This fabulous ride will thrill your senses with lush tropical landscapes, fascinating Mayan ruins and fantastic wildlife. On this based stay you will really experience the true Belize. You will be riding along bridle tracks in tropical forests, each day experiencing different scenery. Visiting Mayan ruins of Xunantunich and unexcavated ruins whilst also being able to appreciate the wonderful bird and animal life along the way. Each night you will return to an award-winning family operated off-grid jungle eco-lodge, located on 105 acres of nature reserve, with a fully operational citrus farm on-site. Your hosts practice many sustainable farming techniques. Enjoy typical Belizian food most of which is produced on the farm. Throughout the whole trip you will be able to experience this fascinating country with its friendly people, rich history and Mayan culture.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from LV of Balzers on 24/11/2019

Ride Summary
Very friendly hosts, who gave deep impressions of life and culture in belize. Excursions to the mayan ruins and the rainforest were very impressive. Additional points for the open air bellow of the howler monkeys in the jungle!
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

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YES
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5
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YES
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Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

6 Days / 5 Nights Itinerary:

Day 1

On the day of arrival you will be met outside the arrival zone at the Belize International Airport by a driver who will be holding a sign with your name on it. Alternative pickup locations can be arranged and rates may vary. A stop at the Belize Zoo can be added to your arrival or departure transfer depending on arrival time. The Zoo closes at 3:30 pm. This would need to be arranged when booking your trip. Depending on arrival time, you may enjoy some of the lodge activities such as: a refreshing swim in the pool, a hike on the trails, river tubing, canoeing and more. Or relax and decompress to the sounds, smells and views of the jungle river valley from your own verandah. Enjoy your first dinner & cocktails at open-air fine dining restaurant. Alternatively, an intimate private candlelight dinner service can be arranged for a fee to be paid at the lodge. Overnight at Table Rock Jungle Lodge.

Day 2
Breakfast is served starting at 6:30 AM. At 8:00 AM, a driver will arrive to take you to the stables. Please wear long trousers and closed-toe shoes. We will provide water, lunch, a small saddle bag, beach towel and poncho. You will receive an oral orientation before being introduced to your horse and fitted to the saddle for a full day of horseback riding. You will ride through the rainforest to an ancient Mayan cave. Explore and discover interesting formations and evidence of the Mayan culture in pottery remnants and potsherds that are hundreds of years old. (Please don’t touch them!) After the visit to the cave, refresh yourself with a cool dip in the crystal clear river and feast on a delicious picnic lunch. Return to the stables between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. After a refreshing beverage, you will be driven back to Table Rock Jungle Lodge, a 30-minute drive. Return to your Cabana to freshen up for dinner and lively conversation with other guests.

Day 3
Morning routine repeats. Another full day of horseback riding to Nohoch Sayab River cave at Barton Creek. The trail meanders through the village of El Progresso, where refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador settled over 30 years ago. The trail then passes through a Mennonite community where you can observe ancient farming practices such as horse-drawn buggies, plows, and mills. As you make your way down the steep narrow road to the valley floor, you will be astounded by the size of fruit trees and tropical flora in the fertile Barton Creek valley. Arriving at Mike’s Place, you will enter a canoe and paddle across the creek, then suddenly disappear, paddling deep into the sparking stalactite formation river cave. When you return to the mouth of the cave, enjoy a swim and a delicious lunch before returning to the stables. Then back to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for another unique meal and relaxation time.

Day 4
Today begins with a beautiful half-day jungle horseback ride followed by lunch at the equestrian centre Cantina and then a vehicle tour to a Mayan Site and the town of San Ignacio. The destination for the half-day ride is a secluded hidden valley where you will ride along a winding creek and enjoy the exotic tropical vegetation and excellent opportunities for sighting colorful rainforest birds and iridescent butterflies. After lunch, you will return to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for a chance to shower and change clothes. Your guide will then accompany you on a tour to a Mayan site followed by shopping or optional cultural tours in San Ignacio or simply experiencing the ambience of the lovely town of San Ignacio at the confluence of the Mopan and Macal Rivers where they merge into the Belize River. You will return to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Day 5
Today is a full day of riding to more beautiful waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The trail winds through varied ecosystems and terrain while your guide points out features and explains traditional uses of rainforest plants. Enjoy a gourmet lunch and swimming at the beautiful waterfalls, relax awhile and then mount the horses for a rejuvenating ride home. Overnight at Table Rock Jungle Lodge.

Day 6
Day of departure. The time of departure will depend on your plans or flight times. The transfer from Table Rock to the International Airport or any other location in Belize City by vehicle is included. Contact us for rates to other desired destinations or for an alternate flight from San Ignacio to Belize City (additional fees apply).

8 Days / 7 Nights Itinerary:
Day 1

On the day of arrival you will be met outside the arrival zone at the Belize International Airport by a driver who will be holding a sign with your name on it. Alternative pickup locations can be arranged and rates may vary. A stop at the Belize Zoo can be added to your arrival or departure transfer depending on arrival time. The Zoo closes at 3:30 pm. This would need to be arranged when booking your trip. Depending on arrival time, you may enjoy some of the lodge activities such as: a refreshing swim in the pool, a hike on the trails, river tubing, canoeing and more. Or relax and decompress to the sounds, smells and views of the jungle river valley from your own verandah. Enjoy your first dinner & cocktails at open-air fine dining restaurant. Alternatively, an intimate private candlelight dinner service can be arranged for a fee to be paid at the lodge. Overnight at Table Rock Jungle Lodge.

Day 2
Breakfast is served starting at 6:30 AM. At 8:00 AM, a driver will arrive to take you to the stables. Please wear long trousers and closed-toe shoes. We will provide water, lunch, a small saddle bag, beach towel and poncho. You will receive an oral orientation before being introduced to your horse and fitted to the saddle for a full day of horseback riding. You will ride through the rainforest to an ancient Mayan cave. Explore and discover interesting formations and evidence of the Mayan culture in pottery remnants and potsherds that are hundreds of years old. (Please don’t touch them!) After the visit to the cave, refresh yourself with a cool dip in the crystal clear river and feast on a delicious picnic lunch. Return to the stables between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. After a refreshing beverage, you will be driven back to Table Rock Jungle Lodge, a 30-minute drive. Return to your Cabana to freshen up for dinner and lively conversation with other guests.

Day 3
Morning routine repeats. Another full day of horseback riding to Nohoch Sayab River cave at Barton Creek. The trail meanders through the village of El Progresso, where refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador settled over 30 years ago. The trail then passes through a Mennonite community where you can observe ancient farming practices such as horse-drawn buggies, plows, and mills. As you make your way down the steep narrow road to the valley floor, you will be astounded by the size of fruit trees and tropical flora in the fertile Barton Creek valley. Arriving at Mike’s Place, you will enter a canoe and paddle across the creek, then suddenly disappear, paddling deep into the sparking stalactite formation river cave. When you return to the mouth of the cave, enjoy a swim and a delicious lunch before returning to the stables. Then back to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for another unique meal and relaxation time.

Day 4
Today begins with a beautiful half-day jungle horseback ride followed by lunch at the equestrian centre Cantina and then a vehicle tour to a Mayan Site and the town of San Ignacio. The destination for the half-day ride is a secluded hidden valley where you will ride along a winding creek and enjoy the exotic tropical vegetation and excellent opportunities for sighting colorful rainforest birds and iridescent butterflies. After lunch, you will return to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for a chance to shower and change clothes. Your guide will then accompany you on a tour to a Mayan site followed by shopping or optional cultural tours in San Ignacio or simply experiencing the ambience of the lovely town of San Ignacio at the confluence of the Mopan and Macal Rivers where they merge into the Belize River. You will return to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Day 5
Today, Table Rock will take you to visit Caracol (Spanish for “snail”). Caracol is the most spectacular Mayan site in Belize, as well as one of the most impressive in Central America. Once home to as many as 200,000 people–more than half of the entire modern-day Belizean population, Caracol was a metropolis with five plazas and thirty-two large structures covering almost one square mile including Belize’s tallest manmade structure, the temple of Ca’ana. Altogether there are some 35,000 buildings at the site, though only a handful have been fully excavated. Your day will end off with a leisurely stop at Rio On Pools for more breathtaking scenery and a swim. Be sure to have your camera batteries fully charged and a fresh memory card available, as not only the grand Mayan architecture but the surrounding jungle and wildlife will keep you snapping photos all day long. A must see!
Drive Time from Table Rock: 2 hours
Adventure Level: Moderately strenuous. An amazing, but very bumpy two-hour drive on unpaved road takes you through the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Elijio Panti National Park, and the lush broadleaf rainforest of the Chiquibul National Park. Choose to climb to the tops of the temples to add an even greater adventure level.
What to Wear: Shorts or lightweight long pants, shirt, and comfortable walking shoes. Bring along your bathing suit to change into for swimming after touring the ruins. A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and insect repellent are recommended, as well.
*Restrictions: This tour is not for those who suffer from car-sickness.
Overnight at Table Rock Jungle Lodge.

Day 6
Today is a full day of riding to some beautiful waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The trail winds through varied ecosystems and terrain while your guide points out features and explains traditional uses of rainforest plants. Enjoy a homemade picnic lunch and swimming at the beautiful waterfalls, relax awhile and then mount the horses for a rejuvenating ride home. Overnight at Table Rock Jungle Lodge.

Day 7
Your last day of riding will be another jungle ride, an immersion into the rainforest and a visit to a lovely hidden valley filled with giant fruit trees. This is the heart of Slate Creek Preserve, the creek of the same name meanders through this incredibly rich and beautiful valley surrounded by forested hills. Your guides will continue to show you traditional uses of the plants and trees you are passing. You will return to the equestrian centre Cantina for lunch and goodbyes to your hosts, guides and staff. Travel back to Table Rock Jungle Lodge for an open afternoon or choosing any of the excellent activities they offer on-site.

Day 8
Day of departure. The time of departure will depend on your plans or flight times. The transfer from Table Rock to the International Airport or any other location in Belize City by vehicle is included. Contact us for rates to other desired destinations or for an alternate flight from San Ignacio to Belize City (additional fees apply).

Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

Anthony Benjamin's Travel Guide Explores: Belize - Anthony Benjamin
Belize Wildlife: An Introduction to Familiar Species - James Kavanagh
 

 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Condition of horses is above average and they have good temperaments, sizing from 14.2hh to 17hh. There are some more spirited horses for more experienced riders in the second half of the programme. The riding style is English and Western.



The pace of the ride is mainly walks and trots on flat tracks and some hills with canters where terrain and experience allow. On some days there will be a ride in the morning and in the afternoon, or a longer ride in the morning leaving the afternoon free. Other days will involve a full days ride with lunch on the trail.


Rider requirements

This ride is best suited to guests with an adventurous nature. Some riding fitness is required as riding is between 2 - 5 hours per day. There is some difficult terrain although the guides will supervise riders across these areas. Must have a secure seat at a walk and trot. The tour guide will have the final word on if you are allowed to canter or gallop. Riders need to be able to mount and dismount unaided.


Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 230 lb/105 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Table Rock Jungle Lodge: An award-winning family operated off-grid jungle lodge offering cozy cabanas and a range of amenities including a new saltwater infinity pool. Each room offers private bathrooms, ceiling fans, USB charging ports, in-house cell phones, and 24-hour electricity. The fully sustainable eco-lodge is located on 105 acres of nature reserve, and runs a fully operational citrus farm, with a half mile of riverfront along the Macal River.



Table Rock Jungle Lodge and stables are off-grid, which means they rely on solar power. Please do not bring hair-dryers or other high wattage devices. They provide USB outlets to charge your phone. There is little to no cellular service available, but WiFi is offered in common areas.



Your hosts offer fresh, home-cooked meals. All vacation packages include three daily meals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Traditional Belizean food is served, which usually includes a fresh salad, rice, beans, fried plantains, and a protein (chicken, pork, beef). As much as possible, your hosts serve fresh produce and fruits grown on their own organic farm. Special dietary requirements can be accomdoated with prior notice.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

British nationals are normally admitted to Belize without a visa as tourists for an initial maximum stay of 30 days. The departure tax is US$37.50, which can be paid only in US dollars or with a credit/ debit card. It’s included in some air fares. There is a bank inside the airport where you can convert Belize dollars to US dollars to a maximum of BZD$1000.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0230/ 0233 or www.fco.gov.uk

In the UK the Belize High Commission can be found at: Third Floor, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP Tel: +44 (0)2038669671 Website: http://belizehighcommission.co.uk/ Email: info@belizehighcommission.co.uk

In Belize the British High Commission can be found at North Ring Road/Melhado Parade (Entrance via North Ring Road), PO Box 91, Belmopan, Belize. General enquiries Tel: (+501) 822 2146. Email: brithicom@btl.net
For urgent consular assistance or if you have lost your passport and are due to travel in the next 24hrs please call (+501) 822 2146. If you are in the UK and concerned about a British national in Belize please call 020 7008 1500

Climate Summary

Belize is a warm country with very marked rain patterns. The months of March, April and May are the hottest months but still very nice to ride and enjoy the rivers along the rides. The rest of the year the weather is a little cooler with some scattered showers but still very enjoyable for riding as it is never cold. Rainy season is usually June to November.

Climate Chart

Health (ride specific)

Medical facilities in Belize are limited. Serious medical cases are normally evacuated to the United States (at the patient’s expense).
UK health authorities have classified Belize as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Belize and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Electricity

Belize uses 110 volt, 60 cycle electricity, same as the US. Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type so US travellers will not need a converter or adapter.

Film and Camera Equipment

Table Rock Jungle Lodge and stables are off-grid, which means they rely on solar power. Please do not bring hair-dryers or other high wattage devices. They provide USB outlets to charge your phone. There is little to no cellular service available at either lodge, but WiFi is offered in common areas at both locations.

Packing List

Riding clothes, including riding boots and riding hat
Long trousers, layering tops with long sleeves.
Rain poncho or raincoat.
Swimming costume/trunks
Beach towel
Toiletries, including prescription medication
Torch and extra batteries
Insect repellent & sunscreen
Binoculars, camera, chargers

The ride will provide a water bottle and bag for your necessities while riding, plus a saddle bag for towel, suit, and poncho.

Programmes

This is a 8 day/7 night or 6 days/5 night programme with flexible dates year-round, except for 4 weeks in September - October (please enquire for exact dates).

Departure Dates

2021 Low Season: 1 May - 30 October (closed for 4 weeks in September - October, please enquire for dates)
2021 High Season: 4 January - 30 April (excluding Easter Week)
2021 Peak Season: Tuesday to Tuesday during Easter Week; 21 December - 3 January 2022

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
Recommended Reading

Anthony Benjamin's Travel Guide Explores: Belize - Anthony Benjamin Belize Wildlife: An Introduction to Familiar Species - James Kavanagh


Other Activities

There are plenty of activities on offer in the area such as caving, hiking, canoeing, birding and exploring Tikal in Guatemala. All activities can be arranged upon request. Of interest in the area is Caracol Mayan temple, ATM cave, Barton Creek cave, Crystal Cave, zip lining, and much more.

Wildlife

Belize has a very dynamic and rich birdlife, both on the farm and in the general area. There are also motmots, numerous hummingbirds, honeycreepers, flycatchers, owls and birds of prey . It is a common sight to spot Toucans which is the national bird. Iguanas, armadillos, ocelots, marques, and many other small mammals can be seen on night walks. The flora is one of the most diverse in the hemisphere as Belize stands in a very rich tropical climate. The farm is also home to many nocturnal creatures such as the howler monkeys, kinkajous, bats, tapirs, paca, deer and even a few of the elusive big cats of Belize have been spotted from time to time.

Other Information

Non-riders can be accommodated on request.

Other Country Information

Around 12,500 British nationals visit Belize each year.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE)
Transfer:
2021: included from Philip Goldson International Airport
Flight Guide:
London to Belize from £467
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