Woman snorkeling in clear blue waters in Belize directly above a sea turtle in shallow water
Pristine tide pool with one person swimming near the coral on Half Moon Cay, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize
Aerial Shot of Half Moon Caye, an island and natural monument of Belize located at the southeast corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll.
Aerial view of two people snorkeling in the shallow reef and clear blue waters of Half Moon Caye Belize
Colorful translucent marine life seen from below underwater in belize
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Central America Belize Cruise

Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers

Cruise among Belize’s vibrant reefs, explore lush jungles and kayak or stand-up paddleboard the turquoise waters on this 6-day National Geographic Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & River expedition. Board the 100-guest National Geographic Quest to discover the colorful corals and abundant sea life of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest reef system in the Northern Hemisphere, along Belize’s remote southern coast.

Snorkel at the Mesoamerican Reef, skirt the shores of white-sand islands by kayak and stand-up paddleboard, and swim in turquoise lagoons teeming with marine life. Head inland to explore Belize’s jungles on foot and cruise coastal rivers in Zodiacs, seeking out howler monkeys and toucans in the surrounding rainforest canopy. Discover wild, beautiful places few will ever have the chance to see. Highlights include numerous stops inside Belize Barrier Reef, the Monkey River, a festive drumming performance from the internationally acclaimed Garifuna Collective and a nature hike in the world’s first jaguar reserve, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

This unique 6-day voyage to Belize cruise focuses on snorkeling vibrant reefs with National Geographic experts and is truly a trip of a lifetime.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Belize cruises.



Itinerary

Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers Itinerary

This unique 6-day voyage to Belize cruise begins in Guatemala City with a flight to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala and ends in Santo Tomas, with a return flight to Guatemala City.

Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, reefs and rivers cruise route map.
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Day 1
Arrive Guatemala City & Embark Puerto Barrios, Guatemala

Arrive in Guatemala City and connect with the charter flight to Puerto Barrios. Transfer to Puerto Santo Tomás then embark the National Geographic Quest.

Accommodations

National Geographic Quest

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Belize Barrier Reef, Northern Cayes, Belize

Awake anchored in the northern cayes of the Mesoamerican Reef System, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of biodiversity. Enjoy a full day to further explore this dynamic ecosystem. Take to the water by kayak, or stand-up paddleboard, or don a mask and fins and dive into turquoise waters to encounter sea turtles, swirling schools of tropical fish, and harmless nurse sharks. For scuba divers, incredible dive opportunities abound (additional cost).

Accommodations

National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Belize Barrier Reef, Central Cayes

Explore more of the Belize Barrier Reef in the central cayes, with an opportunity to visit the Smithsonian-operated research station at Carrie Bow Caye.  Here, learn about the comprehensive studies being conducted on the reef ecosystem, including the biodiversity, evolution, and ecology of its organisms and communities, effectively ‘taking a pulse’ of the reef. The surrounding area offers outstanding snorkeling and diving, with vibrant corals and an incredible undersea diversity–a tropical paradise both above and below the surface of the Caribbean.

Accommodations

National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Spend the morning discovering the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar reserve. Join naturalists guides for a hike along one of the reserve’s many nature trails to photograph tropical plants, scan the treetops for winged wonders, and spot the tracks of tapirs and jungle cats. Learn about ongoing research into the behaviors of Belize’s jaguars, then visit a Maya handicraft center. Tonight, an internationally acclaimed drumming group, The Garifuna Collective, comes board for a festive music performance.

Accommodations

National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Monkey River & Belize Barrier Reef, Southern Cayes

Early this morning, board local boats to cruise inland through this coastal river system. Along the river, lined with cecropia and kapok trees, the throaty roars of mantled howler monkeys echo through the canopy, green and spiny-tailed iguanas languidly laze on overhanging branches and little blue herons, males adorned in their exquisite blue and purple plumage, work the shallows watching and waiting for small fish, frogs and crustaceans. This afternoon head back to the reef, this time in the southern cayes, enjoy snorkeling, paddleboarding, or kayaking inside its fringing reef dotted with hundreds of coral patches that harbor parrotfish, butterflyfish, octopus, and other marine species. Enjoy the last rays of light as the sun sets on your Belizean adventure.

Accommodations

National Geographic Quest

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Disembark Puerto Santo Tomas, Guatemala

Disembark in Puerto Santo Tomas and catch your charter flight to Guatemala City, where you’ll connect with your flight home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Roundtrip charter flights between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios; all accommodations aboard ship per itinerary; all meals as indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of equipment; expedition fees; all port charges, service taxes and airport transfers to and from ship.

Exclusions

Air transportation (except roundtrip charter flights between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios); extensions; passport, visa and immigration fees; scuba diving; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, etc.; discretionary tips for ship’s crew; insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $750 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
120 or more days – $350 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
119 to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 25% of total trip cost
59 to 45 days – 50% of total trip cost
44 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers cruise begins and ends in Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Guatemala City before 12:30pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Guatemala City after 2:00pm on day 6. Group flights between Miami, Florida and Guatemala City, Guatemala, may be arranged. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Round-trip charter flights between Guatemala City and Puerto Barrios are included. At the time of booking, your Adventure Specialist can confirm whether luggage weight limits apply and if so, whether the option to pay for extra luggage is available.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, biking, snorkeling, scuba diving (added cost), kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, photography and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 at time of travel save $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Feb 11 - Feb 16, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 6 days
From $4290USD
Per Person
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Feb 21 - Feb 26, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 6 days
From $4290USD
Per Person
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Feb 26 - Mar 03, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 6 days
From $4290USD
Per Person
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Mar 03 - Mar 08, 2021
National Geographic Quest • 6 days
From $4290USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary 

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Quest

Purpose built to cruise coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels, the 100-guest National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art, expedition, luxury vessel designed for supreme comfort and enhanced wildlife viewing.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
10% Group Savings On 2021 Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers Cruises

Book your group's Belize cruise and save up to 10% on the total cruise price in this special deal.

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Cancellation Available Close To Departure on 2020 & 2021 National Geographic Expeditions

Book or re-book 2020 & 2021 travel aboard the National Geographic fleet of ships with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Expert Review

Ship Reviews from our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Arielle Lightcap • August 27th, 2017
Expert Aboard: National Geographic Quest Review

Adventure Specialist Arielle Figueroa was among the first to step aboard the new National Geographic Quest during its first month sailing. Read her review of this stunning small ship.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

Choose from a wide variety of other AdventureSmith Belize trips to extend your journey, or opt for a postcruise extension with your fellow passengers on this cruise. Consult the following for prices and further details:

Antigua, Guatemala Extension is a 3-day post-cruise guided extension offered in conjunction with this cruise. Visit either the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology or the Museum of Textiles in Guatemala City. Transfer to Antigua to tour a coffee plantation and see the Monastery of La Merced, the Main Plaza, Arco de Santa Catalina and possibly a jade factory and the local handicraft market. Feast on an included traditional Guatemalan meal followed by a traditional dance performance. End the extension by transferring back to Guatemala City for your flight home. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for details and pricing.

Costa Rica Extension is a 10-day post-cruise extension offered in conjunction with this cruise. Visit the Tarcoles River, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a butterfly farm, a family-run farm, Lake Arenal, Arenal Hanging Bridges, Tortuguero National Park, Sea Turtle Conservancy and Sibu Chocolatier. Enjoy opportunities to swim, hike, sample some of the world’s finest organic chocolate and sugar cane liquor, relax in thermal pools, take advantage of optional spa treatments, experience a car-free village, learn about the history of the region, kayak and tour Costa Rica’s wildlife-rich waters in Zodiacs. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for details and pricing.

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Belize In Style

Experience Belize In Style on this 8-day tour designed for the adventurous traveler interested in luxury comforts. Stay at the world-famous Lamanai Outpost Lodge and in Placencia, a charming Caribbean gateway to the largest reef system in the northern hemisphere.

From $2675USD
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Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs & Rivers

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