Caracol Mayan ruins
Caracol Mayan ruins
Caracol
Caracol detail

This equestrian adventure will thrill the senses, with horseback riding in lush tropical landscapes, fascinating Mayan ruins (including a full day at Caracol), and fantastic bird life such as toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, orioles, motmots, warblers, parrots, raptors and, with a bit of luck, the rare Keel-billed motmot. 

With horseback riding on 5 days spent seeing the local sites, finding private waterfalls and stopping for a swim and lunch, and discovering the lifestyles and history of the local citizens, the variety is excellent. The pace is not fast and dependent on the terrain.

Riders return each night to an award-winning family operated off-grid jungle eco-lodge, located on 105 acres of nature reserve. Enjoy typical Belizean food, most of which is produced on the farm. This trip allows guests to experience this fascinating country with its friendly people, rich history and Ma

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

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
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Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
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How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
5
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Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
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May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
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Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

Day 1
On the day of arrival guests will be met outside the arrival zone at the Belize International Airport. Alternative pickup locations can be arranged and rates may vary. A visit to he Belize Zoo can be added to the arrival or departure transfer (to be pre-booked, the zoo closes at 3.30pm).
Depending on arrival time, guests may like to take a dip in the lodge pool, hike on the trails, or try river tubing or canoeing. Enjoy the welcoming dinner & cocktails at an 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 (or similar).

Day 2
After an early breakfast riders are driven to the stables to meet and prepare the horses for the first full day in the saddle. The hosts provide water, lunch, a small saddle bag, beach towel and poncho. The ride starts through the rainforest to an ancient Mayan cave. Explore and discover interesting formations and evidence of the Mayan culture in the pottery remnants and potsherds that are hundreds of years old. (Please don’t touch them!) .
This is followed by a cool dip in the crystal clear river and a delicious picnic lunch. Return to the stables between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. where guests are driven back to the lodge, a 20-minute drive. Freshen up for dinner with the group.

Day 3
On reaching the stables the days' morning ride will take you on a tour of the 150 acre ranch and wildlife sanctuary the stabes are located on. Learn about the off grid system, water and power, visit the ponds to view any wildlife, and ride some of the trails on the property. 

After lunch at the cantina we drive to the Nohoch Sayab River cave at Barton Creek. Experienced riders who can canter for longer periods can also ride to Barton Creek if wanted. As you make your way down the steep and narrow road to the valley floor, you will be astounded by the size of the fruit trees and tropical florra in the fertile Barton Creek Valley. You will see farmers who use primitive farming practices such as horse-drawn buggies, plows, and mills.

Arriving at Mike’s Place, riders paddle a canoe across the creek, then suddenly disappear, paddling deep into the sparking stalactite formation river cave. We paddle into the cave for about a mile before returning the way we came. The guide has a spot light and will point out interesting formations, but your own head torch will be useful here too. We enjoy a picnic lunch and a refreshing dip either before or after the cave visit and head back to the stables and on to the lodge for the evening. Full or half day riding as wanted.

Day 4
Today begins with a half-day jungle horseback ride followed by lunch at the stables' cantina and then a vehicle tour to the Mayan Site of Cahal Peche and the town of San Ignacio.
The destination for the half-day ride is a secluded hidden valley where guests can ride along a winding creek and enjoy the exotic tropical vegetation with excellent opportunities for sighting colorful rainforest birds and iridescent butterflies. After lunch, the group will return to the lodge for a chance to shower and change clothes before the tour of Cahal Peche followed by shopping or optional cultural tours in San Ignacio or simply experienceing the ambience of this lovely town situated on the confluence of the Mopan and Macal Rivers which merge into the Belize River here. Return to the lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening. 

Day 5
After breakfast the hosts take the group to 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. There are over 35,000 buildings at the site but only a few have been fully excavated. The day will end off with a leisurely stop at Rio On Pools for more breathtaking scenery and a swim. Be sure to bring a camera with the batteries fully charged and plenty of free memory space as the day is a photographers dream with grand Mayan architecture and surrounding jungle with wildlife. 

The beautiful, but bumpy two-hour drive on unpaved road 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. Overnight at the lodge.
*Restrictions: This tour is not for those who suffer from car-sickness.

Day 6
Today is a full riding day to visit another set of private beautiful waterfalls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The trail winds through varied ecosystems and terrains while the guide points out features and explains traditional uses of rainforest plants. Enjoy a homemade picnic lunch and a refreshing dip and relaxing break before heading riding back. There is time to do some of the lodge activities later such as Hiking, bridwatching, canoeing or swimming.

Day 7
On this last day of riding will begin with an immersive jungle ride, visiting a lovely hidden valley filled with giant fruit trees. This is the heart of Slate Creek Preserve, the river meanders through this incredibly rich and beautiful valley surrounded by forested hills. The guides explain the traditional uses of the plants and trees before returning to the stables' cantina for lunch and goodbyes to your hosts, horses, guides and staff.
Travel back to the lodge for a free afternoon. Overnight at the lodge.

Day 8
Transfers from the lodge to the 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).

Please note: The order of the rides in this package can be changed at your hosts discretion. They will do their best to offer all activities but there will be no refund for services that are unable to perform due to circumstances out of their control, such as weather or other abnormal events. There is no refund for any unused portion of this package.

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

The condition of the 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 available. 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 is 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.



The 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.



There is an option to add an extra person in a (suitable) room and up to 2 children under 18 can share with 2 adults for free (accommodation only).

Garden View - 1 Queen bed, 2 units available (not possible to add a 3rd person to this room)

Queen Jungle View - 1 queen bed and 1 futon, 1 unit available

King Jungle View - 1 King  and 1 futon, 2 units available

River Valley View - 1 King and 1 Futon, 4 units available

Rainforest Cabin - 2 bedrooms, 1 King and 1 bunk bed, 1 unit available

See www.tablerockbelize.com for more details on accommodation.



Should this lodge not be available we have alternative lodges which can be arranged and will advise you the costs at the time of booking.



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 within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

Passport and Visa 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 should you need a visa.

Departure tax - When leaving by air check if the departure tax has been included in the airfare.


In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/belize

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Belize.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/belize

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

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Health authorities have classified Belize as having a risk of Zika virus and Dengue transmission.

Belize has also had cases of Chikungunya virus. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Belize and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Health (ride specific)

Medical facilities in Belize are limited. Serious medical cases are normally evacuated to the United States (at the patient’s expense).

Health authorities have classified Belize as having a risk of Zika virus transmission.

Cases of Chikunyunga virus have been confirmed in Belize and the number of reported cases in the region is increasing.

Electricity

In Belize the supply voltage is 120/220V. If the appliance or its power supply is not dual voltage rated, the single voltage appliance will have to be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly (unless the appliance operates at 120V or 240V).

Mobile, WiFi and charging

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. If you want to bring a GoPro please be advised that you will have to have permission from all other guests and guides that they are willing to be filmed.

Packing List

Riding clothes, including riding boots and riding hat
Long trousers, layering tops with long sleeves.
Rain poncho or raincoat
Sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots
Sandals or flip-flops, water shoes
Swimming costume/trunks
Beach towel
Toiletries, including prescription medication
Torch and extra batteries
Insect repellent & sunscreen
Binoculars, camera, chargers
Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
Portable battery bank
Sunscreen
Sunglasses

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 itinerary with flexible start dates year-round, except for 4 weeks in September - October (please enquire for exact dates).

Departure Dates

2024: Low season 1 July - 31 October
2024: High Season 4 Jan - 26 Mar, 4 Apr - 30 Jun and 1 Nov- 20 Dec
2024: Peak Season Christmas, New Year and Easter.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.

Please enquire for single prices and stays which span 2 seasons.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp2,315
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp2,415
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp2,519
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp2,619
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n53rd person sharing a room1,879
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy2,885
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp2,519
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp2,655
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp2,759
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp2,905
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room1,879
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy3,229
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp2,719
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp2,865
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp2,965
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,105
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room1,995
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy3,579
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp2,705
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp2,819
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp2,939
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,059
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n53rd person sharing a room2,195
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy3,369
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp2,945
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp3,099
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp3,219
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,389
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room2,195
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy3,769
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp3,175
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp3,345
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp3,459
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,625
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room2,329
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy4,185
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp3,045
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp3,179
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp3,309
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,445
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n53rd person sharing a room2,469
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy3,795
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp3,315
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp3,495
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp3,625
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp3,819
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room2,469
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy4,245
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp3,579
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp3,765
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp3,899
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp4,085
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room2,625
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy4,709
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp31,069
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp32,435
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp33,795
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp35,155
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n53rd person sharing a room25,219
2024 7-Night Low Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy38,735
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp33,839
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp35,655
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp37,015
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp38,965
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room25,219
2024 7-Night High Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy43,315
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View double pp36,509
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Queen Jungle View double pp38,415
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5King Jungle View double pp39,775
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5River Valley/Rainforest double pp41,679
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n53rd person sharing room26,759
2024 7-Night Peak Season8d/7n5Garden View single occupancy48,075
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. A third person can be added to a room for a very reasonable cost. Babysitting is available onsite.

Other Country Information

Around 12,500 British nationals visit Belize each year.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE)
Transfer:
2024: Included from Philip Goldson International Airport or Belize City
Flight Guide:
London to Belize from £630
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