoy a light traditional Belizean breakfast before being taken to the airstrip for the 7am flight to Belize Municipal airstrip.
Upon arrival at Belize’s Municipal airstrip, a professional Tuff E Nuff guide will be waiting to transport you via air-conditioned vehicle to the Xunantunich site. Your drive will take you out of the Belize District and into the Cayo District of the country, passing through several historic villages along the way as well as the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.
After an approximately 1.5-2 hour drive, you will arrive in San Jose Succotz village where you will exit your vehicle and board a hand-cranked ferry that will transport you across the beautiful Mopan River to the ancient Mayan site of Xunantunich. Your tour of Xunantunich will be led by a knowledgeable guide and will include the history of the location, importance of each structure, and insights into why the city was eventually abandoned. Should you be brave enough to venture to the top of El Castillo, you will be rewarded with sweeping views all the way to Guatemala.
Following your tour, you will enjoy a traditional Belizean lunch and then will depart for the second portion of your tour.
When you arrive at The Belize Zoo you will have the opportunity to use the restrooms before proceeding on your educational tour of Belize’s wildlife. The zoo experience can be customized to your interests and the dynamics of your group. When booking your tours, it is recommended to discuss the options available to tailor the day to your liking. The tasteful native exhibits let you picture these animals in the wild and how they interact with their environment. Many creatures are elusive and rare to be seen in the wild, the Zoo offers a chance for a glimpse of some of Belize’s most famous residents.
Board the van once again for a 40-minute drive to the Belize City Municipal Airport for your flight back to Ambergris Caye. Included in the tour are round-trip transfers, round-trip flights, light continental breakfast, traditional lunch, snacks, water, soda, professionally-guided tours, and all relevant park fees. Wear comfortable, light clothing such as shorts & T-Shirt, good walking shoes are a must. Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, cash for tips and souvenirs, camera and hat.
Family travel bonds you in a way that you won’t forget. Even the youngest can engage with the colorful animals at the Belize Zoo and can get their wiggles out on the manicured mall of Xunantunich’s plaza. Interactive guides are a wealth of knowledge and you are sure to complete the day with some new trivia facts. With door-to-door transport service and comfortable travel modes, you can sit back and relax in between tours, without worrying or stressing about logistics. Take time out with the whole family in Belize. Contact us today to book your adventure!