(Mountain Pine Ridge)
Stan Creek & South Coast
As you explore the soaring pyramids, temple ruins and eerie altars of the lost Mayan civilization, you’ll feel the ancient spirits heavy in the thick rainforest air.
It’s easy to see why these other-worldly Mayan sites inspired the greatest filmmaker of the 20th century, and this tour will help you see the rare beauty of this haunting place through his eyes. Dating as far back as the 4th century B.C., marvel at the tremendous Caana pyramid that soars 140 feet above the jungle floor and is capped by three temples. Take in the views of the Maya Mountains and fertile Belize River valley from the palaces at Xuanantunich; snorkel the Caribbean’s largest barrier reef at Placencia; meet the howler monkeys of Ixpanpajul Nature Park; and enjoy sunset drinks atop a rainforest temple near Lake Yaxha.
If it’s possible to match the unbelievable beauty of Belize’s Mayan ruins, the stunning properties that make up this exclusive accommodation collection certainly do the job. Conceived by Francis Ford Coppola himself, you’ll stay in remote lake retreats, deluxe mountain villas and impeccably-designed beach resorts that belong in a glamorous Coppola film. And your knowledgeable private guides will relate the lesser-known stories and urban legends that surround the legendary filmmaker and his love affair with Belize.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon arrival you will be met by our local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Enjoy a direct flight from the Belize International airport to Flores, Guatemala.
Upon arrival to the airport you will be met and transferred to La Lancha.
A Francis Ford Coppola Property
La Lancha is a warm, sun-soaked escape near Lake Peten Itza in Guatemala's Peten region, near the archaeological site of Tikal. The 10 rooms promise unhindered privacy, and a rustic approach to travel. Management has made it a point not to include televisions, phones, and internet, ensuring that all who visit will bask in the natural aura of La Lancha. Impeccable service and dining options make all meals an occasion, as guests tend to anticipate the fine cuisine prepared by chefs. Activities range from boat trips to hikes, so one may get in touch with both the land and the water in this stunning environment.
Guests are picked up from their hotel and transferred to the Ixpanpajul Nature Park in the rainforest near the town of Flores. (1hr) At the park guests can choose between a Canopy walk Way trail or an exciting zip line adventure through the canopy. On either trip guests will be able to appreciate the local flora & fauna and hopefully see a variety of tropical wildlife. Guests then transfer with their driver and guide to Yaxha National Park (1hr) where they have lunch and enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited, atmospheric site. Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this area which is rich with wildlife. Sunset drinks are then enjoyed at the end of the tour on top of the main temple with views over the surrounding rainforest and nearby lake Yaxha. Guests then trek back through the jungle with torches as it starts to turn dark - perhaps spotting some nocturnal wildlife along the way - and return to their hotel.
Pick up from your lodge and begin your privately guided tour of Tikal National Park. Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 AD to 900 AD. Some of these pyramids are over 60 meters high (200 feet). Enjoy some free time at the site and return to your hotel after lunch at a local restaurant.
Meet your driver for a private transfer from La Lancha to Blancaneaux Lodge in Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize.
Experience the natural beauty surrounding Blancaneaux Lodge with a variety of different optional activities incuding horseback riding, nature hikes, swimming, biking and more! All activities are subject to an additional cost.
A Francis Ford Coppola Property. A marvelous taste of nature awaits those who visit Blancaneaux Lodge, in the Mountain Pine Ridge nature reserve near San Ignacio. The dreamchild of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, the lodge is broken up into deluxe villas and cabanas, each possessing a rustic air accompanied by rich furnishings and fabrics. The use of natural building materials aids in this effect. Villas promise a personal attendant to pamper guests, and private pool for tranquility. Cuisine is an array of sumptuous specialties, with fresh textures and quality that is hard to find outside the jungle. Take advantage of the adventure possibilities and bathe in the river. Visit the Mayan ruins or simply explore the rainforest and all its creatures. Great for bird lovers!
You will begin with a tour of the famous sites of Xuanantunich, situated on the banks of the Mopan River. Xunantunich means " Stone Woman " in Mayan. Xunantunich was a thriving city near the end of the Classic Period ( 300-900 A.D ) with large plazas ringed with pyramids. The centre of the site is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces. After lunch continue to the site at Cahal Pech " Place of the Ticks ", just outside the town of San Ignacio. This site center sits on the crest of a steep hill on the west bank of the Macal River and the central acropolis, approximately 900 feet above sea level, provides a commanding view of the Maya Mountains to the south and the fertile valley of the Belize River to the northeast. This center includes pyramid temples, palaces, and a ball court as well as five stelae and an altar (plain). The site shows a gradual architectural growth and indicates occupation likely running through the entire Classic Period. Then you will be transferred through the Cayo region to the Butterfly farm and Green Hills. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful butterfly sanctuary and learn about butterflies of this area.
Transfer to Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, a 106,000 acre protected national park. In the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, many Belizeans were employed as timber cutters in this area and on our tour we will see testament to that history. Arrive at the beautiful Maya site of Caracol (which means The Snail), named by archeologists because they found numerous snails on site. The original name is Oxwitza which means the sky place. Caracol is the largest archeological site in Belize, covering 30 square miles in thick, high canopy jungle, and includes five plazas, an astronomic observatory and over 35,000 buildings that have been identified. The loftiest among them, a massive pyramid (Caana) capped by 3 temples and rises over 140 feet above the jungle floor. Guests enjoy a private guided tour of the site with entrances and picnic lunch included. We then return to the hotel and on the way back guests can choose to stop and explore the Rio-on Pools and Rio Frio Caves if they wish.
Transfer to Turtle Inn by private vehicle and professional driver.
The Caribbean's largest barrier reef lies just offshore from Turtle Inn, offering snorkellers and divers a magnificent diversity of coral and marine life to explore. In addition, a number of easily accessible cayes (tiny islands) have their own reefs and underwater ecosystems, cementing Belize's reputation as one of the world's great underwater destinations. Optional activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, fishing, cycling, sunset cruises and more! All activities are subject to an additional cost.
A Francis Ford Coppola Property.Turtle Inn is sandwiched between the Garifuna settlement of Seine Bight and the Creole fishing village of Placencia at the tip of a narrow 26-mile long sandy peninsula. To the east, the Caribbean Sea is studded by a patchwork of coral cayes and the Belize Barrier Reef UNESCO World Heritage site. Directly behind Turtle Inn to the west lie the calm waters of the Placencia Lagoon and spectacular views of the Maya Mountains and Victoria Peak. South of the Placencia Peninsula is the Monkey River formed from the Swasey and Bladen rivers that flow from the jungle clad peaks of the Maya Mountains across the coastal savanna out into the extensive mangrove flats and barrier islands that hug the coastline.
Transfer from the hotel to the Cockscomb Nature Reserve where you begin with a nature hike looking for wildlife, discovering medicinal plants and learning about the park’s history and efforts to save the jaguar. After a picnic lunch enjoy a refreshing tube-float downriver, enjoying the rainforest from a different perspective. Combine a visit to the Jaguar Preserve with a stop at the fascinating Maya Museum where you will learn about ancient and contemporary Maya culture. Your Maya hosts will show you how to make corn tortillas and how they gro w shade coffee and cacao. Your trip to the Maya Museum at the entrance to the Jaguar Preserve can also be combined with a night walk in the Jaguar Preserve.
Every year during the months of March, April, May & June, whale sharks migrate to an area off the beautiful shores of Placencia in Belize called the Gladden Split. The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and one of the largest creatures of the animal kingdom. Swimming with whale sharks is done with snorkeling gear. Whether diving or swimming with the gentle giants, whale sharks can be as close as a few feet away or even at touching distance. It is recommended to snorkel to look for whale sharks 2 Days before – 10 Days after full moon.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver from Turtle Inn to Belize City International Airport.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Belize for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTA valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. and Canadian citizens, regardless of age, to enter Guatemala and to depart Guatemala. Even if dual nationals are permitted to enter Guatemala on a second nationality passport, U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Guatemala are not allowed to board their flights without a valid U.S. passport. An exit tax must be paid when departing Guatemala by air. The exit tax (currently $30) is generally included in an airline ticket price, but may be charged separately. There is an additional airport security fee (20 Quetzales, approximately $2.50) that all travelers must pay at the airport. Canadian citizens using Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter Guatemala for stays under ninety days. In June 2006, Guatemala entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals, who legally enter any of the four countries, may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries. Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Guatemala for the most up to date information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are poor quality and not widespread. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Guatemala City. Government: Republic. Gained independence from Spain in 1821. Language: The official language is Spanish. There are also 22 indigenous languages. Religion: About 60% of the population are Catholic. Most of the remaining population are Protestant. Some indigenous communities hold services combining Catholicism with pre-Columbian rites. Time: GMT - 6. Electricity: 115-125 volts AC, 60Hz. There are some regional variations. Plugs are the flat two-pin American type. Telephone: Country code: 502. Most public phone booths accept phone cards. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is increasing. Internet: Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.
Stay in the know: Subscribe to our newsletter to have our hand-picked trips & specials delivered to you!
Please enter a destination