9 Days in 3 Destinations To Reef, Rainforest and Reset in Belize

by Carolee Chanona

Perhaps the only downfall of Belize is that all the experiences of a destination this diverse cannot be experienced in a singular trip. However, Belize is best enjoyed on a longer itinerary for this same reason: there’s the reef and rainforest or peace and partying, all with heritage and culture. Prime for couples ready to be enchanted by Belize, and one another, this singular package starts at USD $2525 per person. Here’s what 9 days in 3 destinations to the reef, rainforest, and reset could look like in Belize with Gaia Riverlodge, Ray Caye Private Island, and Matachica Resort

Rainforest at GAÏA Riverlodge in Cayo

A destination like Mountain Pine Ridge allows every visitor to immerse themselves — fully — in the stark surroundings, as does the sustainable GAÏA Riverlodge. With the Five Sisters Waterfalls of the Privassion River hydro-powering this sister property to Matachica Resort, you’ll enjoy three nights in a Mountain View Cabana, although accommodations are a mix of cabanas, suites, and a villa, all with breathtaking views.

Beyond daily breakfast and a daily 3-course dinner, you can disconnect to reconnect with the rainforest thanks to no wifi in the bedroom; you’ll hardly miss it while hiking to Xibalba, a ceremonial cave located in the Dr. Elijio Panti National Park. Enjoy one 60-minute Aromatherapy Massage at the onsite Spa before your complimentary transfer from Gaia to Placencia, where you’ll head reef-side to Ray Caye. 

Wake To The Reef at Ray Caye Private Island 

Photo by Dylan Hetelle

With a roundtrip boat transfer from Placencia to the private island, Ray Caye is your own 9-acre, kidney-shaped tropical oasis. Breakfast, lunch, and a 3-course dinner taste even sweeter before retiring to your oceanfront cabana — your home away from home for the next three nights. No cabin fever here either: there’s plenty to entertain yourselves with beyond just pina coladas poolside: saltwater swims from the south dock’s waterslide, non-motorized water toys like kayaks, paddleboards, and even Hobie cats, and an onsite fitness and yoga center that’s perfect to recenter into your practice.

Photo by Anna O on TripAdvisor

And perhaps the most special part of this package involves coming face-to-face with Belize’s endangered sea turtles at Turtle Alley. The included snorkeling tour takes place just a few minutes away at the Silk Caye Marine Reserve. Once you’ve achieved your taste of island bliss, your land transfer from Ray Caye’s Wild Orchid Marina takes you to the Placencia airstrip, where a one-way puddle jumper flight heads back to the international airport for your next leg.

Reset at Matachica Resort in San Pedro 

A domestic flight whisks you away from the international airport (BZE) to the San Pedro Airstrip where, 15 minutes later, you’re on yet another island’s time. This time, it’s much buzzier and busier.

“Is the last leg of this package not to reset?” You will, considering the private transfer 5 miles north of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye transports you worlds away to a feeling of sheer tranquility. Intimate, idyllic, and reimagined, this seaside sister property to GAÏA Riverlodge houses 32 vibrantly colored individual casitas and villas at Matachica Resort. The adults-only resort’s personal patio and hammock are meditative, as waves break mere meters away from the shore over the world’s second-largest living barrier reef. It’s also where you’ll enjoy 3 nights in your Seabreeze beach casita.

Daily breakfast and daily 3-course dinner are fuel to enjoy a snorkel with sharks, rays, and turtles inside the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. Although, we recommend saving a good novel for this leg, particularly enjoyed from islets on the main dock. On your transfer to the local airstrip for a domestic flight back to BZE, you’ll leave not only feeling reset but also recharged.  

All images via respective properties.

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