Adventure vacations in Belize

Mayan Jungle and Caracol Ride


For many people, the regular 6-day Mayan Jungle Ride is not enough. With this itinerary, you have the option to stay for additional two days to explore Caracol, the inspiring Mayan ruins in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.

During your five days of this horseback riding vacation in Belize each trek will offer a different vista and unique experience.  Canter through rain forest bearing lush foliage and tropical bird-life.  Observe toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, orioles, motmots, warblers, parrots, raptors and maybe even catch a glimpse of the rare Keel-billed motmot.  Climb over the mountains of the Pine Ridge Reserve to destinations including waterfalls and ancient Mayan caves and ruins.

Then take advantage of a day to explore the Caracol Mayan ruins, one of the largest in the Mayan world at 15 square miles, and once supporting a population of 120,000 people. It was occupied as early as 1200 BCE, with the greatest period of construction between 600 and 900 CE. See these momentous historical ruins firsthand, including the main pyramid, Caana, the tallest Mayan building and man-made structure in Belize.

Return each evening to a comfortable cabana, a hearty meal, and the warm hospitality of your hosts.

Please view our trip video from this ride.

Stay at an award-winning family operated Off-Grid jungle lodge offering cozy cabanas and a range of amenities including a new saltwater infinity jungle pool. Each room offers private bathrooms, ceiling fans, USB charging ports and LED lighting. The fully sustainable eco lodge is located on 105 acres of Nature Reserve, and is a fully operational citrus farm, with a half mile of riverfront along the Macal River.

A variety of foods are served including Mexican, Tex-Mex, rice and beans, homemade tortillas and breads, and local Belize fare. Vegetarian menus are easy to accommodate as many fresh fruits and vegetables are grown right in the area. Meals are taken at the lodge or the stable's cantina. The Cantina is the center of action at the stable, as a general meeting area.

  • Overview:
    A mixture of Quarter Horse and regional stock, the horses are owned and maintained on a 150-acre ranch. Being well trained and cared for, the horses have a gentle disposition, are sure-footed, and are conditioned for stamina and endurance. The outfitter offers excellent Abetta endurance saddles with 15-16" seats. These saddles do not have a horn and they have a wide endurance stirrup. Bridles utilized are western with curb bits or hackamores.
  • Horse Breeds:
    local quarterhorse cross
  • Trip Pace:
    slow to moderate
  • Tack:
    Abetta Endurance Saddles
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs

While riders are on horseback, there are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can enjoy the accommodations and region independently.

Belize City

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Saturday: If you arrive by International flight, you will be met outside the arrival zone at the Airport by a driver who will be holding with 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 with the lodge when making your reservation. 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 private hammock. Enjoy your first dinner & cocktails in their open-air fine dining restaurant.   Alternatively, an intimate private deck dinner service can be arranged for a fee to be paid at the lodge.

Day 2

Sunday: 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 pants and closed-toe shoes with a heel. Water, lunch, a small saddle bag, beach towel and poncho will be provided.  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 cave, refresh yourself with a cool dip in the crystal clear waters of Butterfly Falls and feast on a gourmet picnic lunch.  Return between 3:00 and 4:00 PM. After a refreshing beverage, you will be driven back to your accommodations, a 30-minute drive.  Return to your Cabana to freshen up for dinner and lively conversation with your hosts and other guests.

Day 3

Monday: Morning routine repeats.  Another full day of horseback riding to Nohoch Sayab River cave at Barton Creek. The trail meanders through a 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 board a canoe and paddle across 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 riding center, and then to the lodge.

Day 4

Tuesday: This day begins with a beautiful half-day jungle horseback ride followed by lunch in the stable 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 your accommodations 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 ambiance 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 the lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.

Day 5

Wednesday: Today, the lodge 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 either Rio On Pools or Big Rock Falls 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 the lodge: 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. Rio On Pools is the recommended choice for those with more limited mobility and for children under 5 years of age.

Day 6

Thursday: Today is a full day of riding to the Big Rock Falls 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.

Day 7

Friday: 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 Cantina for lunch and goodbyes to your hosts, guides and staff. Travel back to your accommodations for a free afternoon or choosing any of the excellent activities they offer.

Day 8

Saturday: Day of departure. The time of departure will depend on your plans or flight times. Transfer from the lodge to International Airport or Belize City by vehicle is included. Contact us for rates to other desired destinations. There is a local airport, Maya Flats, outside San Ignacio if you want to fly to the islands or other destinations offered by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air. There is no additional charge for transfer to Maya Flats.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may change at your guide's discretion due to unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

2021: Low Season is May 1-October 31 High Season is January 4-March 29, April 7-30 and November 1-December 20. Peak Season is January 1-3, March 30-April 6, December 21-January 3.
Additional Pricing Information:
Ride price is set, guaranteed and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Mayan Jungle and Caracol Ride
May 21, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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I brought my college-aged niece on this horseback riding trip and we both had an amazing week! The food was excellent, fresh, delicious, plentiful and accommodated special requests well. The owners made us feel like family, eating most dinners with us and serving up drinks after a day of riding. We felt... Read more  

Probasco, 2017